My Journey With Insomnia: 25 Years in the Making
I have known insomnia for most of my life. We were first introduced when I was about 9 or 10 I remember laying in bed trying to fall asleep. I was listening to everyone around me snoring in our home, even the cat was curled up and snoring next to me. The feeling of anger, left out, excluded, and not good enough to even fall asleep plagued me.
It may sound silly now. But that little girl had no idea why she could not just sleep like everyone else. What was I doing wrong that everyone else in my home could sleep and I could not? It honestly felt like a punishment that was handed down to me.
The guilt of going to wake a parent would be too big to even imagine doing it. The fear of them being angry with me because I had woken them up. Many nights I lay awake, alone in the dark, too scared to get out of my bed, I was afraid of the dark and unable to sleep.
Around the age of 12 years old, I had become more comfortable with the dark. And while I would get some sleep I would often find myself awake multiple times in the night for no reason at all.
My fear of the dark was still there, so I dared not venture downstairs, lest the boogeyman be after me. I was however comfortable to be upstairs in bedrooms and bathrooms, and in my own room. Once I was able to get up go to the loo and walk back to my room, things changed slightly.
This I believe is where my great love for reading started, midnight reading parties for my bear, my pillow, and me. We would embark on many adventures and travel the world from the comfort of my bed. If I was lucky I would drift off again book in hand, my pillow tucked snugly around my neck.
While this did nothing for my insomnia, it sure made the nights a lot less scary and lonely and made the time pass a lot quicker.
By the time I hit 16, insomnia was a constant in my life, I made no fuss about it anymore. I thought that this was normal and that people slept or didn't sleep depending on the day.
I would often be exhausted in the day. I think though that when you are younger you deal with this a lot better and manage it in a way that some people do not even notice.
Time for 21 and health issues
By the time 21 rolled around, and from this age until about 26, I partied and worked and did not sleep much anyway. When I had bad spells of insomnia, I put it down to drinking and all the rest.
Only when I started looking back from an older age, did I see how damaging this was for me. I lived a busy and social life. Some health issues started creeping in. I was diagnosed with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Painsomnia entered the realm of my world and I started realizing that there was much more to this "just not getting enough sleep."
Becoming a mom
I had a little girl at the age of 29, and then it started hitting home hard. When I needed to sleep, and I was desperately tired, I would lay in bed for hours with my eyes open. Unable to get settled and get to sleep.
Many people would tell me it could be because I was a new mom, and, while I knew this played a role, I now had the good sense to look at my life and know that there was much more to this than simply being a new mom.
With a history of bad sleep and issues staying asleep, off to the doctor I went - once more and I was diagnosed with insomnia.
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