So as some of you may know from my last post I suffer from severe insomnia and basically haven’t had more than 4-5 hours sleep (at it’s worse 45 minutes) every night for nearly 8 years now.
I wrote a very heartfelt post last week basically explaining my situation. It was something that I had sat on for an enormously long time and had only told a handful of people in depth so it was quite nervewracking to press the ‘publish’ button. I did it for a few reasons. Firstly I thought it might be helpful for me to finally have it out in the open. Everything is worth a try and maybe getting it off my chest in such a public fashion might help. The other reason I wrote it is I know how utterly debilitating it is suffering from such a severe form of insomnia and although everyone is tired due to kids or having a few bad nights sleep here and there I really have felt very alone in my suffering so I wanted other people to see that they’re not alone and life can go on no matter how blooming difficult it feels just to get dressed in the morning.
At my worse I definitely let things slide. I regularly didn’t shower. The kids breakfast, lunch and supper bowls/plates were still out when my husband came home. There was wash after wash of clothes that either hadn’t been washed or had been left in the washing machine for too long as I didn’t have enough energy to hang out that they had to be washed again as they were mouldy. My husband never ever had supper ready for him on his return from a very hard, stressful day at work. Instead he’d walk in the door to see me lying on the sofa more often than not crying. Toys would be everywhere, the kitchen a mess and supper still had to be cooked. He never complained or rolled his eyes. He would just scoop me up (not literally obviously if could see the size of me!!) and give me a great big hug. He would then put the toys away, clean up the kitchen, make us our supper and listen to me cry and cry and cry about how I couldn’t cope. He bought me a tumble dryer so I never had to hang out clothes again and I could just move them from washing machine to tumble dryer seamlessly. I still use that tumble dryer everyday now and even though I’m a bit better and definitely coping better he never complains about the amount of clothes I shrink and the cost of our electricity, he just knows it makes my life easier and therefore it’s a no brainer.
For years he would wake up at 7am and come and find me. He would know within a few seconds how I was feeling that morning. It was never whether I had had more sleep than normal it was just how I’d coped with being awake all night. He would then rally to and get the kids up, dressed and breakfasted while he’d also phone my mother and let her know that I wasn’t great and 10 minutes later she’d appear at my door having cancelled all of her plans for the day. I never wanted her to take them off my hands as that would have made me feel even more guilty than I did anyway, but instead she just allowed me to sit and play as much as I could and she would do the washing and tidying and feeding and bathing etc. She never complained about missing out on her day (she retired 5 years ago so this really is her time to enjoy not to look after me).
Things are so much better now. My eldest is at school everyday and my youngest at nursery every morning and I’m getting some more sleep. I can’t remember the last time my mother had to drop everything for me (although she constantly does because she’s just amazing, but never because we’ve asked her to). I’m not the tidiest person in the world but I now put all of our food things away after each meal. So things are definitely improving but I still don’t feel I can live the rest of my life on 4 hours sleep a night. It’s bearable I suppose but I don’t want this to be it, my live, forever.
So I’m still trying my hardest to find any kind of solution. After “coming out” about my sleep last week I’ve had the most amazing offer from a fabulous lady who actually lives locally to me. She is a reflexologist however hasn’t worked since having her child and has offered me 12 sessions, once a week, for free. She truly believes she can help me and I have such hopes. I couldn’t quite believe it, what an unbelievably kind offer, from a stranger, just in the hope that she can help me. I really want to out her so other people know who she is but I haven’t asked her permission yet so watch this space!!! So that’s my first piece of my silver lining – the offer of help from a total and utter stranger. Beyond kind and I hope one day I can offer her something in return.
My second piece of the silver lining is that my sleep psych thinks my body has just totally forgotten what it’s like to sleep and even though I do occasionally take sleeping pills I still have to be up at 7 in the morning to deal with the kids so she has suggested (but I tell people she’s told me) that my husband and I go away for a week so I can take sleeping pills for 7 nights straight with no worries about having to get up in the morning for the kids. We haven’t been able to do this before as I felt it wasn’t fair on my mother (or father in law) to have them all week but now our son is at school and youngest in nursery suddenly it felt doable to leave them. So this Sunday we will leave them after lunch with my Mummy who will have them until Friday when my Father in Law will take over until that Sunday. I can’t quite believe it. I know I’ll miss them but I also know that we need to do this. For me and for us. My husband needs a rest too you know after everything that I’ve put him through for the last 8 years. We’re going to walk and talk and read newspapers and drink wine AND SLEEP.
So watch this space….. I’m hoping next Sunday I will have a renewed vigour for life and you never know, maybe just maybe it might improve my sleep as well.
As always thanks so much for reading and for any sufferers out there please don’t hesitate to get in touch.