My Battle with Insomnia

Unlike fibromyalgia or seizures, there’s no one time I can pinpoint when I began experiencing insomnia. I learned that non-restorative sleep can exacerbate many physical conditions, such as Fibromyalgia. There are nights when I’m exhausted and sleepy, but I cannot close my eyes and sleep.

After about three consecutive days of insomnia, I can’t even clear my mind long enough to pray one continuous, say, “Amen” at the end, prayer. I can’t keep a clear idea in my head, or put a sentence together without stuttering. The correct use of words escape me and I’m so tired I ache more. But, still, I can not sleep.

It’s not that I’m wired, drank too much coffee or I’m hopped up on chocolate, or any of the usual causes. My mind just refuses to cut off enough to allow me to rest. I’ve done everything my doctors tell me to do, aside from taking more medication to cure it. When my insomnia is left untreated, I’ve experienced extreme memory loss, a drastic increase in physical pain, extreme chronic fatigue, migraine headaches, mood swings, and etc. At it’s worse, which was about five years ago, I would experience a condition called Global Amnesia, one of the scariest things I’ve ever gone through.

Global amnesia occurs when your memory can no longer reboot itself due to the lack of restorative sleep. These awful episodes only occurred while I was driving. When driving to a place I’ve been to a thousand times before, such as the hospital to visit someone or my Aunt and Uncles house, my mind would completely go blank. Suddenly, it was as if my car was lifted up and sat down in the middle of a town I’ve never been in before.

For the longest minute or so, the most powerful extreme panicky fear consumed me and I had no idea where I was. I couldn’t recognize any roads, buildings, landmarks, or street names. Nothing! My mom would have to calm me down until I could either pull over or if I couldn’t get out if traffic, follow her driving directions to get where we were going. After those terrifying moments, my head would clear, I’d regain my memory and know where I was again.

My neurologist put me on a medication call Nortriptyline to help me rest. Thankfully, I haven’t had an episode in a few years now. I do notice that when I’m stressed out, upset or in a lot of pain, the insomnia is worse. Due to that, I’ve tried everything from relaxation breathing techniques, over the counter sleep aids, Benadryl, cold medication and Motrin, to reading, and playing games on my phone. Unfortunately, most times when insomnia hits, nothing works.

The good thing that comes from insomnia is being able to write in interrupted. My suggestion though is never to share your work until you’ve slept and can edit it first. I have posted things that read crazy the next morning, so now I don’t post until I have read it over to make sure it actually makes sense. The struggles I go through for my craft. But just like with any other job, there are sacrifices.

I thank God for this gift and for the fact that writing never keeps me awake. If I get sleepy, I will put this down in a heartbeat and get my sleep. Nothing is worth your adequate rest. Those people who say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, and mean it, will change their mind before they hit 30 years old. Our bodies need sleep to recharge. Insomnia plagues me 3-5 days a week now. I always suffered from it but never like this. My next step is talking with my neurologist. Hopefully, he will have a solution to help me.

If you believe suffer from insomnia, have been diagnosed or have questions go to http://sleepfoundation.org for definitions, information, and tips on how to treat it and maintain this condition.

Sweet dreams!

#insomnia #mybattlewithinsomnia #mybattle #sweetdreams #sleepfoundation.org

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