Thoughts from an Insomniac
Today is day two of some bothersome insomnia. It is said that about 25 percent of Americans suffer from acute insomnia and that 75 percent of those cases clear up on their own without an issue after a maximum of three months. However, I am more of a chronic case since I typically have insomnia that has lasted more than at least three nights a week for longer than a three month period. In my case, I have been dealing with insomnia issues for as long as I can remember.
I was able to get a few hours of sleep but not much given that I was up from 2 am yesterday. My sleep woes tend to go in cycles just like my bipolar mood swings. At my worst, I have lasted 5+ days without sleep. Right now, I am definitely on #TeamNoSleep even though I feel physically and mentally exhausted.
I am currently spending the night at a friends house and able to sleep in an actual bed and given that I am usually crashing on living room sofas (usually at my mom’s house), you would think that my body would be in heaven enough to get a decent night’s rest. But nope.
🕟 4:30 AM…
It’s already 4:30 in the morning and I honestly don’t foresee getting anymore sleep tonight which is very disappointing. I am even prescribed Zolpidem for my insomnia but that usually only seems to put me to sleep for a brief period of time and then I end up waking up in the middle of the night. Right now if the perfect example of this scenario. I am so tempted to take one more and try to go back to sleep. But, I am fully aware that if I do that I will be cutting myself short at the end of the month. So I am not totally sure if a few more hours of rest would be worth it.
I really don’t know what to do with myself right now other than to try blogging until I am no longer the only one awake or until I get drowsy – if I get drowsy.
My mind keeps flopping between being blank and then racing. At night, it seems like my mind wants to play out every stupid thing that I have ever said or done, or every mistake that I have ever made. I sometimes start to worry about things that I honestly have no control over. I unintentionally make mental notes of things that I have to get done or that I should’ve gotten done already.
I’ve tried journaling before bed in hopes that it will empty out of my mind enough to sleep well. I’ve tried making checklists of things that I have to get done. I’ve tried keeping a pen and paper near me at night so that if I get an important thought or remember something randomly that I will be able to jot it down and forget about it instead of obsess over the thoughts. Nothing really seems to be helpful long-term. I just generally can’t seem to get my mind to shut down properly at night.
I get obsessive and intrusive thoughts that sometimes keep me up the entire night. It gets so frustrating. And sleep really does play an important role when it comes to trying to control and tame mental health disorders. For me, the less sleep I get the more irritable and cranky I am the next day. I sometimes even get so emotional after a bad nights sleep that the littlest thing will make me tear up and sometimes even cry hysterically for almost no reason. It royally screws with my mood and emotions.
Nights are generally the hardest for me anyway. Not just because of the overthinking and overanalyzing, but because that is when my bipolar depression usually wants to rear its ugly head.
I’ve had people tell me that I do these things to myself when I get depressed at night or start overthinking and that I could control it if I wanted to. Hearing things like that just makes me want to slap the crap out of people who obviously have no knowledge of what having mental health disorder feels like. Do some people honestly believe that another human being would willingly make themselves feel like total shit on purpose? That is just totally ridiculous.
If, by chance, you are still reading this… I apologize for making this post so lengthy. I am kind of just rambling random thoughts that come to my mind.
🥱 5:30 AM…
It’s already almost 5:30 am and I feel like if I am going to just stay up that I should at least be trying to do something productive. I really wish I had my journal on me right now. I feel like I would have filled up page after page by now.
As open and honest as I am on this blog, there are still plenty of things that I keep private that only stay between my journal and I. So blogging sometimes feels like I just can’t get everything out no matter how hard I try because I have learned that some things just need to stay in private no matter what.
I gave a lot more of myself away than I intended to when I published My Bipolar Mind: You’re not alone. I am a little saddened that I had to pull my book due to conflicting interests with my former publisher – ETP. But I am looking forward to the re-release of my book which is to be announced.
📚 Author Goals
My goal is to have it released again before the new year and it’ll be like a second edition with a brand new cover – courtesy of Jess from Stardust Press, LLC. which is my new publisher. My author goals (#authorgoals) after that would be to finally get the first book I ever wrote, Life Gone Wrong©, published before 2021.
LGW needs some hardcore editing though. I wrote it over a decade ago. It is fictional with some truth from my real life. Only people who have known me since I was little would know which parts were inspired by my real life.
I have started a handful of other books that I got so far in before just randomly stopping. I would email certain friends the first few chapters, get some really good feedback usually, but then lose motivation to keep going. Then, when the mood would strike to start working on it again, I would have to go back and reread the entire thing because I would end up forgetting where I left off at or what I already added.
I really need to find a way to be a lot more organized when it comes to writing lengthy stories and writing more than one thing at a time. (Writing organization tips would be greatly appreciated in the comments below, especially if anyone knows of any good free programs or apps that I could try!)
🤪 It’ll be light outside soon…
According to the weather app on my phone, the sun will rise at 7:09 am. So, in exactly one hour to the minute. I highly regret not taking that second dose of Zolpidem now. I guess it’s too late to do that unless I plan on sleeping until noon if I were to be able to fall back to sleep. It seems pretty pointless now.
Remember how I mentioned that my thoughts were flopping between being blank and racing… well, now, they are just racing. On top of my bipolar disorder, I also have adult ADD/ADHD – among other mental health conditions. I have never really learned how to control my racing thoughts. My ADD medication helps but it doesn’t get rid of it totally. Plus, I have yet to take my morning meds.
I have so many other things that I probably should have tried doing since I was awake in the middle of the night. I was supposed to read through the new edits of the My Bipolar Mind book days ago and I have been really slacking on that. I also have other writing obligations that I probably should have been working on as well. I’m such a major procrastinator. It sucks. I don’t know how to stop putting things that need to be done off. I have been like this my entire life. I am either way ahead of schedule or way behind. There is almost no middle ground for me. Perhaps that is part of the typical all or nothing thinking that is associated with being bipolar.
Well, I do believe that I have bored you all long enough and took up enough of your time. If you have made it this far into this personal blog post, thanks for sticking around. I hope you all have a great Saturday! 💁♀️✌
P.s. Please feel free to comment below regarding some of my main concerns that I’ve mentioned in this post such as organizational tips for writers, insomnia tips, adult ADD tips, how to stop racing thoughts, or anything else that you wish to comment on! Seriously, folks, it would be greatly appreciated!
Samantha is the author of "My Bipolar Mind: You're not alone," she is also a freelance writer, blogger, and mental health advocate who runs and manages her own mental health blog MyBipolarMind.com.