Tuesday, June 5, 2012

There is a Difference

There is a difference between the mind of someone with mental illness and someone without it. The same things affect us differently and that became very clear to me one day this week.

My husband Jeff and I did not go to bed until 5am one morning. Why? Because we were both wasting time- him playing video games and me watching a TV series on Netflix. Yes, dumb reasons for both of us to stay up so late, but we did.

Katie & Jeff
The difference is that I was a wreck the next day and Jeff was not. We were both tired, but I could not function nearly as well as he could. He was in a good mood, able to do all the things he normally does. I was extremely irritated and my mind was so jumbled I couldn't even decide what I wanted to eat for lunch. I crave sugar like crazy, Jeff does not and everything aggravates me. Our son had a school picnic and I didn't go to it because I could not handle the chaos of tons of kids, games, socializing, etc... Then when we were in the car we had a paper shopping bag that Jeff was looking through. I had to tell him to stop looking through the bag because the sound of crinkling paper was like shooting pains in my head. As annoying as fingernails on a chalkboard. In fact, every noise in the house made me cringe. When I couldn't find something, like my keys, I immediately thought the world was going to end and nothing would ever work out right. 

Jeff had none of those problems. On lack of sleep his system and brain do not simultaneously shut down and go on high alert like mine do. He can get through the day fine, but I have to struggle to get through every minute.

People ask me all the time: "Why can't you stay up late?," "Why can't you eat what other people do?," "Do you really have be so strict about exercise?" "Other people can handle it, why can't you?" I'm just different. My brain works differently and I can't do "what other people do." And the likelihood is that none of us can. We all have our limitations. Some of us have allergies and can't just go outside like other people can. Some of us get migraines and can't handle bright lights. There really is no "what everyone else can do" because we are all different.


Rev. Katie

1 comment:

  1. You are so right, that we ALL have our limitations. With mental illness though, we get hung up on ours, we obsess making a bad situation worse...
    I am like you in that a bad night's sleep will pretty much wreck a day and it is impossible for me to eat right after a bad night's sleep. I completely understand.
    We bipolars cannot afford to have even one bad night. It changes everything for the worse and the recovery time might be longer that one night!
    Hope you sleep well tonight.