Following the tragedies in my life, nightfall brought no respite. The stillness of the night amplified my grief, turning the promise of sleep into a tormenting ordeal. Sleep was a battlefield for me. Every night was a struggle against the storm of thoughts and memories.

It was not until I realized that lack of sleep was a sign of poor resilience that I decided to reclaim my sleep. I started by trying to keep a consistent sleep schedule, in a calm and restful environment. Breathing techniques, to prepare my mind for rest, became my strategy to silence the screaming thoughts going around in circles in my head.

Gradually, my sleepless nights were replaced with two to three hours of sleep at a time. I would wake up and go to the restroom, and then repeat my breathing cycle. Breathe in and hold, suck in a little more air and hold, then breathe out and hold. Repeat until a sense of calmness allows sleep again for two to three hours.

The importance of seeking professional help was paramount for me. I honestly thought I had lost my mind. Thankfully, I saw a psychiatrist for six months after the murder of my eighteen year old son. She told me that everything I was thinking and feeling was Normal, which helped me immensely. She offered me tools to manage my grief, which in turn improved my sleep.

Understanding that it was okay to ask for help was a significant part of my journey to resilience. I am still working on a good night’s sleep without waking up two or three times.

With Warm Regards,

Dr. KD Wagner