I can’t imagine many minor problems worse than acute insomnia. I was up until at least 2:30-3:00 every night this week (waking up at 6:30-7:00) until Thursday when I finally got some sleep. I was desperate enough for sleep that I started wondering if sleeping pills would be best. They’re not. I don’t have chronic insomnia and can manage to fall asleep pretty well any other time.
It made me think about the level of stress in my life. I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to be good at everything I try (impossible by the way). Without going into too much detail, I was feeling a lot like I wasn’t doing well. On top of that, I’ve been trying to balance a schedule that doesn’t really work well. I’ve changed a few things so it should get better but now I find myself laying on my roommate’s parent’s basement couch, a little buzzed while I drink out of a bottle of wine, and wondering why the hell I care so much.
The amount I care probably won’t change, but I can change what I do when it’s time to stop caring. I can put my failed homework down and realize it’s time to go to tutoring. I can figure out what’s keeping me up at night and how to stop it. I can ask my coworkers for help and understanding when my illness isn’t the only obstacle in my life. I can just take a deep breath, realize I can’t change something, and just let it be what it is.
It’s strange that most of the time, Spoonies learn to do this relatively quickly because they have to. “Oh, you have a heart condition with no treatment and you’ll just have to live with it”, “You’ll have to go to chemo”, “You will deal with infertility, crippling pelvic pain each month, and still feel a biological urge to have children which could be potentially fatal for you”….. there are so many illnesses, so many symptoms to cope with, and a flurry of side effects from treatments. You just end up doing it all. You look at your condition, and (with the exception of those angry or depressed moments when it’s gotten too hard) just accept that you can’t change the situation but you can do something to affect your situation in your favor. Whether that’s doing your treatment, or just breathing and enjoying a view out of the window.
My current situation improvement is to stress less about the homework I just utterly failed, and send an email to the professor for help. Then I got out my wine and played darts. I got my first bullseye (my featured photo)!
There’s a lot of ways to take care of yourself when you have chronic illness. One of the big ones is to just stop trying so hard. Sometimes life smacks you down, just get up and try again. Don’t quit anything unless it’s really hurting you, but just trying (not destroying yourself trying to be perfect) is a great way to get a lot done without going crazy or getting sicker in the process.