When I wrote my Breaking the Stigma series I never touched on what I believe to be the most annoying part of my depression: bouts of insomnia.
I know a few people who also suffer from this, and we can all collectively tell you that it sucks. Now, I am a night owl from way back. If you need someone at 1am, I am your girl. However, sometimes the little thing called life gets in the way of an early morning bedtime, and I find myself struggling to fall asleep. The catch is that if I start to stress out about it, I am guaranteed not to sleep at all. So many mornings have I had engagements where I have managed maybe an hour of sleep, because I spent the entire night freaking out about needing to get up early.
Also, it’s a lot easier for me to calm down with someone to talk to, which does not exist in the middle of the night. Even Mark is comatose and notoriously impossible to wake so I wouldn’t even bother. I write a lot of poetry at night, because I find it helps calm me down a little. And I watch The West Wing, or Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the 100th time. Sometimes I make herbal tea, and sometimes I put the fan right in my face on full blast. Sometimes these things help, sometimes they do not.
I have always found my creative juices flow better at night, which accounts for the aforementioned poetry, but also pretty much every play I’ve ever written. There’s like six of them, I think they’re all garbage of course, but they were fueled by nights of insomnia and restlessness worse than that I deal with now. I have used a few different sleeping pills over the years, but I’ve found that the natural remedies I’ve come up with work a little better. Also getting older seems to have helped. Still, there are nights I struggle. Like this week.
I slept straight through a doctor’s appointment last Wednesday. I tossed and turned for 5 hours before a big day trip with the family. Those are just the two ways it majorly affected my life. There’s also the little things, like the need for massive amounts of coffee or me nodding off in the middle of the day or just a general sense of fatigue.
Insomnia is a pain, but I usually manage it well these days. I don’t know what’s stuck up in my head that’s made the last few nights so hard, but hopefully it will pass and I can get a good night in before I go crazy. In the meantime, I will read my book and drink my tea and work on my poems and wait for sleep to come.