My Sleepless Night and Bout with Self-Sabotage

Last night, I woke up around three in the morning and stepped into the other room to lie down. I do that often because I still have a hard time falling back to sleep when my man next makes little noises or moves around in the bed.

It always worked . . . but not this time. As I was stepping out of the bathroom, a thought flared up in my sleepy mind, one that I had not seen for a long time: “What if I won’t be able to fall back asleep?”

This thought came out of the blue. And I wondered if it was some form of self-sabotage. My life was going well, and I slept well, so why was I so worried?

Then I remembered that I watched a Harry Potter movie. That was it! And it was a full moon. I have something with these full moons; they tend to cause disaster. Just when I think they will cause a miracle, my life starts falling apart, or at least parts of it: healthy sleep, my marriage, my peace of mind, my well-being, the publication of my book . . . 

I tried to stay in bed, but I already knew it wouldn’t do any good. It was as if somebody had left the lights on in the house. I decided to make myself that nightly cup of tea with honey and go over what was playing in my mind uninvitedly.

I thought of my daughter, Kim (the youngest, I have two), and remembered that she LOVED Harry Potter when she was still at home. Sadly, she is estranged from me, and I try and convince myself that it is a good thing: Moms can be so overwhelming that your own life becomes entangled and enmeshed with them.

I haven’t heard from Kim in over two years.  And after 35 years of marriage, my husband decided he didn’t want to return home—leaving me with all the remainders and reminders of family life, good and bad, to go through and clean up, emotionally and physically. He didn’t even say why he wasn’t coming back. 

I also thought about how I hadn’t had contact with my mom when I was pregnant. It was because I was in physical pain, and my fear of not being good enough following her standards kept me away. Fear that she would reject me and treat me like I didn’t matter.

When she would call me on the phone, I would hardly hear what she had to say but listen intensely to the tone of her voice, trying to figure out if we were still on good terms with each other.

So I realized that Harry Potter and the full moon triggered my restless night. Kim loved Harry Potter so much. And now, after watching the fantastic story unfold . . . I love it too. So why couldn’t get excited about it back when Kim was watching it on the floor of the family room? 

It was because back then I couldn’t sleep after a movie. I also couldn’t sleep when things would go well, or when I had to get up early in the morning . . . and on many other occasions. I had chronic insomnia and often wondered if I ever slept at all.  I would let myself be overwhelmed by the fear of not being good enough to be accepted, as a wife, as a mother, and as a daughter.

It was like having a fear of death. To live as a living person but not being seen and heard or considered a valuable, truly existing person. I feared my essence would go unnoticed as an asset to humanity. It was fear of annihilation. It was my karma to figure that one out and come to terms with it.

Even though things are not going the way you want them, I had to learn that I was still living my life. I learned how to sense my physical presence and be grateful to be in my body. This body allows me to do a million things. It is my body that enables me to work out problems, stand up for myself, and make different choices. With this realization, I developed a sense of self.

No more fear of annihilation, fear of rejection, addiction to approval,  or living a life only to fulfill conditions that I perceived necessary to be liked. Now, I finally could be myself. 

And no more self-sabotage either. When you try too hard to be perfect because you need other people’s approval, Nature has a way of letting you know: “Hey, you’re on the wrong path, and you’re giving your power away to other people.”

So the next time Harry Potter or the full moon triggers my old behaviors, I’ll have to remember once again that a lack of sense of self is a nasty condition, and relapse is always lurking. I’ll have to remind myself to step up, step out of it, and use my senses to sense my body. 

I know I only have one life to live, and I want to make sure it is mine!

Learn more about how I overcame my chronic insomnia all by myself in my new book. How to overcome insomnia

CLICK HERE to read the first chapter for free. 


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