Walking Through Life With A Poker Face
“P P P Poker Face,” I am walking and listening to my music, while Lady Gaga belts out lyrics. It reminds me of the last few years, the poker face that I would put on after sleepless nights and incredible stress. This face (that many of you wear due to your circumstances) was my response to my mentally ill daughter. Let’s just say sleep was illusive to us. Liz was our beautiful, wonderful, and incredibly broken girl. It took my family and I time to learn how, but we became very good at our poker faces. We learned to stuff everything inside that we were feeling, I watched my family begin to struggle emotionally.
One of the few ways you would see a falter in our poker faces was in our sleep patterns. As a way to cope with the reality in front of us, we learned how to put on our poker faces, but at night we all began struggling to calm our minds and find much needed rest. One minute, Liz was the amazing, generous and sweet daughter we had loved all her life, but then the next minute she would be furious and raging, from her own struggles and pain. All the time, we would put on our poker faces, we continued pretending life was well managed, while inside we truly felt helpless and out of control. As time wore on, each of us struggled more with sleep…getting to sleep and staying asleep! There is something about rest that does not easily come when you are stressed, hurting, or in pain (whether that is emotional or physical pain). Some of you may be struggling like we were to find rest. “In America more than 50 million people suffer from different sleep disorders and another 20 + million suffer with intermittent sleep problems.”
Sleep And Health Go Hand In Hand
We all know sleep is incredibly important to our health and general wellbeing. Sleep can influence our mental and physical health in all aspects of our life, yet so many of us just can’t seem to get the sleep we need. I have tried many things over the last several years to get better sleep. Our daughter’s suicide four years ago exacerbated our sleep issues and my family and I spent a good year on all kinds of sleep meds to trying to find any rest. Although some of them helped, I found that the residual effects the next morning left me exhausted and not as alert for the day ahead. It was so frustrating to lay down and not be able to find rest and spend waking hours absolutely exhausted.
Fast forwarded to my new job at Green Wellness. I was introduced to CBD and all of its benefits. Now that our daughter had passed on, we believed her pain has ended. Ours on the other hand, lives on and we had no idea how to continue living without pharmaceutical help, but we wanted to try. This was when our journey with cannabinoids and hemp really began. Beginning to learn and include CBD and cannabinoids into our daily life has helped my husband Mike, daughter Olivia and myself with sleep among other things. Here is what we learned along the way:
CBD Does Not Make Us Sleepy
There is a big misconception that CBD can get you to sleep. In actuality, most of the major cannabinoids are not particularly effective at making you sleepy. Cannabinoids are a natural neutralizer and so depending on the issues behind your sleep problems, they can be helpful in your sleep schedule. However, most cannabinoids do not get you to sleep (with the exception of CBN and THC). I have found in my conversations that a few people can get drowsy when using CBD, especially if taking more than a standard serving, but most people I speak with daily have not found it to assist when getting to sleep. Because of this, many of the CBD products on the market touting sleep relief are combined with other sleep aids to help you get to sleep. Some of these include including Melatonin, Passion Flower, GABA, L-Theanine, 5 HTP, Chamomile and Lemon Balm to name a few.
Everyone is different and depending on the individual some of these products can help you get to sleep and combined with CBD they also can assist you in staying asleep. Below are three products we have utilized in our family. My teenage daughter currently uses the Medterra gummy nightly for sleep. We like it because it helps her get to sleep and stay asleep all with 0 THC, which is important to me when utilizing cannabinoids with my teen.
Cannabinoids Can Help You Stay Asleep
Most of the major cannabinoids may not be helpful in getting you to sleep but they can be helpful in helping you stay asleep. Because studies have shown that “CBD can have a calming effect on the nervous system as well as affect the serotonin system” and many people are turning to it for longer more restful nights of sleep. There are so many sleep disorders out there and not everyone can or is aided by CBD. However, because CBD (cannabinoids) and many of the other cannabinoids working together can benefit many different areas of the body including physical discomfort and mood, it is not a major jump to assume, that if you are addressing issues that could inadvertently affect sleep (especially full spectrum, whole hemp plant products) that you may also see sleep benefits as well. We hear this all the time when speaking with customers, that they were trying CBD for something else but that it was helping them sleep better.
I truly love some of the “side effects” of CBD. I, too, have found CBD and especially CBN (another cannabinoid that is becoming more known for it’s effectiveness for sleep) to really assist me. I have discovered that I am pretty sensitive to even small amounts of CBN and it does assist me in falling asleep. Here are a couple of our sleep product options that include higher levels of CBN. It is important to not some of these products are whole plant and will contain trace amounts of THC, so if this is something you do not want, watch the labels. My husband and I are specifically loving the Wholeflower Deep sleep softgel for its convenience and helpfulness in both getting to sleep and staying asleep.
Often it takes more than CBD!
For us as a family, cannabinoids and CBD specifically have been an incredible help in dealing with some of our emotional baggage. However, it is important that you know it is not a “wonder drug” or a “cure all.” When trauma impacts your family, it can truly take a village to turn the world right side up again.
Some days, I find myself often leaning on my old behavior and putting on my poker face. So today, and in the days to come, I am learning how to take my poker face off and to show others the reality of my world. We, as a family, are slowly telling people we love, and people who struggle themselves, that it is okay to show your hand. Right now, whoever you are reading this, I am proudly showing you my hand. Mental illness, pain, abuse, and death are brutal and hurt everyone involved. We have been amazed at peoples’ understanding and compassion. So many people, even some close to us, did not know what we were dealing with. We are beginning to tell our story…even the ugliest parts. We are beginning to allow others to surprise us with their compassion. Finding rest and peace is an important factor in our health and healing process and since being able to, we are remembering to remove our poker faces. Some days, we are refusing to put them on at all.