I went to bed at nine o'clock on Sunday night. It is now Monday morning - 3:55 am right at this moment - and I have been awake since six minutes past midnight. The alarm will ring at 6:05. I keep telling myself that if I can just get to sleep now, I can still get two hours.

I am so tired that I can barely keep my eyes open. But I have been lying here in bed for four hours with my eyes closed, trying to sleep, to no avail. My body is begging for sleep but my mind just won't turn off. And it's a vicious circle, the way it feeds itself; the more tired I am, the more pain I have. The more I hurt, the more my mind races. I have taken 15 mg of melatonin over the course of the past three hours, but it hasn't helped. It usually only takes 5 mg to buy a night's sleep.

So I'm awake. At three o'clock, I gave up and started reading. The words blurred together and I couldn't focus. Finally I turned on Netflix. Now reruns of The Walking Dead are on in the background. Not the most relaxing show, granted, but it fits the mood. I will be a zombie when I get to work. And it's how I've felt for the last week and a half. Dead woman walking.

Oh God, life isn't so dramatic most of the time. From day to day, I muddle along. Sometimes I feel pretty good. Sometimes I feel terrible. But lately, all I can see is darkness; the same interminable desert of pain and empty hours and loneliness bleeding away into nothing. I know how that sounds. I'm not suicidal, and I'm not giving up. I'm just wondering what in the hell I'm here for. Why did I get sick? Why did I lose my dad? Why am I a magnet for so much pain?

There are plenty of platitudes I can repeat to myself. "Everything happens for a reason." "God doesn't give us more than we can handle." "If you find yourself in a storm, run to the center, because that's where you'll find God." Sure. Whatever. The words are as empty as my heart.

I am trying to hold onto hope. I really am. But what lies ahead seems insurmountable, and I'm already exhausted. I just wish I could go to sleep.


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