I’m not one for symbolic analysis of dreams; none of this bullshit, like a dream about a frog with red feet doesn’t mean I’m going to be lucky but if it has green feet it means the shower is going to break.
But last night I had three nightmares that were pretty indicative of what’s going on in my head right now. First, I was at school and the teachers kept making us do weird things like collecting chalk from all the buildings. Second, I was running around the local shopping centre like a nutjob. And third, I was trying to drive my car from the back seat and failing.
The theme was very clear in my nightmares – loss of control. I am losing control, I don’t want to lose control, I fear loss of control. I don’t know how to keep control.
But because there’s always a bright side – at least I slept long enough to have three whole dreams!
It seems I’ve come full circle. I am well. I still feel like I’m walking a knife edge, but like as not that’s just because I’m so used to it. All the same, there’s no harm in being aware.
There a few things that are worrying me – slight amounts of headnoise (although not nearly at Voices level of coherence), cleaning products smelling of beer, and some slight bouncing around the house. Also an accumulation of projects. It’s nothing major, and nothing that really amounts to anything. It’s essentially a point in a cycle I go through with every episode.
I am currently at the “I don’t need these meds” stage of my mental health, and so I’m in a position to break this cycle.
It seems that there are really two things I need to do: take the stupid drugs and avoid triggers. Easier said than done! I know what my triggers are and usually I can avoid them.
- Lack of sleep
- Too much sleep
- Broken sleep
- Reading too much about physics
- Too many projects
- Physical illness
This last one is the main problem. I can mostly avoid sleep issues, with the addition of sleeping pills if absolutely necessary. I can choose not to read about, or watch documentaries on physics (as long as I haven’t got so far into an episode that I can’t not read about it). I can choose to focus on fewer projects and let the others be for a while. It’s harder to avoid physical illness. I can’t choose not to catch a cold. It doesn’t work like that. Even good physical health doesn’t preclude all physical illness.
What I can do is be aware that I am now getting over a cold, and headnoise is appearing as well as requests from Husband and family that I “calm down” or “stop bouncing around”. At this point if I make a concious effort, I can be calm, I can settle to tasks and complete tasks. The moment I stop making that concious effort, it creeps up on me and I bounce around again.
So on my keeping well list:
- Don’t have a long to do list
- Watch for loss of control – increase meds if necessary
- Avoid physics
- Avoid antidepressants
- Sleep well
- Be extra aware following colds, etc.
- And just in case, avoid stress
I am doing all these things, and my family and friends are always alert to my mood/thoughts (a blessing and a curse – sometimes they overreact). So if things get worse I’ve done what I can do by myself and I have to remember: it’s okay to ask for help!
I’m lying here, waiting for sleep to come. I have to wait until the quetiapine kicks in because I am incapable of sleeping without any medication these days. I’ve forgotten how. Like those times you forget how to speak and stumble over your words, but rather more of a stumble over a basic function. But sleep will come, and when it does I will be out for the count, sleeping like a log a baby the dead, practically unconscious.
Come the morning I will be unable to wake up. I will have to fight my way out of sleep, clawing up from the dreamy depths. Some mornings, if I wake too early, I can’t even move my arms and legs. Helpless.
I hate quetiapine. I’m not even completely convinced it’s working. There’s not much I can do about that though.
Or lack thereof.
At what point does it become insomnia? I’m wary of using the word; there are so many people that really suffer with it. And here I am with a few days of nosleep. I’ve slept approximately 5 hours out of the last 72. I woke up Sunday morning and that was that. Now it’s Wednesday.
It’s starting to affect me physically. I have a mouth ulcer and a sore throat, so clearly my immune system is crying out for a rest. My joints ache purely through overuse (and my hip joints suck anyway). I’m clumsy – all my spacial awareness is off.
I think I will take a sleeper tonight. I’ll deal with the hangover for the sake of not being dead. It’s a good trade-off!
My impromptu holiday is mostly not going to plan. I’m enjoying it, but I had intended to have quite a lot more walks and quite a lot less anxiety attacks over the idea of going outside.
Must take steps to not get manic.