My idea of a “real” headache has changed drastically since 2015 when I experienced the first of many unrealistic headaches. The headaches I used to experience would be welcome friends today. What pain meds am I on for it? Glad you asked! None!!
Right now, I deal with the pain through sheer determination. The worst happens to be when I need to sleep. I can be so tired, by whole body is ready for the sweet release of REM sleep and the feeling of a hot metal bit boring through my brain keeps me right on the edge of sleep. Where any movement is greeted with a sledgehammer to the back of the head. I feel like I am being held hostage and tortured by my kamikaze brain. It doesn’t care if we both go, as long as I hurt.
The morning after a night of this insanity is the freshest Hell on Earth. People are annoying for no reason. It’s hot. The coffee tastes off. My clothes don’t fit. My thoughts are slurred. Everything that comes out of someone’s mouth is oer stupid than the last thing I heard. It devolves quickly into a mess that I care not to be involved with.
So, how do I cope with this kind of headache AND not kill every human? Easy! First, if I have been up all night, I cancel all of my appointments (if possible). I can handle one appointment for a short period of time. Otherwise, I limit my interactions to my family members (so no phone calls, texts, or responding on social media). I can be honest with my family and tell them that I am not having a good day and I am irritated and annoyed and I am having trouble controlling it. These folks will listen to what I am saying and give me the space I need to nap or watch cartoons, or just sit and be mad.
Unfortunately, we cannot always control our symptoms, even if we are doing everything right. We still have the power (in many cases) to choose where we go and who we interact with. I also understand that everyone doesn’t have a super-supportive family like I do, so it may be harder to find your voice or set your foot down. This is my way but surely there are several other ways to handle post-insomnia irritation.
I ALWAYS recommend therapy because it can be a great way to get your feelings into the air so you can rationally think about how to deal with them with the guidance of a professional. There are plenty of resources online to help deal with anger and non-medical means of pain control.
In the end, you may have episodes where you just get out of hand. It is difficult, but grab a tall glass of milk while you eat crow. Apologize and try to explain why you behaved in an unseemly manner. Most people understand intolerable pain. It may not qualify as “your level” of pain, but everyone knows their worst pain. I am sure that someone out there will say there is no need to apologize. I wholly agree, but there is nothing wrong with making the first step to reconciliation, especially when it is over something that can easily be forgiven and laughed at.
This life isn’t what we asked for and it probably isn’t what we want, but we all have a role to play in life and for some of us it is to be an example, a beacon, and an advocate. Once you realize what you need, you will be able to help others obtain the same thing.
Also, can I sleep now? Is this enough words?