I have observed in my personal experience that plenty of time I am deceived by my own mind. I have always been the type of person who believes in strength and doing. My motto was to go in front of the mirror early in the morning and say to myself that I can achieve what was there to achieve for the day.
I believed that by doing so certain chemicals would be secreted in my brain which would help me create the scenario I have imagined. Typical scenarios would be like me winning, me getting all the things to be done really done, giving and ultra-perfect presentation so that the listener would be amazed by the high amount of self-confidence that I had. People being dazzled by my brightness.
While doing so in smaller tone some part of my mind would say “slow down”. In a little harder tone it would say “get real buddy”. It was the voice of my weakness which I have labelled as darkness. I have buried it down within me so that its voice was very slow and faint. Inability to perceive the voice of darkness within I was deluded in to believing in excessive brightness in me. In heat of my mirror yelling I deluded myself in believing that I had all the strength in me with complete lack of any weakness.
Life went on fine. I had some experiences of success and a few failures. Life was smooth so as to say.
I was exhausting myself while trying to be perfect. After some period of time the balance within me shifted from brightness to darkness. The weakness which was buried within me, unable to make it existence known took a different route. It took a form of serious Insomnia. I could not sleep for 3 days at first. Those days I did not had mobile phone with me. I could not play some games or surf the Internet to kill the time of insomnia. I was alone with my mind. In those time of insomnia the darkness whose voice was small and faint sounded like a giant blue whale. I had to listen to it. I had no option. Thoughts went on from being bad to worse to worst to worst ever. Actually it was the thoughts and the chain of thoughts that troubles most Insomniacs. I could bare not sleeping for days but what I could not bear was the pattern of thoughts I had while I was awake and trying hard to sleep.
My nemesis was wide awake and this time was strong. The worst part was it could not be denied of its existence. Denied is a huge term here I would be happy at that time if I could just silence my running mind even for a few seconds.
I went on for consultation. Was given a medicine which would generally fall under the group of relaxant called as alprazolam. It did not work then I was switched to Zolpiadam. It somehow worked and I could sleep but that was associated with early morning awakening. I would wake in the early morning and could not sleep thereafter.
Things went on being rough. In the mid of this roughness I quit on the habit of mirror yelling.
By quitting on the mirror yelling was the best thing I did at that time. Only after quitting it I could hear what my own mind was trying to say. I no more denied the existence of my weakness. As long as there is denial there is no hope of acceptance. I found out that healing was function of acceptance. The more we can self-accept the more is our ability to self heal.
That incident taught me that “Real knowledge of our own weakness is where we find our strength.”
Going on the search of our weakness, and what we cannot do, requires a great deal of courage. It is the mental equivalent of climbing the Mt Everest as an ant.
There is so much truth in the saying “Know your limits”. At any particular moment of time what you can do is as much important as what you cannot do.
Our limitations are like tides. They shift. They go up and down. One day’s limit sometimes later becomes our starting point. I believe they are dynamic processes.
Apart from the giving up of the desire to be the super person few other factors helped me fight my Insomnia
Accepting everything within you is ultimate act of self-compassion. It is ok to have bad thoughts when you are having trouble sleeping. You don’t need to judge yourself harshly for having those thoughts. Judging our thoughts we create and perpetuate the cycle of anxiety. That anxiety keeps us awake and deprives us of our sleep.
Getting rid of my watch while I sleep
One practical step that helped me fight my lack of sleep was a simple suggestion given by my friend. It was to get rid of my watch while I sleep. I would watch every hour and worry more about it was getting late and I could not sleep. With all the sleep tracker apps and devices nowadays it is very easy to worry about less sleep you are having. It is a kind of vicious circle. You worry about having less sleep which creates anxiety and you further delay your sleep. Let go of compulsive habit of watching clock or mobile phone during night.
It was the ultimate answer to my problem. I reached there late but I think I reached there well. I started with guided mindfulness CDs and still continuing it. They helped me to be aware of my mind and body in nonjudgmental way. It is one of the precious habit that I keep to very this day. Not only insomnia mindfulness cures lot of other psychological problems.
This is the edited version of my journal while I was having worst episode of Insomnia.
Thank you for reading this far.
May peace be with you!