Insomnia | F* my life

Basically, F* my life is about times where i(we) would say FML. Relationships(friends,family,significant other)- Studies- Society- Self-confidence. Compared to my other posts, it would be wordier. Be prepared.


I am not a doctor, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which sort of medications to buy to help with insomnia. But I am suffering from insomnia. Have been for the last 8-9 years. The first thing I did when I couldn’t sleep was to actually google “Why can I not fall asleep?”

When I was 15 (high school), I realised that I couldn’t fall asleep. At first it was cool, I get to stay up late, watch more tv, read more comics but after awhile my body could not handle it. In the morning I will start getting dizzy spells and eventually my body crashed (I crashed). I could not understand what was going on, why was this happening. At that age, I seriously thought it was the food I ate, I needed to stop with junk food, needed to eat healthier, needed to get healthier. Not being able to sleep was a physical problem. At the same time, it was also ‘cool’ to be sleeping late. I would hear people say, “what you sleep at 10pm?! what a loser, I sleep at 1am”. Couldn’t understand why it was a ‘cool’ thing but it was. Being a teenager, I guess not sleeping early was ‘cool’. (until your body fails on you).

Little did I know, it was actually a sign. A serious one at that.

I actually got used to not being able to sleep. Got used to the dizziness, got used to my body feeling heavy (like something was weighing me down), got used to the fact that nothing I ate or drank would make it better. Fainting once was fine, maybe I was getting sick, not enough sugar. Fainting twice, hmm~ maybe there is something wrong. Fainting the third, forth, fifth time….whoaa~something IS WRONG.

Soooo, I finally decided to see the doctor when I was 18. I can still remember what the doctor said, “you mind is not able to shut down”. WHAT? My mind? Isn’t this a physical thing?

I think one thing to note is that MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION is not a big thing in high school. MENTAL HEALTH EDUCATION in Singapore is definitely improving (really really slowly, I think, hopefully) but at that time it was practically non-existent.

The doctor told me to drink lavender tea (to relax and calm the body) and prescribed some medication (gave me sleeping pills). Firstly, lavender tea does not work, camomile tea does not work, those sleeping teas does not work (at least for me). Was not willing to take the pills for god knows what reason my 18 year old self had but I did not take them.

15 year old – no sleep is ‘cool’

18 year old – time to look for help, teas does not work, shall not take pills 

Then I entered a school for Arts, what little sleep I had left became non-existent. Only after a month in school did I fully understand what my doctor meant by “mind not being able to shut down”. When I do get to sleep, the moment I close my eyes, I start thinking of work, a room filled with me pitching ideas for the next project or the current one. It just wouldn’t stop. It wasn’t only for work, my relationship, thinking about why we fought and so on. Then came the tears, crying myself to sleep. Crying because I am tired and just needed a break.

It was a project in my first year, (I think) it had something to do with our identity (not really sure) but I talked to my teacher about not being able to sleep and how it has shaped my life thus far. She said that it has become who I am today. Not being able to sleep became one of my traits. Thinking about it now, I actually do not think that it was a good thing for her to have told me that. WHY? Let me explain……..After she told me that, I took ‘not being to sleep’ as a positive thing again. Looking at it as it is who I am and I should not change it. Only when I learned of how it could be damaging to not only my physical health but my mental health did I realise how silly I was.

15 years old – no sleep is ‘cool’

18 years old – time to look for help, teas does not work, shall not take pills 

20 years old – teacher told me it is who I am, thought it was a good thing

Thats when things got bad. Couldn’t sleep, my mood got affected, I would get really moody and extreme mood swings. Angry that I could not understand why I could not sleep. When I told people (at least that small group of people) that I can’t sleep, they would brush it off and make it seem like I am overreacting. Told me I should just lay off the caffeine (when I do not drink coffee). No one believed me. Thus, I stopped telling people about it. I was scared that people who are the closest to me will brush it off as well, and I did not want them. I wanted them to believe me, I needed it but I was scared. My boyfriend (jeffery) was not able to cope with my mood swings and my ‘rants’ about not being able to sleep, too much crying. Eventually, my boyfriend broke up with me (22 years old).

I was always in a state of confusion. WHY CAN’T I JUST SLEEP?!

So I decided to visit the doctors again, this time the doctor referred me to a psychiatrist. It was really scary. What if he/she does not believe me? What if they tell me that there is nothing wrong with me? What if he/she tells me that I should be drinking those teas again? or give me more pills? I was scared. Scared shitless. That was the time I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety. I was shocked. I never thought of myself to be depressed, it felt like I was always happy. At least that was what people told me. I was that cheerful child, that cheerful smiling child.

But at the same time, I did not expect myself to feel so much better. It’s like I finally got some answers, I am not as lost as I was before. Obviously it is going to be a long battle with my depression and anxiety but at least I know that it is real. What I am going through is real.

How did it help with my insomnia? Truthfully, knowing that I have depression and anxiety did not help me sleep better but knowing that I can do something to help my mental health will eventually lead me to being able to sleep made it better. I opened up and told my friends (the ones close to my heart) and they understood and believed me. It sounds like everything got better from there but I have my dark days. The days where I am stuck in bed crying. Crying because I want everything to end, crying because I just want to make this pain stop, crying because I do not deserve their love (melodramatic, I know) but it was what I felt. 

Till now, I have days where I can’t fall asleep and I will cry myself to sleep. But being able to talk to someone about how I am feeling helps lessen the load (pain). Their support really means a lot. I ran away from my home country and started uni in New Zealand. Away from the city, away from my past and though people say that running away is a bad thing but in this case it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

15 years old – no sleep is ‘cool’

18 years old – time to look for help, teas does not work, shall not take pills 

20 years old – teacher told me it is who I am, thought it was a good thing

22 years old – single and not so ready to mingle, went to look for help again

23 years old – New Zealand here I come

I am 25 years old right now and am still suffering from depression and anxiety. The sleepless nights still haunt me. Crying is still my best friend. But I have the support from my small group of friends, boyfriend (Kevin) and sister (that just so happens to be studying psychology). The thing about depression and anxiety is the helplessness you feel but at the same time, this helplessness can actually be of use.HOW?  When people are feeling what you have felt before, you are able to relate and help them. The battle against depression and anxiety is ongoing and I believe it will be a long one but WE WILL BE STRONG! EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT!! ( that is what I tell myself when everything is not alright)

Hopefully this post makes sense, after re-reading it I found out that it does not really tells you how to cope with insomnia other then talking to the people around you. Talk to a professional about it, it works, it truely does. Opening up (no matter how hard it may be) really helps, it is scary but it is the one medication that we truly need.

F* my life


Advertisements Share this:
Like this:Like Loading... Related