Day #11 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas

The eleventh coping strategy is “Sleep”

Anxiety, depression and grief can make finding sleep a challenge. Most of the coping strategies that we have posted thus far will help with sleep but if you are in the early days of grief, it’s crucial because a day in early grief with no sleep is intolerable.

So I’ll share my strategy after Charles’ suicide. I did call my doctor and ask for a prescription for promethazine which is the generic name of Phenergan. It’s a drug used for nausea, after surgery usually, that makes me very tired. It makes most people tired, is nonaddictive and for that first month, it made a huge difference. I tapered it off at about 35 days by cutting them in half, then in fourths.

Before I had tapered completely, I started doing this 8-minute meditation on YouTube and that worked for finding sleep. The dreams I had were actually pretty spectacular. There was the occasional nightmare but for the most part I dreamed of Charles and I craved that experience. If you don’t like that meditation, Head Space is an app that is often highly recommended.

I was also running at that time, doing the 8 minute meditation, writing once or twice a day and going to a support group. There was also a generous amount of screaming at my windshield and crying in the shower. So I was not just relying on the prescription but was doing all I could to alleviate the agony that would pin me to the mattress in misery at night because that’s when it would become real all over. There were no distractions to take me away from the reality that my child had taken his life and half my heart with him in that process so finding those coping strategies was key for me.

A good night’s sleep made all the difference in how well I coped with the day so the more sleep I got and the better the quality of sleep, the better the day went. Let me add that I banned alcohol since that is a slippery slope and degrades the quality of sleep.

If you have ideas on better sleep, do add them here in the comment section.

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Anne Moss Rogers

I am the mother of two boys and the owner of emotionally naked, a site that reached a quarter million people in its first 18 months. I am a writer and professional public speaker on the topics of suicide, addiction, mental illness, and grief and currently working on getting a book published. I lost my youngest son, Charles, 20, to suicide June 5, 2015. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now the legacy I try and carry forward in my son's memory.

5 thoughts on “Day #11 of the 12 Days of Coping with Christmas”

  1. Also, essential oil diffusers can be very helpful. Good essential oils for sleep are lavender, sweet orange, frankincense, Roman chamomile.

    Personally, right after Theo died, I could not sleep either. I would go to bed exhausted and have no ability to fall asleep. I decided to create a scrapbook with his photos. I got all my supplies together and at bedtime, I started working on it each night. I would light a candle, get a cup of tea and work on it until I began to feel tired. When I went to bed I was able to sleep. After doing this nightly for about 3-4 weeks, I was able to fall asleep when I went to bed. I think doing this was helping me process thoughts, feelings, memory, trauma and allowing it the space it needed, also doing something creative with my grief and my love in a ritual space was so therapeutic.

  2. Good idea AM… I take that for nausea with Excedrin (which makes me nauseous) for migraines. If I lay down afterward, it will knock me out for hours. No side effects, no addiction. 👍🏻

    1. I do maxalt for migraines but do excedrin after that. But I have taken in as a supp since migraines make me nauseous and now that I think about it that’s how I found out about it. It saved me that first thirty days.

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