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HikerMom

My journey through insomnia--a journal!

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Posted (edited)

Copied and pasted this post of mine from another thread...

Just wanted to write down my thoughts right now on the insomnia I am dealing with....Larry 2 , I am hoping you will see this and possibly respond.  You are one of the few people who has ever been able to understand when I share this journey.  If you don't see this then I suppose it will work as a journal for me.  It is always helpful to look back and see how we have grown. 

My insomnia started when my daughter went through a suicidal period a few years ago.  She is gay and atheist, and whenever she has a breakup the fallout is just devastating.  Every breakup seems worse than the last, and she barely survived the last one.  She isn't a dramatic person and so by the time I hear about it, things are pretty bad.  She has been dating her current girlfriend for over two years and recently moved in.  They are moving out of state to attend the same graduate school.  And my daughter has been talking more about her depression and anxiety.   So I imagine I am likely to have to go through this again in the future.

When she became suicidal, I apparently was trying to control and prevent the suicide by praying too hard.  And so I started jerking awake.  Eventually after she improved, I became afraid of the insomnia.  I tried so hard to fix it.  I made myself really, really ill doing that.  A counselor said to me that what God wanted from me in this was to try not to fix it or figure it out.

I am so much improved from last year.  But I am hurting badly today and the last few days.  This ironic thing has happened where I am afraid to try to fix anything (thinking God wants me to apply this lesson in other areas!) or else I will not sleep.  But the very act of not trying to fix thing ends up being me trying to fix the sleep.  One of the major things I try to work on is my health struggles.  But then I become afraid that working on it is costing me sleep, and so I think you can imagine the vicious cycle I get in.  

I try to remind myself that I do believe that God wants to fix this but there is something more important for me right now than sleep.  I just feel like such a failure at understanding what He wants from me in this.  I want to sleep so badly.  And yet I believe He loves me and is doing this for my good...

Anxiety will sometimes hit me during the day.  Usually, ignoring it turns out the best.  I don't always know why it hits, though I suspect it is usually fear about not sleeping.  Sometimes I try to think if I have tried to problem solve my heath issues or other things too much and if that is the source of the anxiety...always hoping I can stop doing something if it is producing anxiety in my life....Then I become afraid to do things thinking I will make my sleep worse.   

I never know whether I might be trying to fix something and that causes a problem or if I am actually unconsciously trying to fix the sleep....

I think probably when I am afraid to do something then I need to do it anyway because the fear is really just about the sleep.  I don't know...

A few months ago, I would sing my favorite Christian songs when I couldn't sleep or sometimes I would say a verse in my head.....but it made things worse.  I suspect I was unconsciously trying to fix the sleep just as I was trying to fix my daughter's struggles with prayer.  So now I have to stop myself whenever I start to sing at night.  It's just such a nice distraction from thinking, but I guess it is me trying to fix the anxiety which always makes things worse!  So then I get upset and I often ask God to take control of my thoughts.  He usually pulls my mind off everything and then I usually get 6 or so hours of sleep.   

This probably sounds completely crazy!!!  I am thankful for any encouragement you might have...This is such a difficult journey and just when I think it is about to end then things get worse again...

Your sister in Christ, jen  

 

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Edited by HikerMom
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Posted (edited)

I think God reminded me again last night to just know that no matter what happens I will be ok.  Yesterday was rough.  After church I just wanted to stay in bed and cry all day.  I knew that was a BAD idea.  So I asked God to help me get through the day.  And there were some really good times.  I think it grew my faith again to see how God will help me even when I don't sleep.  I think I need to just ignore my fears about other things interfering with sleep.  It just leads to a never ending cycle where I am overthinking everything. 

I think God wanted me to know when my daughter was suicidal that I couldn't control it, and that if she went through with it then He would help me through it...that I would be ok with Him beside me to take care of me.  It's funny that I entitled this thread "Need Advice."  I really don't want advice on this topic...I am hypersensitive about it and going without sleep has only increased that feeling.  It is such a hard journey for anyone to understand.  Myself included.  Most of my family can't be supportive on this journey.  They just think they have the answers to fix it.  I know they don't want me to hurt anymore, but their advice just feels like criticism.  Even when I tell them that the counselor has said don't try to fix it, they try to fix it.  Thank God that my husband knows he can't.  He has been very supportive. 

   

Edited by HikerMom
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I know you said you didn't want advice...but I have one simple suggestion.   Simply cast all your care upon the Lord.   Tell Him you are giving this all to Him....then leave everything in His hands.  God bless you.

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Posted (edited)

I appreciate it Debp...but when I read that statement like that,  I usually feel like a failure because I have tried and still don't sleep.  I assure you I have tried.  I even went so far at one point as to stay incredibly busy and avoid thinking about it.  But that was me trying to unconsciously get sleep, and all that happened was to build an incredible amount of anxiety from avoiding dealing with what God was trying to teach me.  It is just an incredibly difficult thing to explain to anyone who hasn't been through it.  It is a surrendering to His plan for me no matter what difficult thing that might mean for me...whether is is watching my children suffer and possibly losing one of them or insomnia or whatever He allows into my life...

I recently watched a Henry Cloud video about anxiety.  He said anxiety IS.  It is part of the human condition.  As Christians we often make it a moral issue....A recent sermon from our pastor was that if you had anxiety, you were either sinning or didn't have God in your life..(these type of things are the reason I was in a healthier body!!).  I have been studying Job recently after listening to a Rick Warren sermon where he pointed out that Job had fear in his life....Job 3:25 says "What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me."

That has really, really made me relate to Job much more as a human being.  He was afraid of losing his kids one day.  That is why he was always sacrificing for them if he thought they could have sinned.  Maybe he was trying to protect them from God's wrath in case they had secretly "cursed God in their hearts."  It just made me see Job differently. 

One of my frequent prayers has been for God to take my fears.  But He doesn't want me to be afraid of insomnia either!!  

I did sleep 8 hours last night for the first time in many months even though I was somewhat afraid as usual last night.  But hopefully God will completely heal me soon.  I feel freer than I have in a long time.  He is just growing my trust that I can face anything with Him.  I am learning so much about how sovereign God is through this.  It is an incredibly difficult journey meant to grow me in trusting Him!!

Edited by HikerMom
clarity
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I have been thru insomnia.  to the point of hallucinating.  when it got to that point I had to separate myself from it I saw a big black spider on my bed and when i swatted it, it crawled thru my hand and kept going until it dissipated.  I deal with insomnia anyway, but when you mix stress with it its a x10 multiplier.  My situation was not the same, but I know that when it gets bad, i have to let it go.  and what you said about trusting God is where its at.  He is in control.  His will be done.  for you, you need to get to that point where you let go of what happens, or does not happen, concerning you daughter.  Trust that God will do what He is going to do.  And the thing is God knows the matter start to finish, we do not.  He is also not sharing info on what He is going to do.  Put you daughter in His hand, pray for her, and trust God will bring His will about in her life.  and here is the kicker...  that is whats going to happen anyway so there really is no reason to worry or fuss.  We as humans can not really do much to change that.  God is God on the mountain top, and God is God in the valley.  

something else that will help is stop listening to rick warren.  he is a wolf in sheeps clothing. 

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Cletus I am so sorry you deal with insomnia!  I do have to disagree with you about Rick Warren.  I don't agree with everything he says of course, but that is true with almost any Christian.  I hope your insomnia is better soon!!

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HikerMom, I think we all sometimes deal  or have dealt with insomnia.   Years ago, I would sometimes take Melatonin as I felt very wide awake.  It's an over the counter supplement you can get at markets or drug stores.

Our brains make Melatonin and that is what makes us drowsy, to fall asleep.  But as we get older, our brains don't make as much Melatonin.   It worked for me.   I like natural products.   I used to cut a one milligram tablet in half and just take that.

How wonderful you did get 8 hours of sleep the other night!  Thank God!   There are different reasons for insomnia and alot of them have nothing to do with sinning or our walk with the Lord.  We are still in these human bodies so sometimes do experience something like insomnia.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks, Debp!  I slept over 8 hours last night.  I don't know if I will tonight but I do see that God has allowed it to happen for my good!!  He is drilling in the message that He will help me through ANYTHING.  His plans for us sometimes allow difficult and sometimes terrible things.  But He will take care of me no matter what I have to face on this earth.  I am finding peace with whatever His will is for my life. 

As far as medications and melatonin...I have tried them all and they only work temporarily.  They are not a long term solution.  And my insomnia has been long-term and severe.  Last year I regularly would only get two hours a night for a week until occasionally I would relent and take a pill.  I haven't taken a pill in over 6 months and have probably averaged 5 hours a night for six months now.  So it's been pretty debilitating for a person who usually needs a little bit over 8 a night to feel good.

There was a time when I wanted to rely on pills because I was so incredibly desperate.  I tried to figure out if I could rotate them so as to avoid building a tolerance.  My sweet husband who is a physician and incredibly wise man told me to take them as little as possible.  It has been a hard journey but I know it will have been all worth it....

Debp...if you like Christian books then "Hinds Feet on High Places" is a Christian allegory about suffering that I feel represents what God has been doing in my life with this insomnia.  I have never read "Pilgrim's Progress," but it is apparently very similar to that.  

Blessings and praise God for His mercy!!  He is trying to make me FEARLESS!!!!!!

Edited by HikerMom
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Fear and anxiety is not sin at all. I dont believe it no matter what. Its like saying a tornadoe is coming down the street and you feel no urge to hide in the basement. That would mean your senses are not working.

             Paul said he had fear all about him. When we trust in God it does not mean no fear. Jesus had anxiety in the garden before his arrest.

                   God knows we are frail made from the dust of the ground. When we are afraid and still trust God he is pleased. You are loved by him weither you feel anxiety or not. No one can condemn you for that. Jesus said in the world you will have trouble but be of good cheer for i have overcome the world. 

                   We will have trouble all our life but be of good cheer because christ has won the victory. I have worried for my grown daughter a lot lol. God knows. But he is with us through it and in it. Peace of God be with you sister.

                In christ Wayne

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Thanks so much for your encouragement Wayne!!  I couldn't agree more...

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