Saturday, August 20, 2016

oh, what a night.

I have always been a night owl, staying up into the wee hours of darkness, way past the times when everyone else bows out to call it a night.  I'm the person burning the midnight oil and even long past that - typically awake until four or five AM, on a reverse schedule of most humans, sleeping during the day and wide awake while the rest of the world sleeps. In high school and college it made for extremely difficult class schedules and I was perpetually tired and falling behind.  It used to drive my parents nuts and was always a bone of contention between us.  When I found a job working evenings, it was perfect and even though it's been years since I was on that shift, I've never gotten out of the habit of keeping those hours.

I used to like the silence - there's a unique quiet that comes in the middle of the night - and the lack of people, especially the lack of people.  The darkness has never really bothered me, and I love being able to see the stars even brighter.  The dogs are trained, after all these years, on my schedule and they don't seem to mind it either, especially in the summer when the blazing daytime temperatures are not very appealing.  Things are more peaceful at night.  Or, they used to be.

Now, nighttime is becoming a time when my doubts creep in, my dark thoughts come to attack, and my failures come to play on a loop.  Instead of being able to peacefully enjoy the quiet, the quiet seems to have turned on me.  Lately, there have been nights I just lay in my bed and my thoughts just drift to the me I could have been if I didn't get sick.  A few days ago, my mom ran into someone that works in the labor & delivery unit at my old hospital, someone I have never ever met, who told my mom that she knew who I was, what an excellent tech I was, that all the doctors loved me and missed me.  Four and a half years after leaving and a woman I don't even know can still say that about me.  It makes my heart ache, because I still have such a burning desire inside of me for the knowledge and the passion to do the work, but I physically can't.  I truly feel trapped inside my own body.

During the day, it seems so easy to put on the mask of make-up, nice clothes, and styled hair and say "oh, I'm fine"... even when you're not.  But at night, when you're alone, all of that falls away.  No, I'm not okay.  I feel lost.  I feel like all of my friends get to move on with their lives - move to new states, find new jobs, get engaged, be happy - while I am just stuck in the same position, day after day.  Sick, waiting for my next doctor's appointment, which usually brings more "I don't know"s and stagnant results.

I want to be able to have those dreams again, to sit down at night outside, looking up at the stars and dreaming of my future and to have those dreams actually be possibilities - not just laughable wishes.  I want to love the night again like I once did, to love the peace and quiet, to love the comfort of the darkness and the relaxation it brings.  I hope that someday soon I will be able to renew my love for the night.  Until then, I will be doing my best to remind myself of all the wonderful things the night can bring, and fighting against all the terrible things that are trying to creep in.

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