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Insomnia Is Kicking My Butt (It’s Going To Be a Long Day)

It’s already after 5 am and I have yet to sleep. My alarm for work is scheduled to go off at 7:45 am. There is no point in even trying to get any rest now especially because I am so wide awake. I have nothing going on at the moment, so I figured I would try to blog for a little – again – or until I have to start getting ready for work.

At least since it is officially Christmas Eve now, I only have to work a half a day today. My boss told me that I could leave at 1pm for the holiday. So, all I have to do is be able to function for four hours today. Although, I am not quite sure how I am going to achieve that. I already feel kind of fuzzy headed even though I feel awake. It’s like my mind and body are at war; one part of me is craving sleep while the other part (the part that won) is fighting sleep.

Work becomes challenging when I go in after a sleepless night. I keep telling myself that it’s only four hours and that I can handle this. But can I really? Hopefully I won’t have to do anything that requires a lot of thought or concentration today. I don’t really have much work scheduled for today since I tried to leave today open since it’s Christmas Eve. However, that might mean that my shift is going to feel like it’s dragging on forever.

My boss was thoughtful and he got all his staff $50 gift cards to Ross. Which is perfect for me because then I can buy more office appropriate clothing for work. I want to try to get to Ross this weekend to spend that gift card.

My boss has so many potential plans for growth for me within his company that I am worried about failing or letting his down. Sometimes he has to explain things to me a few times before the information starts to sink in which I feel embarrassed about. My memory is still shot from the post concussion syndrome and remembering things is challenging for me most of the time. I take notes but have them spread out everywhere. Sometimes when I refer to my notes I won’t even understand what it is that I was trying to say which basically makes the note useless.

It gets challenging trying to work at times when you have an array of mental and physical disorders. I try my hardest and sometimes I feel like that isn’t even good enough. I am a people pleaser and I hate when I disappointment people or let them down even though I feel like I do it a lot.

My boss was talking about having me go back to college to get a degree so that I can take on higher paying and better positions. I absolutely love the idea of earning a real degree but going back to school scares the hell out of me because I have tried the college thing so many different times. Probably a handful of times or more. I usually always leave after the first semester because I don’t understand the material and get frustrated.

The only thing I have been able to complete was going to Lincoln Technical Institute for their Medical Assistant program and even though I got good grades there that certificate I earned is pretty much useless unless you can find a job at a hospital. And in a past life, I fucked up being able to do that. The classes there were accelerated but I didn’t even earn an associates degree because apparently that was a different program they offered that they never told me about. I earned a certificate and not a degree so I pretty much wasted my time and I am now $20,000 in student loan debt.

I think the reason I did so well at LTI was because everything was hands on and I tend to learn better that way. I feel like I wouldn’t be able to complete an online college program because you don’t get to actually sit in a classroom where you can ask your teacher or your peers as many questions as you want right then and there. You can explain vocally what you are having a problem with compared to trying to explain it in text over email or an online chat.

When I did try going back to school, not being able to grasp new things easily and always needing additional help and explanations that required more than simply “read the text” made me feel dumb and incredibly stupid. I personally don’t feel like I have the brains to be able to actually graduate from a college. I don’t want to share these feelings and doubts about returning to school with my boss for multiple reasons. But mainly because I don’t want him to think I am just being lazy or something. Or I don’t want him to think I am a total idiot and failure and then wonder why he even hired me.

Most likely though, if he really wants me to try to earn a degree to give me a better position I’ll probably try it despite my doubts and fears for the sole reason of not wanting to let him down.

The people that know me best worry that if I do try to go back to school that it’ll be too much for me and that i’d just become completely overwhelmed. Which, if you look at my past history and how many times I have tried college they have a legitimate point.

I mean, most days it’s even challenging for me to keep up with my household chores. And so many things in my life happen based on how I am feeling at the time. When I get depressed, going to work is all I can seem to handle.

How do you force yourself to do more on the days where even getting out of bed is difficult? When you live with Bipolar Disorder, those days are bound to happen from time to time and I haven’t quite learned how to conquer those days so that my disorder doesn’t win.

Can someone please give me some advice on how people with bipolar disorder can juggle work, home, and school without having a mental break down every other day? Not knowing how to do that has held me back from so much. The first college I ever attended in my late teens/early 20s I had to withdraw from my classes for mental health reasons.

I’ve tried going back to college and tried a few different degree programs. I was in Liberal Arts (which pretty much means you don’t have a major picked out), I went back for Psychology, for Clinical Counseling, for Creative Writing, and that is as far as I can remember. I even gave up on the writing one because I was struggling in my general education classes.

Would the 6th time be the lucky charm or would history repeat itself?

My mood right now is just like, “Ah, okay, whatever.” I am not really feeling depressed or even manic. I don’t think I am quite baseline either. I am not sure what I am. I am starting to feel like I am in a mental fog. But that is probably from being up for almost 24 hours. 7:30 am will be the 24 hour mark.

I really wish my job had sick and personal days. I would highly consider calling out right now even though I am only working four hours. I just really want to be lazy and do absolutely nothing for a few hours. Maybe lay and bed and stare at the ceiling to give my body some rest since I have been sitting in my desk chair for countless hours now.

My muscles also keep cramping. If I twist the wrong way even the muscles around my ribs or whatever will painfully cramp up and feel pinched and leave me unable to move for a moment or two. It’s just annoying. For some reason, when I don’t get sleep my muscles really cramp a lot. Muscles I didn’t even know I had will cramp. I have to be gentle with my body and not move too fast when this happens.

I can’t lie though, the closer the time gets to my alarm going on the more anxiety I am starting to get. I am kind of dreading greeting the day and having to get dressed. I think I am going to dress unprofessionally again (Like I did on Monday) today and just wear a hoodie and leggings. I just want to wear something that is easy to throw on and that is comfortable. I don’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to find an outfit and making sure everything matches (which is hard since I am colorblind) and making sure that you can’t see my bra through the shirt. I don’t want to be bothered with clothes that are clingy today.

I have worn a hoodie to work a few times already and so far my boss hasn’t said anything about it even though it looks very unprofessional. I have even conducted interviews while wearing a hoodie before.

Since it’s winter, I’ll see how long I can get away with dressing down every now and then. Summer will be a different story since I won’t sink as low as to wear a t-shirt to work. That would be crossing a line for me. Plus, right now I majorly need to get some laundry done. Most of my office attire that I like to wear is dirty. It really sucks not having a washer and dryer in my apartment. We don’t even have the hookups to put one in either. Not to mention our apartment is tiny and finding room for them would be nearly impossible.

It’s 6:30 am. My anxiety keeps increasing which is making me slightly agitated. I really hope that I don’t end up in a panic attack as it gets closer to my alarm blaring noise at me.

On the nights I don’t sleep and I have work in the morning, I always get major anxiety about having to get ready and try to function for the day. My head fills with so much worry about how I am going to make it through my shift without fucking something up for falling asleep because of the lack of sleep. I worry that I won’t be able to understand what I am being told to do and look like a total moron. I worry that the lack of sleep will cause me to get overly emotional at work since on no sleep days I am ultra sensitive.

I just start worrying about things that probably won’t even happen and blow things way out of proportion inside my head and all that does is cause extra anxiety to the point where it feels like my skin is crawling. And when I get into this state, my Buspar and PRN Trazodone do absolutely nothing to provide relief. It’s almost pointless to even take them during these circumstances.

My boyfriend even just asked me if I wanted to start getting ready for work early and it totally bugged me out because it’s only 6:40 and I don’t want to think about having to get dressed and adult until that alarm goes off. Which it will be doing in an hour from now.

I wish I cut shut out the anxiety and worries like flipping a light switch. But it doesn’t work like that. If it did, no one would ever be dealing with anxiety ever again. I feel like some people feel that I do this shit to myself by thinking these things. But I haven’t quite learned how to shut out or counter my negative and intrusive thoughts. I don’t get this way on purpose. I don’t want my mind to think all this bad shit that creates anxiety. I have no control over these things. I am not in control of my own thoughts most of the time. They just tend to creep in and take over.

On the outside I appear calm but on the inside I am majorly freaking out about having to get ready and go to work today. I just want to freeze and shut down. I am still not feeling depressed. I am just really starting to struggle with my anxiety at the moment.

This post majorly changed tones multiple times. I talked a lot about work, how I feel dumb, that I am feeling “eh” and now it turned into a rant about my anxiety. You have now been able to witness first hand my moods shifting multiple times within the matter of an hour and a half.

It is five minutes away from being 7 am. There’s a war going on within my mind regarding the root of my anxiety right now. Part of me is begging and pleading with myself to just call out and another part of me knows that I can’t since I had to miss two days of work last week for a repeat colonoscopy. Plus, I have off tomorrow already for Christmas. There is another part of me that is trying to smooth things over by telling myself that I have done this before so I know I can handle working a short shift today. I am not sure which part of myself is the loudest at the moment.

Regardless of this crippling anxiety and fear I know that when my alarm goes off, I will force myself out of this chair to start getting ready for work because I know I have no other choice. I am not forcing myself because I think I can handle this, I am solely forcing myself because there’s no other option. People do things they don’t feel like doing all the time. But I wonder if a “normal” person (a person without a mental illness) gets anxiety about having to be a responsible adult after a sleepless night.

I honestly feel like I am the only one who goes through this. I haven’t found one single person in my life who an relate. Everyone I know doesn’t understand what it feels like and how it feels like my heart is going to beat through my chest the closer it gets to having to get ready for work. The typical words of encouragement I usually get is to just “calm down and relax.” If I knew how to do that, I would be doing it.

I know tons of anxiety coping mechanisms but nothing seems to help during these times so after a while I give up trying. Why does anxiety have to feel so damn uncomfortable? When it gets really bad it starts to feel like everything is caving in on me and I am being suffocated by all the worries, fears, and what ifs. It’s almost fully consumes me and takes over my thoughts and emotions to the point where I just want to hide from everything and shut down. Anxiety is a bitch.

I never use my medical marijuana before work or during my shift, but if I had some right now I would definitely be using it to help tame these feelings. Medical marijuana is like the best anti-anxiety remedy ever. It helps every single time without fail. Unfortunately for me, I am broke af until payday and can’t afford any. That shit gets expensive.

I am so obsessed with the time right now. I keep looking at my clock and each passing minute just gives me this sinking feeling. It is currently 7:16 am. I don’t know how the entire night passed by at a normal rate but now it feels like time is accelerating faster than I can keep up.

I want to go back to childhood when I didn’t have to work for a living and my mommy took care of me. I was so eager to grow up and now that I am an adult out in the real world I just want to go back to being a kid even if my childhood had some challenging moments. I’d rather have to deal with that shit than what I have to deal with now.

I guess I should end this ridiculously long post here so I can try to talk myself into getting ready for work. I have to keep reminding myself that calling out is not an option and that I have worked longer shifts on no sleep and everything turned out fine for the most part. I have to also remind myself that I have worked feeling worse than this. Forcing myself to get ready soon is my only option. I hate adulting!

Wish me luck and pray for me that I don’t break down before or during my shift!

Samantha View All

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

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