Colorado Life Coach: The Blessing of Insomnia

Screen Shot 2014-08-16 at 11.07.58 AMSounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

Having struggled with insomnia for 13 years, the words blessing and insomnia don’t seem to go together!

I’m in the middle of a really bad month for sleep, the second worst time in 13 years. In 2005, I didn’t sleep at all for 5 months. I thought I was going to die.

Here’s what it’s like:

~I’m so tired, and can’t wait for bedtime.

~I do all the things I’ve heard to do: take a bath, drink calming tea, darken the room, turn off all lights, set a regular bedtime, etc.

~I pray and ask God to please give me a good night’s sleep. He knows how tired I am. He made my body and created the need for sleep. Certainly, he will provide for me this night.

~I thank him for my blessings today.

~Ahhh, slee…wait, it’s now 1:00 and I’m still awake.

Well, that’s how it starts anyway. After several weeks of no sleep, I can add in:

~Take the sleeping meds prescribed by the psychiatrist.

~Beg God with everything in me.

~Pray against spiritual warfare trying to make me think I will die.

~Listen to the silence and imagine the rest of the world sleeping.

~Take more meds if I’m still awake at midnight.

~Start to panic at 4:00, because I know I have clients, or whatever, and I don’t have the strength.

And so it goes. Night after night.

During the daytime, I fight to get something done, anything done. I learn to schedule meetings and appointments after 10 am, and leave breaks in the afternoon to lay down. I know I won’t sleep, but my dry eyes need to close. I try to stay positive and do things to help me stay healthy: eat right, exercise when I can do it safely, take vitamins.

I try not to make excuses and talk about it all the time, but whenever someone asks how I’m doing, or comments on the bags under my eyes, I say, “I’m exhausted.” Then I get all sorts of advice, from those who don’t really know what it’s like not to sleep for days, weeks, or months at a time.

Have you tried Melatonin?

Drink warm mild before bed.

If you’d let God deal with you during the day, he wouldn’t have to keep you up at night.

Take Ambien, it knocked me out when I couldn’t sleep.

I know they are trying to help, but this is now a chronic condition. I’ve seen many doctors, had blood work done to check my hormones, had chiropractic adjustments-and then more specialized chiropractic adjustments. I’ve used essential oils. I’ve gotten massages. I’ve used CD’s with sounds that are supposed to impact your brainwaves to make you sleep before the CD ends-I’ve listened to the CD for 7 hours straight with no sleep. I’m sure there are more things I’ve done, but with my sleep deprived brain, I can’t think of them.

If you can Google it, I’ve probably tried it.

So, where’s the blessing, you might be asking?

The blessing is, I trust God. He’s gotten me through this before, and he’ll get me through it again. I don’t know how long it will take this time, but I’m going to see my old friend, the psychiatrist this week, so hopefully I’ll be sleeping very soon. I don’t panic anymore. I know I can survive for very long period of time with no sleep. My body gets to rest at night. My eyes get to close. My mind gets to drift and not think. I’ve learned to live with the head fog. I feel a sense of accomplishment when I get something done in the midst of this trying time. Today, I wrote a blog!! I hear God’s words deep in my heart, “I love you. It’s going to be OK, I’ve got this. It won’t last forever.”

I’m becoming softer. Things don’t bother me as much as they used to. I have more compassion for people. I don’t allow other people’s issues to take me out, like before. I don’t have time or energy for things that don’t truly matter. If I can only do one productive thing today, you can bet I’ll make it something that is important.

And that’s a blessing!

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole, M.A.

 

 

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