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Spending nights alone.


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I've always been afraid of being alone, well living alone mainly. 

 

I live with my fiancé, so I'm not alone all the time, but 80% of my time is spent home alone because he works 14 hours, three nights one week, five nights the week after, rotated. I'm alone most nights and I really struggle with my anxiety as I'm convinced a horror movie scenario or murder is going to go down. 

 

Every noise, movement, sensation... I'm on edge. I don't sleep because I'm just terrified. I spoke to my Gran and said in jest that I couldn't imagine being alone permanently 24/7. She said she just got used to it, nothing really phases her now apart from thunder storms. She can't be alone when it thunders, she's knocked on neighbour's doors at 2am because of storms.

 

How do you cope if you spend the night alone? Does it make your anxiety worse to the point where you can't sleep? How do you cope? 

 

I seem to be okay-ish at night with the tv and laptop on, but turning it off and having to make my way upstairs alone... urgh.

I'm home alone now and I'm in bits I just can't face going upstairs even though when I get in bed I feel safer than being downstairs. I've been in this routine now for almost a year so I am 'used to it'. Just wish it would get easier.

 

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A fan on low for the 'white noise'?  The TV on low volume?  A prescribed for you PRN for anxiety or sleep?  Writing down your fears and then putting the paper and pen on the nightstand and say to yourself there it is and I can take it all back when I get up?  Mental work such as clearing your mind and then thinking of something really joyful such as a pet, a poem, a novel, right before bed? or good memories of childhood such as the first time you did or learned something; riding a bike, swimming, etc.?

 

Reading something very boring can help to clear the mind and also make you sleepy. 

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I'm not on any meds for it, the nurse is claiming it hasn't been going on long enough. She advised me to get rescue remedy, but I get through so much of it and its really not that effective for me. Because I moved doctors surgery I'm having to start all over again with the staff despite having bad anxiety since I was 15. They have an 8 year gap in my records, conveniently missing out my anxiety, eating notes, depersonalisation disorder appointments and blood work. I'm sure they could find it if they made the effort they're just so argh.

 

I'm getting married and the nurse is claiming its because of that I'm worrying, I'm going to wait til I get back from my honeymoon and go see her afterwards and just write it all down and shove it on her desk. She always makes me forget what I have to say so I must sound stupid. I am at the end of my tether.

 

We're not allowed pets, I'm in a rented house and the landlady has an issue because some old tenants let her dog trash the place. Plus i'm too jumpy for pets too, I'm okay with my mum's dog but his barking (usually at strangers) sets me on edge and makes me want to cry! I'm petrified of cats claws, although sometimes I let the neighbours cat in just for someone to talk to. Maybe a goldfish? I was thinking of a house rabbit at one point. I need to find another place to live!

 

Thanks for the advice :-)

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I wanted to second tryp and brian's suggestions: leave a light on, turn the tv or radio on.  Remind yourself that your fears are not real.  I also will sleep on the couch in front of the tv sometimes b/c it feels safer than the bedroom.  But I would have to say that my biggest fear remover is my dogs...so maybe you could move to a place that would allow pets.  They are good for you in so many ways, even as a way of controlling anxiety.

 

Good luck.

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I agree with the pets too...they help me tremendously. I also take medication. You really need to see a doc that will take u seriously. Having anxiety in the past will be a component in what's going on now. Waste no time. You an feel better. Good luck and keep me posted .

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We want to move as this house is just troublesome with damp and falling apart etc. and the landlady just doesn't seem to care. Last night was terrible because I had just nodded off when part of the coving fell off the ceiling, it was just above the cooker in the kitchen so it made a huge crash. I thought my heart had exploded I was that terrified, I figured that if no one had come up stairs and it had been quiet since then it couldn't be a break in, so I went back to sleep about two hours later.

 

I would like a dog, or even a large house rabbit, but I think finding the time for them both might just be too much with myself and my partner both working around each other. Perhaps an older rescue dog or cat in the future might be better than getting one from a puppy..? 

 

I have an appointment for the beginning of August with the nurse, fingers crossed!

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If you are remotely concerned about your ability to train a dog through the most difficult periods, I would think an older dog could be a wise choice.

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When Violet dies (I obsess over this), we plan to get a puppy and a young dog (1-3 years) at the same time (I also obsess over this). The older dog is so I can have two dogs,  but only have to house-break one of them. Older dogs (read not puppies) are often the sweetest, and somehow seem aware that you gave them an extra chance. I have had pets all of my adult life (well, childhood as well), and I get depressed when I can't interact with dogs.

 

My pets are always on my bed at night, and I actually have to go find Violet, and put her on the bed, or I can't fall asleep.

 

We use a white noise machine, and while DH takes 3 mg of Melatonin nightly, I followed the suggestion of someone on the boards who said their Dr. told the 3mg was too much, and .5-.75mg are better, because you don't overwhelm the receptors for melatonin so much that it shuts down (the most unscientific way of saying it). This is what the member said. I tried it, and I really think it made a huge difference.

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How do you cope if you spend the night alone? Does it make your anxiety worse to the point where you can't sleep? How do you cope?

 

I live alone.  I put on music every time I go to bed/nap, and it kind of drowns out my thoughts.  I make sure my doors are locked, and I have a couple lights on.  I used to get very anxious going to sleep, but t hat was when I needed a tweak in meds.  After that happened I was ok.

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I've been doing this for 5 years having H work nights...Its harder sometimes than others.

Try getting your bedroom ready...right temp, some pleasant noise, etc..then before bed, take a nice relaxing bath with candles and whatever makes you feel calm and pampered. Lavender satchets under your pillow help calm and soothe, as does essential oil.

Some nights are going to be better than others, but by getting yourself in a relaxed state before bed, you have more chance of getting off to sleep without any probs.

HTH :)

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I live in a large apartment building (for my region at least) with my BF and when he isn't here at night, its weird.. Sometimes he'll be here, in the same room, we'll have headphones on, but its comforting.

When I lived in another city, my roommate moved back in with her parents and left me alone. It sucked. I got bored, panicky, lonely, I'd do anything to get out of the house. 

Sometimes I love being alone, but I really hate it if its often. I do like stretching out on the bed myself and stealing all the blankets, but I am reassured when there's someone there.

I take my meds early if I'm home alone and don't use headphones because I often hear the (loud) elevator clunking and my neighbour yelling at everyone over them and it'll startle me.. without headphones, it sounds more real, less like a hallucination. I call my mom, talk to friends on FB, go to CB chat.

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I can't really relate because I've been alone my entire adult life. As a matter of fact, I have difficulty sleeping when I know there is someone else in the house other than me. But I use a fan for white noise and have a playlist of 2 songs I listen to as I'm falling asleep:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrfVaPNMCM8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln_aerlFGhA

 

They make me feel at peace. When I lived in a 9x12 foot dorm room I had a hard time sleeping without another living thing in the room with me, so I got a fish. She was a puffer fish and had a lot of personality, and just knowing there as another living thing in the room helped.

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Sometimes I think if I was alone all the time it would be easier to adapt, at the moment I have a '4 more days' attitude until I know that M comes off of nights. 

 

I think some form of pet is definitely in order. I'm not sure if I just want another life form for company, or if I'm secretly hoping for some form of burglar deterrent. A puffer fish is definitely something different! They're so cute in a spiky way :'D

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