Finding calm in a chaotic mind. The search for a solution to ‘sleep’ in one of the worst times of my life so far!
By day I was a creative marketing manager, by night I was a worrier of life, love and money. Throughout my twenties and thirties I found it difficult to sleep, whether I was working out the intricacies of a website and planning the project or trying to cover up my anxieties about money (or lack of it), I would have moments in the night where I would wake and remain awake for hours.
Enduring a stressful job, coupled with an unhappy marriage, my lack of sleep was the last thing on my mind, I lived on the edge of stress. This is not something I am proud of or wear as a badge of honour, it was merely what I was used to.
The worrying about money and the unhappy marriage reached a final crescendo in 2012. My then husband coerced me in to bankruptcy with the twinkle of a fresh start and the beginning of a family… but then just 5 months in to the bankruptcy, he left me for his best friend (a girl he had lived with at university, who read at my wedding, who caused the argument that ended my marriage)…
Now my worries and anxieties had been replaced with real actions and damage to my very being — I was homeless, penniless and felt worthless. I cried and stressed, cried and worried — “what would the future hold for me now?”. Sleep was impossible as my dreams were filled with the reality of what I was going through and my mind was a chaotic fog of questions:
How long have they been together?
Who knew about them?
Was everyone laughing at me?
Are his parents still in touch just because they feel guilty?
Why won’t he speak to me?
Have they been together whilst in my house?
Is she with him now? Are they sleeping in our bed?
Did they plot my demise together?
Was the bankruptcy a malicious plan to leave me with nothing?
What will my family think?
How can I afford food?
Round and round in my head my thoughts and questions whirled and more potent as darkness fell. As the divorce process began, the more worried and stressed I became as the actions of my ex affected my family and friendships, not only was I losing out financially and materially — I was losing the people around me who I thought were ‘on my side’.
As the weeks turned to months, my health was beginning to suffer with the lack of good sleep. Something HAD to change.
I am not an advocate of sleeping pills, yet tried every herbal remedy I could get my hands on, but still the chaos in my mind continued. I shared my woes with a friend who passed on the details of a psychic and emotional healer. This was WAY out of my comfort zone, I have never sort spiritual guidance before and the pessimist inside me sneered with unappreciation at the thought of calling a stranger on the phone over in the United States.
With an open mind I made the call and after a few conversations that alerted me to the fact she seemed to have an insight in to my past and my present, she announced that I wasn’t ready to face the future without first investing in my mental health. She didn’t push me to speak to her again or pay for additional time, she merely pointed me in the right direction to seek self-healing experiences and methods.
That same month, I spoke to her again having decided on what route I was planning to take to begin my journey of emotional healing. I had started to educate myself on the chakras and what each of the energy centres in my body did and how I could fine-tune my mind to release the chaos in my life.
That evening, she talked me through the first chakra (the Crown Chakra) — which sits atop of your head and is purple in colour. I was given written exercises to complete before I lay my head to rest to concentrate on releasing my negative thoughts and letting in the positive energy.
I imagined the colour purple as a field of sweet smelling lavender. As I stood in the field of swaying lilac stems, I surrounded myself with all the people who had hurt me or who I needed to say goodbye to. At the edge of my field was a gate, which was open and one by one I named the people in my head and I watched them walk out of the gate. As the last person left, the gate closed and I breathed a sigh of relief. The following morning I woke to discover I had slept (undisturbed) for 8.5 hours!!! I immediately called my parents and wept down the phone. I finally had my breakthrough.
Over the following 6 nights I completed the exercises given for each chakra and fell asleep quickly and easily. The chaos was now a muffled sound in a locked box that I now know how to control.
You may not be a spiritual person (I certainly wasn’t), but with an open mind I found a way to conquer my demons and learn to sleep again and I hope you find your solution too.
Originally published at medium.com