"Hi. My name is Kali and I'm an insomniac."
[All] "Hi, Kali."
My point? I feel like there should be a support group for sufferers of insomnia, even if it's just online. At least commiserating at o-dark-thirty in the morning could be common. Maybe there already is and I just don't know about it. If so, do tell!
I have been an insomnia sufferer since I think high school. My battles come in waves. For about two months each stint, I exist on little to no sleep. Sometimes it pops up for no reason at all, sometimes a very stressful situation occurs and I can't shut my mind off, or sometimes it creeps up on me if something has been lurking or building in my mind. Despite the reason, insomnia sucks.
I have read and tried everything. Twice. For my last battle, just this past summer, I became a huge fan of Ambien. Say what you will about prescription medicine, I don't care. I throw all of that out the window for two things: migraines and insomnia. Now keep in mind, my dose was only 5mg and at the end of my battle I was down to cutting the tiny pill in half, so really, I'm sure it was part prescription, part placebo. Doesn't matter. By week six of no sleep for someone who is not a nice, functioning person without sleep, it was worth it.
Despite all my complaining, cynicism and down right bitching, I do admit, there are a few pros to having suffered (and recovered) from insomnia.
First: You realize you CAN survive without sleep. Your world will not end. It may be fuzzy, it may be melodramatic and you may not remember a lot of it (luckily), but life does forge on.
Two: If you have the where-with-all to give up trying to sleep when you know you're not going to be able to, you can be quite productive with all the free time on your hands. I would deter you from trying to do anything too physical or that requires lots of standing. I nearly planted my face on the floor from fainting when I decided to clean out the fridge.
Three: You can read a lot of books. All the Harry Potters.
Four: You're forced to take a long, hard look at what's muddling in your brain and decide whether or not you want to do anything about it. You're also forced to exercise. If you can't shut off your mind, you can wear the hell out of your body.
Five: For me, I realized what a fine, noble, caring human being I share my house with. In the moment, sure, I hated Shawn. He would fall asleep and be twitching and snoring by the time I was done brushing my teeth. But in hindsight… There were nights I would watch almost an entire season of Friends and he didn't bark once that the TV was still on. There were entire nights he didn't mind the lights being so I could read. There were nights he listened to me swear and sob in the same breath. One night, he read to me, aloud, while I sobbed… until… I fell asleep.
You may think I'm battling now because I'm up late blogging. I'm actually not. I'm sleeping like a baby. Just last night I put down my Harry Potter book (#3) and curled up into the nook of Shawn's chest and thought: "I wonder what I should try and think about so I'll fall asleep?" Then my alarm went off. :)