Custodio: Fighting monsters in the wee hours of the morning


DO YOU ever wake up in the middle of the night with thoughts that you could have done better with your life? I experience this in the wee hours in the morning throughout the year. It usually happens when I wake up from a bad dream or when I unknowingly doze off and wake up disoriented with a feeling of impending doom.

You open your eyes to near complete darkness with faint light coming from the television. You hear muffled voices speaking, accompanied by creepy music in the background. What a creepy thing to wake up to, right? You get goosebumps and scramble to find the remote to turn the TV off. You toss and turn until you are ‘settled’ and ready to go back to sleep but a voice speaks out in my head and asks me, “So, what have you done with your life so far? Panic and anxiety take over. There goes sleep and peace of mind! You are now wide awake and overcome with apprehension.

I really hate it when this happens. The feelings are so unsettling that I sometimes feel stripped of all my achievements in battling with life’s challenges. At that moment, I feel I have nothing to show for and worse, have nothing to look forward to in my life. Doesn’t that feel unfair to you? It does to me, in multitudes! I believe that people experience these feelings at different times in their lives, whether we refer to it as quarter life or midlife crises, it just feels so disarming to me that I would rather have nightmares than feel this way.

Well, just go on with your life. Learn to grin and bear it as it will always be part of our journey. Push forth and just do your best. I don’t think anyone has ever gone through life without feeling this way. We all have our strengths, weaknesses and things we cannot control. It may vary in degrees of difficulty but all of us certainly go through it.

Keep your calm. Whenever I am in a state of panic, I “crack” my neck, roll my shoulders and move my head side to side. I take a deep breath (several times) and blow air out to clear my head of negative thoughts. Then I try to recall all the good things that I have in my life. My achievements, the struggles that I survived, the problems I managed to solve. I think about the people I have in my life who have supported me and guided me, and those who continuously inspire me to aspire for the best. Then I live another day fully revived and hopeful that things will be okay in my life.


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