I cannot remember the last time I got more than 3-4 hours of sleep at a time. I walk around like a zombie. There are some things that I wish I would have known to better prepare myself for this adventure before it became my new normal.
1. The fairy tale of having a long night snuggling your boyfriend and waking up next to each other is over. He will get annoyed because you are waking him up in the middle of the night moving around to either try to go back to sleep or get up and go downstairs.
2. You will lay there trying to fall back asleep and start to think about every mistake you have ever made in your life. Then, try to figure out if the mistake led to something positive and if you learned anything from it, how much of an idiot you were/are, asking yourself why you did that, driving yourself crazy essentially.
3. When the mistakes run out or your brain just gets tired of them, the complicated math problems start. It may just start innocently as a bill that you are trying to remember if you paid. You may start balancing the checkbook in your mind, trying to figure out if you got the best deal at the grocery store or some other sort of numbers game. Next thing you know, complicated math problems are tumbling around in your mind and you are actually contemplating turning on the lamp and grabbing some scrap paper. What? This is absurd!
4. The pain that keeps you up is unending at night. It seems worse at night than during the day. This is probably due to the fact that you take more medications at bedtime that make you drowsy, so you are in a state of fatigue that is unmatchable than the rest of the time yet you can’t sleep. This feeling makes it hard to do any pain distracting activities. Also, you want to sleep, so waking yourself up more is not an option. 5. You will be more tired than you have ever been in your life, yet you can not fall back asleep. Your brain just won’t allow it. It is keeping your body awake no matter what. Sleep is the only 100% relief from the pain and it is illusive.
6. All day long, you will walk around like a zombie waiting for your moment to be able to get a nap in. You can just feel the small amount of energy that you started the day off with being sucked away fast.
7. Besides chronic pain, insomnia is the most lonely and isolating burden you will deal with. It is another one of those problems that no one really understands unless they have been there. It is an all out attack on your body and you just hope that THIS will be the night that you will sleep through.