I wake up, my eyes opening wide taking in the very minimal light that’s in my room. My body wants to bolt up, sudden fear crashing through my mind making my heart race, but I fight it to stay on my back. Closing my eyes, I try to calm myself down knowing it’s just another night that I wake up with these…terrors. It’s just another night.
It takes me a while but I always calm down enough to turn on my side and clutch the fluffy white blanket to my chest. I bring my knees up and lay there in a fetus-position as I try to calm down enough to go back to sleep. All the things I need to get through the next day is in the back of my mind making me remember that I have to get my rest. I have to get my rest.
I keep my eyes close and repeat a cluster of words in my head. At some time, it calms me down. At some time, I feel my body relax on the bed, exhausted. At some time, I drift back to sleep while hugging the blanket close to heart. At some time, I wake up and do it all over again.
I wake up and gasp for air, as if I had been in a choke hold for a little too long. I’d bolt up and sit on the edge of my bed, hugging myself as I catch my breath, my nails digging into my sides. With my eyes closed, I’d repeat a cluster of words in my head trying and trying to push the fear away. But the fear wouldn’t go away.
When I finally would calm down enough, I would lay back down in my bed and cover myself with the blanket despite what temperature it was in the room. I’d stare up at the black ceiling and look for where my lightbulb should be. I knew the light switch was only a couple feet away from the bed, but instead I would lie there and will it to turn on. In the darkness, there was very minimal light in my room. And that would never help the fear go away. Never help the fear go away.
I remember the nights I would have insanely realistic nightmares. I remember the nights my body would shake as I woke up, coated in sweat. I remember the nights I would hug my pillow and just cry, so scared. I remember all those nights, still. The nightmares have disappeared, but the fear won’t go.
I remember the nights wishing you were there. I remember the nights I would have trouble falling asleep, during the first several months of these terrors. I remember the times I would reach over the edge of my bed and grab my phone, dialing your number hoping you would answer. I remember how the sound of your voice would calm me down, and how I would soon be asleep with you on the other line. I remember all the nights I just…wouldn’t go back to sleep.