Holy crap, what a WEEK!! I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the idea that two months ago I was on a seemingly relentless downhill course, and now I’m…..well….not. It feels for all the world as though I went from playing Pop Warner football to the NFL in just a few weeks. Now I’ve got my state ID, my $2400 laptop, my business cards with “M_____, RN” and “Surveyor” printed under the official Department of Human Services logo and the state seal…….what the hell happened here?? Talk about your rollercoaster ride!
I’ve gotta admit it: the sleep routine really has turned the trick. I have been on medications up the wazoo (and in fact am still on them) and the meds alone didn’t work well enough until I started getting some shut-eye. Thus, my attitude toward the initial imposition of a bedtime has changed a lot, and in fact I don’t even call it a “curfew” anymore because now I’M calling the shots.
This is something I really wish I’d understood years ago. Protecting my sleep is probably one of the single most important things I can do to stay well, and I want to stay well more now than I have at perhaps any other point in my life. (Taking my meds at routine times and never missing a dose have also probably helped things a lot.) And I have a new appreciation for the ability to behave like a decent human being, because there have been many times when the casual observer must have thought I was raised by wolves.
Then I look around at my new co-workers, all of whom have been welcoming and who seem so professional, and I’m not even tempted to discuss mental health issues except as they relate to the population we serve. Not just because I want to keep my own medical history private, but also because it’s so irrelevant to everything that’s going on around me. There’s no time to bemoan depression or fiddle-fart around with hypomania when we have serious problems going on in the facilities we’re monitoring.
So, staying on an even keel is absolutely critical to my success, to say the least. Now, I have no idea why it seems everything’s magically going to be OK all of a sudden—even though I’ve been fighting BP tooth and nails for a solid two years— but maybe I’m just thinking that it will be because I want it to be. At least this time, I’m AWARE of that feeling and am on guard, because I know I can’t wish away my MI—it’s still there whether I’m actively symptomatic or not.
I mean, I get it…..I’ve achieved a long-desired goal against all the odds, but at the end of the day I still have an illness that requires some hardcore medications and a strict sleep regimen to control. I won’t let myself be fooled again by the oh-so-seductive but ridiculous idea that all I needed to straighten myself out were a cool job and a little security.
Now, Constant Reader, please tell me if any of that makes sense, or am I just rambling because I’m so whupped from a week of intensive learning that I can barely think straight? Inquiring minds want to know…..but they’ll have to wait till tomorrow to find out because it’s med time, which means it’ll soon be BEDtime. Nighty-night!

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

5 thoughts on “

  1. It makes sense to me. I hope that it will be a self fulfilling circle; you’re doing better, your job is going well so you think you’re doing better; so you’re doing better, etc. etc.


  2. ‘Protecting my sleep is probably one of the single most important things I can do to stay well, and I want to stay well more now than I have at perhaps any other point in my life.’

    Yeep, and it’s one of the reasons I begged to be on night shift and night shift alone when I was in the Air Force (the other being I function better at night). So of course, I never got to see night shift, and got told to be grateful that we got an entire eight weeks before the schedule rotated again (in spite of science showing very clearly that’s how long it takes a damned body to adjust!).


      1. Yup! I still take pride that I managed to make it through argumentative and snarky, AND even forced ’em to move me back to a job I particularly liked once because of non-shifting depression.


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