I can’t sleep.
At some point in my 14/15 years of depression/anxiety/panic attacks/insomnia…I just learned to fall asleep whenever my body and mind decides to fall asleep.
I keep thinking to where I was a week ago.
In the same place. Same problem. But in a much bigger scale.
I had jury duty last week.
It was my first one to actually go and stay.
My first actual time I had an excuse, this time I didn’t.
It was a very anxiety-filled day on Day 1 (yes day 1).
Sure it was a lot of waiting. But it was the idea of not knowing if you’re name would be called on those speakers made me feel so uneasy.
Every time my name didn’t come up, I had a small sense of relief but at the same time. The UNKNOWN occurred.
Waiting there and not knowing what was going to happen caused so much anxiety.
At 3pm. I thought I was in the clear.
But then I heard it. Second name was called and it was mine. (Keep in mind, they only called two other sets of jurors at 9am and 10am. And they called ours at 3pm).
I didn’t know what to expect. It was all so new and unfamiliar to me that I couldn’t help but be so anxious. I had no control of the situation, I had to go and that was terrifying.
Since it was so late, they didn’t finish. And hearing the words “9am, tomorrow” just blew my anxiety off the charts.
More unknown. More unfamiliarity.
My heart was beating so fast and my mind and body couldn’t stay still.
There were other variables that added to this anxiety at that time. Additionally, in my mind, I had the next day planned in my head on what things I needed to do. And I couldn’t go to work.
That night. A week ago. Obviously I couldn’t sleep. I slept probably for less than 2 hours. I was experiencing something that I had not experienced before. My heart was rapidly, I mean rapidly beating. To the point when I couldn’t decipher if it was anxiety or something serious going on with my heart. I woke up at 2am with so much anxiety. I knew that I wouldn’t survive the day without sleeping at least a couple more hours. The more I forced myself to go to sleep, the less sleep I had. I tried everything. But my heart kept beating fast and I was wide awake.
I was more anxious knowing that I woke up early on day 1. And for Day 2, I had to wake up at the same time. Leave early to get breakfast and coffee, get cash, drive to Downtown (which I don’t like), find parking and go to jury duty.
I was early, super early for Day 2. I didn’t know if it helped or made me more anxious waiting. I could barely eat that day and it was very apparent due to the fact that my stomach growled a couple of times in the courtroom. I forced myself to eat lunch. I was too anxious to eat but I knew with the lack of sleep I had to eat something.
Every time I had to go in that courtroom (due to the multiple breaks we had), I had no idea what was going to happen. I didn’t know if my name would be called OR if I had to talk in front of 50 people about my life.
Then people would be excused and the empty chairs kept appearing. Then more names called and more unknown about what was going to happen.
Then it happened again “9am tomorrow”.
I was done.
I felt like after that, I was just going to push through in Day 3. I bought food to bring for the next day. I decided to bring my laptop to do work. I made sure I slept the entire night.
I don’t know what happened on Day 3. But I probably was just over it that I just pushed through it. I was still nervous knowing that more people were gone and there weren’t that many people left. There was no question that I was going to be called.
I didn’t know was going to happen, but I just accepted that I couldn’t control the situation and just dealt with it.
(To be honest, the only reason I was able to get through it was the very handsome guy that I got to sit next to a couple of times)
And then it happened, 3 empty chairs. 3 people left (including myself and the handsome guy).
And we were excused. I was so happy.
I texted my co-teacher and told her that I have never been so happy to come back to work.
That huge sense of relief (plus the handsome guy) was worth it.
The 3 days of the unknown, uncertainty, unfamiliarity, anxiety and heart beating.
It was an experience for sure.
One that just tested my anxiety and…. anxiety won. Going to jury duty is definitely an anxiety trigger I didn’t know about. But I got through it.
Now. I’ve really decided that I need to try therapy again.
I hope this helps someone.
I hope I can sleep now.