Other Things I Want Back

The insomnia is definitely a thing. Couldn’t get to sleep again last night. No weird sound-induced head trips though, so that’s something. Also, still rash free. Bonus.

I couldn’t brain enough to figure out to hit snooze on my alarm when it went off this morning. The information had apparently gone dormant in my mind and we weren’t finding it today. I was only an hour late for work, that’s not so bad right? (Side rant: Daylight Savings. It takes me weeks to get my system and sleep schedule back in order when we move the clocks. I was finally, finally, finally making progress on developing and maintaining a proper routine and had whittled my wake-up time down to 7:50 am instead of 8:45am. Still not where I want to be, but progress. Now that’s pretty much all fucked and for what? THE COWS DO NOT CARE WHAT TIME YOU MILK THEM. If you want that extra hour of sunlight so badly, wake up an hour earlier and let me fucking sleep! ARGH)

I laid in bed for a long time staring at the clock and trying to muster up the will to get out of bed and go to work. I did, eventually. Then I did the same in the shower. I think it was just sleep-stupor lethargy, but it’s something to keep an eye on.

Had a long conversation with Shaynna last night, a former roomie that now lives in Australia. She didn’t come out and say as much, but I know that she has some reservations about medication. And she’s not sure that the major depressive periods I went through after I left my ex actually count since the situation was such a mess. She thinks I actually handled the situation very well and did an admirable job of keeping myself together, and I guess I can see how it may have seemed so from the outside. I’ve never questioned that I have an array of valid reasons to choose from to explain why I’m so fucked up, but this impulse to retreat, to hide, to cut myself off from my friends and family isn’t healthy. The suicidal ideation and fixation isn’t healthy.

I don’t do the things I used to love anymore, I don’t scan the posters looking for interesting bands to see. I don’t splurge on markers and spend happy days playing with them. I don’t haul my iPad to a cozy cafe and write like a motherfucker. I don’t answer my phone. I don’t lose myself in ink and charcoal and step back amazed at what I’ve done. I don’t get giddy with excitement for new animated films. I don’t browse the internet looking for courses and dream of taking them. I don’t read books. I don’t throw myself into editing and thrive off the process of helping my closest friends make their work better, pornier, funnier.

I’m a hollow version of my happier self. I have no joy. If I stay like this, it will not end well for me, though it may well end.

I don’t want to be this way anymore. And if the drugs help me get to a point where I can get some of this back, then I’m willing to try. I have to do something.


About braineatsbrain

Recently diagnosed with bipolar. Twice. This is where I'm going to try to make sense of that. Expect introspection, unfocused anger, and random art.
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2 Responses to Other Things I Want Back

  1. I don’t recall the insomnia as a side effect, per se, of lamictal. I do know I always get (more) sleepless when I’m in a bad phase at either end of the spectrum. Maybe tinker with taking it in the morning, first thing, to see if it wears off enough so that if it is the meds, it’s out of your system when it’s time to sleep? I do take a benzo (klonopin) at a mild dose (usu. 1/2 mg to 1 mg) most nights to help me sleep because otherwise I only get 5 hrs. max, but that’s my baseline anxiety and situational crap with “I have no money/no husband/live with my father/am a general failure at life” that feeds into it, too, and I know you’re still titrating with one med, so… er, I feel your pain?

    I had one really bad period after trying lithium and finding out we Did Not Get Along where I had horrible insomnia and I basically did a reset of my whole sleep cycle, staying up all night a few nights in a row and then gradually trying to reset my circadian rythyms via Total Sleep Deprivation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep_deprivation It sucked when I did it, but it helped in the long run, considering how desperate and brainless I felt beforehand. I did it one other time after a bad visit out west with my mom– between the visit and the trauma/trigger from that and the way the time shift/jet lag effed up my sleep, I was a horrid mess when I got home and I didn’t leave the house for two weeks. Bleh. It’s not something to do lightly, but it was in the battery of treatments, at least as of four years ago, the last time I did it.

    I guess I can see how it may have seemed so from the outside. I’ve never questioned that I have an array of valid reasons to choose from to explain why I’m so fucked up, but this impulse to retreat, to hide, to cut myself off from my friends and family isn’t healthy. The suicidal ideation and fixation isn’t healthy.

    Amen, darling. What it seems like from the outside, and what you feel like on the inside can be very different things. And just because you’ve always seemed to hold it together externally doesn’t mean that this isn’t real or there isn’t something clinical that might not be an option for treatment. All you can do is try and trust that instinct that says– I want to feel better. Insist to your friends that you’re a really talented liar when the shit’s hitting the fan. I hope that they’ll listen, and learn to see what your brave face looks like, so you don’t need it so much in the future.

    • Ah man, me and sleep issues go back forever, it seems. At least since I was 15. I’ve tried everything: drugs, supplements, tea, no tea, no caffeine, exercising in the morning, exercising at night, not exercising, warm bath before bed, going to bed at the same time every night regardless of sleepiness, and yes, FFS, dear Well Meaning Person With Obvious Advice(tm), warm milk (which is a total fail on all fronts and not just because I’m lactose intolerant). I go through natural periods of total sleep deprivation (although I guess I can reframe that as mania now? ;) ) and I’m glad it worked for you, but I don’t think that’s a place I’m willing to go again. I don’t reach sustainable stability afterwards and my sleep patterns go even more out of whack about a week later. What I’ve been doing up until Daylight Fucking Savings is a combination of relaxation/breathing + light stretches before bed + time release melatonin + maintaining sleep hygiene (lights out at the same time every night, no bedtime reading, furnace set to gradually cool house down in stages throughout the night, clean room) AND a bright, shiny, happy, amazing sunrise simulating alarm clock. Seriously, this thing is my hero and the wind beneath my wings. If I notice that I’m still wired around 8pm, I’ll take an Imovane along with the melatonin, but it hasn’t really been necessary since early January.

      Re: Lamictal, some of the reading I’ve been doing suggests that Lamictal can be “activating” for some people until the therapeutic dose is reached. It would appear that I fall into this category (Prime Directive of Dani’s Sleep Disorder, Special Corollary For Medication: If insomnia is a potential side effect, even a rare one, it’s happening. Oh, yes). It also sounds like this will taper off soon (until the next dosage increase!) but go away altogether once I’m in the sweet spot. In the meantime, I think I’m going to ask my sister if she can call me in the mornings to make sure that I get up. If I can get a handle on controlling my wake schedule, I know that I can function on 4 hours of sleep until the sleep portion balances out.

      I’m really surprised by the pushback I’ve had from my friends and family about my decision to take medication. Probably naively so, when I reflect on the mental gymnastics and emotional rollercoaster ride I went on to be able to come to this decision myself. But I find it kind of mind-breakingly odd that people can tell me that being suicidal is awful and then in the same breath insist or imply that I don’t need medication because I’m too strong. Huh, what? Really?

      And as far as being functional goes… well, I go to work every day. But often that’s all I can do. I get home and that’s it. Wanna clean your house? Nope. Wanna see your friends? Nope. Wanna chat with your friends online? Nope. Wanna work on — just, nope. And that’s not a life. That is base-level existence. And it is terrible.

      (heh, I’ve been looking for How TO Support Your Bipolar Loved Ones references that I can share with my friends and sister and I stumbled across one poorly worded gem that insisted you should take your Bipolar loved one for a walk. And I just got this beautiful image of one my my friends trying to drag me around on a leash where I’m all pouty and digging in my heels and whining “Nope. Nope. Nope. Don’t wanna.” 500 points for intentions, minus a million for the poor wording XD)

      Thank you, again, and always, for being so open with me and answering my questions and just being generally awesome <3

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