The first assault came from my own mind. In any good narrative, the inner conflict would come at the end, the last in a long series of trials designed to test my heroic spirit. But it turns out reality (and my anxiety-ridden subconscious) couldn’t care less about quality narration.
The bus would leave at 3:30 in the morning, which meant I had to leave my apartment at 2:30, which meant I had to be awake by 1:30. I set my alarm at 21:00 and cringed as it informed me just how few hours I had to sleep before it would start screaming. I climbed into bed (the summer sky outside still light) and did my best to get some rest.
I didn’t manage more than a few minutes of sleep at a time before a nightmare or an anxious thought (or a full bladder) shocked me awake. What if I missed the night tram – and then my bus, which was already paid for? What if I forgot one of my critically important documents? What if I had to sit next to someone horrible for the five-hour bus trip? By the time the alarm let out its smug little beeps, I hadn’t slept more than about an hour in total, neatly divided into 5- and 10-minute chunks.