Well, my journey sure has taken some unexpected, frightening and also enlightening twists and turns.
My sleep quality has been decreasing more and more, to the point where I would consider what I have to be severe insomnia aggravated by anxiety. The anxiety feeds the insomnia, and vice versa. I'm not experiencing any depression anymore, except a lot of tears in frustration over my situation. I consulted my doc and I stopped the Viibryd, thinking it was causing insomnia, or anxiety or both. Mostly it just wasn't helping, the Klonopin was to some degree but I think my sleep hygiene got all out of whack from laying in bed in a Klonopin haze all day watching TV. So I tapered off everything, experimenting with different sleep remedies (melatonin, valerian, benadryl, motherwort, valium, xanax, klonopin). Not even Trazodone worked, so I decided to just give up on meds and try willing myself to sleep without drugs.
No such luck. I lay awake with weird visions and can't seem to pass out now, unless I take a small bit of Klonopin, but then I wake up again anyway. So clearly benzos are not the answer to my problem. Thank god because I didn't want to get addicted to them.
I think the max amount of sleep I have had all week is 5 hours. 2 nights ago I got zero sleep. Last night about 3, but very restless.
I have very little appetite. I have to force myself to eat. Husband has had to take care of the kids, and constantly remind me to eat. I have constant hot flashes. I've lost 10lbs, which is a LOT for me because I'm already very small. Grateful that my aunt is helping to support us with the agreement that we work out repayment later.
My doc wouldn't prescribe any potentially addictive pills, so she referred me to a sleep center. And I am so relieved she did. The doc I met today told me I am going to be okay, explained all of my fears, and prescribed me some Seroquel (25mg to start). He is confident it will knock me out and will help my anxiety and mood swings too, although he said that can take a few weeks to really kick in.
I started "sleep compression therapy" last night, or at least better sleep hygiene. I am developing a daily bedtime ritual, setting myself up with only 8 hours of laying in bed time (12-8) no matter what, and getting up and out of bed if I start to have worries. I have been doing Bikram yoga during the day to keep myself awake and keep my hot flashes/appetite in some kind of control. To keep busy, I make lists, and think of ways I can organize my house better so I feel more in control. I started organizing a lot of paperwork last night, and that made time go by so much faster while I waited for bedtime to arrive. It wasn't the best night, but I am hopeful that I will see progress with discipline. I know that the meds may not work tonight, but they could work tomorrow, or the next day. I am getting by on sheer willpower, but I feel better I have some chemical support to help me through this. SSRIs are not the answer for me as I don't have major depressive disorder, and I need something faster acting for anxiety and with less side effects than most SSRIs. Just the thought of not having a sex drive effin scares me!
I write down my worries and work through them on paper. Most of them are irrational and stupid, I'm seeing, when I look at them the next day.
I am in therapy and my therapist is convinced I am going to feel better soon and I am really on the right track to being the healthiest I can be.
I have never had so much faith in myself. This is the most powerful, spiritual and life changing journey I have ever been on. I am really learning how to love myself in the face of fear, to nurture and support who I really am. I have always been anti-religious, but I feel like I have trust in the universe. I have been praying, which no one would ever think I would do!
I feel like I can do anything after quitting cigarettes, having two unmedicated homebirths, moved across this whole country years ago by myself, started two businesses, taught myself sales, found an amazing husband and made two beautiful kids that will be a mirror of my positive influence. Life is too short to go around poisoning yourself with misery and worry. I was trying so hard to be a perfect mother, that I was destroying myself with anxiety. I was trying to prepare myself for the worst case scenarios and in turn I was actually praying for bad things to happen! Worry is not preparation for negative events. It creates them. I know I'm not done with all of this and I have a long way to go maybe. Or maybe this is a turning point to inspire a life long love affair with my inner self and to watch my true potential flourish.
I have more compassion for people as I see my ego crumble.
I have nothing to lose anymore. My illness has made me see how fragile I am and how fragile others are too. I have to let go of anger toward myself and others. No more guilt either. Ultimately I want to let go of fear altogether and just feel only love. Love for the Oneness of the universe, knowing I am part of it.
Where did these realizations come from? Was it always dormant inside me? Is this mania? Somehow I trust that this is my destiny and I will surrender to the process.
I think of that scene in Finding Nemo a lot. My son is obsessed with that movie. You know the scene where all the tuna fish are trapped in the net? They start to panic as the net gets pulled up, deriving them of air. Surely they will die. But suddenly they all work together, with a helpful suggestion, to swim downward and break the net together. They trusted the process and became one with each other, working toward the same goal.