When Insomnia Strikes


Yeah, I know, it’s 4:00 in the morning. I can’t sleep. This is something that’s new to me–insomnia. It’s something I’ve dealt with from time to time since starting chemotherapy.

Sleep comes easy in the evening. By 10:00 or 11:00 I’m ready to call it quits and, after my nighttime routine, sleep arrives on my doorstep in a matter of minutes, sometimes seconds. But then it happens. Sometime during the night, in the early morning hours, I awaken to empty my ostomy “appliance.” And I lose it–sleep, that is. It’s like a butterfly I have to hold gently in my hand because I don’t want to harm it, but if I hold it too loosely, it’ll escape and fly away. Most of the time I can pull it off and drop back to sleep. Occasionally, though, that butterfly slips through my fingers and I lose it. So rather than lie there and stare at the inside of my eyelids while my mind churns a hundred miles an hour, I decide to get up and do something. If you’ve ever seen the movie Napoleon Dynamite, Uncle Rico’s voice echoes in my head: “You might as well do somethin’ while your doin’ nothin’.”

So here I am, sitting at my desk beside an open window. It’s a cool morning, the sky is as black as ink and the house is quiet save for the hum of the fan in the room. Nothing stirs outside. No cars cruising by, no neighbors mowing lawns, no dogs barking. It’s that peaceful still before the dawn of day when the world awakens to tackle another box on the calendar.

I’m tired yes, but questions in my head keep me awake. Questions about chemo this week, about how bad the side effects will be this time and how long they’ll last. Questions about my book, if people will like it, how it will sell, what more I can do. Questions about my future, what it will hold, how it will all play out, what God has in store. And questions about my convictions, my heart, exactly where it is, what God is calling me to do, and if I have the fortitude to follow Him wherever He leads regardless of what others think or expect and in spite of my own fears and plans.

Heavy stuff for 4 a.m.

But really, isn’t this the perfect time to be alone with my thoughts and my God? No distractions, no agenda, no expectations.

Just me and my anxieties, being still and finding God somewhere in all this.

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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on June 16, 2008, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Mike – Please know that you will be in my prayers this week especially. I’m looking forward to the CFBA blog tour, and I think readers are going to LOVE your book!!Asking God to bless you especially this week as you go through chemo…Kim

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  2. “Be still and know that I am God.” Some of my most intimate times with God are in the middle of the night. With my wife asleep next to me and the rest of the household slumbering, I call on the name of Jesus to cast out any demons plaguing my thoughts, attempting to rob me of peace and fellowship. He is faithful to answer!You are being lifted in prayer, Mike.Daily, casting all my anxiety on Him…..Ed

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  3. Oops…there was something else I wanted to share with you. Visiting family in Pennsylvania, we attended their church yesterday where we were privileged to hear a lady share about her current struggle with cancer. She repeated a phrase, which became for me, the hallmark of her short testimony, “don’t waste your cancer.” Like you, even though she wouldn’t have chosen the path, she’s using the cancer experience to share her struggle and faith openly with others.May you, a lady named Pam, and a myriad of other fighters find blessing amidst the battle.

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  4. Robin @ Heart of Wisdom

    Hi Mike,I found you searching Christian fiction blogs. I recently decided to try this genre (I write non-fiction now).I have menopause insomnia. I enjoyed your butterfly analogy. This new little surprise has been frustrating but you never know what God can use. I found a podcast I enjoy and listen to it or the audio Bible while I try to drift off. I avoid turning on the lights. Sorry you are going through chemo. I had open heart surgery this year. Amazing how many friends are dealin with cancer or heart issues. Blessings,Robin

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  5. Mike, I found your blog through Vicki’s link.My heart goes out to you, and I’m sure God will nudge me often to pray for you and your family. He’s written our life stories–His is a safe hand to hold.

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