I think there might be monsters under my bed. In fact, I think I might start checking more regularly – just peeking under the frame, poking in the boxes of junk storing random items for a rainy day. Just to make sure there is nothing that is going to come and get me in the middle of the night.
Perhaps, being a fully grown woman, it’s time to stop these kinds of childish worries, to act my age. I probably should be able to go to bed without pulling the covers back in a “gotcha” fashion to check for spiders or other monstrous things.
But I am not sure I can. Not at least until I can find any other way to explain it. There doesn’t seem to be an alternative reason why I wake up in the middle of the night and all my problems have doubled, tripled in size. There is no reasonable reason why the thoughts that linger in the back of my mind, a vague notion of a worry, a smidgen of anxiety, like a dusting of snow that can be brushed off your windscreen, should suddenly become this terror of a thing. This nightmare of a worry that won’t quit. But they do. These monsters that hide by day, prowl by night.
It’s always the same routine: A few hours sleep after a testing but normal day is interrupted suddenly. The alarm is set for the day ahead – a day that promises neither to be an easy stroll in the park nor a gruelling marathon – and yet you wake up three hours before its due to go off. Instantly.
That thing, that little nagging thing that you know needs taking care of, that you know you need to fix tomorrow is suddenly a monster under your bed. You know it’s there, you can hear it breathing, biding its time. The dark seems to push in around you, forcing you down further into the bed, not protecting you, instead making you more vulnerable, weaker. As the black renders you useless, the scope of the monster gets bigger and bigger and bigger, until you can’t be certain it won’t jump out any minute and overwhelm you.
The monster under the bed is the worry you didn’t see coming. Tossing and turning won’t make it go away; sleeplessness prevails.
In the morning, when, if, sleep ever falls again, the monsters, being creatures of the night time, are long gone. The sunshine, the morning light is your hope returned. It brings back the wisdom and rationality that all is not as bad as you think it is. The worry, a screaming vision of terror in the night, is now nothing more than a whimpering puppy, in need of attention, but quickly pacified.
On to another day and into another night. Let’s hope the monsters don’t come back. I think it has to be them. There is no other explanation. No other reason for these day time irritants to become nighttime terrors, these monsters under the bed.