One of the things I struggle with most about depression is the effect it has on my sleep. As if my emotions weren’t already all over the place, everything seems worse when I’m tired, especially when I’m exhausted. My energy levels are lowered anyway, and then lack of sleep sends them to rock bottom. Trying to motivate myself to do anything seems nigh on impossible, even if my mind is willing, my flesh is certainly not up to the task. It can feel like I am trying to swim through treacle. Retaining information becomes troublesome – I am usually a quick learner, but in the middle of a period of insomnia I struggle to hold on to anything new. I forget what people tell me and can seem uncaring if I fail to remember something a friend has told me. Work can be challenging as getting my head around some of the maths and frequencies required can be an uphill struggle, when ordinarily they would all just slot into place.
But the worst thing is the irritability. Every. Little. Thing. Is .SO. annoying. I forget where I’ve put something down and get all snappy and accuse people of moving it. Strangers step in front of me in the street, How dare they! I can’t get something to work properly and it ends up flung down in anger! I can almost shake with the adrenalin pumping through me at the slightest provocation. At home is where it hurts most though, my husband is a saint for putting up with me. But it is when I find myself snapping at the kids for doing nothing more than being kids that the guilt starts. I hug them, I apologise and then I worry. Worry about the effect this is having on them, worry that I should be better able to control my irritation around them, and worry again about how this is all effecting them. The kind of worrying that keeps me awake at night . . . And so the circle continues.
Thankfully, these periods don’t last forever. There are periods when I do get some sleep. There are also some nights when I am assisted by a small pill, although this can result in severe grogginess the next day, and induced sleep does not refresh in the same way as natural sleep. I have just had to accept that this is something that will happen from time to time. Nights spent tossing and turning with a brain that just won’t switch off can be painfully long, and what helps me one night can have no effect the next. Sometimes getting up and doing something other then trying to fall asleep can help, other times I sit up all night writing poetry .
I'm currently excelling at insomnia. I've got to say I really am the best When it comes to lying fretful in the darkness While everybody else is getting rest. Some would say they do not understand it – I really do not need to worry yet, About the problem that I'll have a week next Tuesday With somebody that I haven’t thus far met.
I'm currently excelling at insomnia. It’s great to say it really is a strength. When it comes to stopping me from ever sleeping My brain will really go to any length Even though my body is exhausted My brain, it seems, would like to tell a tail About everything and anything and nothing, The narrative I just cannot curtail.
I'm currently excelling at insomnia. It's something that I really do quite well While everybody else is deep in slumber I'm fretting in my own personal hell. I don't think this can go on for much longer Another night I really can't endure. I've spent the week resembling a zombie A good night's sleep I really must procure.