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Freedom From The Deep Grooves

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I’m an insomniac.  Just like my Gram.  I’ve been seeing doctors about it since my late twenties.  Turns out there are two types of insomnia:  The type where you can’t fall asleep.  And the type where you can’t stay asleep.  As luck and genetics would have it, I have both.


There are several good medications out there for people like me.  I’ve been lucky to have had some good ones.  As a person who is very much in tune with my body, there are times when it speaks very clearly.  I have learned that it is good for me to listen. 

For many years, Prozac was my great ally.  Both anxiety and depression have left me debilitated throughout seasons of my life.  When I finally had the courage to change the cycle, it was Prozac that assisted me.

I remember those first few weeks were like a miracle.  I could feel my body chemistry neutralizing.  It was incredibly freeing for me.  After those first few weeks, though, there was work to be done.  While the medication was bringing balance to me, I still had a lifetime of unhealthy patterns and reactions, stories I was telling myself, that needed serious attention.


I entered a time of heightened awareness with myself.  Now, I would call this mindfulness.  When I felt myself starting to spiral, I would try to stop whatever it was that I was doing and figure out where the disturbance was coming from.  I would go through step by step, what I had been doing, and what I had been thinking.  Who I was with and how we were interacting. 

Sometimes I could identify the culprit.  Other times not, but the pause was helpful to bring me back into a neutral space.  Sometimes, out of years of habit, my body sent a wave of adrenaline through me.  Even though nothing was wrong.  Those times, the best I could do was ride that wave to the shore.

Coping Mechanisms

Life patterns are no joke.  Especially the unhealthy ones.  Mostly they begin as coping mechanisms to protect us when the situations we’re in, aren’t safe, or feel threatening to us in some way.  This is a beautiful design.  It helps us move through our lives without being short-circuited by circumstances that we don’t yet have the tools to be present to.

Things can get sticky though when we naturally grow and evolve into more complex creatures, with a better set of skills.  Growing brings change and change is hard.  For all of us, there are many times throughout our lives when we outgrow our coping mechanisms.  They don’t serve us as well as they once did.  If we aren’t able to recognize this, and hold on to them out of habit, we can create deep grooves that become difficult to skip out of.

Opening To Change

Change is threatening.  We come to know ourselves and how life works around us and that brings us comfort.  Opening to change can feel like pulling the carpet out from under all that.  This is what happened to me after the first few weeks of balancing out on Prozac.

I was able to identify patterns in my life, and to challenge myself to start responding differently. It was very challenging.  It was not instantly rewarding.  But slowly, over the course of time, I found myself able to move up and out of the deep grooves.  The old patterns weren’t fitting me in my new space.  And though it was uncomfortable, it was good.

Eventually, my body and my mind were ready to try something new.  Very carefully, very mindfully, I was able to wean myself off the medication.  I still go through times in my life where I must be very wise about my health though.  I have my people that I keep close, and they give me good feedback and lots of kindness and love.

These past few months, my body has been nudging me toward bringing attention to my sleep patterns.  It has taken me some time, but I’m ready to listen.  I’m opening to a season of change.  It is nerve-wracking but a little exciting too.  I always learn so much during times like this.

And whether, in the end, I stay on my medication, or I stop taking it, the process will be invaluable to me.  I know this because every time I’ve been in a similar situation of change, I have been rewarded with new insight about myself.  Many times, the journey has been hard as hell.  But in the end, I find I am more compassionate with myself and the people around me.  And in that space of connection, the message is always the same:  We are not alone.

If you take medications, or you don’t, if you would like to be a better listener to yourself and to those around you, let’s be friends~  

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