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Jewish Journal

Insomnia, Questions, Clarity & a Break

by Ilana Angel

November 17, 2013 | 10:35 am

I have not slept in two days. It is bad. I am exhausted. No physically, but mentally. When one doesn’t sleep the only thing to do is think and no good can come of that. I am at a crossroads in my life and I feel like there is a fork in the road with decisions to be made. I am fighting my demons and for the first time in a long time they are winning and I am struggling.

I am blessed in many ways, but there are times when being able to see blessings and give them power over your choices becomes difficult. I am a great mother, but feel like I am not being a good mom at the moment.  I am a great friend, but isolating myself. I am a great writer, but not focused. I am a woman who leans on God, but not feeling connected to faith.

I share everything here, maybe more than I should, and yet there is much more to be said. I am embraced and supported by my readers, but attacked and humiliated by those who don’t agree with my writing. It is exhausting, confusing, and in the end I need a break. Not because I don’t want to write about my life anymore, but because I feel a need to be quiet.

The stress is taking a toll on me. I am not being my best self because I am always worried about what other people think, and in doing so I have lost focus on what I think. I have always been someone who didn’t really care what other people thought about me, but deep down wanted people to be kind. I realized while not sleeping that many people are unkind.

I am not being kind to myself, or people I care about. The demons I battle are guiding my actions and it has got to stop. I work hard to not allow my past experiences or relationships to define me, but for the past few weeks I have become the person I fight not to be. It makes me sad, angry, scared, and reckless in how I handle myself with people I care about.

I think the best thing I can do for myself is take a break. I have been writing every day for four years and I need to rethink how I live my life, rather than write about it. I don’t know if this is fueled by the thought of my son going away to university, or because I allowed my history to embarrass myself with a man I care about, but either way, I am tired.

The simple truth is that in sharing myself I have allowed myself to be vulnerable, which is something I am not comfortable with. I like to think I am a tough broad but in the end I am sensitive and people are hurting my feelings. I am not as resilient as I usually am, probably because I am so tired. I am going to take a few days to rest, pray, and refocus.

It all sounds silly I suppose, and dramatic to be sure, but the truth is that when you give of yourself, sometimes you need to refuel your soul in order to continue giving. I will get over being hurt by a hateful few, I will survive the humiliation of being crazy in front of a man, and I will find my way back to faith because it is God who holds my hand through this life.

To the people who write to say my words help them, thank you. To the people who write to tell me I am going to hell, thank you. To my friends who are being patient, thank you. To my family who hug me from afar, thank you. To my son for everything, thank you. A couple days of prayer and quiet will get me back on track and I’ll be stronger and better than ever.

By better than ever of course I mean a few crazy people on Twitter, demons from a history that no longer matters, and a lack of sleep will not break me. I have survived greater things and this too shall pass. Life really is a blessing and even when you live to be very old, it is never long enough, so count your blessings, put a smile on your face, and keep the faith.

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