I remember it pretty vividly.
Nights that were filled with anxiety and terror. I could feel my arms reaching for the security of true natural sleep… But I could never get there. It seemed like my fingers were not long enough. The ends of my fingers would just barely touch it…. But it was never enough.
I needed something artificial to get me to that security. That is really what it was all about… was the security that sleep brought me. Knowing that I would be wrapped all up in my comforter. It was like a force field that would keep the issues of the outside world at bay. It would also become my own warm little prison. It would keep me chained to the idea that alcohol was something that I needed to get to sleep.
I hear that from so many recovering alcoholics… That they used alcohol as a sleep aid. That it would work when other things didn’t. For me it was more about my patience level also… I wanted it now. I wanted to sleep immediately.
I recently saw this article on Psychcentral.com and the title of the article was “Recovering Alcoholics with Poor Sleep Perceptions will likely relapse”
Bingo… I thought. Here are three key points that the author brings up.
-Alcohol can help people initially fall asleep, but leads to poor-quality sleep later in the night.
-Escalated consumption of alcohol to aid sleep can lead to alcoholism.
-Inaccurate sleep perceptions among alcoholics in early recovery may predict relapse to drinking.
I can say that I fit into all three of these statements. At the beginning it was the alcohol that I needed to get to sleep.. but as time went one there was never any sleep that was gained.
Escalated alcohol consumption as a sleep aid led to my accelerated alcoholism.
My perception of sleeping at the end of my drinking and using was all about sheer terror…. and when I left the Beacon House the first time I think that I still was not sleeping in any normal sort of a way and it could of been a contributing factor in my relapse.
Quality sleep is something that I know that I need for my well being but it something that I know that I do not get enough of.