Can’t Sleep aka Anxiety Attack

stock-vector-school-bus-kids-riding-on-school-bus-282366986Midnight the day before a new venture

Tomorrow I begin a new bus route.  It might not seem like a big deal but if you have never driven with a bus load of kids while trying to figure out the instructions in that little type font they use for route instructions and at the same time tried finding 911 numbers in the dark you just haven’t had my kind of fun.  Aghh!!!!

Always when there is something new, especially if it requires being awake early in the day, sleep is hard to find.  The difficulty with sleep escapes reason yet it continues.  The worrying doesn’t change anything but I continue to fret.  My heart races.  My blood pressure rises.  Sleep is almost impossible unless I’m to the point of exhaustion.  Racing thoughts are a plague.

This time, it is a new school bus route.  My previous route required me to be awake at six am which, for me, is quite a challenge.  I just don’t do mornings.  In fact, I hate mornings so much that often when I have to be up early for something like a plane ride I just stay up.  It is easier than tossing and turning all night.

The reasons for not sleeping are only twofold but the rush of issues which begins to flood my mind when I can’t sleep seems to point to many more issues than two.  It feels more like two thousand.

Two alone it is.  One is that I am not entirely comfortable with a new adventure.  I fear I will not do it right or be lost and confused.  That same fear could also accompany a new job, or a trip on a plane.  Sometimes when my tolerance is low this type of anxiety can be from a simple evening out with friends or just going to the grocery store.  All the things I need to take or do prior to “take off” are running through my head.  Do I have the paperwork I need?  Do I have everything packed that I need to take? And the list goes on ad infinitum.

Then there is that horrible second issue which is “Will I wake up on time?  Even setting two clocks and the timer on my watch doesn’t seem to dispell the fear. How could I possibly sleep through three alarms?  Yet I worry.

I know I have everything ready that I need.  I even went on a trial run of the new route just to make sure I don’t get lost in the dark on Monday morning.  How much more prepared could I possibly be?

12 Hours later

Reading the previous notes you might think I live with an anxiety disorder.  Well yes, I do.  It’s not as bad as used to be but it’s no fun.

My fit bit says I got a whopping 4.5 hours sleep but I was OK.  I the managed to get all children picked up on time and delivered safely to school.  Thank goodness for my french press and good coffee.

It’s a good thing I did the dry run on Saturday because in my fluster and panic I managed to forget my paperwork and didn’t have time to go back for it.  Didn’t have a clue what times I was supposed to pick them up but I knew if I stayed on the speed limit I would likely be within a minute or two of the assigned times.

As for the multiple alarms, it was a good thing they were set.  It seems in my fluster I didn’t set two of them properly.  Dah!  A perfect examply of the anxiety actually making things wors.

Oh well it’s all done.  I came home and slept for 90 much needed minutes and now it’s off I go for the afternoon run.  This one will be easier.

I’ve learned a great deal about coping with anxiety but I haven’t arrived yet.  While the anxiety doesn’t go away easily in the moment I am much better at letting go after and I’ve been working on the self-talk, though sometimes that seems to cause more anxiety than less.  Meditation techniques and relaxation and sleep tapes help a bit.  Lists have always been a good coping mechanism for me.

Prolonged and untreated anxiety can be very dangerous and often leads to severe depression and even suicide.  To find out more about anxiety disorders visit Canadian Mental Health.







About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (, I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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2 Responses to Can’t Sleep aka Anxiety Attack

  1. Monte Reeves says:

    Hi Peggy,
    Read the Daily Bread yesterday or today. Jesus talked about worry too. I know that I suffer at times with anxiety and its not healthy for us. Hope to see you before Autumn closes in.


  2. Joanna Lynn says:

    I’m glad everything worked out OK for your first run. I pray you will keep finding new and better ways to handle the anxiety.

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