Saturday, June 14, 2014

Superstition ain't the way...

I had planned to write yesterday, while it was still Friday the 13th, but by the time I got around to it all I wanted to do was go to bed. Sleep won out over blogging, and even though I was exhausted I had trouble sleeping. As I lay in my bed, cuddled up with my dogs, it seemed like I heard every single little sound. The house settling, little noises outside, the people and animals moving around on the other side of the fence, the rhythmic chirping of insects. I turned over and over, my eyes watered from exhaustion, but sleep wouldn't come.

For a long time, I had a very hard time sleeping when I was home alone. It's not that I'm afraid of the dark, I'm certainly not. In fact, I love the night time, how quite and still it is. I love being awake when almost everyone else is sleeping. I love the feel of the cool, or cooling, moist air. But there's something about sleeping when home alone that sort of freaks me out. There's no safeguard, no one to watch over you while you sleep and keep you safe. If someone wants to break into your house and harm you, there's no one there to stop them or to help you fight them off. 

In order to come to terms with this, I've told myself that it doesn't matter. That if someone were to break in here, they would do it whether I was alone or not, whether I was asleep or awake. That I can't worry about things I can't control. It's helped, thank God, because I can't stay awake all night. I have a job, at least 9 months a year. Also, unlike Matt, I need sleep and I need to see the sun because when I don't my depression deepens. That means sleeping at night.

So as I lay trying to go to sleep it dawned on me that it was likely Friday the 13th's fault I couldn't rest. Normally, I eagerly wait for this particular holiday and am let down by how uneventful it is. Obviously, I'm happy that nothing terrible happened, but it seems like there should be more to Friday the 13th than there is. There's so much build up, so much hype, the actual day is such a letdown. I'm not sure why I feel like this, but there you have it. Still, as let down as I am by the day itself, it turns out that despite my cynicism I'm somewhat superstitious and Friday the 13th heightens my fears.

It's something I hadn't even really thought about or realized consciously until yesterday while Skyping with my mom. The 13th and the fact that it coincided with the honey moon (a moon that happens every year, but rarely corresponds with Friday the 13th) came up. Oh, and it turns out the honey moon was on the morning of Friday the 13th for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, not during the evening, so I missed it--not to happy about that! Anyway, I started to jokingly discount superstition and told Matt not to walk under any ladders or cross any black cats at work that night, when I realized that it maybe wasn't all that funny, except maybe that there might be black cats anywhere near his workplace. That I'm actually, strangely a bit superstitious. It seems ludicrous that I should be, but it seems that as I get older this issue is getting worse.

Take for instance my ritual when Matt goes to work. As he's walking out the door I kiss him, tell him I love him, and to drive safe. On days I haven't done all those things, in that order, I've felt incredibly uncertain that he would arrive to work safe. Clearly, that's remarkably stupid. I can't control what happens to him between here and there, and it's only five miles, but I fear the repercussions of not performing the small ritual anyway. It's not the only one, but it's a pretty clear example of my somewhat strange superstitions--or maybe it's just OCD? Why can't I just fear walking under ladders, opening umbrellas inside, crossing black cats or something? That would at least be normal!

The sleep issue will clear itself up now that the "holiday" has passed, I'm sure. I just hope I don't grow any more superstitious because I can hardly handle anxiety that makes sense, without having more anxiety that makes none. I literally feel (irrational) fear when Matt leaves for work and I don't get do my little ritual, which is alleviated only by him texting me to tell me he got there safely. Thank God he's willing to participate in this little song and dance by texting me, otherwise I'd got crazier than I already am being eaten up with anxiety. Superstition sucks, but I'm certainly never going to look at Friday the 13th the same way again. Clearly, Stevie Wonder was onto something when he said Superstition ain't the way--and yes, I know, the video below is Phillip Phillips, I like his version better than the original. ^.^