I Can’t Sleep!

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle

Sleep is one of those things that we can’t live without. At one time or another, we’ve all had problems sleeping. But what happens when lack of sleep starts to get the best of you? Read the poem below to find out.

I Can’t Sleep

I can’t sleep! I can’t sleep!

Do I pray or do I weep?

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle
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Let the music play in your head.

Rest in Jesus while in your bed.

This lack of sleep, all part of trauma.

Give him your fears and all your drama.

I can’t sleep! I can’t sleep!

“I know my child.

My grace runs deep.”

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The Sleep Aspect: Living With and Healing From Trauma

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle

Introduction to The Sleep Aspect

We all love a good night’s sleep. When I picture falling asleep, I think about having just the right amount of flat sheets, a soft comforter, a few pillows surrounding me, just the right temperature in the house, and having sweet dreams. Just thinking about this scene would make all of us stop and long for sleep.

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle
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Sleep can be one of the sweetest things in the world, and then on the other side of that coin, it can be that of agony for a person living with PTSD/trauma on a daily basis. There is also no rhyme or reason as to when sleep deprivation will occur.

sleep deprivation, trauma, PTSD, insomnia, waking up, living with and healing from trauma, brokenness, emotional health, mental health, psychology, katina horton, blogger, lifestyle
Photo by Matthew Henry

Breakdown of My Sleep Aspect of Trauma

Five years ago, unbeknownst to me, I entered an extremely toxic work environment. At the time, I had already been dealing with sleep issues as a side effect of the trauma of my divorce, as well as the events immediately preceding and following the divorce. I would describe the events as a crazy Lifetime movie. Unfortunately, this movie was my life. Although I was already having problems staying and falling asleep, nothing could compare to the level of sleep problems that occurred as a by-product of working at this company for nine months.

People living with PTSD/trauma often face two issues when it comes to sleep: falling asleep and staying asleep. I had and have both. During the time that I worked at this company, I would try to fall asleep around 10 pm. From 10:00 pm to 3:00 a.m, I would fall asleep for a few minutes, wake up with my teeth and whole body tense and clenched tight, and the cycle would start all over again.

Breakdown Part Two

I am going to keep it real here. The first couple of times that this happens, you find yourself trying to stay positive and you start telling yourself not to overly think about. “Don’t be concerned about the time.” However, when you have done this 5 or more times within five hours, and realize that you have only had a total of maybe one hour of sleep, and you have to get up pretty soon for work, the positivity can wear off real fast. I had to wake up at 6:00 a.m. to get ready for work, which if we all do the math, we know that this isn’t enough time for restful adequate sleep.

The toxic job, along with this vicious cycle of sleep caused major life-threatening thyroid problems, along with an overactive adrenal gland.

God granted me grace by allowing me to be let go from this toxic environment. It gave me time to heal and try to breathe again.

Sleep Aspect: What’s Going On Now

I still have issues with my sleep patterns due to trauma. They are not as frequent as they were, but they are still a problem. Last week took me clearly by surprise.

I had been suffering with sinus and allergy issues since August, and last week these issues came to a head. And guess what came with it? Sleep deprivation from trauma. I had two nights with four nights of sleep.

Then, I had one night with five nights of sleep. Just as I thought I was turning the corner, the following night was an all-nighter with only one hour of sleep at best. I nodded off for ten minutes at a time, woke up, and then stayed up for hours, with my body attempting sleep several more times.

I have to get up at 4:00 for work, and so, when this time came, and I was still awake, I reluctantly resigned to calling in and staying home. What I had to do was to give myself grace and compassion. I had to tell myself that I needed a time-out to rest, get in as many liquids as I could to help my sinus issues, and just relax. Finally, I fell asleep at 5:00 a.m. and slept until close to nine.

I would have liked to sleep until one o’clock. However, that didn’t happen. What did happen is that I literally laid down for part of the day, and sat up part of the day and allowed myself to rest physically, emotionally, and spiritually in Jesus. Sometimes we just have to admit that we are having a bad day, week, month, year, and simply REST!!!

Sleep Aspect Conclusion

Sleep deprivation from trauma is real. I won’t downplay it. However, God is also real, and he can meet us right where we are. When we have these hiccups in our schedule, the devil wants to make us think we are right back where we are. WE ARE NOT!!

Unfortunately sleep issues are a part of living with and healing from trauma on a daily basis, but it doesn’t define us. God does! And guess what? When I couldn’t sleep during the night, I had praise music playing in my head as if I had turned on a radio. Even though my feelings were telling me different, God was telling me that he was with me.

God bless and have a wonderful rest of your week!!!

What are some of the things that you do to help yourself when you are dealing with the sleep aspect of trauma?

Episode 13: Grace Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma

trauma, eye doctor, healing, grace, living with and healing from trauma, emotional health, mental health, psychological health, depression, ptsd, ptsd survivor, doctor, eye doctor, podcaster, podcasting, podcast, healing our brokenness, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, eyes, exams, physical health, traumatized

Episode 13: Grace Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma
Healing Our Brokenness Podcast Seri...

 
 
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trauma, eye doctor, healing, grace, living with and healing from trauma, emotional health, mental health, psychological health, depression, ptsd, ptsd survivor, doctor, eye doctor, podcaster, podcasting, podcast, healing our brokenness, katina horton, simple functional grace-filled living, eyes, exams, physical health, traumatized
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Our last podcast, Lost in the Woods of Trauma, dealt with the process of going from having the trauma identity to reign, to have our identity in Christ to take over. This week’s episode: Grace Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma, shares about the embarrassing moments that we all have when we live with and heal from trauma on a daily basis, even when we have come a long way with our healing. It also handles how to see these moments as God sees them. Click to listen!

Podcast Outline

Traumatic Childhood Events

My Traumatic Childhood Event

My Eye Doctor Visit

Grace Aspect: My Resolve

Grace Aspect: Bible Verses for Meditation

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin.  Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help us in our time of need.


Hebrews 4: 15-16

The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

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Background on The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

About a month ago, I discussed The Flashback/Images/Nightmare Aspect of Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.  You can find that post here.  Today, I will discuss The Holiday Aspect of Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

The Holiday Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis

 

Holiday time can be tough in general.  Let alone, if the holiday time is when you experienced a series of events that led to PTSD/trauma.  When the holidays come around, it can feel like you are reliving these events.  This is because the energy from them are still residing in our bodies.

The holiday season of 2012 is when a great majority of the trauma that my kids and I experienced in the last six years took place.  It started a little before Thanksgiving, and reached its peak right after New Year’s Day.  Almost daily, emotionally draining activities and sabotage were done to myself and the kids in order for me to put him out, so that he wouldn’t have to be the “bad guy” who left us.

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The peak was a fake-suicide stunt with my ex-husband starting up the car with the garage door down, and the engine running.  It was a last attempt to pull me back in emotionally, and to get me back to being the person that was a doormat/enabler, with low self-worth.

God had already begun to work a miracle in my life six months prior to this event, and so this “doormat” person was not there anymore.  It was God’s grace that I went downstairs to check the garage, or this fake suicide stunt could have killed all of us.  The kids were sleeping upstairs at the time.

Christmas, holiday, Thanksgiving, emotional health, mental health, anxiety, holiday aspect, living with and healing from trauma, blogger, podcaster, speaker, writer, blog

Ever since then, the holiday time has been painful, and a time that I struggle.  It has gotten better in some areas, and worse in others.

The first holiday season (2013) after my ex-husband left, was very difficult because I wasn’t able to tolerate any Christmas music or movies.  A friend of mine dropped me off at the grocery store, and she waited outside for me.  I had to pick up a few items.  I remember Christmas music playing on the radio, and literally feeling trapped.  The reaction to the music surprised me.  Before I knew it, I was caught up in the “Overwhelmed Aspect”.  An explanation of that aspect can be found here.

I quickly found the items that I needed, and got out of the store as fast as I could.  This continued being my normal for the first year.  A few weeks after that, the church that I was attending for Divorce Care offered a session for dealing with grief during the holidays.  I gladly signed up for the class.  We discussed all the practical unexpected things that could happen during the holidays, and how to handle them.

I can listen to more Christmas music now than before.  I can also watch Holiday movies, with breaks in between for some of them.  It is almost like the smell outside and the feel in the air knows it’s November, and then the trauma aspect kicks in for me.  Down below, I have listed some things to help you ease through the holiday aspect of living with trauma during this season.

 

Self-Help for Making it Through The Holiday Aspect

Take advantage of the community that God has given you.  Talk to friends on the phone.  Have a girls’ or guys’ movie night.  A month ago, me and my friends got together to watch a home movie in front of the fireplace.  It was a wonderful time of eating, fellowship, and laughs.  When you are dealing with anxiety or depression, you need something to help lift your emotions.

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Therapy.  This therapy could involve going to see your therapist, writing in your journal, poetry, painting, or cooking.  There are several activities that allow us to be creative and are therapeutic at the same time.

Movement.  Give your body the gift of movement.  When you exercise, the blood and oxygen starts flowing, and the natural feel-good hormones rise to the surface.  I like going for a walk, even if it’s cold, just to make my adrenal glands happy, and feel refreshed at the same time.  I also like dancing to 70s’ and 80s’ music and walking the stairs for a certain amount of time to get my heart pumping.

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Doses of Music, Movies, Etc.  Try to allow yourself to watch or listen to music, movies, etc. a little at a time in order to build up resilience.  Everyone is different.  I found that when I tried to ban everything, it only made the trauma worse, so I introduced a little bit at a time.  I am still in the process of giving myself little doses here and there.

Self-Care.  Practice self-care by trying to get enough sleep, rest, and food as possible.  Taking  your vitamins and drinking herbal tea can be relaxing.  It might be a time to take get bloodwork done to see if your vitamin D is low, since we are in the winter months, and there is less sunshine.

Prayer.  Ask others for prayer, and lift yourself up in prayer as well.  Listening to uplifting Christian music can be comforting and minister to your soul.

Send some comments to let me know what you use to get through the holiday aspect of trauma.

Prayers for you and your family as you march through this season!

Katina