• Michelle Partington

Insomnia – a vicious cycle.

One of the symptoms I truly struggle to manage is insomnia. This is something that actually 1 in 3 people suffer with regardless of what is going on in their lives. You can do all the recommended guidelines for a good nights sleep such as: winding down before bedtime, not drinking coffee after 8pm, relaxation techniques etc. However, if your mind is like the London to Scotland express train and it’s not stopping at your platform, no amount of recommended skills are going to get you any sleep.

Last night I was absolutely shattered. I felt like I could sleep standing up!! Last week was such a crazy one for me and probably the busiest I have had. It was also one of the toughest weeks I’ve had in such a very long time. I think I drifted in and out of the week on added adrenaline. It was only yesterday that I felt like I’d hit a brick wall. Don’t get me wrong, I had a very successful week. I faced an evil demon who has haunted me for many years, I delivered a talk, I went out socially twice and although I didn’t stay for long with the ladies I still travelled to Manchester alone, stayed in a fairly busy bar (albeit anxious and on edge) and worked on plans for a new job. This never used to be such a big thing for me and I could cope with so much more. That said this last week has been such an achievement for me in the here and now.

I made a decision over the last couple of weeks about where my life is going. I have to be honest and say that some of my new found confidence may still be the euphoria from facing my abuser but I still feel good. I am in a good place and have felt ok which is why I cannot understand why I can’t sleep. As I said I was so very tired last night, almost falling asleep on the spot but as soon as I stopped everything and climbed into bed – PING!!!!

Sadly just after midnight I succumbed to taking a sleeping tablet and finally nodded off soon afterwards. I don’t want to have to rely on them though and to be fair, if used regularly they won’t work anyway. I just needed a really good sleep. I was then fortunate enough to have a solid few hours without too much of a scary dream. My main problem is always trying to fall asleep. It’s not so bad during the day because I can focus on other things but as soon as I lie down my mind switches into play mode. The problem is it doesn’t just settle on one thing and I can’t control it. It’s like a TV continually changing channels because the remote control is stuck and I don’t have the energy to walk over to switch it off!!

I woke up this morning sadly not feeling refreshed, even following the few hours undisturbed sleep. It is so frustrating because the day is just a slog, dragging myself through by my nails…..this feeling just exacerbates the PTSD symptoms of poor concentration, low mood, tearfulness and the distinct lack of being able to settle to anything. I still have jobs unfinished around the house which is driving me crazy!!! This just increases my existing anxieties and there the vicious cycle begins again….


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