That’s not necessarily true, you know. I sleep. Just not very much. And at weird times. It’s all part of being bipolar, or so the doctors and the voices keep telling me.
People with bipolar disorder do best on a schedule, just like people with autism. Keep us knowing what we’re supposed to be doing and when we’re supposed to be doing it and there’s less chance we’ll spaz out on you, that’s the idea. Luckily I don’t spaz out as often as I used to, but many days it’s a near miss. Only problem is that I haven’t had many jobs that allow me to have a regular schedule. My shifts are usually irregular times, different days and with difficult people. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that my first breakdown happened at work.
GP tells me the best thing is to get [x] hours of sleep every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Shrink tells me I should take advantage of weekends to let my body do as it pleases with its sleep cycle. At my old job we got assessed points if we were more than five minutes early or late (gather too many in a quarter and you get fired) so I had a tendency to panic and wake up every hour to make sure I wasn’t oversleeping. Unfortunately, it also meant I slept about three hours some nights.
I’ve tried taking things for it in the past. Actually it doesn’t matter if it’s Ambien or Seroquel, I do some wacky shit when I’m on antipsychotics or sleeping pills. Once there was a pan of cinnamon rolls on my kitchen island in Chicago. There were nine rolls when I went to bed. When I woke up there were three. The thing that made me the maddest about the whole thing is that I didn’t even get to taste them.
Super-happy about my current job schedule because it really helps with the sleep problems. I do best at night, so I can write and go to bed when I’m finished without worrying about how much sleep I’m getting. Then I’m able to wake up when my body’s ready – it actually ends up being about the same time each day when left to my own cycle – let my body gradually get used to being awake and get to work feeling good and non-stressed.
As an added bonus, I get to see Mister E more often! Used to be I would leave before he got home, then when I got home he was asleep and I saw him for maybe fifteen minutes while he ran out the door. Or before I drove him to work, depending on whether or not I needed the car. Now I get to see him in the morning and even eat breakfast together after having an actual sleep! There are other compensations to seeing him more often as well. Things that require five cats being unceremoniously shoved out of the bedroom.
Ahem. Anyhow, every day is getting better now. My old schedule was “go to work fucking early on a few hours of sleep, come home exhausted and depressed, take a nap, write for thirty minutes, watch SVU, internet, try to sleep.” Repeat. Currently the schedule is “wake up, eat with Mister E, write for two hours, go jogging, go to work, come home, internet/watch SVU, make dinner with Mister E, write for several more hours, sleep.”
It is clear to see which is the healthier of the two options. Also? Happy dance.