Why living with pain and hallucinations feels like torture
I can’t sleep I’m exhausted, and living with this pain, sleeplessness and hallucinations feels like torture. It makes me wish I wasn’t here. But in reality, if someone took away the pain and the spiteful voices, of course, I wouldn’t want to be dead.
While I’ve been physically unwell and unable to sleep this past week, all I’ve been able to do is think. Unfortunately, it hasn’t been all positive thoughts either. See, when I’m in pain and exhausted, I feel angry and it’s difficult to think lovely whoopy doo positive thoughts.
Yes, you heard that from me. I don’t always have the energy, motivation or wherewithal to use my CBT toolbox to self-therapise. And while I’ve been painstakingly practising my breathing, mindfulness, and self-hypnosis, the pain and sleeplessness deny me any normality.
I can’t think normally so I don’t know where the negative thoughts stop and the auditory hallucinations begin, and vice versa.
I’m unable to read anything vaguely mental-health, trauma, psychologically or emotionally-related when all this is going on. Doing so distorts my mind even further and makes me wonder whether I’m going mad. It’s as though if I read anything related, maybe I’ll catch that too — like you can catch a cold?
No, it doesn’t make much sense to me either.
As with most things, it always seems a little easier during daylight hours. But then all I’m able to do is overthink, trying to process what’s been happening, or did it even happen?
I knew when I landed with a thump on the floor of my bedroom in the early hours this morning that I must have dozed off at some point. See, when I do sleep, I get these awful night terrors where I’m being harmed in strange ways. I’m trying to scream but can’t because I’m cotton-mouthed.
I know I lash out in my sleep because of the many broken water glasses by the side of the bed or the sofa. When I’m in the nightmare, it’s like being locked in in my head and not being able to get out. It feels like a horror movie on fast forward, rewind, fast forward…….
When I’m woken I’m told I’ve been screaming and crying and kicking out. Then I’m exhausted but can’t get back to sleep because I’m afraid I’ll return to that place, that trauma!
Restless leg syndrome
On top of the TM I also experience restless leg syndrome (RLS). I used to get this occasionally but now, perhaps because of the TM, it’s a regular occurrence. The main symptom of RLS is an overwhelming urge to move your legs and
- it can also cause an unpleasant crawling or creeping sensation in the feet, calves and thighs.
- the sensation is often worse in the evening or at night. Occasionally, the arms are affected, too.
- RLS is also associated with involuntary jerking of the legs and arms, known as periodic limb movements in sleep (PLMS).
- Some people have symptoms of restless legs syndrome occasionally, while others have them every day — me!
- the symptoms can vary from mild to severe. In severe cases, restless legs syndrome can be very distressing and disrupt a person’s daily activities.
- in the majority of cases, there’s no obvious cause of restless legs syndrome. This is known as idiopathic or primary restless legs syndrome.
Restless body and unspent climax
What happens with RLS is that the tingly sensation starts slowly, creeping and crawling up through your legs and feet. It builds and builds until it erupts in a burst of firey tingling. Which lasts for about 10 seconds. Then it stops, suddenly! Give it 20-30 seconds, and here it comes again, building and erupting, and the massive firey tingle!
Think how fireworks hiss and fizz, then explode and bangggg! And imagine that inside your legs and feet.
Sadly, I get whole restless body too and unlike the RLS, it doesn’t crawl slowly, erupt and bang. It crawls, tingles, and tingles and it just stays there tingling and tingling, and it’s excruciating! I can only liken it to being ready to climax! And staying right there! On the verge! But, there is no end! It’s damn unbearable? And it’s not pleasant! Aaarrgghhh!
Sorry about the graphic explanation. I did think about explaining how a sneeze builds and builds then erupts, then you get respite — until the next one. But that doesn’t even touch the sides! Let’s go back to the fireworks hissing and fizzing, and continuing to fizz … and fizz ….. And imagine that inside your whole body, for hours on end.
Trust me, I’ve tried all the tips and tricks to alleviate my restless body, even the bar of soap under my sheet. I’ve tried cannabis oil but can’t seem to get the dose right. Too little and it doesn’t work, too much and I get the paranoia — which, on top of everything else, I need like a hole in the head.
The TM pain, exhaustion, sleeplessness, nasty negative voices, the night terrors and symptoms of RLS have most definitely strained my relationship with hubby (who’s not around this week to wake me from the night terrors).
There’s no way for anyone to understand how or why someone just can’t relax in bed, with or without a partner. How can anyone understand why a person has to keep pacing, moving, fidgeting, punching their legs and arms. For me, the worst is when it reaches my neck and face too. Imagine peeps — this is all night, or until I finally doze — only to be woken by more of the intense physical tingling.
The following day is absolute hell; being fatigued and unable even to shower and dress on my own in the mornings. Brushing my teeth and scraping my hair back is often as far as it gets with my daily self-care. How attractive is that 😉 Let alone trying to do five minutes of tidying up or cooking a meal without almost passing out.
Heck, I wouldn’t want to put up with someone like me in a relationship. I admit — I don’t have the patience. For mental health yes, because I understand it. But a partner being in constant pain, unable to do things for themselves…….. hmmm?
Over to you
Well, that’s a week in my life. What’s your average week like? In what ways do you suffer or experience pain? Can you tell us about it? I look forward to any comments, any tips and I’m happy to answer questions.