Another night of still being awake well past 2 AM. Sleep has never been a commodity that comes easily to me. I have struggled with insomnia my entire life, childhood included. Lately it has been worse than its normal awful. When I do manage to sleep I often wish I hadn’t as nightmares have been more and more frequent. It seems every time I feel I take a step forward in this supposed healing process I take about 6 steps back.
There’s something horrifically unjust about reliving the most gut wrenching experience of your life while dreaming on a regular basis. Sometimes my brain switches it up and it’s one of my still living children who dies instead. Or, just for kicks, it’s my husband doesn’t come home from deployment or he is extended again. Why not? Each day is its own form of pain so why not make the snatches of sleep I get here and there torture as well? Seems fair.
This current lack of sleep is not improving my physical and mental health at all. The ‘normal’ fatigue and brain fog, two of my biggest everyday Multiple Sclerosis symptoms, have worsened the past couple of months. For example, I have thrown my car keys into the trash can multiple times in the past month. I can’t even count the number of times I have lost my phone, sunglasses, remotes, books, etc. I feel like I am walking through thick mud by 2 PM each day making each movement I make feel much harder than it should and end up slurring my words by mid afternoon most days of late.
My MS neurologist sent me to a sleep psychologist. His diagnosis was insomnia and that I have a delayed sleep phase syndrome. His suggestion was to stay up until I feel sleepy (not tired as there is a huge difference between tired and sleepy) and then try and go to bed and sleep until I am ready to wake up and get up. I don’t think he appreciated the facts that are my life. I have 5 children here at home whom I have to take care of, including schooling them. My spouse is deployed so it really is up to me to take care of all of them and the many things that go with having a large household. Perhaps if he could write me a prescription for an au pair I could follow his advice. Considering Tricare won’t cover what my general surgeon says is medically necessary in order for him to repair my hernia I doubt they would cover childcare. Ha.
The more exhausted I have become the harder it is to deal with even the smallest things. I find myself withdrawing from interacting with others even more than I already had been doing since the death of our little one. It sounds exhausting to try to smile and nod politely, let alone talk to another adult human being. The more I isolate myself the harder it is to stop doing it. It makes me feel like I don’t even know who I am. Like I am just living inside this shell of what is left now.
I don’t feel like me, I don’t know who I am now. I feel lost and drifting. I think that is one of the things I am most tired of. I don’t know the person who stares back at me in the mirror anymore. She looks as tired as I feel so I guess we have that in common. Tired.