Imagining bad scenarios before falling asleep



I keep imagining scenarios in which something bad is happening to me , scenarios which are not related to my Trauma. And then i start crying. Usually i do this before falling asleep but sometimes this can happen even during a day. Why do i do this? What can i do about it?
That’s a normal-for-ADHD thing, spinning out countless scenarios & front loading the emotions that would be attached to those scenarios (not much different, really, from people getting emotional from books/film; no they’re not real, yes we feel them, anyways). Which means, as ADHD is something people are born with, it’s something I’ve done all my life… so I don’t know what/how adding trauma/ptsd later in my has changed that? Except to add more data points, for my mind to chase down.

Fighting SLEEP, however? Anxiety & adrenaline reaching for aaaaaaaanything which would feed them / spin me up / stave off sleep? f*ck, I hate that. And that’s pure PTSD for me. ADHD means it already takes me 1-3hours to fall asleep, PTSD butting into that time 🚨EMERGENCY STAY AWAKE EMERGENCY 🚨 brick wall, bang head.

It’s one of the reasons that I prefer to exercise right before bed, no matter how much that is “not” recommended as general sleep hygiene. If I exercise right before bed? I’m burning off all those chemicals that would be shouting at me to stay awake, then soaking off the pheromones and chemicals sitting on my skin & clothes alerting my subconscious in a shower.

Sex is probably my fave exercise before bed, but failing that? A couple hours in the dojo, or on a elipitical, or swimming/riding/whatever… just predicts faaaaaar better sleep (for me) than any of the winding down activities so widely recommended.

If I’m actively attempting to wind down? It’s like my subconscious perks up. What! Why? What’s going on?!? Why are you …trying… to do this thing? What’s happening?!? (And then it completely ignores the OBVIOUS answer: I’d like to go to sleep, now.) And starts looking for other reasons I might be trying to calm myself down.

Are you angry?!? Did someone make you mad? <nods sagely>Wait! Is there something to be mad about? Should we be mad? We can be mad!!! Our fury will know no…Wait, or is it scared?!? You calm yourself down when you’re scared, too. What might be frightening you? Should you be frightened? Is something wrong? Are you hurt? Is someone hurt? Should you be doing something to help them???

OMFG. My brain won’t listen to reason, it’s all intent instead, on finding the “real” reason… so it can unleash the dogs of war at it. Or keep me alive. Or keep someone else alive. Or, or, or. Anything, anything at all, except that I’m tired and wish to sleep. <<< To be fair, that HAS saved my life a few times. When all I wanted in the world? Was to lie down and sleep. I’d have bled out. Or frozen to death. Or caught. Digging deep to fight past that, and keep moving? To stay awake? To stay aware? Has probably f*cked over my instincts just a wee bit.
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me too. . . i call that psycho tick, "my id" or , "inner doomsayer."

with much help from my therapy network, i came to believe that catastrophizing was a side effect from my lifelong habit of repressing emotions. coming to terms with the ambiguous losses of the childhood i never had was harder than hard for me, but the grief was in sorrowful need of expressing itself, so my id created the disaster scenarios which would let me cry ^it^ out. after i learned how to grieve those ambiguous losses, the disaster fantasies went away on their own. mission completion.

but that is me and every case is unique. . .

steadying support while you sort your own case.