I don't even know where to begin on this one. Let's just say as silly as it may sound to some, this has been one of my greatest trials of my life so far. I know it's nothing really major and I feel so stupid for saying it. I have been very fortunate to not have many huge trials in life. I have always been aware of this, this thought has reminded me how blessed I've been but also scares me cause I feel like major trails are awaiting me. Before this incident, I have never had sleep or anxiety issues. With that said, I'll start from the beginning. The night before the cruise, we slept over at Austin and Kailyn's because he was going to take us at 3 in the morning to the airport. I knew I needed to try and get as much sleep as possible so I could be ready for our week of fun. I think this night it was normal not to sleep well because I was excited for the cruise. The next night we were in Puerto Rico and the boys and girls were is separate rooms. Everyone tried to go to bed early because people were exhausted from our early morning. There was a 3 hour time difference. So my body may not of been tired but everyone else was so we went to bed. This is really where my problem started. It was awful, I laid in bed for hours, counting and trying to shut down my brain. I couldn't watch TV or talk to anyone because everyone went to sleep. I felt alone and scared. I didn't have Mike to bug and I didn't want to wake up anyone else. I just kept freaking out telling myself you have to go to bed, you are going to be exhausted tomorrow. I kept trying until I reached my breaking point. Luckily my sweet Mom was in the room with me and I woke her up and broke down and told her what was going on. I was so scared because this had never happened to me but she reassured me that I would be fine and that its amazing what are bodies can handle. She is one that has never required much sleep but I have never been in that same boat. I think my emotional break down helped because I was able to fall asleep with in a hour of waking up Mom. The next night we were on the cruise ship and I was with Mike and luckily things went back to normal. I look back and feel very blessed that I was able to sleep normal and enjoy the cruise with my family. When we got home, same thing I was back to normal everything was great. Unfortunately we had our Tri in Mexico the very next weekend and this is where things went south fast. So our first night in Mexico was the night before our Tri. Mike and I wanted to get to bed at a decent time because we had to wake up early for our race. We went to bed around 10:30 or so. For some reason I could not go to sleep. All I could think about was that I needed to sleep or I wasn't going to have any energy for the race. As each hour past my anxiety got worse and worse. I tossed and turned until 4:30 in the morning. That was the worst night I had ever experienced. I was amazed that I was still able to do just fine for my race. That night I figured I would be completely wiped out from not sleeping and from my race. NOPE. I struggle again until the early morning when I asked Mike for a blessing. Mike Payne was nice enough to wake up and help him. The blessing helped me to calm my anxiety but I still wasn't able to sleep until late in the morning. This horrible cycle continued for the next week. I have never felt so helpless, so confused on what was going on with me, so utterly exhausted. Mike has been my rock through this whole thing. I tried many times not to wake him but some nights I remember just shaking and being so scared. He would always comfort me and hold me. One night he had us go and watch a movie in the middle of the night. It didn't work but just knowing how much he loves me and wanted me to get better was great. I am so lucky have him in my life. Along with him my Mom has been my major support. She has always warned me that she has suffered from anxiety/depression and Tiff has too, so I should be aware cause it could show up sometime in life. I still don't think this is necessarily that. I think that week of no sleep traumatized my mind and now I have anxiety about going to sleep because I don't want to feel that feeling of not being in control if I want to sleep. But back to my mom. She was and still is my constant support. Immediately when she knew that I had been struggling she found oils, conference talks, she even ordered me a book. Not to mention this was the same day that she was getting ready to leave for her mission. She is completely selfless and I hope I can be the same way. My Dad gave me a very special blessing before they left. His powerful words helped me to have hope for my future. My friends Mackenzie, Angie and Tara were amazing, checking up on me every day to see how I was doing. I am so lucky to have such loyal and caring friends. That first week of my problem, I wasn't taking anything. Mackenzie gave me an Ambien which saved me from completely loosing my mind. I was able to have one night of complete rest. It wasn't enough though as the cycle continued on. I tried just about anything you could think of. Staying to my normal routine of watching a show and falling to sleep. No. One night I came home late from work on the weekend and watched a show with Marissa thinking for sure I would fall asleep. Nope. That was probably the first time in my life that I watched a full movie and didn't fall asleep past 10. I tried reading, taking a warm bath, listening to conference talks, counting down from 100. Repeating SLEEEP SLEEEEP over and over. Nothing worked. On Friday morning of that terrible week I reached another breaking point and I knew I needed medical help. I texted Jaron who I will always be forever grateful for his never ending service to our whole family. He was able to get me into his partner that day. I met with Dr. Mullins who I know because of the work I did for their office years earlier. She was awesome!! She put at ease and made me feel like I wasn't crazy and I that I would be fine. She agreed that I just needed to reset my sleep cycle so that it was a positive experience and then I should be back to normal. She prescribed me Zanex which was a miracle worker. With in 30 min of taking it I am able to completely fall asleep and have a great nights rest. Knowing that there was a way to shut off my brain was a game changer. I no longer had to be scared if I wasn't going to sleep but at the same time I didn't want to be dependent on anything. This is where my struggle continues. My doctor told me to take a pill for about two weeks. I was set from the get go that I was going to ween myself off as soon as possible. I took a pill for about 4 days and then I did half pills which worked until one night I had to take the other half at midnight. I tried and failed 4 different nights to go completely with out medication. This has been very frustrating to me. I wasn't really sure what I should be doing. If I should be trying and struggling to fall asleep or just take the pill before I wanted to sleep. I finally made another appointment with my doctor. She told she thought I didn't completely set my sleep cycle and wanted me to take a full pill for 2 weeks. So that is where I am now. It's been over a month of dealing with this. Good news is I went to a late night movie at the theaters and feel asleep repeatedly just like normal. That was a great feeling. Also last night driving home from the Grand Canyon I was able to fall asleep multiple times while driving. This is great, I just need my brain to be confident that it can shut itself off by itself. I plan on taking my pills till Friday and hopefully I can attempt to get back to normal. I had a major AH HA moment at sacrament meeting today. That first week when I was struggling so bad, I was doing every thing I should be doing. I remember just pleading with God that I would be able to rest. And I know he is aware of my prayers they may not have been answered how I wanted but I know he is listening. I also tried serving people as much as I could. It's true, when serving others you are able to forget about your own problems. Anyways I felt very close to God spiritually because I was reading my scriptures, listening to conference talks, praying. Once I started having relief because of the medication I stopped so much relying on the Lord. I haven't been doing the things I am suppose to. I realized that today and so this week is a new week and I plan on starting out fresh. If anyone is reading this and you are still with me, you deserve a Noble Peace Prize because I have been rambling for a LOONNNG time. But more then anything I wanted to document this trial so I can remember it and continue to learn from it.
It is now June 29, about 2 months since this whole ordeal started and I had my first nights rest without any medicine. Yahhh!!!!! I can't even explain how happy I am. I feel like my mind is back to normal and I am confident in my sleep. This trial lasted longer then I expected but I feel so grateful and I feel like I learned a lot about myself during this.
It needs to be documented that after that week of medicine free sleep, I had a set back. We had a lot of vacations in July and August and for whatever reason it got in my head that I needed something or else I would be scared I wouldn't fall asleep. The good news is that for these trips I was able to wean myself off Zanex and use Melatonin which is a natural sleep supplement to can get at Walmart. Now for even better news. Since the trips I am completely back to normal and I am grateful for a peaceful mindset when it comes to sleep. This has been quite the experience. Its crazy to me how much our brain can control things. I feel more of a connection with people who suffer from other anxieties and more sympathy for them.