Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Battle With the Sandman. Ouch. I Lost....Again.

So the last couple of weeks I have been fighting insomnia.  I am told it is something that often accompanies bipolar disorder.  It is a fact of my life.  It comes and goes.  Right now, it has returned for a visit and is showing no signs of returning from whence it came.  At first, it was just a matter of pride as I lay there thinking "I refuse to get up because I am not asleep yet.  I don't care if I have been laying here for three hours.  I. Will. Not. Get. Up."  And so I would lay there in bed, staring at the wall or the back of my eyelids, trying to make my mind go blank so I can bore myself to sleep until finally, somewhere around 5 or 6 am, I dose off, only to be woken a couple hours later by my husband's alarm clock saying it's 8am. 

"That's ok," I think.  "I can sleep in a little."  After all, I don't work so I don't have anything to do, right?  Yea.  Right.  Just when I start to dose off again (8:45-ish), my husband comes in and kisses me goodbye because he knows I freak out if I don't know when he is leaving.  I am now awake again and have to start this process all over.  At some point I dose off...again...and I sleep 'til around 10 when I wake up because the dog scratched herself and made her tags jingle.  I feel a little guilty because it already starts to feel like I am sleeping too late, but I talk myself into trying to go back to sleep because, again, I don't work so I don't have anything to do, right? 

Usually by this point I am exhausted so I fall asleep again almost immediately.  I wake up again around 11:30 or 11:45, and now I panic.  Holy crap.  I can't believe I let myself sleep half the day away!  What was I thinking?!  I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO!!!  And this is the point where I attempt to "spring" out of bed but it really ends up being this awkward stumbling in an attempt to get my legs functioning while not stepping on the dog and everything is a little fuzzy and hazy because I only got maybe 3 hours of truly restful, rejuvenating sleep. I then spend the rest of the day vaguely attempting to complete the tasks that seem so numerous, yet I usually only manage to get one, maaaaaaaybe two done.

Rinse, repeat.

Before you say anything about going to the doctor for help, yes, I have a prescription sleep aid that actually works really, really well.  The problem is that at some point this process went from pride to stubbornness.  As you may or may not know, my husband and I are trying to get pregnant.  We have been trying for quite some time actually.  In this process, I have either cut back or cut out any medication I can possible live without, without causing too much discomfort, ok, pain, in my life.  This includes the sleep aid.  So when I went from pride to stubbornness, my mind thinks, "Screw you insomnia!  I will not have you screw up my future child just because you don't feel like letting me sleep.  SCREW. YOU!"  But you see, insomnia doesn't have feeeeeelings.  It doesn't care when you yell at it.  It is relentless.  It is this mindless, feelingless thing that doesn't care what you say or do.  If conditions are not just right, forget it.  You aren't sleeping. 

Well finally the sleepless nights built on each other for so long that I finally broke down and took the damn sleep aid.  OH. MY. GOD.  I slept so well that I felt like I had died and gone to heaven.  The next day, that "spring" out of bed, really was a spring and I had the most productive day in a couple weeks.  But then the night came again.  I decided one more night of sleep aid can't be too horrible, so I popped another and once again, slept like a baby. 

Now it has been 3 nights of sleep aid and the figurative voice in my head is starting to get to me.  I know tonight is going to be another sleepless night.  I can feel it.  I should probably take another pill since these bouts usually last 2 or 3 weeks for me.  Yet, the voice keeps chastising me.  How could you put your possibly future child at risk like this?  Then the other side argues back how a mother who is not healthy or rested is no good to her child anyway.  Then the voice again - but what about side effects it could have on the child?  Then the other side - you have been told this sleep aid doesn't have huge risks like others.  Yes, there are risks, but not like really, really, bad and highly likely ones. 

And so the argument continues, but I know what side will ultimately win.  I will go to bed in hopes that the sandman will be kind to me tonight but knowing he will not.  I will lay in bed awake while my husband sleeps peacefully next to me.  Finally, 2 or 3 will roll around and I will give in and take a pill because I have appointments I have to actually be functional for.  But tomorrow night, I will deny myself the help simply because I will not have any appointments  and after all, I don't work so I don't have anything to do, right?