Nighttime is one of the worst times for me. My building is (unusually?) quiet after about 8pm, so if I turn off my TV and just sit, there’s only light noise from traffic outside. Once I close the blinds, it feels almost…oppressive. I’m not usually a very claustrophobic person, but my apartment can feel a lot smaller when the windows are closed up like that. Now my therapist (and maybe some of you out there) would probably pick up on the fact that how I feel when I close the blinds isn’t really a fear of what’s out there, but rather what’s inside.
And what’s inside is me – just me. No one else, nothing else, just…me. I’m forced to be alone with my thoughts and my memories (which I’ll get into in a future post). Nighttime is when our bodies start to power down and a lot of our natural defenses start to fall as we get ready to sleep. Thoughts and feelings that I usually try to push aside with work or video games or television are no longer held at bay once those shields come down. (Getting a real Star Trek-y vibe from this line of thinking and I’m not mad about it.)
There’s also the alone-ness of it all – nighttime is usually when people who have other people (or pets!) get to spend time with one another. Since I’m still so new to NYC, I don’t really have people (or pets 😔) so most of my nights are spent on my own. I’m also really hard on myself when I don’t hear from people during the evenings – or sometimes if I don’t hear from the right people during evenings.
It’s a hard thing to be by yourself. I’m continually told that it is important for me to learn to be okay by myself before I can really be ready to spend time with someone else, but that just feels like torture to me sometimes. I think that’s why I sink myself into video games until way past my bedtime – if I can exhaust myself with something distracting until I pass out, I won’t have time to stop and think about the things that could bother or upset me.
Doesn’t really seem like a healthy way of dealing with things, does it? I guess that’s why I’m doing this instead of my usual routine. Still, it’d be nice not to dread my own apartment sometimes. Maybe that’s the key? Maybe I need to work harder at making my place a “home”? I dunno. Until I figure it out, nighttime is still going to be one of my least favorite times of day.