One of the strongest indicators of being in hypomania and feeling it grow stronger is the sudden inability to sleep. Routine sleep is critical for those with bipolar disorder, and I make every effort to keep a regular schedule. I take my medication at 8pm and it kicks in around 10pm. Once, I lie down, it takes about 30 minutes to sleep. However, when hypomania appears the sandman leaves. When the sandman leaves, I stay awake until the sun rises. Since I am in hypomania and not mania, I do not spend my evening painting or writing; rather, I just lie in the dark. Thoughts of the day run through my mind and other hours I just lie in bed with a quiet mind. I keep my eyes close, but sometimes I open them and look at my hands in the dark. Stare off in the veil of darkness that cocoons my room safe and warm. I do not know how I lie in bed for hours til dawn. I just do. I suspect I do go into a light sleep, but in the morning, I wake exhausted for a few hours. The exhaustion passes and I become alert again.
I did not sleep last night and suspect tonight I will stay awake. I feel very alert right now. This is the other indicator. I am not dragging at all, but I do make it a practice to lie in the dark to allow my body to rest. When the morning comes, I have to go to work. When I go to work, but do not sleep, I can function at work, but I can not exercise afterwards because it seems to daunting. Tomorrow, I had planned to play against a tennis wall, but I do not think I will have the energy. I come home and try to stay calm and peaceful since I know I am in hypomania. Back in the day, I would have gone out and drank alcohol. Nowadays, I am more disciplined in my self care. Human interaction can become intense, and I am able to maintain a calm distance and protect myself until the hypomania wanes. It crashes into me in waves even on my low dose medication treatment.
Tonight, was different. I ended up pleasantly talking on the phone with my boyfriend until we started discussing politics and the recent debate. It became very uncomfortable and intense. We disagreed on the presidential nominees and voiced our opinions strongly. I kept saying “let us agree to disagree,” but he would not let it go. I felt negatively judged and really bad for how I was thinking. It was horrible. I came crashing down left in shock. My eyes felt like the size of giant saucers making the lights brighter. My mouth went dry and I lost my appetite. I was in a kind of shock. Hypervigilant and uneasy was how I was left. This is what happens when you lose sight of how your mood is affecting you. I knew I had not been sleeping and should have immediately and politely hung up or changed the divert with some levity. These are lessons learned. I had not been sleeping and new I was vulnerable. It is during these times that I really have to not say much or engage in charged topics. During these phases, I have to stay vigilant but not hypervigilant which causes mayhem too. It is a delicate balance, but I do know when I do not sleep, I have to lie low.
After I hung up, I cried and then sat staring at the TV. Just feeling so bad about a conversation that went so wrong. I could not eat nor drink. I just sat there. Now, I cannot sleep. My blogging is a nice escape. I am not concerned with destabilizing because of my med, but I am in distress. For the rest of the evening, I will listen to my favorite comedian Bill Burr podcast and hope my words for this blog will flow. I have many thoughts running over and over in my mind about what we said about people who do not even matter. The shock. Tonight, I will not lie in the dark. I will allow my shock and hypomania to engulf me and stay busy, but I will not drink alcohol.