Anxiety, art, depression, mental health, Uncategorized

Insomnia – and other sleep beefs

This isn’t a post about the bangin’ tune by Faithless. There are no glow sticks or amphetamines involved here. (I don’t know what goes on at places that would play that song, can you tell?).

In fact, it’s a new phenomenon to me. Anyone who knows me, will know, I LOVE SLEEP. It’s great. It’s warm in bed, it’s cosy, I starfish. In fact I tend to sleep with my arms up in the air like I’m celebrating a great achievement.

A lot of mental health issues can severely impact on sleeping patterns. It can also be an endless cycle. The charity MIND describe it pretty well. In the fact that, poor mental health can lead to poor sleep, poor sleep then affects your mental health. So Round and round we go on the magic roundabout of sleep difficulties.

I’ve either been at one drastic end of the spectrum, or the other. Mental health issues can often cause sufferers to sleep far too much, or just not enough at all.

In the past I’ve slept as a way of ignoring the day ahead of me. Sleeping for 14 hours easy peasy. However, I’ve also had the times when I’m sleeping 4 hours a night at most.

I’m at the insomnia phase right now. I’m tired, believe me, knackered! But I can’t drift off. Unusual, quick, fleeting thoughts racing in my head. Out of nowhere, thoughts totally unrelated to any situation I am actually in in my present day to day life.

Sometimes it’s just them pesky butterflies refusing to leave. The physical anxiety symptoms, of what I often can’t figure out the cause. I shake myself back and forth (that’s not weird in the slightest is it? Chain me up and stick me in a padded cell eh).

I’ve tried all the advice, exercise, routine etc… have you even tried to have a routine when you work 13 hour shifts?! (Even though I’m off work at the moment). Routine isn’t common in my line of work. Seriously I don’t have a clue what day it is sometimes! That’s shifts!

I do know I’m so looking forward to getting back to work. To a slight routine, even if it is a skew wiff one.

GP’s are reluctant to hand out sleeping tablets as you can become highly reliant on them. Which I understand. But I’d love to drop some diazepam right now and get me a good 8 hours (oh the DREAM).

I don’t really have a routine at the moment. I’m frequenting the gym…sometimes having a chamomile tea in attempt at ‘relaxing’ before bed. That stuffs nasty. Hand me a Yorkshire tea any day!

To sum up. I’m worrying I’m not sleeping. So I stay awake because I’m worried…. you see where this is going.

JUST SING ME A LULLABY SOMEBODY.

Or if you, like me, are vocally challenged. Offer me up some tips.

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Anxiety, art, depression, mental health

I wasn’t happy.

Hindsight is a great thing. And if I learnt anything from my nurse training, so is the power of reflection (Gibbs knows what I mean).

Reflection is the process of analysing your own behaviours, decisions, mistakes and questioning why they may have happened. And most importantly, how you can learn from a positive or negative experience going forward in your life.

I’ve reflected on a lot of things professionally (we all slip up, we’re only human, but I promise I can get that catheter in the right hole ok!).

But what I’ve done over the last day, is reflect on the last 6 months of my life. The relationship I was in, my actions and my beliefs. It’s a hard thing to do, it’s difficult to take off those rose tinted glasses of the past. It is even more difficult to reflect on mistakes you know you have made.

I’ve stood in front of that mirror now. I’ve embraced and acknowledged my reflection physically and mentally (physically I get angry at cellulite, but what you gonna do? I don’t have the Kardashian’s bank balance).

I haven’t been happy for a while. I lost myself in trying to maintain something that was falling apart. Polyfilla couldn’t bridge those cracks. I let myself be treated as a second rate citizen in the hope of keeping someone who wouldn’t fight my corner. Put it simply. He was just not that into me.

My main reflection from this whole situation. Is that I truly deserve to be supported. And most of all, to trust my gut instincts. Be braver. Have the courage to walk when I feel it’s time. I wanted to walk 4 months ago. I wasn’t getting what I deserved from a partner. I wasn’t me, albeit I was unwell then, I knew, I knew deep down that this couldn’t go on anymore. If you’re not encouraged and assisted to be the best version of you. Then you need to be your own cheerleader.

But I was consumed by my anxiety. I wasn’t brave enough to walk. Instead I cried to my mum that I just didn’t feel the same about that person anymore – but pushed anyway to try. When I should have been brave.

I was disrespected. I was put second. I put more into things. That’s not how it should work. Now is the time to put me first. Do what I want to do, engage in my health and well-being (I had a personal training session today and my legs won’t work. Send a wheelchair.)

I’ve smiled a lot today – part of me feels guilty for that. Wary, worried that I don’t deserve to smile. Not with how I’ve felt for numerous months. The butterflies of fear have been sky high on and off today, I put this down to the fear of the unknown. But I deserve to smile. I’m I am me. I’m finding myself again, and that will involve smiles (and probably prosecco).

You might have noticed today’s post has a colourful drawing. I felt colourful today, slightly. And you’re probably in shock about this positivity. Well, it does happen – even to the ones with the chemically imbalanced brains.

We had more in common than I thought we did. You were my priority. You were your priority. – Kate McGahan

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