Insomnia, nightmares and doggies, oh my....

The insomnia has been running rampant around here recently.

Some nights I can't go to sleep, some nights I don't want to, and some nights I try and do every remedy known to modern man and nothing works. Ambien just makes me feel loopy, warm milk, uh no thank you, and a hot bath just raises my blood pressure and makes me sweaty and icky. The only thing that seems to work is a few bottles of wine until I basically pass out in the chair. Then I wake up a few hours later feeling like crap with a raging headache and a stomach that gives payback many times over. Then there's that whole alcoholism destroying your liver and consuming unnecessary calories thing.

And when I do sleep, lately I've been having dreams. Weird scary dreams. Dreams where G and I are somewhere familiar, but we are not. We look strange, we talk in strange gibberish and we basically are like aliens in our own world. I wake up freaked out, sweaty and alone. On the rare occasion when I do have a sweet dream about us and normalcy I wake up and cry. On a few occasions I have woken up to the sound of my name. That's one good way to make sure you won't be going back to sleep anytime soon.

All of this nocturnal up and down has put my two dear doggies off their regular patterns as well. Beaux especially senses my angst and sticks to me like glue whenever I awaken and move from the bed to the computer or to the recliner to see if I can fall asleep in front of the TV. I have woken up many times to see his big head laying just under my face - looking at me like "what's up person?" The fact that he has woken me up by barking at me twice in the last week indicates I may have some other weird things going on while I am in nocturne.

But on the opposite ends of the spectrum is the day sleeping. I think I've become a vampire. I'll be up and down all night but let that sun come out and I'll sleep til 2 or 3 pm. Then I'm up all night. Doesn't make for a whole lot of getting things done, but since I'm basically not doing anything but staying home when I'm not at work, I guess it doesn't really matter all that much. I think a lack of routine may have a part in it as well.

Many people say this is a stage of grief, like so many of the others I have been through and will continue to go through. It's been almost 8 months. 8 MONTHS? I cannot believe it's been that long. There will come a day when Gregory will have been out of my life more than he was in it and I just cannot fathom that.

Everyday is a battle. Everyday is one more away from him, his touch, his smile, his sometimes exasperating, stubborn moodiness that would explode into a big grin and a barrage of "I love you's" while he hugged the breath out of me. Everyday it gets harder to get out of bed.

When is it supposed to get easier?


Robin said...

Kim, I am so sorry. I can't tell you when it will get easier...there's not a specific time, but it will get better....eventually. I know it's not any consolation right now, though.

Are you on any antidepressants? Some of those can cause horrible dreams, just like you are describing. I was on Prozac for a few months, and I would do nothing but cry uncontrollably in my dreams, and wake up emotionally exhausted. I also would wake up to the sounds of a baby crying. Once I stopped the meds, those particular dreams and sounds disappeared.

Again, I am so sorry!


Robin :o)

hello haha narf said...

i wish i had answers for you. all i have is love to send.

Anonymous said...

Have you thought about going to your doctor and telling him or her about this insomnia? Your doctor may be able to prescribe you something that will help you sleep at night that doesn't necessarily have to be something like Ambien. I actually take a pill called Trazodone, which is a mild anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medication that is used to help people sleep. It's really good for those of us that cannot "turn off" our minds due to situational stress and trauma.

Just a thought, sweetie.

Poppy said...

It's my understanding that it doesn't get easier, it just becomes different.

It is just a slap in the face to read the line about how Gregory will have been out of your life longer than he was in it. He's still in your life. You hold onto him.

Do it!

I have no answers for you, just compassion.

HEATHER said...

Honey there are some great CD's by Dr. Jeffery Thompson called the Delta Sleep System. It's really good, it uses tones to guide the brain into deep and restful sleep. Believe me Kim, I have a head injury(that keeps my brain from going into the proper stages of sleep) and have tried every kind of prescription medication and suppliement trying to get sleep-nothing worked so I tried these CDs as a last resort-they REALLY work.
You are in my prayers.

The Duchess of Wessex said...

In my opinion, you don't need antidepressants or any other synthetic medication to get you through this - this being grief or your insomnia.

You are the daughter of a dad with cancer, you are a former police officer, and my money is on YOU to kick insomnia and lonliness in the a*s!

Again, in my opinion, (just my 2-cents, and worth only what you paid for it) what you need is exercise and especially Yoga to relax you.

You would benefit big time from some (mind) relaxation exercises too. For instance, what I use to fall asleep whenever I cannot find sleep is the alphabet method. You clear/relax your mind by doing the following exercise (lying in bed, just as you would for sleep with your room feeling moderately cool... no wine, no bath, house alarm is set, dogs are settled, in perfect off-to-bed, you-time)

Begin at your toes and feel them - If it helps, ask yourself, "How do my toes feel?" and when you can focus on your toes and really feel them, wiggle them to confirm it. Then move to your ankles, feel them, wiggle them (not wildly, just gentle movements) then move up to your legs, flex the muscles behind your shins, your kneecaps, your thighs, you butt, then move to your fingers, wrists, arms, elbows, shoulders, neck, your eyes, forehead, scalp and finally, your cheeks and your mouth - form a smile when you get to your mouth. Smile at yourself. You should feel relaxed at this point and your mind clear... Now, once you've completed this exercise (start over until you get to the top of your head and the smile!) begin to say the alphanet silently (in your head) in RANDOM order, without repeating any of the letters.

I usually start with PVC or DMV - and I can't tell you why... But DO NOT put three-letter words or initials together of people you know - just let the alphabet come to you and recite it in random order. If it helps, visualize the alphabet hanging above the black board, the way it did in grammer school to see it and pick Z at the end and C near the beginning... Whatever helps you "see" the letters will work.

These two relaxation techniques have NEVER failed to help me find sleep.

I have been through my share of stress, (as an Army mom I breathe stress and as the daughter to a dad that just battled prostate cancer and underwent a triple bypass 4 months after his cancer surgery, I get it) but I have never taken an anti-depressant, I don't drink and I've relied ONLY on exercise, yoga, aromatherapy and these two relaxation techniques to combat insomnia.

I sincerely hope this works for you.

Remember... You can do this!

Supa Dupa Fresh said...

DM me your street address and I will send you a CD I used on my iPod for the whole first year, plus. By a lady named Belleruth Naparstek. It's kind of new agey, but it worked.

At first I would laugh at some of the visualizations, but before I knew it, I'd be asleep and not even hear the crap.

Please say you'll try it!