I don’t know about you but I have been feeling REALLY tired of late… So I was interested to read an article by Dr John Douillard of lifespa.com where he said:
Insomnia is a condition whereby people think that if they cannot get to sleep they have too much energy. They are often wired and simply cannot fall asleep. What I have found in my clinical practice is that most people who cannot sleep at night are, in fact, exhausted. Odd as it may seem, the body needs energy to calm or sedate itself for sleep. Without energy, we stay awake, “wired and tired”.
That is where I have been for the past few weeks – “wired and tired” – so it is with regret that I have to tell you I have had to go back onto my Bipolar medication to see if that would bring my bodyclock back into balance again. I was so excited to tell you about coming off the meds and feel like a bit of a fool for having to go back on them but I guess I really do have an illness as I had been feeling distinctly unwell again with symptoms of mania rising up quickly.
So now I am planning to try a few of Dr Douillard’s suggestions:
- Meditate twice daily. Sleep research studies have shown that meditation reduces the time of sleep onset to normal in patients with insomnia.
- Maintain a regular daily routine: rise, meditate, eat sleep, work exercise and play at the same time every day. Go to bed by 10pm, which is the end of the Kapha period when the mind and body are naturally drowsier. If you are not currently accustomed to being regular about your routine, you may want to start by first writing down a schedule to follow for the first few weeks.
- Eat Vata-pacifying Foods: If the mind is very active at bedtime follow a Vata-pacifying diet or light Vata diet. Have an early, light supper, such as soup or hot cereal, toast, warm milk at least three hours before bedtime.
- Enjoy dynamic and fulfilling activities during the day.
- Be sure to enjoy some light entertainment each day. Humorous books, movies or being in pleasant situations with family and friends will all fulfill this recommendation.
- Be Calm: To the extent possible, avoid situations which tend to cause anxiety, worry, or anger.
I hope that these suggestions will help me to regulate my mood swings which will, in turn, mean I can get a good night’s sleep for a change! After all, studies link disturbed sleep with increased cortisol production (a stress hormone) and weight gain and I definitely don’t want that! I have other plans to help bring my life back into balance and I will tell you about these soon … so keep reading!
Well I have reduced my dose of lithium by half now and I think it explains the vivid memories from my childhood which had been clouded in a ‘lithium fog’ before. These memories are not disturbing and I kind of like having them – recalling things but not getting caught up in the emotions that the memories want to stir up in me. Some day I might even write them all down and share them because it’s amazing what I’m remembering! (So, if were in Glasgow with me around 1998 beware!!)
Anyway, I found this article from The Observer back in 2001 and I could relate to so much of what the writer, Fiona Campbell, said so I thought I’d share it with you. Have a read and tell me what you think. And, don’t panic because I’m NOT HER even if share some of her psychotic symptoms!
I have also shared a picture of Chris and Foxy because they saved me and they save me every day. Chris steps up to the plate EVERY TIME I need him to. He is my rock (and I am his fire, but that’s another story). And Foxy is the light of my life. He is such a crazy little animal and having him in my life has forced me to move out of my head and into the real world a bit more. It doesn’t matter how stressed, tired or depressed I am because he still needs a walk in the fresh air every day and he always needs a cuddle! We had just had his hair cut here but at the moment is he much hairier with very expressive eyebrows!
29 years ago I was in Primary 3 and a neighbour came into the classroom and began whispering with my teacher. I knew they were talking about me because they kept looking over and then the teacher told me that I had to go home to my neighbour’s house rather than my own. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Why were they talking about me? Had I been bad? Did Mum and Dad not love me any more? At my neighbours house I watched ‘John Craven’s Newsround’ which mentioned that two policemen had been killed in Northern Ireland and I still remember thinking how sad that must be for their families. I didn’t think that I would be one of those family members, but I was.
I only mention this because I have been thinking about how childhood incidents impact on adult behaviours and I have realised that this need to know what is going on all around me and to try and control everything in my life and to be perfect all the time stems from this incident 29 years ago.
My Uncle’s death was terrible and tore the heart out of my beloved grandparents but for me I hardly knew the man. Instead I grew up with the icon, the carefully crafted image from my Aunt and cousins. If he had lived he’d be 68 (I think) but our lives would be very different. I wouldn’t have had that experience of watching my Mum screaming and crying and not being able to help her or take her pain away, no matter how good I was. And he would just be an ordinary man instead of a saint.
I always thought I didn’t have any “incidents” in my childhood that could have caused my adult depression then bipolar disorder. It’s amazing what surfaces when you start to really look! I am so grateful for my yoga and meditation practice as they help me through this introspection.
I received this email today and thought it was so apt to my current situation. Not that I needed validation for gradually reducing and coming off my bipolar medication. But it made me smile and it definitely came at the perfect time, just as I was beginning to doubt my decision.
Dear Wonderful Girl,
You are not a dilemma. You are not a problem to be solved. You are not a mistake. You are not a burden. You are a beautiful soul who is learning, growing and stretching….and learning, growing and stretching come with a lot of bumps in the road.
Often we let ourselves fall into an identity or a belief that we will always be the broken one, the one with all of the problems, the troublemaker or the burden. Please, beautiful friend…cast that old, outdated belief out the window and decide to stop looking at yourself this way. Tell yourself the beautiful truth, that you are a whole beautiful soul who is learning.
The problem with looking at yourself with a broken belief is that you will, without even thinking about it, attract and even seek out situations, relationships and even problems to prove yourself right.
What is beautiful is that when we finally start to see ourselves in the light of the truth….we begin to seek out and attract people and situations and a beautiful life that is meant for us, and life proves itself right.
What a wonderful thing. But it’s all in what we believe.
Please believe the truth.
You are SO LOVED.
A message from your friends at the Brave Girls Club – www.bravegirlsclub.com