My eyes fly open, like they do almost every night now. I think about looking at the phone to see what time it is. Sometimes it’s easier not to know so I don’t calculate how many hours it is until I have to wake up. Against my better judgment, I press the button and the screen lights tup o show it’s 12:07 a.m. Also, not a single call, text message, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter alert, which is technically okay because it’s a work night, but I try not to take this as a larger sign about the state of my social life or how funny I am. I adjust onto my back and take a deep breath. I really thought tonight would be the night I stayed asleep. But I only lasted two hours, even though going to bed I was absolutely dead on my feet. Even the dog is passed out at the foot of the bed, and she always wakes up when I do.
I roll over onto my side and tuck my hands into a prayer position against my face. I’ve been here before. With my body so, so exhausted, but my brain so very, very wide awake. Even though I’ve learned that nothing obsessed over in the middle of the night is ever as important in the morning. I have years of practice in talking myself down. I know anxiety changes nothing. The best you can do is trust that what felt right at the time was. What is meant to be will be. I know all this, and yet I’m still awake at midnight when I shouldn’t be.
From this contemplative and trying-not-to-panic position, a thought pops into my head. “I want my life hand-delivered to me in a perfect package. Tied with a perfect little bow. All of the time.”
I sit up. “That’s the problem,” I say to myself. “That’s it, right there.” I want everything gorgeous and tidy and easy. But who doesn’t? That is not unique. It’s also completely unrealistic. Everyone wants things handed to them. So what? I think the problem is — I feel like I especially do. When things don’t go my way the first time, or when I can’t see the path ahead clearly, or – let’s be real – when people and situations don’t just instantly bend to my will, I start to obsess. Overthink. Overanalyze. I don’t need any help from anyone or anything to go crazy. I drive myself insane.