Leaf-Day 8

Do you want to know a secret?

It’s not a happy one, I’m afraid. It’s not something that I tell many people.

I have trouble sleeping. And I know that everyone has trouble sleeping at some point in their lives, but I’ve had trouble sleeping for almost four years straight.

It all started when I was a senior in college. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do after I graduated. I was planning my wedding. And one night, I just couldn’t fall asleep. And the next night, I was scared that I wouldn’t fall asleep. So I didn’t. And it went on and on and on.

And at one point, at about two o’clock in the morning, after months of not getting good sleep, I thought about if it would be easier for me to die than to go through another night of sleeplessness. I thought about hurting myself for a brief second. And I got on Facebook, and saw that one of my dear friends was up as well. She lived in my dorm, and she came and sat with me when I asked her to. She brought down a bucket of soapy water and a warm towel, and she sat down on my dorm room floor and washed my feet. And she slept in the top bunk in my room so that I didn’t have to be alone.

I was so ashamed. I thought “I’m a Christian. I shouldn’t be thinking things like this. This is not good. I need help.” So the next morning, I called my then fiance and now Husband-Man and told him that I’d thought about hurting myself. And I scheduled a visit to the counselor on campus.

And I was so scared to go see her. But, I went. I thought she would tell me I was crazy. She did quite the opposite. She sat and asked me questions and listened to me. She drew pictures in her notes and didn’t look down her nose at me. And when I was done, she said, “Honey, no wonder you’re having trouble sleeping. Anybody would. Here are some things that you can do to help.”

And I tried those things, and they did help. My issues with sleep aren’t over. And I’ve not talked about that dark night to many people. But a lot of that is pride. I don’t want to admit that I’ve been to such a dark place. I don’t want to admit that I still struggle with sleep, and that I don’t have  clock in my room so that I can’t count the minutes until I have to wake up while I’m trying to sleep.

But, God is honored in our weakness. He is glorified because every night, I fall asleep and trust that He’ll still be God even when I’m not awake to make sure that everything is okay.

This post is part of the 31 Days Writing Challenge, in which a group of writers post a piece every day for the month of October. If you’re interested in catching up on the entire series, click here.

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