Positive Thoughts and Better Sleep Therapy
Last updated: May 2023
When we get a health diagnosis, we often default to a negative mindset. This is understandable and normal. A health issue can be frightening, and you probably don’t even have the slightest clue as to how to cope.
I didn’t feel too well with my CPAP machine, hoses, mask, and all these things on my table. I had manuals to read, I needed distilled water, it was quite overwhelming. My immediate thoughts were that this wasn’t something I could do.
I started to think that the couch would be my new home. The first few nights were terrible. I cursed the mask; I threw it on the floor and I shed some tears. It was without a doubt, a difficult time. The following helped me learn how to cope with my sleep apnea diagnosis and CPAP machine:
How to cope with CPAP
Accepting a gradual change
As a writer, I gathered my thoughts and set about the task of documenting my feelings about my new “best friend.” My mask was a curse, but I decided to keep going. It was writing about the condition that helped the most. I needed to get those feelings out.
I thought about all the time and effort I put into learning the guitar when I was young. It took practice, mistakes, and a concentrated effort to learn how to play. I applied this to my CPAP therapy. I put my mask on each night, and I tried.
Expect setbacks and take breaks
Yes, I had setbacks. I had bad nights when the mask came off. I still curse it to this day. My machine fell on the floor a few months ago. Sometimes things just happen in life. When those bad days happen, I don’t allow them to get the better of me. I take a break, and then I get back to my therapy.
Reframe to positive thinking
Now, I hardly miss a day because I have reframed my mind into a positive one. This hasn’t been easy. It’s taken practice and sometimes I still want to give up, but I fight those feelings.
Realizing CPAP is the best thing for my health
I see my CPAP as the best thing for my health. It stops my heavy snoring. The mask eliminates my headaches. I wake up refreshed. I can sit in my chair and write all morning now. I don’t fall asleep in the afternoon. I can watch a movie now without passing out on the couch. It gives me a positive outlook on life because I’m no longer so tired all the time.
Remember this: You're not alone
You’re never alone in this struggle. The sleep community is there to support you. We are all going through this problem together. There will be good days and bad days, and that’s ok.
Give CPAP time to work for you
With consistent practice and the use of your mask or other therapy, you will feel better. For some, this takes more time. Give it that time to work for you.
I hope this has encouraged you and inspired you to fight for better sleep. I still battle my mask, but I reach for it now because it gives me a better day. Join the community and seek support. Speak to your sleep provider or physician if you need extra assistance.
We are all in this fight together.
How did you cope with your sleep apnea diagnosis and CPAP therapy? Please share a comment.
Mental Health May Question: On an average day, how would you rate your level of anxiety related to sleep apnea?
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