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Insomnia. Losing Hope.

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by HollDoll, Jul 22, 2020.

  1. HollDoll

    HollDoll Peer Supporter

    Hey all,

    Really starting to lose hope after 6 months of chronic insomnia. I've had bouts of it in the past before, but never lasting this long...

    It ended before when I got really "intense" about outcome independence. I ignored it to the best of my ability, recognizing full-well that it was a manifestation of anxiety; didn't talk about it much with anyone, and pushed through everything I had to get done in my days on top of working out.

    This time around, though, I'm struggling way more on the outcome independence front and starting to get seriously depressed and lose hope.

    It feels more difficult for me to maintain that confident stance of outcome independence this time around because I now have a young child who I have to care for every day. Every hour doing so feels excruciating on as little as 2 hours of sleep.

    Looking for any support, encouragement or insight anyone might be able to offer- on insomnia, outcome independence, or other- because it's feeling pretty dark and desperate over here.

    Thanks guys!

    Megs likes this.
  2. miffybunny

    miffybunny Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi! I can't recommend the book "Hope and Help For Your Nerves' by Dr. Claire Weeks enough! It's life changing! Do you nap when your child naps? That helps too if you can do that. You may also want to look into going on an anti depressant for a while. That has helped me a lot in my life over the years.
    Megs and TG957 like this.
  3. Sita

    Sita Well known member

  4. HollDoll

    HollDoll Peer Supporter

    Thank you both for your replies! I haven't found much on insomnia here and I can easily feel pretty alone with this particular symptom.....but the greater issue is certainly anxiety and how I respond to things that overwhelm me (like becoming a mom), so shifting my focus to anxiety makes sense. I do really like Dr. Claire Weekes a lot. I'm going to re-visit her work as it has been a bit since I have!
    miffybunny likes this.
  5. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Ugh, that’s the worst. I had insomnia back in the day and likewise I would constantly stress out about how much sleep I was getting.

    You know what helped me? I took something called Midnite (it’s a form of melatonin, none of the other melatonin supplements worked for me but this one was different.) And on top of that, I’d lay in bed for a half hour before trying to go to sleep, no tv, no reading, just focusing on my breath and calming my system down.

    The worst part about insomnia isn’t the not falling asleep part, it’s that those hours trying to fall asleep are riddled with anxiety. And when we’re in that anxious state, our system is all revved up.

    On the flip side, even if you only get 2-3 hours sleep but those hours beforehand are actually calming and restful, you will be much more rested the next day. That’s because just being in a calm physiological state gets us some of the benefits of actually sleeping. So that might be a good goal to aim for.

    Calm your system down, and commit to trying to be in a calmer, more meditative state, knowing that even if you don’t fall asleep, being in that restful state alone will get you a lot of the benefits of actual sleeping.

    And knowing that might make it easier to be authentically outcome independent.

    Lizzy, Kellso and Forest like this.
  6. HollDoll

    HollDoll Peer Supporter

    Alan thank you so much for responding, I appreciate it so much. I will have to check out midnite...I have tried quite some heavy-duty stuff these past few months with mixed luck, but I'm always open to trying something new and at this point would prefer something more natural because withdrawal from the pill I was using to help with the sleep has been rough.

    I am going to try your suggestion of purposefully trying to calm my whole system down before lying down tonight and focusing on my breath. Knowing that being in a restful state alone will get me benefits of actual sleeping already makes me feel more calm- this is something I did not know.

    I am curious how much you "pushed yourself" during your bout of insomnia? Like I said, I previously pushed myself pretty hard and refused to let myself be thrown by the discomfort of it all, but this time around the sleep deprivation has been so great and long-lasting that I'm struggling to do much more than the bare minimum to get through each day with my child...

    Which of course eats me up inside because I can't at all be the mom I would want to be right now with her. I dream if being able to run after her and chase her here and there and throw her up in the air and push her on the swings for longer than 5 minutes at a time before feeling like I need to sit down I'm so tired...

    It's just a really weird symptom in that I KNEW my previous bodily pain couldn't hurt me- that I really COULD do all the things despite it- but with the insomnia I feel like I genuinely can't do much lest I keel over.....which of course feeds the fear cycle and keeps it all going, right?

    Ugh it's just feeling particularly tricky rn trying to "get out of" this one specific symptom.
  7. Alan Gordon LCSW

    Alan Gordon LCSW TMS Therapist

    Don’t push yourself. Kids are resilient and you don’t have to be the perfect mom for her to turn out great. Cut yourself some slack, all that guilt and pressure are just further activating your danger signals.

    Just remember, even if you don’t sleep much, but you’re in a pretty calm, relaxed state, you’re body is getting a lot of what you get from sleep. So don’t put so much pressure on falling asleep. It’s just a matter of getting in a new habit of just enjoying the breath while you’re lying there.

    If you’re feeling restless, get up and stretch, or talk a little walk. That’s okay. You just want to lower the stakes around all this.

    Dorado and HollDoll like this.
  8. keyboardplaya

    keyboardplaya New Member

    A bunch of years ago a doctor told me that just laying in bed with eyes closed is 80% as effective as real sleep, almost just as good. Maybe that can help w outcome independence. Also, I know that looking at screens is a no-no but for me watching Seinfeld before bed works. It’s never a bad thing to end your day laughing...
    HollDoll likes this.
  9. sportsguy

    sportsguy Newcomer

    What helped me was developing my concentration. I realised my mind was completely uncontrollable. I would lie there trying to sleep and it would flit from problem to problem and rev me up. So I bought a book on concentration by Kam Knight. This really helped me learn to control my mind. It has loads of exercises but it’s not a quick fix. Kind of like a book on how to train for a marathon. The book is 1%. Doing the work/training is 99%. But at least you are working on the right things. For example, can you focus on a mark on the wall (or a imaginary one) for 5 minutes without your mind wandering to something else? No? You don’t have control of your mind. When you can do this (and he shows you how) it is amazing for getting to sleep. Hope this helps.
    HollDoll, Idearealist and BloodMoon like this.
  10. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    HollDoll likes this.

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