A night in the life of… an insomniac living with fibromyalgia

Monday 4 October 2021, 1.27am

Luckily for me I don’t have work later today, because it is 1.27am and I am wide awake. I am sleepy, tired even, but wide awake. If I had work, all now I’d be dreadfully accepting that if sleep didn’t come and soon, I’d have to brace myself for a rough day ahead.

But I’m committed to sleeping, so I turn on one of my favourite ASMR videos and listen mindfully with my eyes closed. It is calming, but there’s a problem. I feel like someone is blowing a massive balloon in my chest. It is expanding, getting bigger and fuller, threatening to burst. I’ve already taken my anxiety medication, so I take deep breaths in and out. In and out. This feeling is now making me nauseous, and I can’t get enough air in. Typical. My anxiety is usually worse at night. I sit up to drink some water. I use the loo, stretch a bit, fluff up my pillows, and lay back down. ASMR video resumed.

I let my mind drift off with the sounds that once used to annoy the hell out of me, but now soothe me (I’ll explain how in another post).

Ouch. There’s a pain reverberating down my right arm. 


But before I can get too annoyed, I note a throbbing pain in my left foot. Now that my mind is calming down, I am conscious of the pain I hadn’t noticed in my body before. My toes chime in on the pain, my fingers too. 

And so the cycle goes…

I sit up again and watch my medication tray in contemplation. Should I? Should I not? I weigh my options and I know the risks. This is not an uncommon thing for people living with chronic health conditions like fibromyalgia, which come with a range of symptoms and associated problems. I decide and reach for my painkillers. I only take them when my pain levels are severe and disruptive, as I don’t want to get used to them and not have help on the days when my pain is sky high. Because we know what it’s like when you’re delirious from debilitating pain because doctors downplay your pain, refuse to give you stronger drugs and tell you to sod off with paracetamol.

I’m not feeling very good. By now, I’m rolling my eyes, because I’ve taken the painkillers which I know will help but I’m wondering if I swallowed the pills too quickly. Because my chest is now hurting, as it does sometimes when I swallow solid food. I am still awaiting more tests and a procedure from hospital to figure out what’s wrong there. The chest pains I’ve gotten since childhood and are the worst – they trigger a migraine and now my head is throbbing.


I sit up again. Better head to the kitchen to make a cup of my Ma’s garlic tea to alleviate the chest pain before it gets so bad that I cannot uncurl myself from a ball in bed.

It’s going to be a long night. 

The clock says 4.20am.

I’ll just have to try and catch sleep when I can.

Gentle hugs xxx


Photo by Héctor Achautla
Slider image by Icons8 Team on Unsplash

2 Replies to “A night in the life of… an insomniac living with fibromyalgia”

  1. Sounds just like my nights, so tired but can’t sleep, painful exhausting days and sleepless nights, a constant circle.

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