Fighting Night Terrors

imagesHave you noticed that night terrors are a part of your existence?  Do they creep into your peaceful slumber and then keep you up for hours?  Have you asked yourself if they ever go away?

Well the answer is yes… mostly.  Once you take control back of your life and start to make healthy decisions regarding what you let into your life, they start to subside.  The trick is becoming aware of your triggers and what you can and cannot handle.  For me, I do not watch anything that has a lot of sex and violence and has to do with mental illness.  I have found that even if these things do not cause me to think about my past while I am awake.  They do find their way into my dreams in some way at night, so it is best for me to just not allow them in my world.  And I don’t miss it… really I don’t.

The Bible even mentions guarding your heart and mind and to use discernment in what you allow yourself to watch, listen to, or be a part of.  For me, this has reached into a lot of my decisions regarding tv, music, movies, where I will hang out, friends, conversations I participate in or leave the room. It has truly helped.

The second thing I do to help fight this problem is to be mindful of what I do or think of right before I go to bed. The rule seems to be that whatever is on your mind as you fall asleep will continue to be on your mind as you rest.  In order to combat this, I do not fall asleep with the tv on.  I try to read my Bible or a devotion before I close my eyes.  This means going to bed 15 minutes early and reading and focusing on God’s word in some manner.

Now I must say that these are EXTREMELY helpful, but sometimes life is just too much.  At those times, you may have a crazy dream sneak in, but I largehave found that it is not as rattling as before.  It may leave me with an uneasy feeling for the morning or day, but it is no longer terror.

So today’s challenge: start monitoring your mental and emotional intake from the world around you.

Song: God Help Me by Plumb

Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.” – Proverbs 4:23

“I will not look with approval on anything that is vile. I hate what faithless people do; I will have no part in it.” – Psalm 101:3

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy,[a] your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are unhealthy,[b] your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” – Matthew 6:22-23

When the Night is Closing in

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 8.40.07 PM.pngIf you are like most survivors, your heart just dropped into your stomach when you read the title of today’s blog.  Nighttime is HORRIBLE! For a lot of us, closing our eyes and going to sleep just means flashbacks, night-terrors, and waking up in a cold sweat.  There is nothing refreshing about it and you would give your right arm if it would just stop rolling around every 18 hours or so.

For me, the feeling was overwhelming. I stayed up until all hours doing school work for my job as a teacher, I went back to school for my master’s, so I had that to do, I cleaned, I googled, anything to put off going to sleep.  When I finally did lie down to sleep, I was in immense panic.  I had taken my anxiety medicine, but I still laid there thinking that dying would be less painful.  All I can remember is the panic… the “I’m going to die” panic.  Too be honest, I’m not sure how I got through a lot of nights.

But in the light of brutal honesty, I will share this with you.  There were many nights that I had my youngest daughter sleep with me.  Not one of my greatest mother-of-the-year moments, seeing that she was in middle school… but it’s the truth.  She was my security blanket.  She was my “I can’t harm myself with my child next to me” savior. She was the reminder that I had a reason to live.  She was my face to look at to take the ugly thoughts away.  She was the reason I could finally close my eyes and get some sleep.  It sounds pitiful, I know. But she helped.  I thank God she was there, but I prayed to God that I didn’t screw her up.

One of the scariest things for me was when she went to college. Her presence under my roof at night became those things I needed after the first couple of years.  The knowing she was there and wouldn’t think I was a creeper if I went in her room, sat on the edge of her bed, and stared at her for a few minutes to calm my brain and remind myself what I had to live for in order to find the courage to go to bed.  She was my thing… that sounds absolutely awful… my thing, but she was the thing I needed to remind myself to fight.

But in all reality, at the point, it was a crutch. I didn’t need my daughter under my roof to help me fight my panic.  (By-the-way, panic is a terrible word.  It does NO justice to the absolutely, horrifying feeling that you are going to die.)  What I needed to fight my panic was Jesus. Jesus is the ONLY answer.  He is the ONLY answer to ongoing healing, wellness, and peace.

bible2-620x520So I challenge you, if you suffer from “I hate the night-itis,” get yourself some Jesus! Now here is what I mean by that. You need a Jesus arsenal.  I’m talking get cozy in your bed and whip out some Jesus! Devotionals, books, musics, the Bible, the Bible app, a podcast, anything to do with Jesus.  And as you lie there cozy in your bed, start reading or listening to whatever it is you choose.  As you drift off to la-la land, have your thoughts on Him… the One who saves and He WILL protect your mind.

So go… what are you waiting for?  Get your Jesus arsenal going and see what happens.  You’re going to be okay ❤

Song: You’re Gonna Be Ok – Brian & Jenn Johnson    I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS SONG!

My go-to verses throughout my healing:

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 4:7

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” – Phil 4:8

Let God’s word be your nightlight:

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:105