When you turn over a large stone, you have to be prepared to deal with all the creepy crawly things that lurk underneath it.  Well I’ve done it.  I’ve turned over a large stone in my soul.  A boulder even.  And I’m not really ready to deal with what I’ve unearthed.  And unlike a physical stone, I can’t just put the stone back and cover everything back up.  I now know.  I can’t unknow it.

Sleep eludes me.  Not just tonight.  Every night.  Not because I’m not tired.  No, I’m plenty tired.  Still sleep eludes me.  I just plain don’t want to go to sleep, and it’s taken me a long time to figure out why.

At first, I thought it was a fear of having nightmares.  I’ve had a few doozies of nightmares lately.  Woken up with hot tears streaming down my cheeks.  In a cold sweat, I’ve done everything in my power to prolong my waking moments to avoid returning to those dreams.  Fortunately, however, nightmares are a relatively infrequent occurrence.

So what”s my problem?

Turns out I was on the right track with thinking that it was fear of nightmares keeping me awake.  Fear is a powerful motivator.  But my fear runs much deeper than the transient nightmare.  I had an epiphany:

I am afraid of feeling alone.

It’s painful to admit how lonely I’ve been the last several years.  Having a debilitating chronic illness, as I do, can be very isolating.  So I’m alone a lot.  And being alone means being alone with my thoughts.  Distraction is my best friend.

But I’ve found the ultimate solution.  Internet friends.  There are always people online to talk to me into the wee hours of the morning.  They will keep me company.  Distract me from having to really examine my life.  When I turn out the light and wait for sleep to come, I’m ultimately alone.  So I don’t go to sleep.  I stay up until, hands poised at the keyboard, sleep finally consumes me.

The strange and simply amazing thing about this deeply penetrating fear of being alone , is that I am ultimately never alone.  My Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ are always there with me.

And I have a feeling that this realization is only the tip of the iceberg.  There are more stones to peer under.  More creepy crawlies to unveil.  But in my quest to ultimately fulfill on what I’m truly committed to, I must leave no stone unturned.