Faking Healthy (Part 3) What do you think?
In my first “Faking Healthy” post I explained how many chronically ill patients tend to fake being healthy in order to maintain relationships with people around them who are less understanding about the complications poor health can cause. I explained how these patients feel like they have to put up a wall and often need a break from it because the forced masquerade is tiring. Here, I’ll explore one possible complication from this unfortunate but uncommon circumstance.
A few weeks ago I asked many of you on twitter and several of my personal friends who also have chronic illnesses to answer a few questions. I asked “Where do you go when you need to let the walls down and just exist?” I got several different answers. Online, the bathtub, to a friends house but the most frequent one I got was “I go to bed.”
Of those who went to bed for down-time/recuperation I asked them if the majority of their time in bed was spent sleeping or reading, watching tv or any other awake activity. Most people didn’t really end up spending time asleep in bed, in fact spent most of it reading, watching tv, thinking or playing with their phones, and those people seem to have trouble sleeping when they do finally go to bed to sleep.
Now, this is in no way proven or even a real study by any means and I DEFINITELY do NOT think this is the only or even major reason for people being unable to sleep with chronic illness - this is just my idea - but I definitely think there is a link between spending so much awake downtime in bed and being unable to sleep once you actually go to bed to sleep. Remember Pavlov’s dog? If your brain doesn’t associate the bed with sleep how are you going to be able to sleep when you need to? Your brain thinks you’re going to watch tv, read, etc.
So I’m proposing a challenge to all of those who do find they have this problem. It’s just an idea but it may work!
We need a “safe zone” of sorts. We need a place to go and be uninterrupted where we can let our walls down without being ridiculed or rejected, where we can do whatever we want in privacy without feeling we need to hide. If we can’t change those around us to be more understanding, maybe some of us can find a way to cope.
So guys, tell me what do you think?