Sleepless Surrender- Symptoms of Insomnia

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It was another sleepless night, accept this time, an eventful one.  It was my second night of sober sleep after the weekend. Tuesdays were always the hardest; nights when the insomnia symptoms seep in.

Alcohol-induced sleep was my friend. It wasn’t good sleep but at least it was something.

According to a therapist I was seeing for the insomnia, my brain is used to getting amped up at night because it is excited to get booze. When the wine isn’t flowing, all that’s left is restlessness that can not be drowned out by Xanax. Trust me, I’ve tried.

I am still not totally convinced of this rationale but it is another option to consider. In my current cycle of drinking too much and sleeping too little, I am desperate for answers. Last night, however, the last thing I wanted was answers  from my husband.

I tossed, turned and teared up from delirium. Desperate to help, husband suggested I hit the weed pen. Born and raised in California, he viewed weed as absolutely normal; equivocal to booze. Born and raised in Mississippi, I did not have the same perspective.

I had been a regular pot smoker since college. My frequent travel over the past year has me smoking less. Consequently, I was waking up to life, realizing how pot affected me. I was done being a habitual smoker.

My husband continued to offer weed as a solution to sleep but it did not solve my insomnia in the past and I was certain it was not going to work now. Weed also heightens my anxiety. In-somatic nights are riddled with high restless anxiety so I was terrified to do anything else that could contribute to the jitters.

This Tuesday night, I was in no state to entertain the smoking suggestion. As he continued on about how it would help, my furry rose. With boiling blood I squeezed my water bottle in his direction, drenching him with fine alkaline. I spend the night on the couch, going over the incident again and again in my head. Needless to say, the sleep didn’t come and I rose this morning deflated.


The next morning, I sat down with a huge cup of coffee and looked down at my daily devotional, an annual gift from my Christian grandmother. “I’m not in the mood,” my mind uttered, and then immediately following, “it is days like this that you need it most.” I opened to today, October 17th and began the one-page passage.

“Father, I put my hope in you rather than in what you can do for me.”

It billowed truth.

I had spent the better half of the night praying and crying to the Lord for sleep, for answers, for why I wasn’t sleeping and guidance in what I should do to fix the problem. I had quit drinking during the week, started reading at night to avoid looking as screens, was a daily meditator, exercised frequently and did not eat 3 hours before bed so that my stomach would be done digesting. Desperate to try anything, I included nighttime meditations, classical music, Xanax, sleep-aids, essential oils and teas. Aside from prescription drugs (which I was holding out on) I had tried everything I came across.

I was trying so hard. That was the problem.

I am not what I call a bible Christian. Although I do believe in God and a higher power, I’m on the fence about the details. I am not of perfect faith, but I have it. A whole lot of it.

In my personal journey for wellness, I have been so desperate for answers that I quit trusting in the process. I want to fix it myself and control my sleep. If I am going to get better, I thought, then it is up to me; but its not.


I don’t believe we should live life passively, however, we should trust in higher planning and not cling tight to our own agenda. It is not about letting life happen to you but learning how to surf the waves

To move forward in my battle against the zzz’s, I had to let go of my desire to control and create slumber. I had to start trusting a higher power to bring sleep.

It seems many religious people cope by giving there problems to God. “Let go and let God,” they say. In the past, I took this saying literally. God will cure the cancer, fix the friendship, soothe me to sleep. Maybe there is a lack of useful interpretation here. Instead of the best way being rely on God or rely on yourself, is it possible that the truth is in the middle?

We must trust the process and trust that there is a greater purpose. I do believe whole heartedly that God provides some governance. I also believe we are responsible for creating our own destiny. What rests between these two contradictory beliefs.