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Coping With Rational Fears That Keep Me Awake

Last updated: August 2022

For the first time in over 3 years, I walked outside alone. I struggled to walk the short distance to be able to see the clear skies, hoping to catch a glimpse of the meteor shower. I worried that I might not be able to make it back. What would happen if I fell? How long would it be before someone found me? It was after midnight, and nobody was awake. How long would I be stuck waiting for help if something happened?

Coping with rational fears

I struggle to walk, and my fear of being stuck waiting for help is not unfounded. We all hear about that sort of thing from time to time, but my husband lost 2 family members at the same time due to a slip and fall. Nobody knew to look for them. It was tragic and horrific and terrifying. It scares me. I do not want to suffer the same fate.

Losing my independence

My brief venture outdoors alone did not feel the way I thought it would feel. I thought I would feel a sense of accomplishment. After all, it has been a very long time since I have had a real sense of independence. That was not how I felt at all.

I felt sad thinking about my lost independence, and I worried trying to regain some independence might lead to something bad. This is a completely rational fear that holds me back and keeps me awake.

Anxiety fuels my insomnia

The anxiety caused by all of this fuels my insomnia. I lie awake and worry about all the possibilities, none of them good. I also grieve my former self and all I have lost. On the nights when my worries are worse, I sleep far less. I barely slept at all last night.

Not getting enough sleep to fully function makes me anxious because I fear it increases my risk of getting hurt. The anxiety keeps me awake, and not getting enough sleep causes more anxiety. Around and around it goes until I think I might go mad.

Balancing acceptance and my rational fears

How do I cope with a rational fear that causes a great deal of anxiety? How do I manage anxiety over something of which I must be constantly mindful? I cannot completely rid myself of the fear because I must remain cautious and consider my actions to prevent an accident.

I have been working toward accepting my limitations, but I keep relapsing into a pity party with a heaping helping of anxiety. The struggle is omnipresent. It is overwhelming at times. However, I know I must learn to cope with these fears. I must find balance to keep it from making my insomnia worse.

Finding only temporary relief

Since this is a rational fear and my life has drastically changed, this is not something I can try to reason away. It is all very real. Try as I might, I have yet to come to terms with these changes. When I start thinking I have accepted the change and made peace with it, I revert. How do I put this out of my mind?

So far I have not managed to fully accept it. I keep ending up in a pity party. The only way I am able to set it aside is by finding distractions to focus on instead of thinking about how life has changed. This is only a temporary fix, and it does not keep me from waking up throughout the night worrying about what my life has become.

Do rational fears keep you awake at night? How do you cope?
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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Insomnia.Sleep-Disorders.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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