Have you ever been so completely tired that you could just sleep right where you are like a kitten or puppy? You know, the kind of tired that you feel creeping up on you, slowly settling into your joints stiffening them up, releasing the tension from your muscles causing your head to nod. Eyelids melting down over your sore eyeballs, thoughts slowing down and softly drifting away.....
I was trying to read last night and was gently fighting these sleepy symptoms until bedtime. Then I gratefully got up and slowly did my nighttime routine, slipped between my sheets, closed my eyes, let out a sigh of relief for being horizontal and.....boing! Wide awake. Thinking (hoping) I would fall asleep soon I lay there...waiting...and getting more awake.
Something I've noticed about bipolar is the chemical change in my brain. A Down feels like paralyzing tiredness. My muscles no longer obey my brain's command to move, my thoughts are slow, heavy and difficult to translate into words. My brain feels like it is wrapped in a thick, impenetrable blanket. My mind will take a phrase or attitude and not let it go, turning it over and over and over and I can't convince myself the thought is incorrect/not justified/in need of clarification/not rational. (no need to worry, no self-harming thoughts) During a Down I'm generally sad, broody, melancholy, slow, and emotionally distant. It seems impossible to even consider the possibility of a smile.
Ahhhhh, then the Up to follow! The chemical change is like a burst of fluid splashing across my brain. Caffeinated, cool, tingling, sparkly fluid washing over the top of my brain and settling in the folds. My thoughts become focussed, sharp, lightning fast, and so colorful in imagery! I don't have enough words to describe what I see in my mind's eye, or enough time to complete all the wonderful things I know I'm capable of! I want to be sociable - talk to everybody all the time, be active and fill every living moment of my wonderful day! My face feels light and uplifted from all the smiling! I am creative, elated, joyful, chatty, social, and radiant.
Did that help describe things a bit? Ok, so I think I was in a 'mixed state' yesterday. I was still in the Down, still quick to jump to incorrect conclusions and feel unloved. But my brain was starting to wake up. Beneath the blanket on my brain was the beginnings of the electrical storm. Instead of the storm rushing over the top of my brain and seeping into the nooks and crannies, the storm began deep inside and was held down by the suffocating blanket. I could not slow my thoughts enough to rest and although my body desperately wanted to sleep, my brain simply wouldn't allow it. I can definitely see why people turn to substance abuse to help ease this situation. I did end up falling asleep for about three and a half hours...with the help of a Robaxacet to relax.
You'd think I'd be clumsy, unfocused, tired, glassy-eyed or grumpy at work today. Nope. A little tired but I shook it off pretty easily. I even managed a 30 min workout on my elliptical when I got home. Lordy.
Oh, and, do you know how to get a 14 yr old boy to turn his music down in his room? You play your music even louder and with more bass. It's amazing. Either T will come out of his room to see what's going on or he'll just turn his down. Works better than yelling :)