This blog carnival on the theme of night contains a slightly random selection of posts from the blogs I read, as well as some submissions from blogs I had never come across before.
There are new bloggers and old hands here. Some of the posts are uplifting, and some are frightening.
Night can be a time for dark thoughts, but it is much more than that.
Late in the evening, as the night begins, not everyone is in bed.
At The Sunshine Diaries, Frankie wrote about a night of Strongbow and shots. (By the way, I’m loving Frankie’s series on The best of the mental health professionals.) Anyway, the night in question ended up with best friend Christie being admitted to hospital — Every man needs a muse and mine could be the bottle:
Long story short, she’s now an inpatient on the upstairs psychiatric ward, so I can tell a lot of visiting is going to be going on this Christmas. But I don’t mind; she is, after all, my best friend and I love her irrevocably.
Bippidee was a soloist in a charity concert — Performing:
All the other soloists were lovely and we had great fun in our dressing room. It was just a really lovely example of what a fantastic industry it can be.
And at Gimp ‘Tude, Sasha Smithy wrote about the stars, and wonderment — Checking Stars with OCD:
The stars represented an almost overwhelming wealth of possibilities and I couldn’t figure out if I felt drowned in them or if I felt special. I think then, it was both, and it was wonderful.
Through the night, sleep does not always come.
At Life, Multiplied on Christmas morning, Michelles wrote searingly about their sleeplessness and flashbacks — Silent Night, Unholy Night:
It’s after 2:00 a.m. on Christmas Day. I should be asleep. I tried to go to sleep. I even took something extra with the bedtime meds to make sure I would get to sleep. As you can see, that was a no-go. And that’s because we can’t close our eyes without being in the bedroom we spent years in…
At Sketches of Chaos, Ms Leftie couldn’t sleep that night because of a terrible itch — Christmas Itch:
…the more I scratched the worst I felt. I got up several times, opened the window because it was too warm, lay on top of the bed, went online, changed my PJ’s until eventually I got in the shower at 4.30am.
At A Simple Harmonic Muddle, sleepless Chouette wrote about the word ‘should’ —
I shouldn’t put pressure on myself, shouldn’t use these should words… but if I don’t put pressure on myself, then these long dark nights turn into cold dawns, with me still sat here.
At If Narky, Feed Profusely, Karita wrote about the New Year, the Narnia film The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, its spiritual messages, and how they help to make sense of a never-ending struggle with illness — No Resolutions, Just Thoughts:
…I trudge through my tasks each day, wondering when I can go to bed, wondering how many hours sleep my insomniac brain will deign to allow me that night. I see a grey life. A life that involves hard work for little reward.
At Harriet M. Welch, Harriet wrote about a sleepless night that made her think about the idea of not thinking about things — Tossing and Turning:
2:30am. Wake up. Look at clock. Damn, I don’t usually get up this early. Next thought – therapy today sucked. Why would that be the first thought in my head?
At Mentally Going Backwards, following thoughts of suicide, sleep had made things seem better for a while, and it became clear that this had been a pattern — Sleep Deprivation Is Dangerous:
I always find that when im tired i get spontaneous thoughts and think like isnt worth living etc. Then when i wake up in the morning i feel fine.
At The Secret to Sadness, Lissy wrote about going back and forward between insomnia and constant sleeping — Crashing back down:
I’ve slept 15 hours + of the last 24 hours. I got up this morning, late morning, and just sat in the chair for hours. Numb and unable to do anything or talk to anyone.
And at At Least My Cat Loves Me, Autumn Delusions wrote about being sleep deprived and being able to chunk a perfect mango — Isolation and…Mangoes?
…mangoes are very difficult to cut correctly because of the stones and how the fruit sticks to it.
Dreams and nightmares
Some bloggers were troubled or puzzled by their dreams.
At Miss Invisible, Nyx, who suffers from depression, anxiety, seizures, panic attacks, and migraines that started when she was only five years old, describes what she can remember of a particularly bad panic attack, or perhaps a nightmare, or perhaps a bit of both — Solstice of the mind: panic attacks make the longest nights:
To say I was terrified doesn’t capture the raw, abject, all-consuming fear that gripped me, something primal and wild. It had no focus, no cause, no reason. Every sound I heard was something coming, every place I could not see was full of hidden dangers. Something terrible was going to happen, like the rising music in a horror film.
At Mor Aduial: Dark Evening, Kaie wrote about long nights spent flitting from dream to dream, horror to horror — Night:
Wake up gasping, clutching the chest and screaming. Screaming in the dark.
The nightmares are back. The neverending nightmares, the story of my nights.
At Blooming Lotus, Faith Allen described some puzzling dreams. In one, she dreamed of waking and getting up, but it was all still part of the dream — Bizarre Dreams:
Then, I was living in my mother’s house as a teenager again. I was asleep in my bed when I heard the door open and my mother say, “Rise and shine!” like she used to do when I was a kid.
At Serial Insomniac, Pandora wrote about being plagued by bad dreams, and analysing them to discover the recurring themes — Dreams and Nightmares:
…dreams of failure have seen me meeting public figures such as the Queen or William Hague (!) and making a complete and utter twat of myself in front of them, despite wishing to appear personable, intelligent and courteous.
At Into the system… every morning can be a struggle after a night of broken sleep and nightmares — I feel crap…
…I feel the familiar cloud hanging over me. It is a cliché, but it is definitely there, dark and cold, looming over the bed. I realise that it’s back. Depression is here…
At Chaos and Control, LittleFeet, feeling unwell, posted pictures of her bunnies, who introduced themselves — The Bunnies. Left Bunny said:
Helloooo!…I help to protect and keep LittleFeet safe at night when she has horrible dreams.
At Finding Melissa, Melissa recalled a recurring dream that she used to have about unexplored rooms — The next adventure:
The dreams are deeply unsettling and I wake up feeling displaced and like something has tarnished my home. Eventually (over a few years) the rooms change and become full of amazing things– like a piano or a spectacular view or a fireplace – and I wake up a bit disappointed that they don’t really exist.
And at Almost Normal, jeneli, in Australia, used night as a metaphor for the nightmare of life — Letter, unsent:
I am tired and very old. Leaden and lumpy; it is an effort to move myself around. I feel as though I am more real than everyone else, hideously so. Dry-eyed. I don’t feel empty, I have never felt empty. I have always felt too full, as though someone has stuffed cotton wool down my throat, filling me up. It is stifling.
Sleep frees us from the real world, allowing our minds to escape to other places.
At Disregulated Borderline, a mother hoped sleep would take her tears and loneliness away — Tears like rain are falling:
sorry but i am miserable, desperately alone and crying as i type… easier to sleep and hide away from these feelings, and thoughts…. i am so alone…. night all, i hope sleep takes my tears away
At Looking up… Dylan wrote about how important it is to be able to just let your thoughts go wherever they want in that time before falling asleep — Falling Asleep and Letting Go:
You see, these are…times when I can stop fighting. I don’t have to deal with the world, with any of the people in it or be prepared for what it might throw at me. I’m free to think about anything I want to.
But at We Had Pennies In Our Pockets, Penny felt the opposite way about when the distractions of the day go away, leaving her scared in the Silent Night:
It is not the dark which scares me, No! I am a caver I love to explore the dark and hidden places. The part of night which scares me is the silence.
And at Astrid’s Journal, Astrid, organizer of the Blog Carnival of Mental Health, discussed her attempts to make sense of time loss, something that (arguably) happens to everyone when we sleep, though for some people it happens while awake — Exploring Dissociation: Time Loss:
…I’m still not certain whether I lose enough time to qualify me for a diagnosis of DID. I lose a few minutes to an hour every now and then – it’s never days since I last remembered what was going on.
Nights away from home
Not everyone gets to spend the night at home, tucked up in bed.
At Behind the Façade, Cassie, in Australia, told the story of when she took a lot of pills, went to the hospital’s Emergency Department, and was admitted to the psychiatric ward that night — Emergency Department:
You know it’s not a good sign when you recognise a few of the staff in the ED. It’s even worse when one of the staff recognise you.
And at Part of Being Sane, a mental health nurse was working nights again — Niiigghhtts!! :
…the one thing I hate about nights… You don’t get to spend time with the patients!
A carnival of mental health easily turns into a carnival of mental illness, but night and its associated themes are not exclusive to the madosphere. To finish off, here are a few other references to night that I liked.
Let’s go for a walk at sunset.
We’ll watch the snow blaze,
burn into night.
I’ve been waiting for night…
At The Best Place By The Fire, Kari Fay, a writer in the north west of England, writes a story every day. Some of the best stories are the ones that make light of things that would otherwise be terrifying. This is from one called Chastity:
They woke her in the middle of the night, crashing through her door and dragging her roughly from her bed. She was bundled into a sack and carried away on the back of a horse…
And at Yet Again, D wrote about a lavender sack on their pillow, and how it attracts the night bees :
…at night, they are with me. they protect me, heal me, bring me honey. they enjoy the lavender on their breaks. and i, all the while, will sleep and dream to the soft buzzing of their wings on my cheeks.
(D is also Kangent, who will be hosting next month’s carnival.)
Happy New Year to everyone!