Wading Through Peanut Butter

That’s what I’ve felt like all day today……like I was trying to make my way through a river of sludge and getting nowhere. I’d forgotten what a full dose of Zyprexa does to me, especially on top of all the OTHER stuff I take at night. When I got up this morning I felt like a bomb had gone off in my head; I stumbled into the bathroom, turned on the lights, and promptly went back to sleep…..on the toilet.

It was almost as bad at work. This was a day to do computer work and take in a couple more training videos, which are about as exciting as watching cars rust. Even my trusty Thermos full of coffee wasn’t enough to bring me out of my lassitude; thankfully my co-worker took pity on me and bought me a Starbucks tall dark-roast. That got me through the rest of the day, and driving home in the bright sunshine didn’t hurt my disposition either.

Still, I really hate feeling like such a zombie, even though it’s only temporary. (I think. Dr. A did say I’m supposed to stay on the Zyprexa “until further notice”.) I’ve always felt so sorry for people that literally have to be doped to the gills every day just to be able to function in society; it never occurred to me that I’d be one of them, even for a brief period. But today is the first day in over a month that I haven’t been stressed out, freaked out, depressed/hypomanic, agitated, angry, restless, scared, or wanting to crawl out of my skin. So what does that say?

It’s not as if it’s a huge dose of Vitamin Z. I usually take only 2.5 mg, and I’ve seen people on as much as 20. But the five-milligram dose knocks me on my ass and Dr. A knows it, which is one of the reasons he prescribed it. Because sleep is EVERYTHING to a bipolar person. It’s the rest our bodies cry out for when we’re over-amped, the merciful break from depression, the lifeblood which allows us to go and do and be.

It’s also the thing that eludes us when we need it the most, and lack of quality sleep has definitely contributed to my miseries. But last night I got the best night’s shut-eye I’ve had in weeks; I took my handful of sanity at 9 PM, went to bed at 10:30, and didn’t wake up until 6. (Well, I didn’t really wake up till about noon, but you know what I mean.) No tossing and turning, no middle-of-the-night awakenings, no disturbing dreams. I didn’t even hear Will come in. I can’t even remember the last time I slept like that…..probably not since the last time I was on the 5 mg dose of Z.

It’s all a trade-off. We sacrifice our youth for wisdom, our vitality for the ability to sleep, our creativity for sanity. We take pills so that we can fulfill our roles as workers, spouses, parents, church members, and citizens of the world. And sometimes, we spend our days wading through peanut butter so that we can rest our poor overstimulated brains for the next big thing in our lives.



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.

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