Thursday, January 31, 2008

Insomnia Sucks

I can't really say for sure, but I am fairly certain that over the years the members of my family have spent more time laying in bed NOT sleeping than they have spent getting 40 winks. Insomnia and nightmares seem to run in my family.

For me, my insomnia manifests itself as a type of O.C.D. fixation where I can not stop thinking about a specific issue. Sometimes I am fixating on something important, and other times I am fixating on a conversation or idea that should have been no more than a fleeting thought.

On my worst nights, like tonight, I lay awake and my mind drifts off to work. I start to think about what I need to do the next day. It starts with mundane items like a server that needs to be overhauled. I start thinking about that, and then I remember all of the other more important things that need to be done like financials, 1099's, strategic plans, cost projections, forecasts, collections, and historical job costing.

Then I think about the people that matter most to me. My wife, my family, and my employees. Although after 10 years I seem to be figuring out how to run this company, I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I am constantly afraid that failure is just around the corner.

I lay awake stressing about where the next job or client will come from. I think of the people that work for me. They are buying houses and having kids. They depend on the business, and they depend on me to make it grow so that they have a career with a future and not just a job.

I think about my wife. She couldn't possibly be any more understanding or low maintenance. None the less she is my wife and I feel the need to provide for her. I want to provide her with adventure, fulfillment, and a great home. I worry that failing at the business would prevent me from delivering on all that she deserves. The irony is that I also worry that not casting off the business and setting off into the unknown will rob her of adventure.

Either way, one of my worst fears is that my wife would one day roll over and think that if she had married someone else she would have been happier or made better use of the time she gave me.

Of course, the best thing about my wife is that she would never hold me to that kind of standard. None the less, the instinct and fears are there and they like to make their appearance when my brain is unguarded during one of my restless, groggy, sleepless nights.

Now, all evidence to the contrary, I don't always take this insomnia and paranoia thing laying down (pun intended). Some nights I actively fight back by turning on the light and reading a funny book. I have tried a variety of breathing exercises, and I have used strategies that involve recognizing when you are fixating and actively changing the subject.

Other times I turn the TV on audio only and listen to an episode of the Simpsons or some other animated comedy. I listen and focus my mind on visualizing each scene, animating each one in my head. Occasionally, one of these tactics leads to a victory and I do get some sleep. However, as the old saying goes, "Some days you get the dragon, and other days the dragon gets you."

The fact of the matter is that in the grand scheme of things, none of us matter all that much. If I were to be run over by a bus tomorrow my wife, famliy, and employees would be sad. However, that sadness would pass and they would all move on. However, right now I am here. Those people could have worked anywhere, and my wife could have married anyone. They put their trust in me to do everything that I can to enhance their lives. Sometimes, that keeps me up.

Then again, maybe it isn't stress keeping me up. Maybe I am up because of some old family curse that was cast upon us when a long lost relative ran afoul of a gypsy. As long as I am up my brain figures it should be doing something, so it focuses in on this kind of thing.

Who's to say.

Either way, up is up. It's after midnight now and I don't have the faintest hint of drowsiness. None the less I should probably get back to bed so I can hurry up and not sleep.

Of course, the remote is right here.... maybe I will see what is on......

2 Comments:

Blogger *~*Cece*~* said...

I hate when my OCD mind gets the best of me. *sigh*

January 31, 2008 at 11:16 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

I get like that usually a couple days before a trip. Worrying I've done all that needs doing, packed all that needs packing, left all the contact info...you get the point.

Since I've started keeping a pencil and paper at my bedside to write it down the moment I think of it and get it out of my head, I rest better.

Just a thought on something you might want to add to repertoire of solutions.

February 12, 2008 at 3:29 PM  

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