This isn’t something I suffer from much, not anymore anyway. I used to, when my son was young and I was a single mom. At one point I realized I needed to find part-time morning work so I could be home afternoons. Even being present sometimes isn’t enough. You always have the dynamic of the other family- the divorced parent and their relatives -lurking in the wings. That was difficult for me. They had lots of money and never hesitated to overindulge my son at their every whim. No wonder he sometimes preferred them to me and the spartan existence at home. This kept me up nights. Angry and feeling helpless. Besides, I made demands on him, chores like cleaning his room, changing his own sheets, cleaning his bathroom. Every Saturday he had to do these things before any TV, playing, or going to a friend’s house. And I was the only one! No back up. So one day, long after he finished college and had left home for his own life out of nowhere he calls me to say he is grateful I taught him to clean a toilet. I really have no idea why or what prompted this gratitude, but I took it at face value, so thankful that something, however small, paid off and helped him, even in some significant way.

So now if I have insomnia I have a little notebook I write in. Sometimes I just make a list, stream of consciousness, until all the anxiety goes away. Sometimes I write a letter to God. Sometimes I write things I am grateful for. Whatever, it seems to empty the cup that holds the fears or hangovers from the past, and fills it with peace.