Write On Wednesday: Nervous Wreck

When I can’t sleep, I worry.  About work done and undone,  roads not taken, futures unknown.  When I can’t sleep, thoughts churn in my mind, roiling and boiling in my brain until I jump out of bed, a complete nervous wreck.

Thankfully, sleep doesn’t elude me that often anymore. I fall asleep fairly easily, and mostly sleep through the night unless a hot flash or lonely puppy disturbs me.   But the past two nights, troubled by respiratory congestion and fever, I’ve been thrashing around amongst the covers, unable to rest in body or spirit.

Nervousness runs in our family, I’m told.  My mother has memories of her grandfather suddenly rising from the table in the midst of Sunday dinner and bolting out the door, probably driven away from his meal by the cacophony of seven adult children, their spouses, and innumerable amounts of grandchildren.  “He was an awfully nervous man,” she says, and remembers him pacing outside the house, up and down the dirt road running along beside it.

That urge to bolt comes naturally then, the one I feel when all the worries and anxieties overwhelm me, when I have to sit on my hands to keep from throwing wide the door and running for dear life.  Whenever I see movies of a runaway horse, I know exactly the feeling – that wild-eyed look which comes with the desperate need to escape.

There’s usually no escaping real life, no matter how nervous one gets.   So I  get in my car if the weather is fine and roll down all the windows, drive as fast as I (safely) can, until the rushing wind sweeps the anxiety out of my mind.  On cold and dreary days, I might put on music (Jason Robert Brown, Bon Jovi) and turn it up loud, close my eyes and spin in crazy circles around the room. 

These are only diversions, they solve nothing, yet somehow they soothe a troubled soul and put the wrecked endings of my nerves back together.

How about you?  What makes you nervous?  How do you handle those time when you feel a nervous wreck?

for Write On Wednesday

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8 thoughts on “Write On Wednesday: Nervous Wreck

  1. I tell myself “this too shall pass.” I pray. I know that most of what I worry about is exaggerated in my mind.
    I do crossword puzzles every day. Something about being absorbed in a crossword puzzle blocks out everything else that troubles me. I tear them out of the paper and place then in a manila folder next to my chair. (I always have to be careful I do it after Dick has read the paper.) Anyway they sustain me somehow.
    Cousin Bonnie

  2. I’m sorry your being worried, nervous — I hope it all resolves soon. I think the things that make me most nervous are being concerned about health stuff — the medical results you’re wait to hear. That’s nervous. And standing in unsupported tall areas. That’s nerves bordering on fear! And I get terribly nervous about Rick when he goes on his bike. I’ve just got to get over that one…

    Soon, my friend. I hope soon.

  3. I wish I had a good answer to this. I certainly need one. Sleep often eludes me and I can turn a problem over and over until I can’t tell the top from the bottom. I’m a worrier of the highest order. The fact that it doesn’t help anything doesn’t seem to keep me from doing it.

    I do get up in the middle of the night and go on the computer. It’s quite a place to run wild. I too have gotten in the car and rolled the windows down a driven to nowhere in the middle of the night. That seems to help sooth the spirit somehow. I think this happens more with age. I think.

  4. Over the years, I’ve become more aware of the nervous, anxious feelings when they arise. Rather than reacting, I try– stress try– to determine the source of the feeling and see if I can talk some sense into myself. I also get a sense of freedom from driving in the car, listening to good music, taking a walk.

    I just realized that I didn’t answer your other question… how do you know when it’s time to make a change? When despite my attempts to “make it work” and the feelings of unrest keep coming back around. I first try to change myself… if that doesn’t work, I change the situation. It is, however, much easier said than done.

  5. I thought about answering this prompt myself, but I just don’t have that kind of sleep-interrupting anxiety. I mean, of course, I worry, but actual nervousness is limited to in-the-moment things – the rare bout of stage fright, for example.

  6. I’m easily stressed as well and have to deal with anxieties. I don’t have the tendency to bolt but to throw up. When I have a lot of worries I don’t sleep well either.

    I use respiratory excercises & relaxation therapy when needed. It usually passes.

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