All Insomnia Is Valid
There is no prerequisite for having insomnia. Insomnia is something that we can define in many ways. Importantly, there are people who suffer from it mildly, and then there are those who have it severely. There is both short-term and chronic insomnia. Short-term, meaning it is for a little while. Chronic insomnia means that it is always this way. Acknowledging both and validating all insomnia illnesses helps all to cope.
Validating all insomnia illnesses
Some people suffer from insomnia only a few times in their lives which is triggered by events, traumas, or who knows what. And then there are those of us, for whom this is a way of life. Today I would like to remind you, as you sit there and read this, that all insomnia is valid. Just because your insomnia is short-term, does not mean the way that it affects your life is not as important as someone whose insomnia is chronic.
Minimizing the impact
Often I hear people saying, "But my insomnia is situational and it will pass, so it does not matter." Yes, yes, it does matter, and how it affects you matters too.
We are all on our own journeys and often, in my experience anyway, particular situations with insomnia. It is coupled with some other events that may be having a very big impact on your life. This is often then exacerbated by a lack of sleep and the side effects that come from that.
Do not for 1 moment feel that just because you have short-term insomnia, the way it affects your life is any less important to the way it affects those who live with it chronically. You can be grateful that yours passes without feeling the need to convince yourself, that there are people worse off and yours does not matter.
Sharing treatments help
If you use lavender oil on your pillow at night and that works for you, that is amazing and I want to hear about it. Just because you do not have to go to extreme measures, or because you have not had to try every remedy under the sun, does not take away from your experience of insomnia and what you have used to treat it. Sharing experiences, and conversing with people in your community could help someone. So, sharing is always encouraged.
You never know when sharing your 1 treatment, routine, or whatever you do to cope, will help that 1 person who really needs it. That is the beauty of community.
For chronic sufferers
Personally, I had to learn to make space in my heart and mind for those who experience a lesser degree of insomnia. To allow them to share what works or worked for them helps validate their illness. Again this is the power of the insomnia community. Insomnia is something I have suffered for many many years, and it is here to stay. Over time I have learned to appreciate, validate and be kinder to those who experience insomnia differently from me.
As someone who suffers chronically, we have often tried "every remedy under the sun" – which is a very broad statement. Therefore, it could be frustrating as there are people who don't experience it chronically. However, I find that sometimes something I have not thought of or even something I have forgotten about pops up again.
So, when someone comes to you with the small changes or treatments that helped them, be sure you meet them with kindness. After all, is this not what we expect from others?
Despite our individual circumstances, having insomnia in any way, shape, or form is not pleasant and drives most of us to distraction.
Have you helped to validate another's illness? Please share a comment with our insomnia community.
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