Breaking the Silence of Insomnia and Depression

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I never suffered from depression to a frightening degree until I lost my mother, then my husband, and my son. All occurred within five years. Truly, I thought I’d handled the deaths well. After my mother passed, I was caught up in my husband getting critically ill and caring for him all immediately following my retirement from my day job. My mother died on December 30, on my husband and my 30th anniversary. I retired on December 31. On January 2, I was fighting to get medical care for my hubby. There was no time to learn to deal with being retired or losing my mom.

For the next three and a half years, I dealt with doctors, hospital stays, surgeries, and VA red tape getting help for my husband. I guess my mind was so caught up in the busyness of our everyday lives I didn’t miss the commitments of a day job, but I missed my mom every time I walked into the living room and she wasn’t sitting in her recliner watching television.

When Jesus came for my hubby, I kept myself busy practically living in the hospital, afraid to leave for fear when I came back he would be gone. But the time came and I had to let him go.

I was lost and struggled with finding purpose for my life, though I tried to show a positive face and attitude to my family and friends. I kept as busy as possible and slowly pushed aside the sad feelings that sometimes grabbed me from nowhere.

Then a little over a year later, my son committed suicide. I was scraped so raw inside, I didn’t know how I’d get past this pain. Not only his death, but why. There are no answers when a loved one decides to take their own life. But once again, I fought to remain strong and not show my pain because I needed to be strong for my children. Many times after talking to them, trying to lift them up, I would worry they might one day do the same thing. Jesus was my rock and I poured out my heart, my fears, and my pain to Him.

Then my daughter suffered a stroke unexpectedly and then a heart procedure and depression. I worried so for her and yes, I spent a lot of time on my knees. I still do. My children and grandchildren are the most precious gifts God has given me. I’m so blessed and thankful that I’ve watched them grow. I pray for those who have found themselves lost and struggling with addiction and destructive behavior. I can only place them at the foot of the Throne and trust them to God’s hands.

This year started with another blow. I was diagnosed with diabetes. Something unexpected and frightening. My daily life has turned into being aware of planning meals, snacks, and reading nutrition labels. Counting carbs and fat and recording. Pricking the ends of my fingers and checking blood glucose numbers.

And now I’m fighting the worst depression I’ve ever suffered. I’m not thinking about ending life. Not that kind of depression, but more the reality that I don’t have many years left. Only God knows how many days I’ll remain on earth. I’m caught up in the losses I’ve suffered. I miss my husband desperately. I need to talk to my mom. I want to talk to my son. But I’m alone in a quiet, lonely house. I have no interest in doing anything. I used to love to read and knit. Now that seems like too much effort. Mealtimes are lonely and uninteresting. I don’t want to write and think about giving up the one thing I’ve always been passionate about. And I can’t sleep at night.

The sleeplessness has made bedtime a nightmare. It’s a vicious cycle. I go to bed, begin to drift and then have to move. Have to turn over. Have to move my legs. Toss and turn, toss and turn. Watch TV. Read. Get up and walk around. Cry. Yes, I spent most of the past night sobbing and crying and praying for help. I know this isn’t normal. I go to my office and look up insomnia and decide to try using my bed only for sleeping. No more TV watching or reading. I rearrange furniture. I take a shower. It’s almost 4am. Another night of no sleep. My brain is foggy and all I want to do is cry.

I remember some relaxation CD’s I used to have and go on a search. I must have thrown them away. Then I remember my Kindle. I turn it on and search for audiobooks on sleep hypnosis and relaxation, surprised and pleased to find some. I read reviews and choose one. Listening to it, I finally fall asleep about 4:30am.

Today I’m battling with a tired brain, but I will not take any naps. I will be active. With Christ all things are possible, so tonight I will trust Him to close down my brain and give me rest.

I’m bearing my heart this morning because writing has always been a way to pour out my emotions in words. And, as always, I hope others who are suffering will find some inspiration and knowing they are not alone.


Comments

Breaking the Silence of Insomnia and Depression — 8 Comments

  1. I am amazed with everything that you have gone through that you are still functioning. I have dealt with the lose of my husband and my mother so I know how you feel there. I will certainly keep you in my prayers.

    • Thank you, Ann. If I can just get this insomnia under control, I’m sure I’ll feel a lot better. 🙂

  2. Carol,I know how you feel.I lost my Momma,in 2007,my husband of 30 years 3 months later from Alzheimers.had knee surgery,retired from my job and lost my house all in a years time.I have a new husband but still suffer from insomnia and depression.Thanks for writing about these feelings.

    • Oh, Linda, I’m sorry for all you went through and pray your insomnia and depression get better. Hugs!

  3. Depression and anxiety don’t run in my family – they gallop. I’ve had trouble with anxiety since I was a child and with depression since a teenager. Little things can send me into a downward spiral. I’ve never experienced the loss you have. I suffered from insomnia for twenty years until my doctor prescribed an anti-depression medication that helps you sleep and is non- addictive. I’ve taken the same dose for years and it still works well. I’ll pray for you because I know what a waking nightmare insomnia is

    • Jennifer, I’m sorry you are battling insomnia and depression, too. Glad your doctor found something that works for you. Hugs.

  4. Aww, I’m so sorry to hear that you’re going through this, Carol Ann. I wish I could help. Do you want a writing partner? I know some folks who gather most every Thursday at the Panera in Taylor Square to work on their writing projects together.

    • Thank you, Saralee! How sweet of you to offer. I will keep that in mind. I do believe if I can get this insomnia under control, then things will look brighter. Lack of sleep makes for a foggy brain! Wishing you the very best, as always. Hugs.

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