Daily Archives: March 19, 2014

Getting Time Back On My Side

Between the recent time change and Douglas’s day off getting changed from Wednesday to Thursday, I’m a little loopy these days.  To elaborate, the time change really messed up my son’s sleep schedule.  He started sleeping later, not taking a nap, and not sleeping for most of the night.  As much as I tried to get him up earlier and earlier to get us back on track, it seemed to only make it worse.  He still wouldn’t take a nap and would end up so extremely cranky by the end of the day that we were both in tears.  I tried putting him to bed earlier but this resulted in him sleeping two hours and being up the rest of the night. 

Amazing what the change of one small hour can do to a toddler’s circadian rhythm.  

Likewise, to the bipolar brain it’s a wild ride with no sense of direction in sight.  It usually takes me at least a month to adjust, but by then the lack of sleep has triggered a manic episode and off I go, knowing I will eventually crash, just not knowing when.  Not to complain, but Daylight Savings kind of sucks.  

Agree?  Disagree?  

I’ve danced in and around mixed episodes and manias this past week.  On the plus side, Jacen actually took a nap today so maybe, just maybe, he will be back to his regular sleep schedule soon, in which case I can try to resume mine.  Only time will tell! 

In the meantime, I’ve been working on changing up my schedule, because – I hate to use the misused phrase I’m so OCD, but since I actually do have OCD, I think I am allowed to do so – I am so OCD about schedules!  I am constantly writing schedules for myself and the rest of my family.  Not that we ever use them, but I guess it’s sort of like a hobby of mine.  An intrusive, obsessive, compulsive hobby of mine.  My schedules have to be perfect, only they can never truly be perfect.  I want everything to go according to plan, no detours, but family life is nothing but detours.  So I write another schedule.  And another.  Instead of writing a book about my life or a fictional character, I should just bundle up all my schedules and sell them as examples of what could but most likely won’t work for every other mom out there.  There are plenty of self-help books out there about just this particular thing.  I know, because I’ve read a few.  There are sites galore about organizing time and setting priorities.  I know, because I’ve read most of those too.  And yes, it occurs to me on a daily basis that if I would just give up on the scheduling and actually enjoy my life, I would have a lot more time to get the things I’m scheduling done.  But does OCD ever make sense?  I think not.  And these lists represent the fine strings I am trying to pull to make sure everything is safe, solid and secure for all the people I love.  Between making lists and schedules, and praying The Prayer perfectly every few seconds throughout the day, I almost calm the anxiety.  Not really, but I’m convinced everything and everyone I love would spontaneously combust if I stopped any of it.  So.  I write lists and schedules.  And I pray.  And I do a whole slew of other things like washing my hands and organizing things in a certain manner (that may or may not seem logical to others), but we will delve into those some other day.  For now, I am going to leave you with a few feel-goods that I sincerely try to keep in mind myself, despite what my OCD tendencies tell me, and despite how time changes and bipolar disorder try to derail my efforts:

Certain Numbers

1There are certain numbers that just bother a person.

For me, it happens to be the number 1 that absolutely grates on me. I don’t like odd numbers as much as even numbers anyway…but this number is absolutely grating. For some reason, this number just serves to seriously bother me on multiple fronts. I’m not sure why…or even what this number has to do with anything. I don’t think there is anything at all that leads to my internal annoyance and problems with it. I just know that there’s certain things about this number that seriously bother me.

I know that when I’m eating, I can’t have just 1 of something. I never have been able to. So if it’s a holiday dinner…I can’t just have 1 dinner roll, or just 1 scoop of something. I have to have 2, minimum. That’s all just a way, even minor in method, that I try to avoid this stupid number. It’s not something I have really ever thought of before, but I actively avoid this number. It just grates on me that much. Then there’s the thing about this number where it just kind of crops up where I least want it. (I think that’s to be expected from something that is annoying though)

If it’s paired with another number, like 2 and 1 to make 21, I’m fine. But, by itself, the number 1 is annoying to me. There’s really only a few things where I’m fine possessing only one of them. And that’s things like my cat. I have 1 cat. But that’s different. A cat is a person. And for people numbers have different rules. But for objects, or just even seeing the number, 1 bothers me a lot.

Actually, even writing this is driving me nuts. But, I’m writing it, because maybe having to write that stupid, annoying number so often might help me a bit for coping. After all, seeing the stupid number all over the place means it is part of my daily life. I can’t be getting annoyed over a number constantly (or at least, I need to be able to deal with it). So, I’m writing this, even though it makes me cringe to keep writing the number over and over again.

Not that I really feel better about this, but I do think writing helps somehow.

Keeping It Low-Key


Still alive, still busy. And, of course, keeping things low-key. As I’ve noted in my last couple of posts, I’m running on mega-empty. And I’ve had the bonus the past week or two of picking up whatever bug is going around — woo! I used to not have to deal with this as much, ha ha, but I also lived alone and wasn’t around people as much. The pains of civilization, am I right?

But really, I’m holding up… as long as I keep myself from doing pretty much anything outside of my beloved office chair. Which works to an extent; I’ve got games here,and crafting supplies, and a line to the outside world. I’ve managed to coax a ‘local’ friend into my messenger net (mwuhahahah?), and I think that we’re both benefiting from the mutual support and camaraderie that we otherwise share in person a handful of times a year. I think that everyone can agree that having someone to talk to on the regular, especially one who can understand the woes of being invisibly unwell, is good for morale and mutual support.

And yeah, I know I need it right now, especially with being off of my meds. I’m ‘coping’… but that doesn’t mean that it’s glorious and bright. I catch my brain any number of times a day trying to steer me into destructive, self-sabotaging thinking. I might drift to thinking about Person X, and how they annoy me so much because of their invalidation of me, and suddenly I’m ragingly angry and there’s no outlet and no way to calm all the angry down. Whups. Oh sure, I’m still practicing mindfulness, and catching some of it before it gets that bad, but that doesn’t change the fact that mindfulness isn’t easy in the best of situations. Being off my meds and coping with increasingly severe chronic fatigue, most would agree, is anything but the best of times. But still, I struggle on (to quote my father-in-law). Yanno, as long as I don’t have to brain or move too much.


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Wading Through Peanut Butter

That’s what I’ve felt like all day today……like I was trying to make my way through a river of sludge and getting nowhere. I’d forgotten what a full dose of Zyprexa does to me, especially on top of all the OTHER stuff I take at night. When I got up this morning I felt like a bomb had gone off in my head; I stumbled into the bathroom, turned on the lights, and promptly went back to sleep…..on the toilet.

It was almost as bad at work. This was a day to do computer work and take in a couple more training videos, which are about as exciting as watching cars rust. Even my trusty Thermos full of coffee wasn’t enough to bring me out of my lassitude; thankfully my co-worker took pity on me and bought me a Starbucks tall dark-roast. That got me through the rest of the day, and driving home in the bright sunshine didn’t hurt my disposition either.

Still, I really hate feeling like such a zombie, even though it’s only temporary. (I think. Dr. A did say I’m supposed to stay on the Zyprexa “until further notice”.) I’ve always felt so sorry for people that literally have to be doped to the gills every day just to be able to function in society; it never occurred to me that I’d be one of them, even for a brief period. But today is the first day in over a month that I haven’t been stressed out, freaked out, depressed/hypomanic, agitated, angry, restless, scared, or wanting to crawl out of my skin. So what does that say?

It’s not as if it’s a huge dose of Vitamin Z. I usually take only 2.5 mg, and I’ve seen people on as much as 20. But the five-milligram dose knocks me on my ass and Dr. A knows it, which is one of the reasons he prescribed it. Because sleep is EVERYTHING to a bipolar person. It’s the rest our bodies cry out for when we’re over-amped, the merciful break from depression, the lifeblood which allows us to go and do and be.

It’s also the thing that eludes us when we need it the most, and lack of quality sleep has definitely contributed to my miseries. But last night I got the best night’s shut-eye I’ve had in weeks; I took my handful of sanity at 9 PM, went to bed at 10:30, and didn’t wake up until 6. (Well, I didn’t really wake up till about noon, but you know what I mean.) No tossing and turning, no middle-of-the-night awakenings, no disturbing dreams. I didn’t even hear Will come in. I can’t even remember the last time I slept like that…..probably not since the last time I was on the 5 mg dose of Z.

It’s all a trade-off. We sacrifice our youth for wisdom, our vitality for the ability to sleep, our creativity for sanity. We take pills so that we can fulfill our roles as workers, spouses, parents, church members, and citizens of the world. And sometimes, we spend our days wading through peanut butter so that we can rest our poor overstimulated brains for the next big thing in our lives.