It's sometime in the middle of the night and yet sleep eludes me. I'm pacing and stuffing my bag for work, but nothing particularly important is going on tomorrow. I'm just generally anxious, I suppose. The clock is tick-tick-ticking away my down time but when I close my eyes, where dreams should be I see instead lists and duties scrolling through my head. There is too much shuffling around between my ears.
Some nights are just not good for sleeping. I slipped myself a Benedryl to see if I might drug myself into a weary stupor. So far, just tick-tick-tick.
I am not usually one for sleeplessness - unless the anxiety comes.
All the females in my family have had it - the anxiety - although I'm the first to discover what it is that keeps us tossing in the night and fretting through otherwise lovely afternoons. My grandmother was sure that it was her "sixth sense" alerting us of pending disaster. She convinced the Katie-child and my mom that these unsubstantiated feelings of doom meant that we could foresee bad events in the future. Whenever our hearts would pound and our breathing quickened, she'd start the call chain, contacting relatives I didn't know we had until she found someone with a problem.
"You knew," she'd say to me proudly. "That's why you were worried. (So-and-so) bruised her tailbone and you picked up on it for us."
And right now a thousand monkeys are typing and one will eventually tap-tap out these very words. It never takes long to discover pain or misfortune.
Anyway, now I know that my panic is a genetic flaw, a chemical imbalance of some sort and not some superstition or magical perception (which would be far more interesting, I admit, yet creepy).
But knowing I am irrational doesn't mean I can sleep.