Here is your mission: go read this article. (Actually, read everything written by Catherine Newman.) Have yourself a chuckle. Then realize that I could have written this word-for-word and it would have all been true except for the names of the kids. And also that she left out my own personal version of catastrophizing: hearing noises in the night and immediately assuming, not that the wind is whistling in the chimney or that our fifty-year-old house is experiencing normal shifting and settling, but that there is a psychopathic killer cutting through the chain lock on the backdoor and slipping in to murder us in our beds (all while our supposed guard dog snores away in the closet.)
Every night that I can't sleep, after about an hour of lying awake, flinching and sitting up at every sound, I begin to think, "I really need to see a shrink about this, I do. This is insane." And then in the morning everything is fine and I think, "Oh well, I just need to cut down on my caffeine intake and not eat such crazy snacks before bed. That's what is keeping me up at night." When the truth it, what is keeping me up is this very thing that Catherine describes in her latest blog: this constant certainty that the worst possible scenario, the one-in-a-million chance that it's actually going to happen to me kind of tragedy, is in fact happening.
So... any ideas on how to fix this? I just sort of pray myself to sleep, but to be honest it doesn't always soothe my fears that much. I still jump at every sound until finally I'm so physically exhausted that I sleep. Am I insane? (You can tell me if I am.) Or is it just a normal new mom thing to be paranoid and irrationally fearful after you have children?