Yup, today has been a strange day. Which means that I'm feeling a bit out of it mentality. To anyone stumbling upon this blog, I have bipolar II disorder, a milder form of bipolar disorder. I have hypomanic episodes instead of manic ones, and I've been in treatment for it for 3 1/2 years now. This means that though I'm pretty good mood-wise most of the time, I still have off days, and today is one of them. It's my own fault really. I've gone to bed at 1am the last two nights, and lack of enough sleep always knocks me for a loop. It's an extremely bad habit of mine that I haven't stopped yet, that I've been lectured to about by my therapist the whole time I've seen her. I can't fully explain why I still do it.
Anyway, because I stayed up so late for the last three nights, I'm sleep deprived and out of it. I'm agitated with the world right now, though mostly at myself because it wasn't until 6pm that I realized how gorgeous it was outside and how much the kid needed to be out there. To be fair, it was cloudy like the last week earlier today until (I guess) 3pm. So I just didn't think about it, though mostly it was because my body was still trying to wake up. One of my drugs, Seroquel, has major sedative effects, and if I don't sleep long enough to get through the worst of them, I am a zombie for several hours after I wake up. Seriously: Aside from not eating brains, I am numb and slowed down. I don't feel pain at a normal rate, my reaction time is very slow, and I can barely form coherent thoughts. Fun, huh? I would probably moan as communication if I didn't need to form words to take care of the kid, and could end up dragging a limb or two since I could break an ankle or something without noticing for a good hour or so. (I've honestly ended up with bruises and cuts I didn't notice were there until I go to bed.)
I also have a tendency to ramble when I'm this tired. Can you tell?
So I'm agitated with everything and everyone, including myself, for having missed a good day to go out and do something like I'd planned; two activities with a homeschooling group I've recently joined as we prepare to "officially" start homeschooling the kid next school year. I'm also mad at myself for yet again falling into the pattern of staying up late, for being lazy because of it, for not being the mom I want to be (since the kid has been driving me up the wall today), and because I have these limitations now on my life. Most of all because I *know* *better*. I feel awesome when I go to sleep at the right time. I know I do. I get so much done, I'm way more social, and I'm happier. I'm also mad at myself because I know I get much better sleep than just about everyone because of the Seroquel, and that is a very fortunate thing. (You sleep like you're a kid again, that blackout sleep where hardly anything would wake you.)
One theory my therapist and I have discussed as to why I keep depriving myself of sleep is that sleep deprivation became my new 'normal' when I joined the Navy. Boot camp is all about sleep deprivation because prepares you for the sleep deprivation of active duty. (Last I recall, the Navy regulations state that you must get two hours of sleep for every *20 hours* you work.) Then I got used to the deprivation of having the kid, who woke up at least once every night to eat for 13 months (if not more). Then I adapted to being sleep deprived because of the horrible quality of sleep I had when my bipolar was at it's worse, which was from the time the kid was born until he 2 1/2 (when I started the Seroquel). Being sleep deprived has been my 'normal' state of being for a good ten years now, hence our theory of why I still put myself into that state.
It's a pretty good idea because to be honest, I distrust it when I'm feeling very good after sleeping enough. I know that sounds so off and weird, but it's true. It may very well be connected to the fact that for several years, me feeling 'good' meant I was reaching a hypomanic (or even manic) state, and soon I would crash hard into depression. So the whole day I feel so good, in the back of my mind is the nagging worry that it's too good to be true. Can I really feel good without feeling horrible the next day? Or even the next hour? (Oh the joys of rapid mood cycling...) I've truly forgotten what it feels like to be well rested and mentally balanced.
Writing this out, I know I need to resolve myself to get enough sleep so I can learn to trust feeling good again, so I can shape a new 'normal' for myself. So I'm simply happier and healthier. Getting as sick as I did recently with nasty cold virus, which also resulted in a nasty ear infection, I realized that I'm not as healthy as I need to be, that I can go so much better. That I have done better. Even if it means not getting to talk to the husband when he gets home after work (he works 12pm to 12am), then it has to be that way.
This has to be my first step in reorganizing my life. In making it better. If I can reform my sleep habits, I can reform anything about myself.
(I will become the Little Engine That Could, damn it! I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!)