I hate the sleepless nights most. I’ve come to realize they are most often triggered by perceived stress. The difficulty of helping my mom move the last of her house she recently sold after my dad passed away coupled with Mother’s Day.
Yes I said Mother’s day…. For a parent of grown children it is quite difficult at times to feel the absence of those precious little drawings and clanking breakfast dishes on a tray being carried down the hall by little hands which dad “helped” prepare.
They are both awesome grown ups and they gave me the cutest grandbabies but man I still have moments.
And letting my dad go as she sells the house, passes on to us and packs away his stuff is harder than I can say. Funny it’s when they were going through the garage cleaning out his solvents and chemicals for weeds, painting, etc that it was most difficult. My dad was always fixing things. I believe he even had a shirt that quoted “MR FIX IT”. I just couldn’t beleive he wasn’t going to be fixing anything again. I had to leave the room so I didn’t see who took what or what went in the garbage. I felt like we were picking over his carcaus for some reason and I actually hid like a child on their back porch till it was safe to come back in. So weird the things that bother you.
I mean obviously at first things like pictures, but chemicals??? who knew.
Anyway, it is so predictable now. I know the first night I wake up sometime between 11:30 – 2:30 always. I will now spend the next few nights struggling to sleep. It is a must that I rectify it or I’m in for a wild ride.
For me it begins with hearing things. UFO echos in the sky, people whispering, all noises which are so real but I have learned to accept … so false. I had a doctor who helped with that. She said just know they are there and let them be. Oddly it makes a difference to think of it like that.
Then my body becomes tense, my skin begins to become sensitive. Hard to explain, like the feeling of chills when you sense someone is watching you but instead more painful.
Then there are the loud racing thoughts, ringing of the ears and I’m solving, solving, solving so many things in my head. And eventually little shadows crawling across the walls and floors scurring about like demonic creatures.
I used to get up and clean or even watch a movie but it only gives me permission to give in to it. And so now like it or not I lay there and color (currently) or just lie with my thoughts. I also begin sleeping pills by the 2nd day. I simply can’t afford nights of mind activity.
But I do find on days such as today when although I feel awake, I can tell my mind is going to be a battle, music, motivational speeches (these are great for overriding negative looping). I must play either at a louder level through headphones so I don’t hear my own thoughts. I can still calculate and read but I can’t “hear” what I am thinking. I just make too many mistakes and put myself in a bad place when I allow mysef to “think”.
The 2nd very helpful think I do is use a breathing app on my phone. Its called Pana Breath. It tells you when to breathe in and out. I do this quite a few times over the course of the day. To listen for the ding of the next breath my mind goes quiet for that moment. Quite a huge help. I use it often as a rule whenever I feel stressed. But it’s a lifeline on days like these.