Sleepless Nights and Chronic Illness

Long-term illness and long-term caregiving both bring emotional as well as physical fatigue. Often this fatigue has many friends like negative thinking, depression, resentment, irritation, complaining, whining, crying, loneliness and last but not the least anxiety. There comes nights when no matter how tired we are, we just cannot sleep. This has happened to me as well so many times. 

Until I started listening to the stillness of the night. In those moments of silence, I looked for some peace of mind and clarity of thoughts.

I painted this positive picture of darkness that night. 

No matter how positive I remained, improper sleep and inadequate physical and mental rest started draining my energy. I knew I was in no position to afford a holiday. My mother needed me 24*7. She has been on supplemental oxygen therapy and social isolation for the past 4 years. I am her live-in primary caregiver. 

I realised I can only give what I have.

If I want my mother to have good health, I must first work on improving my health. Since then I have been working on improving my lifestyle holistically. 

This improved my sleep cycle and quality as well.

But still some nights, sleep eludes me.

This is what I have done with those nights.

  1. Replace word “sleepless nights” with “self-reflection nights”
  2. Here is the positive picture of darkness I painted for myself. I read this to empower myself. I hope this works for you as well. Or take inspiration and paint your own version of those moments of solitude.

“In the midst of daily chaos, it is difficult to think clearly. But at night, in the stillness, I gain insights. I see answers to my challenges when I soak up the rejuvenating spirit of the quietness. I make plans for the following day and my future.

When I listen to the silence, I am alone in my thoughts. I am able to make wise decisions because I am locked away from external influences.

My own voice resonates louder when I give it space to be expressive.

My quiet moments are accompanied by comfort so that I feel relaxed. I cover myself in a warm blanket and drink soothing tea as a way to encourage free thought.

When I am alone in the quiet, I am able to paint a picture of what my future holds. Uncertainty has little room to influence the vision that I see. I feel powerful when I secure myself in a space that is silent and warm.

Nature speaks louder when the nights are quiet. Its pureness takes me back to the core of my being and the values that drive my actions.

Today, silence brings loud echoes of endless possibilities for tomorrow. I look forward to nights of stillness that produce wonderful ideas. My visions are realized when I take the time to listen to myself think.”

  1. Some thought provoking questions for you. Do attempt answering them on a paper. These are therapeutic in nature.
  1. How do I center myself once I am in my quiet place?
  2. In what ways am I able to clear my mind during the daytime?
  3. How easy is it for me to find solutions when my mind is in turmoil?

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