When insomnia strikes

By Sue Curtis

A few nights ago, we experienced some power problems. In the middle of the night, the power went off for just a second. This was enough time to have the lights inside and outside the house flicker, the electric clocks shut off and begin to blink 12:00, and the security system to issue its warning, “press 6 to reset.”

The voice on that system is very mechanical sounding. It’s not melodious at all, in fact, it’s pretty creepy.

So not only are we awakened by the flickering, but we had to reset the security, reset the alarm, reset the clocks, and calm the dog. Our large Dane/Lab mutt is fearless, except for the security alarm and strange voice. These sounds make him super nervous.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if we could have just gone back to sleep, but the flickering continued four more times in the next 20 minutes.

Finally we gave up and went downstairs to call DP & L and sit in our recliners. I tried to doze while we waited, but that didn’t happen for me. I began to worry. To make matters worse, there was strange music coming from somewhere outside. I wasn’t about to leave the house to investigate, but it escalated my fretting mind.

I began to conjure the worst-case scenarios for every aspect of my life, including (but not limited to) our upcoming trip to visit my family, our son’s car, my husband’s new job, the flowers, my herb garden, people on my prayer list, the dog’s nerves… my worry list gets bigger and scarier when I can’t sleep. Some of the worries are probably valid, though usually I can pray and feel confident they are in good hands.

But when insomnia strikes, my worry gauge is off the chart, and minor things take on catastrophic proportions. For example, earlier that evening, our son was out with friends. He is never without his phone and I know it’s pretty much attached to his person at all times. He’s usually very responsive to me, but I had texted him that night and he hadn’t answered. Since that’s pretty rare for him, right before we went to bed, I tried to call – and got voice mail.

Now that I was awake at 2:00 a.m., I found myself obsessing on the possibilities. Obviously, his phone could be out of battery and he wasn’t in a place he could charge it. This was the most likely explanation. But in my sleep-deprived haze, this was not the explanation I was accepting. In fact, my brain came up with a half dozen incredibly scary possibilities.

I finally conked out sometime around 5:30 a.m. and when I awoke I had a text message from our son that all was fine. All that worry for nothing and all because of some flickering lights. And that strange music? Turns out when the power came back on, it turned on the radio on our patio. Go figure.

Email me at suecurtis9@gmail.com.


By Sue Curtis