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Not a Casserole Widow™: Seeking Sleep

Elusive sleep.


That desolate hour when nothing should be awake.

But I am.

I look at my clock and think, “If I go back to sleep now, I can get 3 more hours of sleep.

I close my eyes.

But my brain opens the door to those “forbidden thoughts” I keep locked away during the day.

I try to count backwards from 100.

But uncomfortable visions impair my counting.

I try to pray.

But vicious voices interrupt my prayer.

I try to breath with intention.

But unpredictable heart palpitations cause me to inhale without control.

And now it is 4am.

I look at my clock and think, “If I go back to sleep now, I can get 2 more hours of sleep.

I pick up the book next to my bed and begin to read.

But the words swim in front of my eyes as the visions begin again in my head.

I play restful bilateral music.

But the bilateral bonging startles my soul.

I rub my clenched jaw.

But my fingers grow weary from massaging it.

And now it is 5am.

I look at my clock and think, “What a waste of a night.

As I struggle to sit up, my head droops with fatigue. I hang my legs off the edge of the bed and encourage my body to force energy through it.

As my feet touch the carpet on the floor, I’m struck by the silence in the house.

And I’m both envious of and grateful for the deep sleep that surrounds my children.

I wonder how long my body can function with so little sleep. At this point, only God knows.

As I’ve healed over the years, I have been blessed with random nights of sleep. When I wake in the morning, my mind embraces the foreign gift of refreshing sleep. This small blessing offers me a glimmer of hope that I am healing.

How do we know, as partners, when we are healing?

Notice the small things.

The day you awake and your first thought is about breakfast and not about your horror.

The moment you laugh, a real belly laugh, and FEEL who you were before your D-day.

The time you feel relief from your tears, instead of dark misery.

Maybe some of these tools will help you through the lonely nights-

  • counting,

  • breathing,

  • bilateral music,

  • reading,

  • Tylenol,

  • meditation,

  • journaling,

  • Facebook groups

And sometimes, one night one will work, but the next night you might need something different.

Yes. It is insanely frustrating.

Have courage, my wounded warriors. Sleep will arrive. Peace will come.

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