Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Can't Sleep

It's 1:20am, recently that is still early in the evening for me.

I wrote a post a few days ago about not being able to do what "normal" people do, like stay up late and still function. If I do that for a day or two, I may not sleep for weeks. One slip, one change, can derail the management of my illness.

A few weeks ago I went to a conference for the weekend and we were up really late each night. Last week my husband and I were the main caregivers for my Mom since my Dad was out of town. Unfortunately this created many late nights and a lot of stress. These events have led to me being virtually unable to go to bed before 3 or 4am.

That is one of the things which is so frustrating about this illness, I can't make myself do what I need to. It would make sense for me to just go to bed. I do, but I can't fall asleep. I can lay in bed awake for hours. I surf the internet on my iPad because I am bored.

I am literally watching myself stay awake, telling myself to go to sleep, totally annoyed that I can't force myself to sleep. It is like watching a car with no breaks speed down the road. Actually, your brain kind of feels that way.

I don't have a reason why many people with bipolar can't force themselves to do the right thing to care for themselves. No doctor has ever had a solution for how to get around this besides trying to address symptoms.

Can't sleep? Take a sleeping pill. Eat too much? We have a pill for that. Can't finish a project because you get distracted? Take a stimulant. Won't exercise? We don't have a pill for that. BUT, the stimulant we gave you makes your heart race when you run, so don't run.

I just need to pick a 5K or something and sign up for it so I have some outside commitment which makes it more likely that I will exercise-which I can't do unless I get enough sleep, and if I run enough one of these days I might wear myself out enough to fall asleep before 3am.

Here's to hoping I can trick my brain into doing the right thing.


Rev. Katie

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