Most of my life I had sleeping problems. If I was depressed I was too worried to get to sleep. If I was manic I was …well, too manic. I did lots of things throughout the night to pass the time. I would draw, write, etc. Then there were the odd things that I did. There was a bee hive outside my window and I would let them in one by one then kill them. I’m shocked that I did this because I love bees. I have a huge respect for their Borg culture. But I did it anyway to pass the time. Fortunately I gained a larger respect for life later on. I’d hate to be writing this from jail right now.
I did many other strange things, but probably the strangest was to walk around the neighborhood naked. I was 14 at the time. You should all feel privileged because the only one who ever heard that little tidbit is my pdoc. I can’t explain why, but I was wide awake at 2am so I took off my clothes and hit the streets. A month or so ago as my pdoc and I were discussing my history before I knew I was bipolar, I finally broke down and shared that once and for all. Her response was “Now, tell me, does that sound like normal behavior?” It was at this point that my life flashed before my eyes. Literally. I thought of all the weird and wild events in my life and had to accept that my bipolar disorder was not something that just crept up on me. Oh no, it had been around a long time like a crazy aunt who won’t leave. BTW, for those of you who have ugly pictures in your heads…I was much thinner then.
This past decade my sleep problems improved. Sleepiness would hit me like a ton of bricks and when I crawled in bed – BAM – I was out. Not anymore. For the past month my sleep patterns have been all over the place. Typically I go to bed fine, but later I wake up and toss and turn and turn and toss and toss and turn all night.
Apparently this time it’s not depression or mania most of the time. It’s anxiety. Damn I hate anxiety. My pdoc and I determined by going through some exercises that it is not my meds causing my anxiety and shakiness. So it seems, my shakiness (Chihauha syndrome) is anxiety. Once again I say “Damn!” I much prefer to have other things, like meds, to point fingers at.
For now I’m taking meds that help me get at least most of the night and I’ve been instructed to do some relaxation techniques. But if you see a 44 year old man walking naked around the neighborhood, please say “Hi”.