I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Saturday, 18 February 2012

Insomnia and my Overactive Brain

I was good last night. I really was. I stayed away from the screens. I played sudoku to calm my brain. I lit a candle, played quiet music and did some stretching and breathing. And I turned out the light, blew out the candle, and lay very very still. But my mind did not.

I tried relaxation techniques. I tried breathing. I tried shifting positions. I tried tuning out. I tried going with it. I tried letting go and letting be. And when I looked at my clock, at 4am, I thought, this is stupid, and got out my book. I finally went to sleep at 6am. I'm trying not to use the melatonin or other sleeping aids, because my Osteopath said to, and I trust her. But if this continues, I may just have to break out the pills again.

Today, I've had a couple of moments of peace - slow thoughts, moments of no-thought. But it doesn't take long at all for my brain to come crashing in again; I have to empty the dishwasher, I'd love to go out and buy a latte, too bad they out of tortilla chips, I should check my e-mails (cuz you know there are so many urgent ones waiting for me - not), expertise is overrated, Montessori changed the world, doctors suck, what if this thing in Cali doesn't work out, I wonder it there really is mold in here, blah blah blah blah, and it all happens so fast half the time I can't even identify what my thoughts really are. Except for when they become diatribes, arguments and essays in my head, which go on for-e-v-e-r (kind of like my longer musing posts, and thesis presentation). I know this is all a cover for something. It's a cover for fear.

I am afraid. I am afraid that my physical condition will not change or that it will only get worse. I am afraid that I won't be able to rise above. I am really afraid of becoming depressed. I am afraid that my isolation will only intensify. It is not easy to write these things because I am also afraid of being vulnerable, and expressing fear is in makes me feel vulnerable, even though I now by writing this out, I am getting it out of my head and lessening its power by looking at it, and that puts me in a position of personal power. That doesn't make it any easier.

I don't like fear. It's not a pleasant sensation. And I have a tendency to turn it into anxiety, which is even worse, because then my heart really gets pumping.

I even tried having a bath yesterday, to see if that would help. But I have a little old bathtub, and I don't even fit in it, so that ended up being more frustrating than relaxing after about 2 minutes. I could go to my parents' house and float in their big tub, but that would entail boots and coat, and driving, and lugging along something with which to entertain myself when I lie down for my rest afterwards (because, oddly, I do actually need a rest after a bath - curse this condition that makes even taking a bath tiring). And by the time I got back home, I'm pretty sure the positive effects would be gone.

I pulled out Eckhart Tolle's New Earth, knowing that reading it will help me, but the font is too small for me right now. And even though it's now on my e-reader so I can make the font big, I'm finding it's not the same reading it there. I want the book, pencil marks and all. So even that isn't giving me the respite I hoped for. And the worst of it, is that the more my mind broils, the less I can focus on the things that can actually help me. I have to remind myself to eat, to take my supplements, to sit while I wait for the microwave, to take the stair slow, because my mind is too busy to pay attention to what my body is saying. And that's not good.

I was hoping for a nap today to compensate, but I haven't been able to quiet my thoughts enough for that either. So here I am, getting them out, hoping that this will calm things down in there for a bit.  Hoping to find a moment or two more of peace and tranquility so I can prioritize and spend my precious little energy on the things that matter, and may actually make a difference. And not on worrying about things I have no business concerning myself with.

Tonight, I will try again. I will light my candle, stretch, play quiet music, and maybe get a little more sleep. Oh that would be nice.


  1. Andy sweetie...remember....be the turtle! Let go of the fear...we may NEVER be free of our illnesses but they do NOT define us. They are NOT who we are. Fear can cripple worse than your illness. You are a strong vibrant woman with so much to offer..even from your home. Your son is proof of this. He is amazing. I love you and am hugging you. Do not go too long without sleep, it will only make matters worse. Hugs my spoonie friend!

  2. Thank-you for the needed reminders. I am the turtle, I am the turtle, I am the turtle :)

  3. I feel for you Andy! I get the same way. I wish I could find that off switch on my brain sometimes. I lie down to sleep and I am tired but my mind is wide awake. It is like that little child that is jumping up and down on the bed at bedtime. Grrrr, it can be madding. Can you do gentle stretching? I find that helps me relax and quiet my mind some before bed. Gentle hugs, Tami :)

  4. Hi Andy! I'm Gabrielle... I feel the same way... I've been having anxiety and insomnia since December 2011 when I went to my deceased friend's wake... That moment was really traumatic for me since it was my first time to see someone inside a casket.. Nonetheless, I've been feeling a little better now. But last night I haven't been able to sleep since I've been constantly worried about not sleeping again... I've learned that to just accept and learn to let go about worrying would really be beneficial... I've started to do this exercise and it's been very helpful to me to get some needed relaxation... Another thing is that to cry is really a good thing because it releases stress... I hope for the best of you Andy... GOD bless and just continue to seek help and enjoy life... Don't let anxiety and insomnia get the best of you... You are stronger than what you think... Lovable hugs to you ^_^

    1. Thank-you, Gabrielle.
      I have found a good routine for bed now, including my son, a book and a cup of tea, as well as being back on the melatonin. It seems to be working quite well. I hope you find a way to get beyond your worries and into sleep again too. It makes such a big difference :)