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Can You Die from Not Sleeping?

Guest: Simone de Muñoz

When my oldest son was born 10 years ago, I checked in with myself during those first few weeks for signs of “the baby blues.” I never got it. I was exhausted, but happy. Especially in the beginning, when family came to help and friends dropped by to visit, life was like a new adventure. Then the months started to drag on. I was home all day managing all of the housework that comes with a baby, and of course, taking care of the baby himself, and not sleeping. Even when the baby slept, I could not. I tried to explain to my doctor that something was wrong, but she dismissed my concerns as that of a typical new mom. 

I would wake up at 3 am to some real or imagined baby noise and not be able to go back to sleep. Night after night, I tossed and turned. The bags under my eyes grew bags of their own. Words that I knew slipped beyond reach. I would take any opportunity just to lie down. I spoke to another doctor. She told me that being tired would not kill me. I’m pretty sure that’s not true—how many car crashes are caused by exhausted drivers?

I actually fantasized about crashing my car and being taken to a hospital where they would give me drugs that would help me sleep for days. Eventually, I got help. I worked with a therapist and got to the bottom of the issue—post-partum anxiety—and learned techniques that I still use for falling back asleep if I wake up in the middle of the night. I also learned the importance of taking care of my own mental health deliberately and not stopping until I find the right person to help. 
I really appreciated the recent opportunity to talk about my experiences with postpartum anxiety and my writing with Randi-Lee on her podcast Write or Die. Every time someone talks about their mental health struggles openly, the stigma and shame get a little smaller until maybe one day, they will disappear entirely. Writing is my self-care. I have a book and a short story currently available on Amazon, Manflu and The First Time in Forever. Thanks for checking out my work!

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Karina Kantas

Opening up to a stranger about personal and private health conditions, especially those that carry a stigma, is the easy part. Randi, allowed me to talk and she understands what I’ve been through as she has experienced the same. If my story can help others become stronger and motivated and even break through the dark cloud, then I’m happy to share my private issues.  What I found the hardest about this experience is pressing that share button. Do I allow my family and virtual friends to watch this, to know the other side of Karina Kantas? To see the tears behind the smile. To open up the door and allow them into my issues. There are some that I wouldn’t want to watch the podcast, and I doubt they would be bothered to click and watch or listen. But it’s scary to put yourself out there to the public, but the only reason I do is in the hope that my story can help someone.

When I’m feeling low, like I have been these last few days, I keep in mind, that once I come out of this dark cloud, I’ll be happy again. There’s no reason for me to feel sad or cry as I have been. I just know it’s just that time of year. I’ll keep myself busy and surround myself with family and wait it out.

Even if my story helps one person, then that’s all I want to get out of this.
However, if you want to check out my books. Please do. There’s something for everyone over there.

And if anyone would like to get in touch with me.
Find me on Facebook.