When I can't go to sleep at night, I play some games with my mind - letters of the alphabet - have to find one emotion word that matches each letter: anxiety, boredom, comfortable, dread, eager . . . ; I find an adjective for each letter of the alphabet: funny, greedy, heightened, jittery . . . , or, what I do most often is count my blessings - sometimes it's people's names, sometimes it's acts, sometimes it's life events, sometimes it's general: kids, life, me, naps, oncologist, positive thoughts, quiet, recovery, soup, tomorrow, Uncle, V-neck t-shirts, Walker family, x-tra blankets, yoga, zucchini bread. Last night, I listed all of the people I love, alphabetically!
Another get-to-sleep game I play is that of singing, in my mind, my favorite spiritual songs. My favorites include, "Be Still, My Soul." Another, "A Child's Prayer." Another is, "Tis a Gift to be Simple."
I've had my share of funky dreams, some of them are probably medicine induced, but some of them are that unconscious fear I'm sure I'm processing this way. Some nights I wake up in a sweat because of a bad dream, sometimes I'm not sure where I'm at when I wake up, and there are nights when I'm actually afraid to get up and go to the bathroom! It has been interesting to find these dreams, these thoughts, these fears - whether it's the end of my/the world, my past lives, being alone, dealing with my cancer or another type of cancer - and when I'm wide awake, feeling like I'm 8 year's old again, I become that 8 year old and pray. "Please bless that this bad dream will go away." "Please bless that I can go back to sleep." "Please bless that my house will be safe." And if that doesn't calm me, and the ABC game doesn't still my soul, I tell God, "Please God, I don't mean to sound ungrateful, but what a ride. Please sit beside me; please be near me; please don't forget me; please give me peace; please give me sleep." Or, "Please God, help me make peace with the night."
And with the little faith I have and all the hope I can muster at 2am, I trust, and I sleep.