So. Tired.

Ugh. So I just LOVE having rapid cycling Bipolar Disorder.  Yep.  Love it.  Because now I have moved into what the psychiatrist calls a ‘mixed state’ which translates as ‘don’t know if I’m going to be ok or burst into weepy tears’, and it’s very NOT fun. It’s the worst part of Bipolar, the mixed state, because it’s both mania and depression at once. It’s the most dangerous state.  But I’m okay. Sort of. Just really tired and scattered.

And I’m so damn sick of my brain waking me up with useless chatter at 2:30 in the morning.  I just want to sleep through the night so I can get up and concentrate on my school work like NORMAL people, you know? And get to classes and appointments without looking like a zombie and wanting to come home and collapse across the bed without even taking time to take my clothes or makeup off afterwards (it’s not pretty waking up crushed and with the remnants of mascara ground into the pillow.)

So I get to try some new med1cation tonight, yippee. The Very Helpful Psychiatrist reckons it will make me sleep.  It’s a short term fix only. I said I don’t care I JUST WANT TO SLEEP AND BE NORMAL.  The doctor asked if I wanted to go to hospital ‘just for a little while’ but I don’t want to.  It’s such a hassle.  I want my own stuff around me and my own ice packs and my own uncomfortable bed, not to mention Mr Beloved and Connie… I worry that if this med1cation doesn’t work that I might have to go but I’ll fight it all the damn way.


The lovely vet came over to see Connie today -we have to buy a rug for the bedroom floor and build some stairs for the bed, because at 8 years old poor Connie’s knees and back are starting to wear out from her constant exuberant jumping from the bed to the slippery floorboards and back up again.  She also gets to have a yummy fishy powder supplement to help ease her joints – and if that’s not helping fast enough she goes back onto some meloxicam, poor little mite.

Tomorrow Mr Beloved gets his eyes tested and new spectacles organised; I did that last week and so should be picking up my new specs this week.

The black-ish pair is actually much darker in real life, if I remember rightly. Not so tortoiseshell-y. The red pair are that red. (Turned out my vision problems are mostly because I’m tired and stressed.  What a surprise, right? At least it’s not the start of a brain tumor or anything horrible. Except for the persistent floater in my left eye which is just a damn floater and there is nothing to be done about it.)

And here’s a compare and contrast for you:

On the left: at the end of February;  on the right (in winter plumage, but having lost some weight) at the end of July. Is university good for me? Perhaps.

I finally got an official result from last semester: I got an HD. High Distinction.


And my first piece of assessable work for this unit is due on the 13th and I already feel like I’m falling behind so if you’ll excuse me… I have some writing to do. And I have to read the first Harry Potter book again before Friday as homework and look at the way it is structured (yep, really.)

Oh dear…

It’s HOT. Still around 30 in the bedroom and I am writing this at 1:30 am… feeling sick, my jaw is hurting from the dental work, not  sure if the wonky tummy/IBS is being cause by anxiety or a bug… I keep having the thought that I’m having trouble breathing and I have tried the usual things (nose spray, etc)…. miserable and typing this into the ether…

Going to go lie on the floor somewhere in the house and try and at least close my eyes, although I can’t sleep without my CPAP machine.


Boxing Day

Ahhhhhh!  The joyous day AFTER a miserable bout of gastro has arrived.  Even though I am still battling the remnants of the head cold (and again, thank you EVER so much to the charmer who coughed their germs all over us in the waiting room, I curse you each time I hurk up lumps of grey-green phlegm) I took  an extra dose of antihistamine and managed 10 glorious hours of sleep, with only two half hour bouts of being awake.  YAY!

(I used to worry about these passages of wakefulness – but after more reading, I now understand that it’s quite normal.  The only thing that makes it a problem is WORRYING about being awake – now I just read a few pages or do a mindfulness exercise and go back to sleep.)

Poor Mr Beloved is about a day behind and is still quite miserable with the head cold.

Christmas Day was a bit of a misery.  I get panic attacks when I feel I can’t breathe, which of course leads to MORE panic unless I can break the cycle by – yep, trying to breathe. *headdesk*  My new word for trying to get to mindfulness is “noticing…”    – that’s useful for getting back into the reality of what’s actually happening instead of ramping up into mindless panic.

When I did eventually crawl out of bed I decided to go get some groceries, and try for a couple of towels (BIG towels, 1metre x 2 metres – we are – well, ROUND people and ordinary sized bath towels are inadequate) that had been advertised at Big W. I left the house intending to drive  over to the mall, and if the carpark was insanely full then I’d turn around and just do some groceries at the local shops.  But by sleeping in I’d managed to miss the mad people who hit the sales early – and I still got the towels.  Another win!  (They’re not brilliant quality but for the price, if they last a year before becoming paint rags I’ll be happy.)

Now it’s time to go boil the potatoes for salad tonight and later, we’re watching the DR WHO CHRISTMAS SPECIAL!  WOOO HOOOO!!

Well, bugger. Insomnia…(rambling thoughts too early in the morning)

I’m starting to write this at 5:45 am after another sleepless night.  WTF?  Here are some things I know about my insomnia:

  • It’s not so much the lack of sleep that upsets me – it’s my struggle with my lack of sleep.  I almost woke Mr Beloved to tell him “I CAN’T SLEEP!” but by the time I even thought of using that strategy, it was 5 am.  *headdesk*  If I had been brave enough to do that earlier in the night, say at around 2 am, I could have had his help while I took the dreaded val1um (and possibly had some rest.)  But we  know about my fear of val1um and I am even more wary of it after the Incident of The Neck in the Night-time.  And by “brave” I am not saying that Mr Beloved is scary – just that I find it hard to be kind to myself sometimes and ask for help.
  • I have a repertoire of “tricks” that usually help me sleep.  These include: slowly savouring about 1/3 of a cup of frozen raspberries; eating a small piece of cheese (protein helps? I dunno); taking off or putting on a layer of clothes; holding a cool wet face washer to my forehead; reading a cozy type mystery; playing the MP3 of the”Mindfulness of the Breath” exercise from The Happiness Trap (it’s not designed to make you relax but I find it very calming).    Sometimes NONE OF THESE WORK.  And I am learning to be okay with that – to stop struggling with not falling asleep.  (Also, I have just reserved a book at the library that looks promising: Sleep Well, Live better: 3 Steps to Good Sleep. We shall see. I am not keen to add any more med1cat10ns because of interact1ons with all the stuff I already take.)
  • My sleep hygiene is important to me, even though some of the things I do (reading in bed!) are NOT recommended.  I am careful about how much caffeine I consume and when;  I take my evening med1cat10ns at an early enough time to let the sedat1ng ones help me get drowsy; I rarely nap during the day (sometimes to my detriment).  Even when I am super tired, I can’t actually get to sleep without reading at least a few pages.  (It’s a habit of at least 38 years, so it’s not likely to change!) The problems happen when I read entire books…which is something I did last night.  (Damn you, Charlaine Harris, for making “Dead Reckoning” the best Sookie Stackhouse book yet! But my insomnia was not entirely the book’s fault – I knew I was very wakeful when I got into bed.)
  • I have times when the aches of fibromyalgia either stop me from getting to sleep or wake me up (and I can’t get back to sleep.)  Now I’m thinking about it, what I need to do in those times is have a nice hot shower/warm bath.  Hmmm.  Or do the full body scan mindfulness meditation, that seems to help.
  • Sometimes if my nose is sniffly I can get really weirded out about putting my CPAP mask on.  Often I can overcome this by lying quietly in the dark and then putting the mask on while engaging “observing mind” – pretending I am a compassionate and gently interested scientist observing the feelings of the mask on my face.  (This is another part of the mindfulness training that the Unhelpful Psychiatrist dismissed as “just a bandaid”.  I don’t believe it is. U. P.  said I need to “address my underlying anxiety or the problem will never be solved”.)
  • Sometimes if I write in a journal I can get to sleep.  Last night though, there really wasn’t any specific anxiety that was bugging my brain and stopping me from getting to sleep. In fact, the journaling seemed to be stimulating rather than soporific.  So after three pages, I stopped.
  • I seem to have insomnia round the full moon.  Despite scientific studies NOT finding any links, there is so much anecdotal evidence for some sort of link that I have to wonder what the scientists are missing.  My bedroom has decent blockout curtains, so I usually don’t notice the full moon UNTIL I realise that I haven’t slept and oh look, it’s about a month since the LAST time I couldn’t sleep.
  • (It’s just started raining.  I find rain on the roof is really lovely to help me sleep.  I have to have a fan on in the bedroom to move the air and to provide white noise.  The current pedestal fan was about $15 and the motor is SHOT so it sounds like a damn Cessna!  I will be buying a new fan TODAY.)
  • AFTER a night of not sleeping, I get anxious and scared about not sleeping because I worry that it is the onset of mania.   I know that this story is not helpful and it’s one that often plays in my head. So, hey, let’s give it a name – hello, Thelma!  It’s you again!  (This may be my favourite defusion technique. My Helpful Psychologist and I recently decided to name my “OMG I’m letting people down” story as “Myrtle”.  The names sound silly, right? But it helps to show those unhelpful stories for what they are – just old stories my brain likes to play with.  Those stories are not reality.)
  • The change of Seasons (hello, Spring!) is a time that manias can ramp up.  So it’s a time I am more aware of (and more anxious about) mania symptoms.  Now that I have expressed this, I can probably let it go more easily.
  • I am very angry that instead of taking my concerns about not sleeping seriously, the unhelpful psychiatrist wanted to talk to me about my childhood.  WTF?!
  • I know that staring at a BRIGHT SCREEN with the LIGHTS ON in the studio as I type this isn’t helping me get any sleep this morning.  I also know (from bitter experience) that I can (sort of) function for a day without any sleep the night before.  Science tells us that to readjust our body clocks, some sunlight in the morning is a good thing…I will be taking advantage of this soon.