The Hardest Part of Living With Insomnia Is...

When I think about my insomnia, the very first word that comes to my mind, the loudest word that resonates within me, is zapped. Zapped of energy, zapped of strength, zapped sometimes of focus and/or of motivation.

Zapped describes my baseline feelings of living life as an insomniac, and honestly, I hate it.

Feeling rested? What is that?

Feeling energized? What is that?

I have no idea. I literally cannot tell you. I know that other people experience these things occasionally or even regularly, but unfortunately, I do not.

This is the hardest part of living with insomnia

I wake up in the morning to an alarm, or to my toddler. No matter what time it is, how long I was unconscious for, how early I went to bed the night before, how much self-care I did, or how many routines I followed before going to sleep, I still have to drag my behind out of bed.

In the bathroom, I wash my face with cold water and brush my teeth, I slap my cheeks a few times to try to startle myself awake, and I change into clothes for the day. I open the curtains in the house on my way downstairs, hoping that sunlight will help increase my energy, and I walk into the kitchen.

I pour milk for my daughter and I grab an energy drink from the fridge, knowing full well that if anything, it’ll just give me the tiniest of boosts. Breakfast is required, in whatever format is possible, because without it, I won’t have the energy to start my day.

People who rest do not feel like I do

Recently, I was at the kitchen table sitting across from my husband as we shared waffles and peanut butter with our daughter. Looking at him, drinking water and catching up on emails, realizing that people who actually sleep at night, who actually rest and recover during their unconscious time, do not feel like I do in the mornings.

This realization made me sad

It’s not his fault, of course, that I live with insomnia and he doesn’t, but it was the first time in a while I’d reflected on the hardest parts of living with this sleep disorder.

Most days, I find that I’m able to push through because frankly, I’ve learned that I don’t really have any other choices. But, some days, it’s incredibly difficult. The feeling of being zapped is amplified considerably by a number of things – midwest cold weather, shorter winter days, being unable to go anywhere, staying home all day, every day due to COVID-19 restrictions, parenting a toddler, working full time, having nothing really able to refill my cup.

How the zapped feeling impacts me

With no changes in scenery, with no break in the monotony, I find the constantly zapped feeling starting to impact my mental health, my mood, and my ability to persevere.

If you live with insomnia or any other sleep disorder, how do you manage the zapped feeling? How do you explain it to others?  I'd love to hear your insight below!

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