Why can’t I sleep

Black woman sleeping

Why can’t I sleep?

It is past my bedtime, but I can’t sleep and nothing good on Amazon Prime, Netflix, or Sling.

I can’t sleep. Might have taken my meds twice tonight and still not a yawn.

I think about my children. I was a lousy mother. Poor Gary, being the oldest, got the brunt of my frustration. I was such a fraud, pretending to be happy when I was so stressed. A single parent with two active boys, a full-time working physician, and no support. Was the stress from being the only Black female head of household in a white community? Was I trying to keep up with everyone else who had a two-parent home and tons of extended family help? It wasn’t easy making friends.

I was managing a big house to provide stability. Then I thought it was for my children, but it was also because I had nowhere else to go. At least that was what I believed. How foolish was I then!

Still wide awake! A bruise on my right thigh. How did it get there? Did I injure myself? Don’t recall. Is that why I didn’t run this morning?

Running has become a lifeline. It gives me something that I like to do each morning. I also sleep better. My right eye feels funny. I am aware of it.

I know Im not alone in doing this, but did I fuck up my life? What was my purpose? How did I get lost?
Guess I did have a lot on my mind.  Thanks to friends, my house was sold. Glad to be rid of it, but it is bittersweet.

I hope the isolation isn’t affecting my sons, who live alone. I love them.

THUD! CRASH! BANG! It’s that time of night. What the hell are my neighbors above doing around this time of night? It sounds like someone smashing their way through the ceiling every night. Maybe that’s why I can’t sleep?

Thank God for music. It calms the beast. I feel better though still not sleepy. Well, maybe a little tired. Thank God for another day!

Slept for 4-5 hours, feel somewhat rested.


Author: Angela Grant

Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

14 thoughts on “Why can’t I sleep

  1. Dear Angela,
    here are four pieces of music which always give a lot of peace to me, just try them:


    But, in the final analysis surely you urgently need someone to lean on!
    But also you need to talk to your sons!
    And if you think you were a “lousy mother” (which I can not relly believe in the true sense) just tell them and tell them that you´re sorry. I think you need their sympathy (which can not be “demanded”)
    I wish things will change to the better!
    Hugs and cordial regards

    1. Andreas, I talk to my sons, especially, my youngest a couple of times a week. I’ve apologized for not realizing how threatening and hostile the school environment was to them. I feel incredibly guilty about that. Here I was thinking they were getting a good education but instead, they were abused, especially my oldest. They were expected to meet the stereotypes of their white teachers and peers. I feel guilty for raising them in a community where they stood out and felt threatened.

      The last song was not available. Thanks again.

      1. Indeed, there´s something wrong with the link! When I click it, it works, but here there´s something else. But another link to the same band:

      1. Dear Angela, I understand that it´s a difficult situation, but I´m confident, with lots of patience and many (relaxed) talks time will heal a lot. Never give up.
        My good wishes are always with you!

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