the morning is wiser than the evening: (what i told my insomnia)

the morning is wiser than the evening: (what i told my insomnia) September 8, 2023

A few weeks ago, I had a bout of insomnia. For a few nights, I couldn’t sleep. At all. And I am not a person who has trouble sleeping.

(Well, jet lag sometimes gets me. And being really angry about something or someone. But neither of those apply right now.)

I lay in my bed with my eyes open, switching back and forth between trying to stare at the dark and opening up my phone to see what else the internet had to say. Back and forth, trying not to get too awake so my cats didn’t think it was food time.

I wish I’d been worried about something. That I can deal with. I can manage the way my brain works enough to get it to procrastinate on a feeling. (Dissociation, compartmentalization, whatever.)

But this was different. My brain was fine…until it got to be about 1:30 am, and it started to think everyone in the world needed to hear what I thought about things.

This is where my greatest magickal tool was needed: patience.

potted plant on window with curtain
Photo by eduard on Unsplash

Keeping it Quiet in the Loud

I want to tell you about the ease with which I kept myself calm and grounded as my brain got less and less able to regulate my body. I want to tell you that I reached for some rock, remembered my power, and woke up refreshed.


Instead, I went to another room and started to pace. My brain was in a deep conversation with itself. It was recognizing patterns of behavior, patterns of not being safe, and it was CERTAIN that people needed to hear all about them.

If I had a corkboard and some yarn, I’m sure I would have done the whole detective-gone-rogue situation, connecting the memories to each other and finding the villain.

One of the MOST annoying things about ADHD is how dysregulated I can get in a short period of time. I can go from It’s Okay to IT’S NOT OKAY in seconds. My brain fires itself up, finds examples of why it has every right to be upset, and charges on with a loud voice and the kind of certainty I wish I had in many situations.

It is SURE that anger is the right emotion and that there is a clear cause outside of itself.

All of this is happening in my head, so even when this is going on in the daylight, no one can see how loud my quiet actually is.

The Magick of Story

Myth is a great stabilizer for me. It offers examples of things gone wrong and things that needed that misstep to become beautiful or meaningful. I can place myself into a story and see myself as I am or how I want to be.

“The morning is wiser than the evening” is a phrase I learned from the story of Vasalisa the Brave, a Russian fairy tale. This story includes a young girl whose mother has died and who lives with an evil stepmother and stepsisters. The girl is sent off to get flame when the cabin’s fire goes out, but the flame is kept in the hut of the feared Baba Yaga.

This is a story of bravery, sure, but it’s also a story about being patient along the way. Courage isn’t always instantaneous. Sometimes, it is a step-by-step process that unfolds as you take the steps you must take anyway; bravery just happens to find you. Often, right when you need it.

There are often more celebrations of quick decisions, the ones that seem to be made without thought or consideration. Often, they do work. But they also often come with a price and an unfixable mistake.

Returning to the unending night, my body wanted to run ahead, to do something to make things feel better. To take action, any action to soothe and to calm and to hopefully get some sleep.

But my mind said this: “The morning is wiser than the evening.”

And I stopped. I still recorded my thoughts into my phone, promising myself I would send them in the morning if I still wanted to send them.

I did not.

Wielding Patience and Presence

Do you feel you HAVE to do something?


Do you feel you SHOULD do something?


Do you know where your emotions are coming from?

Are you hungry? Angry? Lonely? Tired?

Is it a day of an anniversary?

Is it a time of year that makes you tense?

Have you taken your meds?

Have you had enough water?

Where are you in your cycle? What else might be going on?

What is going on in my life now that might also be upsetting?

Are there feelings or situations I haven’t responded to?

What might I be avoiding?

(And to be clear, I can’t know what is right for you, so these are just questions I tend to ask myself.)

Patience and examination are powerful tools to support the fancy magick and the everyday magick. They create a pause in the movement, which is often wide enough for the best decision to enter.

I offer this not as a solution to insomnia (but maybe?). I offer this as a gentle reminder that all that feels so big and important right now is often just loud.

Loud is not a call to action. But it might be a call to pay attention. What is going on?

And how do you care for what you find out then?

Magick out of your discernment wields power and precision.

Magick that lets itself rest, to sleep on it (or not) is magick that unfolds in its own wisdom.


Want to find out what I’m up to and hear me on many podcasts? Go to my website:

Thanks for reading!

About Irisanya Moon
Reclaiming Witch + Writer + Teacher + Priestess + Feminist + Ritualist + Invocateur + Drummer + Sagittarius + she/they You can read more about the author here.
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