It is common for anxiety and emotional struggles to increase at night. There can be many factors associated with this. It’s human nature to seek distraction if our brain is causing us torment. If we spend most of our waking ours during the day, the days are naturally filled with more activity. We know that distraction could be a helpful tool at times, however we know that if this is our only answer for battling the emotional pain, it will still keep us unprepared. All alone with our thoughts at some point of the day, usually at night when we are trying to sleep. I personally know the feeling of skin crawling, with the feeling of the needles digging in, from the inside out. Like being in a locked, dark room, with no help on the way.
My heart breaks for others that know this same experience. We can see that it takes more than “positive thinking” to shift this into a experience that we don’t have to dread. We can have a different relationship with the night. Of course not everyone has the same experience with the night time, however it’s common for anxiety to rear it’s ugly head in the dark. Whatever works for you, your schedule, some may be working nights, etc. No matter our “schedule”, we know that no amount of binge watching, scrolling, video games, or alcohol, will ever be enough to “fix” the emotional pain. These struggles often have become the monster in our head that we know all too well. Even though this experience may have caused us immeasurable pain, it’s the monster we are familiar with. Attempting to let it go, dropping the struggle, this can seem impossible. There can be a cruel, false “safety”, to the way it feels. It can feel that if we let go through practicing acceptance of the moment, or exposure treatment, that somehow this could just make us feel worse.
Let us show ourselves some kindness on how difficult this can be to manage, truly. This is often another indescribable layer to OCD and anxiety. The good news is, our goal is the same regardless of what the monster is trying to pull us into. We often try to “fix” things that are tormenting our brain and insides; with compulsions, avoidance, etc. We know these experiences are often “fixed” by not fixing it. Letting it unfold the way it is actually happening, even though it can be dark, unfair, and feels insurmountable. We know if we can choose to face it on purpose, it can leave sooner. We can embrace that it is there, then shift to into something that will be more productive; our values, goals, or a more pleasant topic in the here and now. Even if it is only 10 seconds a time. It’s still progress. Hang in there.
Where do I go when the land touches sea? There is my trust in what I believe. REM– Leave