Sleep is a necessity. It is a necessity that I neglected to take advantage of. I didn’t sleep for years and it only aided and added to my depression and sometimes to my mania.
It became worse when my mother died in 2010. It always took me a long time to fall asleep. When my head hits the pillow it takes me at least 20 minutes to calm the storm that swirls around in my head thinking about the next day and all the things I did wrong. Eventually I would began to think about my mother and grief would push me out of the bed and force me to find something to do to keep my mind off the pain.
Not sleeping made me feel bad all the time. It made my depression worse. It is hard to be a good mom when you’re not sleeping. I would go to bed at 4 am and then up at 6 am to get the kids ready and off to school. Then I would pass out from exhaustion waking up to find my youngest child who I stayed home with sitting on my back eating chips. Instead of taking her places and having fun with her, I was sleeping while she sat alone.
Instead of depression, sometimes it would lead to extreme mania. When I am having a manic episode nothing really matters. I only have time to focus on these projects. I would neglect the needs of my family and friends thinking erroneously that it was helping them in the long run.
I would become so energetic that I would get these grandiose ideas that felt I needed to implement right at that second. I have been known to take on more projects than I could handle. I started a publishing company; a body scrubs company, a jewelry making and selling company and a holiday basket company. Only one of these companies that made money was my publishing company. The rest were just hemorrhaging money. It was taking a toll on my family because on the weekends I was always gone to craft fairs selling my items.
On top of spending all my time working on these projects I was taking care of the household and not sleeping. I would be up at all hours of the night making scrubs, writing, making jewelry and playing candy crush.
Anything other than sleeping.
I also started making websites, a cooking blog and three writing blogs. I maintained seven social media sites and I spent all my time doing that.
I thought, “These projects are going to make so much money my family is going to be so happy.” That is never the case.
Besides my writing, nothing else really made that much money and I was taking savings from my family. It took my husband sitting me down and making me keep all my receipts and keeping track of it all. That is when I realized none of it was worth it.
That doesn’t stop me the next time. Then instead of starting new businesses, I start three or four novels at once. I burn all the energy and would have nothing left for my family.
Sleep wasn’t a priority.
Eventually it began to change my body’s sense of time. I began to consider day time as the time I slept and night time as the time I worked and ate. It caused me to gain weight and I was miserable. The weight gain only began to make me depressed but I no longer felt good about myself.
It took medication and a conscious effort to change. At first I began to take sleeping pills hoping that would help me. That was before my diagnosis. Once I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I was given medication that could only be taken at night and would leave me drowsy. Soon I was going to bed at a normal hour with enough energy to get up in the morning and be productive.