No Rest From the Wicked

Yeah, yeah, I know that it is “No rest FOR the wicked,” but I want to talk about when there is “no rest FROM the wicked.”

Nightmares, bad dreams, anxiety dreams, the ones that you wake up from feeling as if you never even slept. When you wake anxious, angry, sad, or just plain exhausted.

When you have experienced trauma, these thoughts haunt you, attack you, blindside you, come rushing to the surface after you’ve triggered.

Two years and a month almost exactly after losing Jake, my mom passed suddenly. My healing heart shattered again with each break rebreaking like before. Jagged and in pieces, I began a whole new grieving process for my other best friend, my mom. We were close my entire life and I never imagined losing her to a heart attack. She, like Jake, always seemed so strong, so invincible.

My nightmares began shortly after. Each night, I dreaded going to sleep, not knowing what each sleep would bring. And I would wake feeling exhausted, depressed, and shaken to the core. And this time of grieving was different. Covid had just struck, schools had closed, and we were ordered to stay at home. I didn’t feel safe even having a proper funeral for her. So we couldn’t get that sense of closure.

I met with my doctor and started a second antidepressant. This particular medicine I was supposed to take at night and it was supposed to suppress my dream activity. My nightmares decreased, but we had to up the dosage eventually to really keep my demons at bay during the night.

Unfortunately, even with regular therapy sessions, journaling, meditation, and medication, there was still no rest from the wicked memories when life seemed to spike with new challenges and worries. Yes, it has been almost 3 and a half years since losing Jake and a little over a year from losing Mom, but my demons still haunt me.

I have grieved, grown, found new strength, redefined myself over and over it seems, but new challenges, stresses, and life’s hardships still arise in new and creative ways. And when you have experienced trauma like having your husband murdered or being the one to discover your mom has died suddenly, not only do those memories, feelings, and experiences hijack your life, you also have a lower threshold for the daily stuff. And then when it’s not just daily minutia of adulting and life stress, it is a pile of hard creating a stench in your life that is too overwhelming to avoid, the nightmares return.

Over the last couple of months, my dreams have been riddled with weird plots, people, scenarios. Some days, I remember no details when I wake, just a heavy lingering feeling in the morning of depression with no explanation and exhaustion as if the last 8 hours of sleep didn’t even matter. So much so that the last week, I have woke from a nightmare almost each morning with a cloud hanging over my head each day that leaves me testy, angry, and irritable.

I’m tired, literally, tired. I want to sleep well. Authentically. Naturally. Without recurring dreams or anxiety driven plot twists that leave me starting the day 2 steps back.

I pray that my time will come when I may find rest from the wicked memories of my past.

And if you are experiencing anything similar, I pray that you may find that peace too.