I didn't want to feel like garbage anymore, but I was afraid of the stigma. When you say you have problems sleeping, people think you're nuts. They think you should be able to fix it by yourself. I would compare myself to people who can sleep, and think, What's wrong with me? I tried to find any other reason for my sleep problems; I even had my thyroid checked. It was fine, but I wasn't.
My husband is very anti-medication, so I was determined to find ways to sleep without it. I have dozens of magazine subscriptions, so I started reading any articles with sleep tips. I started experimenting with them, hoping at least one would help me sleep.
It was hard to admit, but I couldn't do it myself. No one can function without sleepit's not healthy for me or anyone else. I went back to the psychiatrist and got a prescription for trazodone, an antidepressant frequently prescribed for sleep problems. It's nonaddictive, so I felt safe taking it long-term.
Now, four years later, I rely on my medication, but not solely. My husband does shift work, so we sleep in separate rooms when he has the late-night shift so he doesn't interrupt my sleep. And I noticed that I sleep much better when I limit my caffeine intake, so I've stopped drinking coffee and eating chocolate during the day. I still practice the good sleep hygiene tips I've learned over the years, and I know they're helping me too.