Insomnia

I know it’s  been a while since I posted, but I’ve been focused on creating the business plan for the coaching practice. As I told Joanne yesterday, thanks to my day with Debra, the butterfly now has a home.  I will write more about this later.

I wrote the below post while coming off a 10 day insomnia jag. Not fun!! I’ve revised it a little since I wrote it a week ago.

Moon and 95 at Night

Calder Billhardt

Since nearly to the day my dad told me his cancer diagnosis, I have suffered from bouts of insomnia.

Some have been pretty severe and others, not so much.

In college, as I spiraled in to the clinical depression, I literally started to go into shock one morning due to lack of sleep. I hadn’t slept in 3 days. Now, Professor Dement from Sleep and Dreams at Stanford, one of the founders of sleep research, would tell you I was probably having micro sleeps during that period, but no significant sleep of record. I had a midterm that morning. I had slept over at my boyfriend’s dorm room. I left to drive to my test, because I was too exhausted to bike or walk. As I turned the key in the car door, I started to sweat, my heart was racing, I couldn’t catch my breath, I felt like I was going to pass out. I knew enough not to get behind the wheel. I went back in to the dorm, knocked on Chuck’s door. Luckily, Chuck was an outdoorsy guy and studying physical therapy, because the minute he opened his door, he recognized the signs that I was going in to shock. The lack of sleep and panic over the test I was unprepared for were pushing my body in to shock! He brought me in, had me lay down, propped my legs up on pillows, covered me with blankets and called his mom for advice on what to do next. Needless to say, I didn’t take the test, I didn’t go fully in to shock and eventually I slept.

The student health center’s answer was to give me Valium and Lorazepam. Both highly addictive. Dad freaked when I told him this. He sent me to Kaiser (his employer) and they said Benadryl. For many years, Benadryl has been my go to trick.

Enter Prita, Joanne and my introduction in to our modality. With their cues, I now listen to my insomnia.

“Who” can’t sleep?

See now I get my bouts of sleeplessness when things are good. When they’re on the upturn. Joanne asked me point-blank last week, who is it that feels they are being left behind. I have been working on this all week, while I listen to my Healthy Sleep guided imagery, by Belleruth Naperstek (highly recommend it). I’m getting there. My body isn’t quite so tight, my breathing more relaxed.

Now, enter melatonin. I’ve used it before but the dis-solvable kind. I switched to it because as I age I am getting more drug sensitive. I was waking up super groggy because of the Benadryl half-life. The dis-solvable melatonin was working to help me fall asleep, but not helping me stay asleep. That’s my major problem. A neighbor suggested I try the swallow-able kind. After 9 days of insomnia, girls and I stopped at Whole Foods to get some. Robert in Whole Body was so helpful. Told me start with one 1 mg pill and go from there.

So, last Tuesday night, I did and I slept. I slept for 6.5 hours. Woke up at 4 am, took another tablet at 5 am, back to bed at 6:20 and slept until 8:45.

Wow, I finally felt grounded!

Sleep grounds me!

Without it, I get manic!

Couple this (at that point) 9 day bout of insomnia with the launching of the coaching practice and I was Spinning! Actually it all was interwoven together.

On Wednesday, I could finally breathe deeply and I relaxed, I could focus, I was so much more calm. All because I slept.

Plus, I figured out who felt left behind.

My Sophomore year of high school, my BFF since 7th grade pulled away from me. We were inseparable, they called us the “Bobsy Twins.” In college she wrote me a wonderful letter apologizing. She said it was because she was envious of the success I was finding and the relationship I had started. But see, her family had become a safe haven for me. This loss really hurt.

When I was laying in bed not able to sleep last week, listening to my guided imagery, I asked myself Joanne’s question, “Who feels left behind?” It was this part of my young self. See I had success in HS, but I had no true ground. Christy was off at college, Mom was in the bottle, Dad was pulling further and further away. Dialoguing with this part of my psyche acknowledged the pain I felt back then. I told this part of myself. This time is different. I will provide us with safety, I will give us ground, I will ask for support when we need it.

So after Tuesday’s sleep, I figured since I did have that 2 hr awake period during the night, for Wednesday night I’d try two 1 mg pills.

Big mistake!!

I was up after 2 hours. “Robert” warned me that could happen. This is when I wrote the first draft of this post.

Now we’re at last Thursday and I had an appointment with Prita. Prior to helping facilitate at the Emotional Re-Education Workshops we all make sure we have cleared anything that is bothering us, so we can fully be there to support the people attending the workshop. As this post is way longer than I like them to be, I won’t go in to details now.

But, needless to say, I found my calm!!

So, I’ve found my sweet spot on the dose of melatonin I need.

I remembered the Healthy Sleep guided imagery really works for me.

But mainly, I have to keep doing my personal growth work and coming back to me.

This butterfly has to rest on the leaf and drink the sweet nectar of me, find my calm.

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