Posts tagged ‘Sleep’

July 30, 2013

What it feels like to quit. Day 1 and 1.2

The first couple of hours I was able to keep telling myself what I was feeling was withdrawals.  I felt only slightly anxious or an even better description might be edgy and kept expecting it to get worse but it never did.  I used to think it was better to quit first thing in the morning, but now I think a couple of hours before bed is best.  This way you will have a good twelve hours of no nicotine and most of that you will be asleep.  Wooo Hoooo sleep through the worst of the withdrawals… hell yeah!  To help me calm down and relax before bed I took a nice warm bath in Epsom salt with some lavender and eucalyptus oils mixed in.  This was huge and I definitely recommend it. You can buy essential oils at HEB or your local vitamin store.  I have taken a warm bath every night before bed and it really takes the edge off.

When I woke up the next morning I made my coffee just like any other day and went outside to drink it.  I sat where I would normally sit if I were having my morning smoke. I took some really deep breaths in and breathed them out slowly in between each sip of coffee.  I relaxed my shoulders and closed my eyes and told myself “I am going to have an awesome day because I am starting a new adventure and it is very exciting!”  Instead of working to keep from smoking, I worked on being happier, excited, and carefree.  I did not allow myself to have the thought of “I want a cig!” Instead I kept thinking “Today is a  wonderful day, this is so exciting!”  Every where I went on Saturday I told people it had been x amount of hours since my last smoke and it was so exciting!  I was amazed at how good I continued to feel throughout the day.  A couple of times I felt that edgy feeling and but instead of relating it to wanting a smoke, I related to the excitement of this new chapter in my life!

Techniques to use when that edgy feeling comes:

#1 breathing exercises I really like this one in particular .   Using breathing techniques throughout the day does several things: it gives you a boost of oxygen, it calms you down, it simulates the same action that you might feel you are missing otherwise (you know – taking a big drag off a smoke).

#2 Tell someone new how many hours it has been since your last taste of nicotine.  Get excited and relate to them how excited you are to be free of your addiction.  Do this over and over and over and over and over…. you get the picture!  Every time I do this I also get emotional and find myself tearing up.  Sunday I made two total strangers almost cry as well!  Awesome!!!

#3 Read, read, read, read… but not just anything!  Read ex-smoker success stories!  Just google “ex smokers success stories” and you will have a wealth of information to read!



PS:  No depression or mania so far! And I am sleeping.  If you have learned anything else from reading my blog it is how important I believe sleep is!  If I am sleeping enough… I am not manic!  If I am not sleeping to much… I am not depressed!


PSS: It is good to be blogging again!  It is incredible to be blogging in real time instead of talking about my past!

November 8, 2011

Sleep… it is magical!

Sleep lets the brain rest.  We are inundated with information all day long.  Our brain needs a chance to recover.  This recovery period varies depending on the human.  Personally I need at least eight hours of sleep in order to function properly.

Lack of sleep affects different people in a variety of ways.  Some people just get grouchy, while others are simply sleepy.  Some become disoriented, confused, and can no longer function.  But for those that have a tendency, genetic makeup, or history of mania – lack of sleep does the opposite of what it does to most people: gives them energy, makes them feel euphoric, and as this begins a chain reaction also begins.

Every night of little or no sleep leads to more, eventually leading to mania.  As I have mentioned before, mania is awesome!  However, the other side of mania is death seeking depression.

Somewhere I will, personally, never go again.

I am sleeping again.  Over the weekend I took catnaps to help break the cycle.  I went to bed early, and although I laid in bed for several hours unable to sleep, I spent those hours relaxing, meditating, and embracing sleep.  The busier the mind, the longer it take to quiet it.

It is work, do not get me wrong, but work that is worth the effort!

Understanding the cues the body gives, such as jaw clenching, is imperative.  But there is no better indication that there is work to be done than not sleeping.

Over the last several days I have resolved issues that I was having with different people.  I held no punches, I just said here is where I am at… now tell me where you are at and lets see if we can find common ground.  Addressing an issue is the first step and probably the hardest.  Using an opening line of caring is important because people are more receptive.  In other words, “I love our friendship, which is why this is bothering me.”  I have not always had this skill, and it does not always work and sometimes you have to walk away from a relationship.  It is painful, but sometimes it is healthy!

I also came up with a study schedule so I do not feel overwhelmed.

I have basically reorganized my life, something humans might choose to do from time to time when things change to keep a balance of work, school, home, and self.

Most importantly I have slept!

Sleep… it is magical!



November 2, 2011

Clenching and grinding!

A response to stress (for me anyway) and a signal I need to be very proactive with my mental health is when I clench my jaw.  I will start grinding my teeth while I sleep as well.


Today, my jaw has been tight all day and I am sure I am grinding as well.

I am working on being in the moment right now, letting stuff go that I cannot control, and leaving stuff until tomorrow that does not need to be tackled today.  However, tackling what DOES need to be accomplished at this moment.

I am still struggling.  I feel it.

Reminder to self – take care of me!

I skipped the dog park today and now I am regretting it.  But I did make plans and accomplished something today! I made coffee plans with an old friend for Wednesday and I have studied for my next psych exam which I will take Thursday!

Tomorrow I get to start again – scratch that, I start again now.  I am here, writing, and that is good!

November 1, 2011

Sleep and other stuff

Well, it was an effort but I slept last night.  After laying down my mind was racing, trying to figure out how to solve the issues ahead.  What I needed was to shut my mind off, but how?  The trick I use is to imagine what I would do if I won the lottery.  Where I would live, what kind of car I would buy, how many people I could help, and how many dogs I could save.  I go into depth, building a home for foster kids and foster dogs, etc.  But my mind wants, desperately, to solve the issues it is facing, it wanders back to the trouble in my life.  It is a fight to make my mind shut off from reality and fall asleep.

I turned the clock away from my sight around midnight and a short time later I fell asleep.

SLEEP, it is magical!

Today has been a better day.  I am getting back on task with my school work, car issues are still pending, and other stuff – well some stuff takes time and effort.

A reminder to myself – Never have a bad day, just bad moments.  My world still needs to be bigger and I will help it grow!  I will take care of me first so that I may be strong enough to let others take care of themselves.  I can only control my world.  The choices I make come with consequences and if I take a moment I can determine whether the outcome of my choices will be positive or negative.

Lastly, this too shall pass.  Tomorrow is going to be an awesome day!

October 31, 2011

So I am struggling….

Yes I am! I feel overwhelmed. I have been sitting here, in front of my computer, debating on whether or not I should blog. But I believe it might be important to my readers to see I do get overwhelmed and that sometimes I am down. It does not happen often, but it DOES happen. It is also important for me to get it out! To write or type it out.

Today, stuff just went wrong. I have made some bad choices and I am now paying the price. Consequences! They can bite you in the butt!

School, car issues, and some “stuff” are just piling up.

I will try and post everyday until… until!

As for the moment, the first rule is to go to sleep! So sleep is where I shall go.

September 11, 2010

The first time he came into my room – 1976

I sleep! I mean really sleep. Not much wakes me up. That is why after my Dad starting coming into my room at night I quit going to sleep. I slept in class, on the school bus and outside during the day. I had a secret place in the woods across the street from our house that I would sneak stuff to so I could be comfortable.

The first time he woke me up. I have no idea why, but I pretended to stay asleep. Soon he would come into my room and find me awake. I would get into to trouble and he would say “You have school tomorrow, go to sleep.” He even told my Mom I was not sleeping at night. That I was staying up all night reading. So I got in trouble from Mom too. She actually asked me why I was not sleeping. I never said a word! I just shrugged and walked back to my room. Sadly, my Mom told me if I did not sleep I would get ugly and fat. This was her attempt to encourage me to sleep. Little did she know that was perfect! I felt like if I was ugly and fat my Dad would stop coming into my room.

But you can’t stay awake forever! And I hated that I couldn’t!

And so it began, years of gaining and losing weight! In my adulthood so far I have been over 200 lbs and as small 115 lbs. And years of bipolar mania from lack of sleep. Then of course depression followed. And we cannot forget all the medication to try and keep me sane!

But you can’t stay awake forever!

Seven years ago I started to face why and who I am with the help of an awesome therapist, I have overcome those issues for the most part.  I am hoping after completing this blog I will be done (but I doubt it).  I sleep now, I have not had the need to take medication in almost that long, and my weight has been almost the exact same (I am not telling :)) for at least the last 5 yrs!

A side note:1976 was the same year my Mom started nursing school at night. Opportunity established… now how do I figure out motive?

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