I have been having anxiety attacks. Luckily, they don’t interfere with my life much…as they happen in the middle of the night! During the day, I rarely dwell on things…I am too busy. I may complain/vent about my stress level at times, but I ultimately know that I am so blessed with my job as a stay-at-home mom. I may not hear a lot of thank you’s, but I can’t think of a more fulfilling feeling than when I safely tuck my children in at night…and know that they have full bellies and peaceful minds and hearts…(at least in part) because of all my efforts!
Anyway, I wake up (several times a night because I am almost 9 months pregnant!), and I will be in a total panic. Usually it is about something that has happened or could have happened (like a minor episode of post-traumatic stress disorder) or about something that is about to happen (I am about to have my sixth baby…and since I feel like I am barely managing with five, this is pretty scary!).
I find what really helps is talking to the Blessed Mother. In fact, when I was in the bathroom wide awake at 4 a.m. one morning this week, I could have sworn that Jesus said to me, “Just rely on my mother. Wear your Miraculous Medal. And, TRUST!” I didn’t actually hear a voice, but the words just came to me…and brought me great peace!
I fell asleep remembering that God speaks to us in the silence…and at 4 a.m., there is silence in my home (the polar opposite of 4 p.m.!). I also made a mental note to start wearing my Miraculous Medal again. I have a nice one, but I stop wearing it in the summer. The chain really bothers my neck when it gets hot and humid. I feel guilty taking it off starting in May when the weather starts to get uncomfortably hot, but it quickly becomes a habit to leave it off. Fall is almost here, so it’s time (and really, aren’t Mary’s extra graces and protection worth a little discomfort anyhow!?).
In the morning, I try to remember to thank Mary for helping to calm my nerves and return to sleep. I never, ever fail to be amazed that I can survive the next day…even feel good…on very little sleep. That is, if I pray to Mary for help/strength/grace when I’m awake at night!
I first discovered this phenomenon (actually feeling good on very little sleep) when my second child was a newborn. I wasn’t getting any sleep at night, and I poured out my heart to Mary that I was absolutely petrified of how I was supposed to care for a toddler and a newborn during the day (and stay sane)…on such little sleep (I know people say to nap, but sadly, I am unsuccessful at sleep during the day…no matter how tired I am!).
I woke (and wake) day-after-day feeling refreshed…and able to care for my children. I know there are studies that show that moms with small children actually sleep better/deeper…because they go into REM sleep immediately (because they are so sleep-deprived!).
This is probably true, but I still give Mary credit for the peace of mind and heart that are present in the morning (the best part of waking up).
And, all else fails (although the Blessed Mother hasn’t failed me yet!), there’s the second best part of waking up…COFFEE :).
Copyright 2013 Trish Bolster