The night before my birthday I stayed up until 4am. Sounds fun and exciting if I just say it like that but the truth is that I wasn’t out having a good time, I had a visit from good old friend Insomnia again.
I hadn’t had that much coffee that day and over the last several weeks I’ve been drinking mostly decaf anyway, so I got confirmation that my insomnia has nothing to do with caffeine. Instead, the lyrics of “I’ve got 99 problems but the *caffeine* ain’t one” kept running through my head.
Thank g*d it’s not the coffee though, right? Coffee is like manna from heaven and decaf, even the best kind, tastes a bit weird :|
But back to insomnia – it sucks. We’ve only seen each other on and off for a few months, but I’m not in love. I want to break up.
Sadly the anxiety/depression/stress that’s causing it isn’t as easy to fix as switching to decaf would be.
It’s a really weird feeling actually, not being able to sleep because of anxiety. It feels like someone’s sitting on your chest and you heartbeat is a million times faster than normal and not in your chest but at the back of your head. I try breathing really slowly or counting numbers but nothing works. Nothing other than just waiting for the body to reach the point of total exhaustion.
On my birthday morning I woke up at 7:30 and actually got out of bed when most weekends I stay in bed for a bit longer than that. I knew MrB was making waffles so I wanted to join the family for breakfast and open my presents.
When I got downstairs something really trivial happened and then someone sat on my chest again (not literally although the kids do do that as well). I could not breathe well for the rest of the day and I couldn’t talk since my heart was thumping at the back of my neck/head again. I couldn’t get the words out.
In the early afternoon I tried to have a nap but couldn’t. At that point I felt like one does when one’s hung over and jetlagged at the same time. I took a shower and took out my leftover box of Citalopram.
I do not like the feeling of being sat on and suffocated. I do not like the feeling of not being able to talk about my feelings out loud (writing is MUCH easier).
I took the pill.
And for the past 2 days I’ve taken another 10mg each morning. And soon I’ll go to a GP and get the prescription renewed and keep taking it.
I don’t want to analyse right now whether I’m doing the right thing or whether I’ve failed in this whole ‘mind over matter’ thing. I just don’t want to feel the way I do right now.
And the people around me need me to have my shit together. There are 4 other people in my household and they are all affected by my mental health. I don’t want to keep making their lives a misery (just how exactly I’m doing that at the moment I’m not sharing, even I have limits of how much I share with the Internet :)
I figure what I want out of life is to be healthy and happy. I’m doing everything I can to make that happen – I’m eating all the right things, I’m exercising all the right amounts (and then some), I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff… And yet I’m not sleeping and I walk around with my heart thumping at the back of my head.
And just like the body needs exercise and the right food, it equally needs not to be stressed and it needs to sleep.
Maybe one day I’ll come off the medication again but right now I am tired. I’m tired of fighting this thing so I’m throwing my hands up and saying that as badass as I am, I cannot get out of this without a little help again.
P.S. Depression is such a hard thing to describe to people who have never experienced it. I found a great list of what it can feel like here, not all of these apply to any person at one time, but most of them probably do.