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5 Things I’ve Learned from Insomnia

I like to think I’m always learning. Every moment of every day, there’s something new I’m experiencing or thinking about that will lead to a bit of knowledge.

Today I’m going to talk about a few things I’ve learned recently from my own personal sleepless experiences.

1. It’s okay to cry once in a while.

Without going into way too much detail, I will say my insomnia reached a peak this weekend. I finally got a diagnosis and medication. I was so happy to have something that could help me get some rest, I almost cried at the doctor’s office. Flash forward to Sunday evening, and you’ll find a different story. I took the medication as directed, and was up for three-and-a-half hours trying to sleep. That’s worse than it is without medication. Around 1 a.m. I said screw this and just let it all out. I sobbed for a while, and then around 2 a.m., when I was done letting out all the frustration, I was able to sleep.

2. Remembering little things can mean a lot

In the middle of my almost psychotic break while attempting to sleep, my boyfriend told me he got a rare drop on a game he was playing. I was so caught up in my own problems, I didn’t ask about it then. This morning, I remember the comment and asked about it. He said thank you for being selfless. I wouldn’t say I’m selfless, but I would say I try to pay attention to what’s important to the people around me. I try to take a genuine interest because it’s a part of the person I care about. Sometimes remembering something and asking about it can make someone’s day.

3. People care more than you think

Again, I’m going back to last night where I thought I was going to lose my mind. My mother offered to help by getting me white noise. She has her own problems and has problems sleeping, but she thought of me enough to try to help. While I didn’t end up using the white noise, it meant a lot to me to know someone out there cares enough to try to help when they themselves are going through issues.

4. It’s okay to look tired

This may sound silly, but it’s true. I spend a great deal of time every morning covering my under eye circles and read blotches from lack of sleep. This morning I woke up after a whopping 3 hours of sleep and decide no. I just put on some powder, a little eye shadow, and a swipe of mascara. So what if I look tired? I am tired. I’m allowed to look how I feel. Plus, if I spend less time making my face all one color, maybe I can get a few minutes of extra sleep.

5 Just because something worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you

I’m in insomnia support groups. I think it’s important to have a community of support as I try to push my way through this. We all try to help each other and suggest new methods to cope with insomnia. However, many of these methods I’ve already tried. This does not mean I should be angry with someone for suggesting them. Instead, I’m choosing to be thankful that strangers on the internet give me the time of day to help me with my problem. This can go both ways. Just because I have something that works for me, doesn’t mean it will work for someone else, but it doesn’t hurt to make the suggestion.

Insomnia is a rough time, but I’m learning a lot as I learn to cope. Always be learning.

Sarah Emily Lelonek

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