It’s Been a Long Time

I was surprised when I logged on that it had been so long since my last post.  Time flies when you’re having fun?  I don’t think that’s it.  I think that I’ve moved into a stage of my life that is a bit aggravating.

I haven’t journalled in a long time.  I haven’t built my faith in God.  I haven’t been doing any self work.  I’ve been medicated, which is a great thing because I’m better for everyone else.  I just don’t feel that I’ve been doing myself any justice.

I do not have panic attacks very often anymore, thanks to 60mg per day of Celexa, but I still keep my Ativan close by.  I need it about once a week.  Life still makes me crazy sometimes.

I moved into a new position at work that keeps my very busy, and sometimes very stressed out.  Luckily, I work very closely with my new boss and he knows my issues and understands when I need to chill out for a minute or two.  He doesn’t give me anything I can’t handle, and I work hard for him.  I feel very accomplished at the end of the day, but I also feel utterly exhausted.

My insomnia seems to be my ever present bane.  It’s only gotten worse and now I don’t ever get a restful night of sleep.  On the occasions when I’m so exhausted that I can fall asleep right away, I’m so behind in my sleep that I wake up just as tired as when I went to bed.  I’ve tried every remedy I can think of, and I just have no luck in the sleep department.

I had to quit seeing my therapist because I could no longer afford to see her.  She is great, but alas, cannot work for free.  Self therapy is so hard to do when you are exhausted all the time.  My brain can’t focus on much outside of work.  I keep getting told that my workload will get better and soon I will not be stretched so far, but we’ll see.

All these things are causing my depression to creep back up again, and I’m trying like hell to keep it at bay.  I can’t afford to not get out of bed in the morning.

Ok, that’s all the whining I will do today.  I won’t be gone long because I know that my blog helps me, even when I can’t tell right at the moment.

It’s Good

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted.  I’m in a good place in my life right now, for the most part.

I’m still struggling with sleep.  I take a sleeping pill every evening, but lately my body has decided that I need to be awake at 4:30 am every morning.  I can’t figure out why.  I’m still going to sleep at the same time, but yet I wake up early.  Hopefully this is short-lived, and I won’t have to deal with it much longer.

I am still working on Beth Moore’s bible study, Breaking Free.  I’m on week 9 now, with only one more after this.  It’s really helping me deal with a lot of the baggage that I still carry from my trauma, and I feel closer to God with every study.  I don’t feel so alone anymore.  There’s still a lot to tackle, and I will always be on this journey, but I don’t feel so overwhelmed anymore.

I can handle anything, I just have to have patience.  I also have to be gentle with myself.  That was one of the hardest obstacles to overcome.  I would get so frustrated when I reacted badly to a situation or I wasn’t as far along in my healing as I wanted to be.  I was way too hard on myself.  I’ve gotten past that, and can now take every victory for what it is.  I can let every set-back go without mentally tearing myself apart.

The fact that I have survived this long and continue to get healthier and healthier is amazing and something to be celebrated.

There are some things that I will be working on in the very near future, and it will be a struggle for me.

I have to work on my intimacy issues, and will be contacting a therapist soon for help in this area.  After struggling with it for some time, I have conceded that I can’t fix this one by myself.  No amount of research and studying about it seems to change anything.  Some Cognitive Behavior Therapy may be in order.

I am on a mission to completely change my diet.  I had my gall bladder removed more than 8 years ago, and constantly suffer from abdominal pain, bloating and other symptoms that I don’t care to disgust you with.  I’ve been doing some research, and have found that a minimal fat diet might help me.  I’m going to make this change to hopefully curtail some of these symptoms.  I’m tired of my bowels being my enemy.

I’ll keep my progress in all areas updated here.  This is my space to record becoming a happier, healthier person, and I find it’s very important.


Little Things

I’ve realized that the little things in life can have a profound effect on your mental health.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, and all went well.  My doctor prescribed me a milder sleeping pill that I shouldn’t become dependent upon, after I expressed my concerns about Ambien.  Hopefully this one will do the trick for my sleep issues.  She gave me some other tips that might help me out too.  She was very helpful and alleviated some of my worries.

I went shopping the other day.  I had been getting quite low on clothes for work.  I only had two shirts and one pair of jeans that looked decent, and my self-esteem was taking a hit because I didn’t think I looked nice at all.  I tend to let something like that fester in my head for awhile.  I also have a really hard time spending money on myself.  I never think I deserve it.  I decided that I couldn’t put it off anymore, and went to Goodwill.  I didn’t really expect to find anything, but I scored.  I got a whole new wardrobe for about $40.  All this week so far, I have looked very nice for work, and have even gotten some compliments.

I found an amazing new moisturizer/cleanser for my face.  I have struggled for years to find something that works on my face because I have very sensitive, dry skin.  I got a coupon to try a new one, and just fell in love with it.  It is perfect and my skin feels incredible.

I have also been wearing my hair down lately.  I usually always keep it up in a ponytail or bun because I am so self-conscious about it.  I have very fine, thin long hair.  I’ve made a firm decision to wear it down lately, and it feels really nice.  I feel more confident with it down now than I ever have.

All these little things put together have put me in a great mood this week.  I feel more alive and happier.  I know they are mostly superficial, but for a depressive like myself, every little thing helps.

Elephants and Anxiety

“You can eat an elephant – one bite at a time.” -Unknown

The sleeplessness continues, but I’m on day 18 of sobriety.  I am very happy about that.  I’m still not craving the alcohol,  and I’m keeping myself very occupied.

I did a lot of research on alcohol withdrawal symptoms, and it does appear that insomnia is one of them.   Since it’s the only one I have thus far, I think I’m doing fairly well.  I am getting another prescription for Ambien, and hopefully I will start sleeping soon.

I am having a lot of anxiety lately.  I was doing really well with it for quite awhile, but I’ve been having a lot of things come at me at once, and I’m having a hard time putting it all into perspective.

My daughter starts school next week, so there is the worries about supplies, clothes, and getting everything in order.  She’s going to a new school this year, and riding the bus for the first time.  This means I have to get her into her orientation and make sure everything is set up with the bus driver.  She’s also moving up to a new group in her youth group, which requires a new uniform t-shirt and dues.

My husband is standing up in a wedding this weekend, so there’s lots to prepare for that way.  I’m obviously going to the wedding too, so there’s preparations for myself as well.  I have nothing to wear, and I have to get the gift.

My uncle who passed away would have been 44 yesterday.  His birthday has opened up wounds that had just begun to heal.  I had been doing really well with his passing, and moving on, but now it all feels fresh again.

I’m a neat freak, and due to my insomnia, I have not been able to keep the house in tip-top shape like I normally do.  My husband is working lots of overtime, so is not able to either.  This has been driving me crazy.  I take pride in a clean house, but I need to let it go, at least for now.  The world won’t end if the house isn’t spotless.

So, yes, I will eat the elephant one bite at a time.  I find that making lists and crossing off what I have done helps a lot.  I try to do a couple things a day so I don’t feel so overwhelmed.

Some “me” time for a few minutes a day is my sanity right now.

Now Commencing Zombie-mode

Day 12 sober.

Enough is enough.  These sleep issues are making me crazy.  I haven’t had a good night’s sleep for so long that I forgot what it’s like.

I’ve been taking sleeping pills every night, to no avail.  I’m still waking up multiple times a night, and having disturbing dreams.  I hate sounding like a broken record, but damn.  This is getting ridiculous.

I find myself irritated all the time, like a raw nerve.  Even the smallest of things can set me off, and I have to really watch myself so I don’t say something stupid and get myself into trouble.  My relationships are becoming a bit strained because I don’t have any patience, and I’m on edge all the time.  I find myself clenching my jaw so badly that it is sore.  I have to take deep breaths, just to keep myself calm.

I don’t trust myself to drive because I am zoning out without realizing it, and have to constantly pull my mind back to focus on what I’m doing.  Work is becoming almost impossible.  It would be nice to take a leave of absence until I get this taken care of, but alas, that is not possible.

I’ll keep trudging on, but I have to be more aware of how this is affecting me.  Hyper-awareness is hard to attain when you aren’t sleeping well, but it must be done.  I can’t let my world implode on me because I can’t sleep.

Looks like I might need to make a call to my doctor.  I’m not sure I can lick this without some outside help.

Week 1 Down

Just a quick post today to update my progress.

I am on Day 7 of being sober.  That’s one week!  It feels really good to think about.  I’m not even having a hard time with it yet, and I think that is because my mindset is completely different this time around, and I have resources to rely on for help.  I’m still reading the “Big Book”, and I have another AA meeting this evening.  I don’t have any cravings as of yet, either.

I didn’t have a good night’s sleep again last night.  I stayed up too late, and the sleeping pill really did nothing.  I don’t recall any dreams though, and I didn’t wake up disturbed, just exhausted.  Exhausted I can handle, that’s normal for me.  I’m not too concerned at this point.  I know sleep will come in time.

I’m feeling awesome this time around, and I know I can do it.  I have no doubt.

More Sobriety and Sleeplessness

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion . . . . I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.”

–Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Yes, I am like a broken record, but hey, if nothing else, this blog is for me to record my road to recovery, and it is what it is.

Not a lot to report today except that I am 5 days sober now.  I can’t wait until I’m 55 days sober.  That’s a dizzying thought.

I’m still not sleeping well.  I took a sleeping pill last night, and was incredibly exhausted, yet I kept waking up.  I had more disturbing dreams too.

Keeping a sleep journal isn’t practical because I don’t remember my dreams way more often than I do.  Usually I can hold onto a small tendril of the dream for a little while, but as the day goes on, even that fades away.  I think it’s a good thing I don’t remember them because after the dream I had about my cat, I couldn’t stop thinking about it for a couple days.

I’m trying not to think so much about how much I am NOT sleeping, but it’s aggravating.  It should be simple, right?  I should be able to fall into bed utterly exhausted at the end of the night, and sleep like a baby.  I wish this were the case.

I guess, until I am sleeping well, I will deal.  I just wish it would happen sooner than later.

Mindfulness Meditation

“Don’t just do something, sit there.”

-Author Unknown

Day 4 sober, and all is well.  I continue to read the Big Book, and it’s very helpful.  I am also reading this book again:

I didn’t get very far the last time I tried reading it because my anxiety was at an all time high, and I couldn’t focus.  I’m about 50 pages in this time around, and have been taking notes.

Meditation is something that I can do, and will do, once I have a better understanding of how to do it.  It’s really a complete change in how you perceive life and what you do with it.

Most of us go through life on auto-pilot.  Going through the motions and keeping busy are a natural part of Western culture.

Mindfulness requires you to stop and acknowledge that what is happening, actually is happening.  You have to embrace what “is”, at this moment, and every moment.

I’m no expert, but what I’ve taken from this book so far has been very enlightening.  It will take a lot of work and practice, but I think that I will find myself in a much better place once I start incorporating this into my life.

I’m hoping that eventually, I will be able to sleep using meditation.  Stillness and the act of “non-doing” are the foundation to meditating.  If I can do this, sleep should come easy.

Things are definitely looking up for me.  Not spending my evenings in an alcoholic haze opens the doors for me to work on a lot of things.  My health and recovery are dependent upon me being sober.

I will be just that.

Sleep and Dreams

I hate to be redundant, but I am still sleeping horribly.  The dreams are getting worse, and I keep waking up through the night.  Someone told me that it might be the effects of sobriety, and it’s possible.  It could be that I am self-destructive too.  Either way, today I start on a new path…the path to fix this insanity.

A friend suggested meditation, and it is something that I looked into before.  I did some research and found two books that are highly recommended for someone first entering meditation, and I can get them at my local library.  I’ve tried reading them before, but my anxiety was at an all time high and I couldn’t concentrate.  I should be able to now.  I plan on walking to the library this evening with my daughter to pick them up.

My husband suggested that I keep a dream journal on my nightstand to record my dreams when I wake up.  I like this idea because most times I can’t remember the dream, it just leaves me with an overly icky and restless feeling.  He jokingly said that if nothing else, it would be entertaining reading for my blog, but I also think it might show me a pattern.  If I can figure out the kind of dreams I am having, I might be able to work on changing myself, so I stop having them.

I remember last night’s dream.  It was horrible.  I have a cat (9 years old), who is quite obviously getting old.  He is rather crotchedy and not as spunky as he used to be.  He is also a behemoth and wheezes a bit from time to time.  I do worry that he is getting close to his last days.  Logically, he still has a lot of time left as he is very, very healthy, but I’m a doting, worry-filled mom.  He’s been with us since he was born and I love him to pieces.

In my dream, he was on his last legs, and for some reason, I didn’t take him to the vet to put him to sleep.  I decided that I was going to put him out of his misery myself.  I slit his throat, thinking that he would die there in my arms.  He didn’t.  He held on and wouldn’t die.  So instead of him just dying peacefully, he was in horrible pain and bleeding from where I cut him.

I woke up nauseous.  I got out of bed immediately, and went to look for him.  He was fine, sleeping.

The dream has stayed with me all day.  My interpretation of it (and I’m no expert) is that he is fine, healthy and will live for a long time yet.  Worrying about him dying soon is a waste of time, and will make my anxiety worse.

My hope is that my endeavors will help me finally get a good night’s sleep.  This is my new mission in life.

Sweet Dreams

I’m still not sleeping well.  I’ve started drinking at least a beer or two a night again.  I don’t get it at this point.

My finances are in order, my depression is gone (for now), my anxiety is low, and my family is healthy.  There’s nothing pressing that I have to worry about.  In fact, life is pretty damn good, except for the sleep.

I should be sleeping like a baby.  I should fall into bed with a smile on my face, looking forward to sweet dreams and waking up rested.  Instead, I dread going to bed because of the disturbing dreams and waking up every hour.  I stay awake later than I should because I don’t want to deal with the same thing night after night.

I’m really at a loss.  I don’t know what is causing this, but I do know that it is making me insane.  I can’t focus at work, and I’m having trouble multi-tasking.  If I don’t write every little thing down, it flies out of my head before I can process it.  I forget conversations right after they happen.  I’ve even gotten short with a couple co-workers lately.

I don’t like what is happening to me, and I feel powerless.  I could understand if I wasn’t sleeping well because of the normal reasons, reasons I’m used to, but this is just mind-boggling to me.  I have to figure it out.

“Everybody’s Looking for Something”…all I’m looking for right now is a good night’s sleep.

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