Midnight 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.