How I Deal With The Spiral Of Post-Divorce Insomnia



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By Amanda Rose



My insomnia started the day my husband moved out of our apartment. Even though technically we were still together, with plans to see a therapist to get us back on track, it hit me hard. 

From the moment he was no longer sleeping next to me I became “haunted.” I am not sure what the possession is that has taken over me, but it's been to some degree every night for over a year now. I know it to be a year because the message that we were over hit me on his birthday, when he told me not to see him and celebrate, which was a year ago.

I have researched and tried every type of way to relieve it: a fulfilling job, long hour days, three hours of mixed martial arts training five days a week, heavy partying, tea, meditation, therapy, hypnosis, zzzquil, melatonin, valerian root and weighted blankets. Some of these items create a level of relief when mixed together in different concoctions, others do nothing.

There is no happy, fluffy, rainbow way to have insomnia. It feels like a type of mental possession. It’s a beast. Those who don’t have it cannot comprehend, and those who do have it completely understand. I have tried over and over again to explain what it feels like in the deepest moments of the spiral - my tireless mind and lonely body - but nothing really has captured it until this piece. 

It’s not a poem or sonnet. It's not a short story or ramble It's the exact flow of thoughts in my head written out as I think of them. I literally just wrote the order of everything popping into my head in hopes of using it to examine myself, but also to reach out to others who might feel alone. It's important because the insomnia cycle is the loneliest moment in the world, where you feel crazy and desperately want out. Here is what I wrote:

Today is the date
Today is the date
Today is the date
Today is the date
This is repeating in my head
Today is the date
Today is the date
It's 12:23am and I can't forget this date
It's still half my passwords and such
Today is the date
Today is the date
The one who completed my heart was born
I'm wishing you a happy birthday alone in a whisper
Today is the date
Today is the date
I should be showering you with glorious love and presents
Around 5 years of marriage but now I'm so far from you
Today is the date
Today is the date
A year ago you ended everything
And you have no clue how much I loved you
Today is the date
Today is the date
Last time you told me you weren't worth seeing
But I was ready to make the big drive down with your gift
Today is the date
Today is the date
I'll think of you quietly as I walk down new sidewalks
And try not to remember our divorce appointment coming up
Today is the date
Today is the date
I need to decide what to do about you now
Today is the date

When you are in this spiral, do something…anything. Not moving is the worst thing you can do. When it starts, like food poisoning, you know that you have a few more hours to go, but embrace it. Know that it will end. Be prepared. Self medicate with SOMETHING! Take crayons and draw your favorite movie character. Try five push ups, even if that's all you can do, great. 

You need to do something, because again, like food poisoning, when you eat dry crackers it gets a little worse, but then it gets a heck of a lot better. Same for insomnia. Doing five push ups makes you feel hopeless and silly, but wow, you expelled a little bit of energy positively and stopped feeding the beast. Great again.

Also prevention is better than a cure. I recommend making up a bedtime concoction of things. I take a sleep aid pill around 8/8:30pm, walk into a room with an already made bed, play some bedtime stories. I alternate between the Sleep With Me Podcast or a free sleep guided meditation. To top it off, I pull up a security blanket to hold or cuddle, and when it gets colder out, a weighted blanket. Do not be embarrassed by your ritual. You are the most important person, and if something works for you, then it's perfect.

Mend is a great community, and I want to say thank you to the entire team involved and for allowing me to give back after all you have given to me.

writer photo

Amanda Rose

Amanda Rose has been a member of Mend since beta! Since joining Mend, Amanda has become a published writer, performance consultant in Hollywood, developed a podcast recently picked up by a network and embraced mixed martial arts training. There is light at the end of the tunnel, keep fighting the good fight.

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