I’ve never been good at sleeping. At fifteen, I was staying up late enough to watch Alternative Nation on MTV after my parents had gone to bed. By my senior year, I was regularly up late enough to watch Sailor Moon reruns at five before doing most of my napping in math class. College was just an excuse to go further – at one point I worked a part time job that started at midnight and got out just in time for me to go to class. Adulthood has brought the occasional traditional work schedule, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
A lot of people have nighttime issues with anxiety. Sometimes I am one of those people, feeling left alone and utterly isolated by the fears playing through my mind. But more often I find the darkness a relief. It’s the time when my mind functions best. I get most of my reading done, and the best of my writing, in the dark.
Tonight I’m up for a combination of reasons. Partially because I was reading an excellent book – fiction, and so not fodder for this blog, unfortunately – and partially because of a strange sort of situation that you may find hard to believe if you’re not familiar with anxiety. You see, I am anxious because I’m not anxious.
I have difficulty flying. In part this is due to my vertigo and inner-ear issues; beyond that, some of it stems from experiences flying, though there’s been nothing really traumatic. I have to travel for work next week, and I really ought to be a basket case. I ought to be thinking all sorts of irrational things. I ought to be imagining a hundred terrible physical issues I could have while thousands of miles up. I ought to be considering quitting my job to avoid it. I know I ought to be doing all these things because they’re what I usually do.
I’m doing none of them. I’m almost as blasé about travelling for business as I was when I was gone two weeks out of four in my last job. And the fact that I’m not worried just makes me nervous. I know I say this a lot, but I think I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Oh, I’m not a wreck now, that means I’ll just be worse later…”
As tradeoffs go, that’s a pretty good one. I definitely prefer this to a screaming panic attack. But I can’t say it doesn’t make me long for a day when I won’t worry about worrying to begin with.
And I don’t dare say I think I’m making progress… I don’t want to tempt the fates into noticing. Though if I’m going to keep working with Laima, I guess I have to get used to the idea of having fate’s attention, for better or worse.