“On the seventh day God rested,” but for some reason, we don’t think we need rest. Or so I thought, and still think at times. The only difference now is that I know how necessary sleep is, not only for our health, but also for our mental well-being and our coping abilities. In the immediate days, weeks and even months after my husband left, I hardly slept at all. I couldn’t. My mind would not shut off. Of course, the usual demons, what did I do wrong, what could I have done differently, what is wrong with me, how will I survive, do I want to survive, all haunted me day and night. But trying to close my eyes and sleep just gave those demons free reign in my mind. So I stayed awake, trying to function. I took care of the kids; I cried; I cleaned the house; I cried; I ran the absolutely necessary errands; I cried; I went to see my counselor; I cried.
A few months into counseling, she finally asked if I was sleeping okay. Sleeping okay? How about not sleeping at all. She explained how I really truly needed to get some sleep. At this point, my response was, “no I don’t! I am doing just fine without sleep,” as I cried sitting there on her couch. After a few more sessions of this same scenario, she expressed real concern for me. She tried to explain that I would also be better able to handle my situation and all that my soon-to-be-ex was throwing at me, if I was well rested. She suggested I speak with my doctor about it, as well. I am not one for taking medications — I don’t even take tylenol when I have a headache. I don’t have anything against medications; I just have never been one to take them unless absolutely necessary.
Well, as time went on, it became absolutely necessary for me to get some sleep. I could not function in the way that I wanted to be functioning. But most importantly, I needed to be able to handle all that was being thrown at me, done to me, done against me, and prepare for court. A friend told me of an over the counter sleep aid they had used successfully. I tried it, and to my surprise, I liked it. It helped, not put me to sleep, that was still an issue, but once I went to sleep, it helped me stay asleep. I didn’t take it every night, and I could only take it if I had 8 hours to sleep, but all in all, it helped in a way I wasn’t able to help myself. I still used my “mindless tv” to get to sleep, to stop my brain long enough to allow myself to fall asleep.
As I began to get an hour, then a couple hours of sleep, I noticed I was able to not cry at every little thing. Things that were said, or texted, or emailed no longer sent me into an immediate tail spin. I began to be able to think more clearly.
So as you tell yourself you have too much to do, or you can’t stop your mind, or you will sleep later, I beg to differ. Do it now! Sleep now. You will be so grateful you did. You will be a better you.
Donna D22 Originally Posted 6/14