It's crazy how an illness that makes me so terribly exhausted, forbids me for going to sleep at night.
Until recently I thought I was a bit of a fraud. Surely I wasn't actually ill if I was still awake at 2am some nights? This doubt in my mind made me think others would doubt me also. I thought people won't believe I'm ill if I tell them I can't get to sleep. I could imagine people saying, "How can Rachel really have M.E if she can't get to sleep at night? She's meant to be tired all the time!"
After reading posts by other blogging sufferers I soon realised that I wasn't alone in my inability to switch off, which although unpleasant for them, it was reassuring to know I wasn't the only one. I wasn't a fraud but in fact "normal" among other sufferers. ("Normal" is not a word I use in my vocabulary anymore so it was great to use the word to describe myself!)
I've tried a few different ways to get myself to fall asleep; listening to calming music on YouTube, listening to music on my iPhone, playing solitaire on my iPhone, watching something on BBC iPlayer, deep breathing, laying in the pitch black, (thank you black out curtains!), trying to think of nothing but falling asleep. The more I tell myself I need to go to sleep the harder it is to drift off. My brain doesn't really like to work during the daytime, whilst I'm trying to have a conversation with someone, or trying to concentrate on something, but my brain loves to make up for it and work overtime as soon as its passed 11pm and everyone else in the world seems to be asleep!!
There's the bloody brain and then there's the bloody pain. Constant leg and back pain, with the occasion wrist pain or headache, is not the kiddie when you're trying to go to sleep. I can only lay in certain positions and then I can only stay in those positions for a short amount of time. Trying to find a comfortable position is a harder task than you would think.
I dread the part of the evening before I fall asleep.. I just hope for the least pain possible and my brain to have an early night, hopefully all leading to an easy drift off into the land of nod.
After all, less sleep equals more pain and more pain equals less sleep.
One thing I can be thankful for is that once I'm asleep, apart from position adjustments which are carried out in a sleep haze, there's no waking me up!
"Please can you listen out for the postman tomorrow, I'm expecting a parcel, Rach?"
"If its before midday, Mum, you've got no hope!"