Day 76: Fitful from Stuck Emotions
In early February I purchased a device that tracks my activity levels. One of its features is indicating how much you move around at night. A sufficient level of movement is interpreted as waking up. This device is making concrete something I have experienced, but didn't really want to believe. My sleep pattern is mostly fitful.
The activity device showed what I thought I have been experiencing. I have said that I wake up five to ten times a night. In fact, my device shows a wake up 5 to 20 times per night! (Many of those "wakeups" are really just bookends to a longer stretch of just lying awake.)
I have received many messages over the years when I have reported experiencing insomnia:
- Go to bed at consistent times and get up at consistent times
- No TV or reading in bed
- Make the environment quiet and relaxing
- Maintain healthy nutrition
- Exercise more
- Stop looking at the clock - you're keeping yourself awake
- Think about positive things before you go to bed
- Try a medication, herbal, etc.
I'm OK with that. I'm tired and rummy. I'm trying not to feel sorry for myself, I must confess. But, I recognize this insomnia is the way that my emotions find expression. I think the stuffed emotions that found their way briefly, quietly, privately to the surface after the gynecologic exam are in need of release. I stirred that hornets nest and I am having trouble quieting them back down. I don't know if any of the preventive strategies I use (nor any other new ones) will really work so long as I have all of those emotions trapped inside.
I feel like a broken record. I keep saying that I have stuck emotions but not finding a way to express them other than physical symptoms.
So, I think what I need is another type of plan. Rather than the standard responses to prevent or reduce insomnia, I need a plan for how to live with it and how to get the emotions unstuck.
Perhaps the insomnia is the motivator to get me to finally take this step. I have no idea what the step involves. I have found no good answers on how to release stuck emotions. I believe I need an emotionally safe environment and an emotionally safe therapist in order to accomplish this. I need to ask my therapist about it, but I'm afraid to ask. I'm afraid the response I will get is just a repeat of the above list.