I will admit here that I’m afraid of the dark. I stopped watching scary movies a long time ago because they disturbed me long after the movie was over.
Sometimes, being home alone at night freaks me out a little. It’s the one time I allow the dog to sleep on my bed because I know he would bark if he heard something. (He’s a three-year-old chocolate lab, so I doubt he would be able to protect me beyond sniffing the intruder to death, or annoying them by wanting to play with his green ball while the TV is being carried out the patio door.)
Not too long ago, I watched a freaky Netflix series called, The Haunting of Hill House. Know that this is not the type of thing I would ever normally choose to watch, but a friend of mine who also doesn’t like scary things recommended it. She said the story was really good, and after the first episode, I was already hooked.
I kept watching, and I had two rules: I would watch in the evening when it was still light out, and I would always watch something funny after it. I knew trying to fall asleep right after an episode would be a problem.
One night while I was home alone, I heard a noise in the basement. I had just finished watching a really creepy scene in the show (floating ghost looking for the kid hiding under the bed! Shudder!), so hearing a basement noise was a bigger deal than it would normally be.
I heard a BANG. And then another one.
So, I grabbed the biggest knife from the kitchen drawer, and I announced my presence to the basement. I also made sure I had sensible shoes at the ready. We all know what happens to women who run away from intruders in heels.
I KNOW YOU’RE THERE AND I HAVE A BIG KNIFE AND I WILL STAB YOU!
Shockingly, there was no bad guy in the basement, and I slept with the knife beside my bed all night. This is the reason I don't watch scary things.
I finished season one of Hill House, and I still can’t go downstairs without turning all the lights on first. I feel ridiculous to admit it. I just shouldn’t watch things that creep me out.
DEALING WITH SCARY THOUGHTS
So how do I deal with this feeling of being alone and scared at night?
I tell myself, I am safe and loved. I'm fine.
Of course, if you feel like you are in imminent danger, call the police. But if it’s just a matter of freaking yourself out and thinking every sound in the house is a monster, I am safe and loved. I’m fine.
And a big freakin’ knife.
This blog post is an excerpt from episode 64, Dealing with Bedtime Stressors, from The CALM+COZY Podcast.
If you could use some help making bedtime a little less creepy and a little more peaceful, try my free 15-minute sleep meditation!