I have been practicing living a life of complete honesty and transparency, so it is with great humility that I confess to you all that I had spent a huge part of my life as a self-professed extreme party girl! I thought that was what life was all about and it was not at all unusual for me to stay up partying until the early morning. It had become my way of life. The one thing I always hated more than anything was the way I felt the next morning. I had always heard people talk about being hungover and just assumed we all experienced it in the exact same way. However, toward the end of my party career it became painfully obvious that what I was experiencing the “day after” had become quite a bit more extreme than everybody else. It also had become painfully obvious that my partying had gotten way beyond my control and it was time to do something about it. However, this blog is not about my recovery from alcoholism and addiction. What it IS about is something I noticed long AFTER having gotten a few “24 hours” of clean and sober time under my belt.
I have come to the realization that the changes in how I felt in the aftermath of a night out could possibly be explained by another theory. While loading my body up with alcohol and other toxins obviously played a significant part, I’m actually quite convince the extremeness of it had far less to do with what I was putting into my body and far, far MORE to do with the complete lack of sleep mixed with unknowingly having lyme disease and a host of coinfections. How did I come to the realization? Well, I continuously get those horrific “day after” hangovers without ever having to partake in any of the good ‘ole partying the night before.
Lately I have been having a significant increase in severe episodes of insomnia and last night and today are perfect examples of what I’ve been experiencing even in the midst of sobriety – which only strengthens my belief in this theory. In the past 48 hours I have maybe gotten a total of 3.5 hours of sleep and this is how I currently feel:
I am laying in my bed trying desperately to fall asleep but I feel completely wired and my thoughts won’t stop racing. I obsessively find myself planning events, practicing converstations I MAY have with someone someday, and composing and editing letters, emails, facebook statuses, and blog stories, over and over again. There is a strange feeling of an electric current vibrating throughout my body – especially in the pit of my stomach – making me feel frightfully anxious. I am overly aware of my heart beating in my chest and feel extreme tightness as if I had just smoked 2 packs of cigarettes. The head and sinus pressure makes me wish there was some kind of release valve somewhere for me to just open for some quick relief. The pain in my cheekbones, eye sockets, jaw and teeth is nearly unbearable. The pain behind my eyes and the flashing white fireworks I see each time I try to close them is beyond annoying. When I try to read or focus everything blurs in and out and things I would normally see in my peripheral start to fade out and disappear. The head ache is excruciating and travels from the top of my head to the base of my skull then travels down my neck and spine. My neck is stiff and it hurts to turn it and I hear loud creaky and crackling noises in my head when I do. Severe restless leg syndrome makes it almost impossible to hold my legs still long enough to get in a comfortable – there is a constant incessant need to be moving them and trying to stretch them further than they could possibly go. I have bone and joint pain throughout my body that I liken to a severe dull throbbing toothache. One side of my face is slightly drooping and I’m messing up my words. I start to think about something and completely lose the thought before I can bring it to completion. I am short-tempered and irritable.
These are all symptoms I used to attribute to partying too hard and being grossly hungover. After being diagnosed in 2005 however, I learned that all of these and more were symptoms of the various infections that were ravaging my body. While I experience most of these or others to some extent on a daily basis, they greatly intensify the longer my body goes without sleep.
So here’s hoping I find a way to get a solid 9-10 hours straight every night for the rest of my life so I never have to feel “all the hang over with none of the party” EVER AGAIN!