Status: Constantly Drowsy

If I had to sum up my life with insomnia in one word, it would be drowsy. That place where I am sleepy and lethargic but not sleeping. Where I feel half asleep but am really just half awake. This space has honestly become a hauntingly familiar location for me.

I feel like I live here. Like it’s my status all day, every day. When I am awake, and when I am trying to sleep. When I have the space to rest, and when I don’t. I am constantly trying to learn to live my life in a state of drowsiness.

Drowsy in the morning

Some days, I feel it in the morning as I brush my teeth and pencil in eyeliner. I wonder how I will manage it as I pick out clothes, take my daughter out of her crib, and climb down the stairs.

I think about it as I make breakfast for her and me, while I watch her boundless new day energy sprint across the room, and while I mentally prepare for the workday ahead.

Drowsy in the afternoon

Some days, I feel it in the afternoon as I reach for another snack to give me the pick up that I’ve desperately been seeking. Protein? Caffeine? More water? Is there a right answer? Not one that I’ve found yet.

Mental clarity can feel hard as I slough through the drowsy-ness, looking for actions and words that feel further away and harder to find than they should.

Drowsy at dinnertime

Some days, I feel the drowsiness again at dinner time as I try to think of healthy food options for my toddler, as I remember to stir the meal in the oven and start the microwave on time, and try to think about the running to-do list on my mind.

There are dishes and laundry and emails and connecting with my husband, tv and books and podcasts and courses, and yet - there is no energy. There is no mental space left.

Some days I walk through the motions, drowsy but at least productive. Other days, I don’t even try.

Drowsy in the evenings

I feel the drowsiness loud and clear in the evenings, as I crawl into my bed and pull up the covers, knowing full well that my exhaustion won’t quite let me just drift into dreamland.

In fact, being drowsy is the only thing I can think of as I lay still, wondering how long it’ll take this time to reach a real sense of sleep.

Drowsy in the middle of the night

And in the middle of the night, the drowsiness acts like a dagger, stabbing in my side. Reminding me that every moment my eyes are awake and my brain is on is one that will feel even harder to recover from tomorrow.

This voice in the back of my mind, this knife turning in my side, it’s not helpful. It’s not soothing or restful or encouraging to my sleep. It’s anxiety-provoking and annoying and something I wholeheartedly resent.

Always tired, always moving forward

I live in a space that feels like I’m always tired but usually awake. Like I’m searching for the charger, the space to be plugged in, the hard rest option so many others seem to get when they go to bed at night.

Living with insomnia, for me, has meant this rarely ever happens. So, I adjust. I adapt. I realize I don’t have much choice and I keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Is constant drowsiness part of your journey too? Does it take a toll on your mental clarity? Have you found ways to cope? Share your story in the comments below!

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