Question of the day.

Are you an early riser?

My answer:

Yes and no. I think I wrote about my crazy weird sleep a lot on here. I don’t like the morning lark/night owl classification of people, well I don’t mind it in general but it just doesn’t really work for me personally because I could say I’m sort of both and neither. πŸ˜€ And I’m sure I’m not alone with this. So in this post, I’ll go beyond just answering the question and try to explain in more detail why this labelling doesn’t work for me and what’s the deal with my sleep exactly, especially for those who don’t know me outside of the blog.

Basically, if you don’t know about it yet, I’ve been totally blind since birth, and totally also includes no light perception, so, quite naturally, my brain has always been more or less confused what time of day, or night, it is, so instead it decides on its own. There were times in my life when I was quite frustrated about this but generally I’m used to it and it’s just how it is.

Whenever my Mum talks about what my siblings and me were as babies and toddlers, she always says that she had no big problems with me in terms of behaviour then, except for sleep, and she learned quickly that mid-day naps were not for me ’cause then I’d be full of beans for most of the night, and that would of course affect my parents as well. I now know that there is something called non-24-hour sleep/wake disorder, which is a circadian rhythm disorder affecting mostly totally blind people, but I only learned about it as an adult and I’ve never found any resources about it in Polish so I don’t think anyone in my surroundings as a child even had an idea about it existing, plus even though a lot of problems that people experience with it sound familiar to me, I’m not sure that that is exactly what is the problem with my sleep, because it’s a bit different for me. I’d say it’s kind of more irregular, but at the same time I guess I seem to struggle with the whole thing less than most people with the condition and it’s easier to manage by things like avoiding naps, while many people who actually have non-24 diagnosed or are very sure of having it don’t seem to be able to resist the urge of napping as easily as I can, and no, I’m not particularly self-disciplined at all, although I do hate naps because they turn my clock upside down, but there are times when you just can’t fight it. I guess in my case, it must be quite a mixture of things causing the circadian rhythm situation that I’m in. I was born with hypopituitarism, and of course pituitary regulates a lot of things, and according to my Mum it’s circadian rhythm as well. I was taking growth hormone injections as a child as I had a deficiency of it and I remember reading somewhere that this hormone plays some kind of a role in regulating the circadian rhythm. And then of course there’s all the mental health stuff on top of it and it definitely has a strong impact on one’s sleep.

At this particular point in my life though, I’m happy to say that it doesn’t really matter whatever the name of my sleep problem is, because I can adjust my life to my brain’s whims if need be, having a very flexible schedule and being in charge of my own time for the most part, not having to work at strictly set times or anything like that, which is a great luxury after having had lived a very structured life earlier at the boarding school, where I felt quite sleep deprived a lot of the time, not just because of the schedule but also because I would often stay awake at night willfully when I could, to be able to do something more than the usual school stuff, like write the Jack Hamilton novel, journal, listen to music or just plain be with myself and my own thoughts, which I felt was essential to my mental wellbeing and for which I didn’t have a lot of space during the day but which also made me a zombie the next morning. I don’t think that, even if I had a diagnosis and a label for it, someone would actually be able to offer me a lot more help. I have an impression that accepting it as something that is a part of me (which of course wouldn’t be as easy if my life right now looked differently) and not fighting this all the time has actually improved my sleep situation over the last five years.

Usually what people say to me when I tell them more about my sleep problem, regardless whether they’re just casual people or some professionals, is that I should try melatonin. Since it’s such an obvious thing to try, I did and a few times. It would always make me feel drowsy during the day even at low doses, and, very bizarrely, I had the weirdest, scariest nightmares on it. Even more bizarrely, I’ve heard I’m not the only one in the blind community who had this experience, even though I also know a bunch of blind people who take it with no problem and it really makes a change for them.

I’d say the way my circadian rhythm works right now is that, most of the time I have a bit of a compromise with my brain, where both of us are having our requirements that need to be met but also try to be flexible as much as possible in regards to one another. I guess people with classic non-24 can’t afford that on a regular basis as their brain are less inclined to make a compromise.

I sometimes say that my brain is in something like a constant mild jet lag, travelling between different time zones. The times when I’m asleep or awake, or at least sleepy and alert, shift in a bit of a cycle. I still haven’t fully figured out how exactly it works, what kind of rules are there at play or maybe how many hours it typically shifts per what amount of time, because time involves too much math for me. And there must be many factors at play which can influence the way this cycle evolves, but there definitely is some sort of a pattern, even if it’s a subtle or a complex one perhaps. I’ve had my iPhone for over half a year now and I’ve been logging my sleep since then, but that hasn’t really given me much more of an idea so far either.

I’d say that one specific trend in my circadian rhythm will usually remain more or less of a thing for about a week, but it also depends on my lifestyle and loads of other things. So my brain may think one week that it’s really cool to wake up at 7:30 AM and go to sleep by 12 AM, which is okay with me too and this is always the sleep schedule I’m trying to aim for, because even if it doesn’t work out, I think it’s better when you have some sort of a reference of when you should/want to sleep and be awake. And then, gradually, I may be waking up later and later and falling asleep later and later, until at some point I won’t be feeling sleepy at night at all and will end up having a zombie day, which is, as you probably know already, what I call a day after a sleepless night. I typically have one zombie day a month, more if I’m stressed or something weird is going on. Zombie days are obviously quite horrid, I don’t think I have to convince anyone as I guess most people have enough first-hand experience of that, but I’m quite used to that and they seriously can have their upsides sometimes. The biggest upside to a zombie day, however, is that it resets my brain clock. It hardly ever happens that I’d have more than one zombie day in a row unless I’m having a lot of anxiety or something else is seriously off. Usually, after a zombie day, I’ll have a fabulous night of restful sleep and, if I go to sleep early enough – that is I think something between 7-9 PM –
chances are high that I’ll wake up feeling very refreshed in the morning and wake up at a decent time similar to when most human beings in my time zone wake up. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be able to fall asleep just as smoothly and decently, but a reset has happened, so I have a chance to try and do everything I can to continue a normal or near-normal sleep-wake cycle for as long as possible.

It doesn’t have to always look this way though, because I can just as well wake up early and go to sleep early, or wake up late and go to sleep early, any combination is possible. What particularly seems to disagree in my case with what I know about non-24 is that for me the amount of time I spend awake or asleep also shifts over time, whereas, at least from what I know, for non-24 folks it’s only the times. It can also change whether the amount of sleep I’m getting feels enough for me, for example I may be sleeping like four hours and wake up refreshed and bursting with creativity, or another time I may be sleeping just as much and feel like I could use some sleep. That’s also been the case lately, since about last Thursday, as I keep finding it difficult to fall asleep at night and usually do about 1 AM, and then wake up about 4-6 AM and would love to sleep more but it just doesn’t work. I still prefer that than over-sleeping which usually makes me feel awful even when it’s actually what I need and is refreshing.

So because of all that, as you can see, I can’t really say whether I am an early riser or not, it really depends. Like I said though, I do try to stick to some kind of sleep-wake routine, by having an alarm set to 7:30 every day and falling asleep by midnight. I do think 7:30 is pretty early. That does help with having a bit of a reference for my brain to what’s relatively normal, or getting back on track faster when things get messed up. I don’t know if that makes me more of an early riser, because even though that’s what I aim for and I manage to succeed sometimes more often and sometimes less, I don’t push myself for all means to get up at 7:30. If I wake up at that time and my brain says “No way, I want to sleep at least three hours more!” that’s what we’re doing, as long as there is nothing I have to do urgently in the morning and nowhere to go. Same about going to sleep. If it’s 11 Pm and my brain clearly doesn’t want to go to sleep, I’m not going to force it unless I really have to do something important the next day in the morning, but even so, I probably won’t be able to fall asleep anyway and will only get stressed about it more when lying in bed than if I were doing something more productive instead until I’ll feel sleepy. And feeling stressed makes me only less likely to fall asleep. I also won’t typically lay in bed if I wake up at 3 AM until my alarm goes off, unless I truly feel I may fall asleep again soon. If I don’t fall back asleep in about 15 minutes, and don’t feel any more sleepy than I did when I woke up, I’ll usually get up, unless I really have no idea what I could be doing this early and don’t feel like getting up. Usually I regret it though, because if I stay awake in bed for too long after having slept earlier, at some point I’ll often start feeling groggy and then drift off straight into sleep paralysis. It’s not the case every single time though, which is why I sometimes fall into this trap, thinking that maybe this time it won’t happen and not wanting to get up at such an insanely early hour, and then it starts happening so quickly that I can rarely pull out of it. Sleep paralysis is one sleep-related thing that I do find very difficult to live with.

I normally try to restrain my brain from sleeping after noon as that hardly ends well and is rarely actually properly restorative, but sometimes is very difficult if not impossible to resist if I had a bad night’s sleep. And like I said I really hate naps and avoid them at all costs. Sometimes when my sleep cycle is really messed up and it bugs me, and I can afford having a super low key, lazy day of doing nothing and possibly being a mental mess, I’ll go as far as to force a zombie day to reset my brain clock. I’ll get as much sleep as possible one night and day, and then won’t go to bed at all the next night. Sometimes that works, but sometimes I have to give up and go to bed early in the morning and sleep through most of the day, other times I just have to have a nap and then end up right where I started off. These days, ever since I’ve started having more frequent migraines, I don’t really do that because it’s a sure thing to give me a migraine, and migraines always make me sleep more so it just no longer works and is generally rather unpleasant and radical.

Other than that, my anti-anxiety medication also works for sleep and it really helps me immensely in crisis situations, but I try to only take it when I absolutely have to, plus I often only know that I’m going to have trouble sleeping when it’s already night, and no point taking anything for sleep at night as that will surely make me properly hungover tomorrow and I hate the feeling with a passion.

And of course I also have a lot of other ways of dealing with all the sleep stuff, which a lot of people typically use when they struggle with it. I have my sleep habits like how many pillows I sleep with, the fact that I listen to music quietly while sleeping or read before falling asleep, etc. and cultivating such habits helps me fall asleep and create a sort of sleepy atmosphere. I love to listen to Misha purring before sleep, even though he never purrs loud. I like having a hot bath before sleep when I can, or a mug of cocoa or something else that would make me feel cosy in a sleepy way. Or I like to imagine something calm and friendly before going to sleep. That doesn’t always work, because I’m a professional ruminator, but when I can focus on all things Bibiel-friendly, the results are often very good.

Okay, now over to you. πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

If you could take a pill every day that perfectly replicated a good night’s sleep – made you feel physically refreshed and chemically balanced, like a real sleep – would you take it every day? What would you do with all that newly acquired time?

My answer:

I probably wouldn’t want to take it every day, because I love my sleep and dreaming and all that, but, if that was an option to do so, I’d probably take it once in a while. Sometimes I could use a longer day, to be able to squeeze more things in. Not because I’m that busy on a typical day, I just have a lot of ideas and things that I’m into, while at the same time being quite disorganised in general so having more time for things would sometimes be helpful. Also sometimes I don’t like sleep, like when I have a lot of yucky dreams or sleep paralysis or something, then I have a sort of mild fear of sleep until things go back to more normal. I could use such a sleep pill in such situations and just not have to bother with sleeping. Other times, sleep is just not refreshing or chemically balancing, so I’d take the pill after waking up to be more functional. Or when I’m a zombie and haven’t slept at all the night before. Or if I just wouldn’t feel like sleeping, wouldn’t be sleepy at all. That would be a fabulous invention if we had such a pill. Only I’m fairly sure that since it would have such a major effect on one’s overall state and affect the brain, which is still quite an unknown territory for us, it would probably come with its fair share of side effects and possibly addiction or some sleep dysregulation. Wouldn’t be surprised at all.

How about you? And what do you think about this idea? Would such a pill work out, if it was a real possibility? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

If you wake up at 3 AM and can’t fall back asleep, what do you do?

My answer:

As someone with quite erratic sleep-wake cycle which shifts a lot, mostly due to the fact that I have no light perception, I end up in such a situation quite often. Unlike a lot of people who struggle with sleep problems and disorders though, it’s not a huge source of frustration for me. Largely because it’s always been like this, and now I’m in a very comfortable life situation where I am in charge of my own time so everything is very flexible, I can sleep in if I need to, I can go to sleep very early if I was up all night, or I can have a more low-key day if I’m a zombie running on no sleep. Having lived in an exactly opposite way most of my life, where I did have to live a very structured life and having to fit in my constantly more or less “jet-lagged” into it, I appreciate this luxury all the more. So it’s not a big deal for me usually if I can’t sleep at 3 AM or wake up at that time.

I do lots of different things if I can’t sleep at night, I just take it as an extra amount of time that I can do something interesting with. Sometimes, when I’m in a phase when I don’t need a lot of sleep and can go on four hours or so and feel quite rested for a few days, I’m feeling quite energised at night and put my energy into something creative. Generally, regardless of my energy levels, I feel that I’m often a lot more creative and deep-thinking at night and come up with a lot of interesting ideas. πŸ˜€ So I’ll do some journaling, sometimes write a short story or try to write something more in my huge, neverending Jack Hamilton novel which I’ve been writing since like fourth grade and Jack Hamilton has been a great friend of mine and especially on sleepless nights, my Mum says that he’s like an old dog who’s barely alive but you’re too attached to him to put him down. I rarely add something more to that these days because I don’t need Jack as much as I used to as a teenager and we both have changed a lot, but I do not want to put a clear end to this whole thing, so these days if I write something more to it it’s usually just a little bit. He’s going to be celebrating his 100th birthday quite soon, I believe. Other times, I’ll just listen to some music and daydream (wait, nightdream) or go into my Brainworld, as I’ve always been an avid paracosmist (I’ve been a paracosmist my entire life and only recently learned about the existence of this word πŸ˜€ ).

If I’m less creatively inclined, I’ll just read or listen to music, often without even getting out of bed, although if I can’t fall back asleep for longer than an hour I usually get up because if I fall back asleep after such longer but still not very long time, I have almost guaranteed sleep paralysis and while people have varying attitudes towards it, for me it’s always been extremely scary because it features stuff I’m scared of in real life and sometimes one relatively short episode of sleep paralysis can affect me for a few days and make me super anxious.

Since we’ve got Misha, I’m often not the only one who isn’t asleep at 3 AM in this house. Misha’s sleep cycle is also totally different than the cycles of the peeps in here, so he’ll also often have loads of energy in the middle of the night, running wildly around the living room or playing with his glass balls. If that is the case, I’ll often bring him up to my room, as here his play won’t wake up anyone else, and we’ll play together.

Other times, I just go online and write with people or something, or play BitLife, ever since I’ve got my iPhone, because yes, I still play it quite a lot. Or just start my day properly, get dressed, eat something and do whatever I was going to do in the day anyway.

How about you? Does such a scenario often take place in your life? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Hi people. πŸ™‚

My question for you today is:

Where have you been?

My answer:

I’ve been to Dreamland last night, finally. It wasn’t a very restful night for some reason but I did get some sleep and am not a Zombie anymore.

I’ve been living here where I live for almost 4 years now. Unbelievable! And what is more unbelievable when I look back at it is how quickly I adapted to living in this house. I’m very happy that I no longer live on the same backyard with my Mum’s family, and that we live in such a lovely place. In a town, where everywhere is near and you’re anonymous, but almost like in the countryside – on the outskirts and a lot of people are actually farming here so it doesn’t feel like a real town, not in our area of it anyway. –

I’ve been to four foreign countries in my life, not that many I guess. Lithuania, Slovakia, Czech and Sweden. All apart from Sweden were only day trips, but I enjoyed staying in all of those.

I’ve been to loads of wonderful and scary places in my brain world, and I’m sure there are still many that I haven’t discovered yet.

How about you? πŸ™‚ Feel free to answer this question in whatever way you like. πŸ™‚

Brain, what do you want from me?

I’m seriously starting to wonder what’s up with those flippin’ Sundays! I’m recently getting Zombie days exclusively on Sundays, and this month I’ve hit a record. Three Zombie days in a month, all Sundays, including this one. If you don’t know what a Zombie day is, it’s the day after a sleepless night. I call it this way at least. Mondays used to be most often my Zombie days back when I was at school, and I guess that was even worse. To not be able to sleep for the whole night and then having to start a week in the Zombie mode, grrrrr yuck!

Another thing that I’ve been wondering a lot today is what does my brain want. I never know that during a Zombie day. I never know what I want. A Zombie day probably means something slightly different for everyone. For me, it’s a weird, floaty, dream-like, hazy, unreal feeling in my brain and my whole body. I often catch myself wondering “Is all this even real?”. I often get deja vus when I’m a Zombie, and my sense of time is changed. It’s like there is almost no time passing if I don’t look at the clock. I’m often a bit hyper in the morning, and then go into apathetic and zoning out, but I won’t go take a nap because my sleep cycle needs to reset. Sometimes I even mix languages like today. I feel like I’m losing control, and I’m often very anxious, jittery and even very panicky, but I can’t take my med ’cause in such a state of mind it’ll make me fall asleep while walking, as was the case with my horse ŁoΕ›, instead of muffling the anxiety. I am cold and weak and obviously lack the energy, am dizzy, and towards the end of the day if I’m really worn out I sometimes get little creepy hallucinations that make me want to scream with fear but I’m too scared to do that. Is that even normal when you have just one Zombie day? I’m more creative and coming up with bizarre, completely out of the box, apparently illogical but very logical ideas and solutions and theories, and the cool part about them is that I still love them the next day and often listen to my Zombie brain and take what it came up with into account. Perhaps it works like for people who apparently get the solutions for their problems from dreams? I can be a bit impulsive so I try not to do important things or such that need a cooled down perspective on a Zombie day, and I can easily go from something even quite close to euphoria to the darkest depression and an emotional overload, and when something is not going right, I can easily slip into hopelessness, it just feels like things are always going to be this way.

But most of all, I don’t know what I want! It’s so frustrating. I mean, I often don’t know that anyway, but in my Zombie mode, that affects even the most basic things. I’m faint and starving, and badly nauseous at the same time and I don’t know what to do with that. I think for like 15 minutes, “Am I hungry?…”. I decide I am, and then I can barely eat anything. Do I want to write a post, or take a shower? Does it matter? Perhaps not, but I have to do one thing first. But first I’ll rather just sit for the next 15 minutes with my Brain in the Zombie zone.Do I critically need a nap, or can I stay awake until the evening? Yes, I give up, I need a nap! I lay on the bed, and although my mind is swirling between the real world and Dreamland, it can’t quite decide on any of those. Do I want to drink green tea or cocoa? Do I actually want to drink anything? Is it better to be around people and be scared of people or alone and scared of my own brain? How can I know all those overwhelming things if even my brain doesn’t care to decide? Zombie days are weird.

But at some point, there comes a moment when all the controls in your brain go bright red, and suddenly you realise: “YAY! It’s time for sleep! That’s what I want! Sleep, sleep, sleep and sleep!”.

And now I’ve come to that place. I know that what I want is to

wrap

uptightly in all the possible blankets in my room, wrap Misha up cosily and snugly in his bed, and float away into Dreamland. Switch off my brain finally, in desperate hope that when I’ll wake up, it will reset, change the layouts and show me different worlds, both the outer and inner one. Perhaps the Zombie day was what my brain needed. It has been cluttered with unimaginable for me amounts of worries and ruminations over the last week, and a Zombie way is quite a smart way to do a reset. Only, will it really work this time? I am desperately hopeful and deeply sceptical at the same time.

But I guess the time is flying by, my precious seconds of potential sleep are flying away, so, for now I’ll leave you to it, and hope that, whatever is the time where you are, the next time you’ll be sleeping, it will be a really healing, powerfully regenerative sleep.

Do you often get Zombie days? How do they feel like for you?

 

Question of the day.

Hi lovely people! πŸ™‚

My question for you today is very simple, and feel free to answer it whatever way you want:

Where are you going to?

My answer:

The only goal I am capable of seeing right now is – to bed! – As soon as possible. I am having a Zombie day and not a good one… wooow, I’m really so bright and eloquent today, ain’t I?! Has anyone ever had a good Zombie day. Can a Zombie feel good? I have an ambitious plan of writing something more today, maybe some stream of consciousness post –
I’ve written some pretty good SOCS stories in Polish over the last couple of weeks, inspired solely by music, but no, don’t worry, I’m not gonna try to write a short story here today, just a bit of a ramble, just because I haven’t posted much of such stuff lately. And then I’m going to take a shower, wash my brain (that is hair obviously if you’re a newbie) and go to Sleepland.

You? πŸ™‚

Working On Us – sleep disorders.

It’s week #13 of Beckie’s mental health prompts series Working On Us at

Beckie’s Mental Mess.

The topic for this week is sleep, insomnia and other sleep disorders. Here are the questions for prompt #1.

 

  1. Have you, or do you suffer from sleep disorders? – I have a lot of sleep issues, which are both related to my mental health difficulties as well as the fact that I don’t see the light so my sleep cycle is just messed up. They change with time. Just as I sleep at different times and my sleep schedule and habits change, so do my sleep related problems. Most of the time I struggle with insomnia more or less. It is my normal to lay in bed for an hour or longer before I fall asleep. Sometimes I wake super early, like 3-5 AM and after going to sleep at about midnight. Luckily it’s not as often as it used to be for me that I have, as I call them “Zombie days” – a day after a night of no sleep at all. – Sometimes my insomnia is clearly due to anxiety or stress and I just overthink everything and worry about every single thing and ruminate, it’s gotten worse recently, but sometimes it’s like my inner clock just isn’t set on sleeping whatsoever and I may even feel a bit hyperactive, playing with Misha at 2 AM and not feeling even slightly tired, and then sleep until noon or so. Then I have times when I sleep a lot, 12-13 hours and usually miss a great chunk of the day as a result. Sometimes it just comes on its own, and then I hate it, because I don’t want to sleep my life through like that, and feel lazy and lousy, plus then it’s usually not the best kind of sleep, filled with bad dreams and such. But sometimes I do that on purpose because I’m so depressed and sleep is way more interesting than the reality. I suppose I might have non 24 hour sleep-wake disorder (what a grossly long name) which is very common among the blind, but I haven’t ever heard about it being diagnosed in Poland so I guess people don’t know much, and while I know there is medication for that in other countries, I couldn’t find the evidence that it is used over here, so I don’t see the point in seeking a diagnosis. I have very vivid dreams, which can be an incredible gift and a really great thing, I love my good vivid dreams, but it can just as well be something close to a curse, because my nasty vivid dreams are super creepy, as if I had a personalised horror movie production studio in my brain, with horrors right just for me. πŸ˜€ I’ve read that there was some Danish study which revealed that apparently blind people have nightmares more often than sighted people do, which would make sense from what I’ve heard from many blind people. If you have vivid dreams things get just a bit more intense. And on top of that I am one of the lucky ones who regularly struggle with sleep paralysis. And that’s probably the biggest sleep related problem for me. There is also my silence anxiety and sounds anxiety involved, which makes sleep often difficult. I won’t get into detailed descriptions of what it is for me but, very shortly, I just don’t do complete silence, so I need to have some quiet music in the background, and Misha, and it always works, but to a very varying degree.
  2. Have you sought treatment for your sleep disorders? – I had a point in my life where I thought I was unable to take this sleep paralysis thing any longer, I was so fed up and constantly scared and I just lost my patience with it. It’s something that I’ve lived my whole life with but suddenly I had that “why me?” crisis. And then I went to the neurologist looking for some help, also because I wasn’t perfectly sure it was sleep paralysis, because some things in it are different for me than they are for most people whose stories I read. She confirmed that and gave me some tips on things that I could do myself to alleviate it, and told me that there’s no medication that would be 100% working for it, but that she could put me on some antidepressant that is said to help with that, though it’s not certain how effective it is and it’s mostly prescribed for people with narcolepsy who additionally suffer from sleep paralysis. Since it’s not clear if it actually works, I said I’d rather try dealing with it without medication first. I was also offered antidepressants by the psychiatrist who diagnosed me with dysthymia but I’m honestly pretty scared of some of the side effects like gaining weight. I’m currently underweight actually and could probably put some on just to stop my Mum’s grumbling and make buying clothes less tricky and look healthier, but I wouldn’t like that to happen because of taking medication. And so far I am managing with just anti-anxiety meds. I’ve learnt over the years some tricks to get out of sleep paralysis or to prevent it, but it doesn’t work all the time. Sooner or later it will always catch me.
  3. Have you ever had a sleep study on you, and if so, what was recommended? – No. I would kind of like have one though, and my Mum says I should, because, in her opinion, my sleep is weird and I should get it checked out if not because of any concerns, then at least out of curiosity. And yeah, it’s interesting, I am curious, though I don’t know if my sleep is objectively that much of a phenomenon, I guess not, my Mum is just very typical. I’ve never had an opportunity though, and I don’t think there is any sleep clinic in the area or anything like that, I don’t know anyone in person who’d have a sleep study done.
  4. Has your doctor prescribed medication for your sleep disorder, if so, what has worked for you? – Not directly for sleep, mostly for anxiety, but that has affected sleep too. I took Hydroxyzine for a while as a child, and then my psychiatrist put me on it again when I was 17 and got the reactive depression diagnosis and told her about the anxiety I was having. I’ve always heard good opinions about Hydroxyzine and that it works well for people, that it’s such a safe medication and all but it wasn’t so for me. It was making me extremely groggy, I would be just switched off and away from the world for hours and hours and hours, the only thing I could do on it was sleeping, and then I would wake up hungover and with a headache. Perhaps it was because I hate being groggy and foggy and not in control and thus my anxiety got worse, but in any case, I really didn’t feel like it was working for my anxiety at all. The only times when I have found Hydroxyzine very helpful, life-saving almost, have been when I felt really depressed, only feeling like sleeping, or very unstable and overwhelmed, like last year after the first of my final exams when I was super triggered I just slept the whole night and most of the day away on Hydroxyzine afterwards, worked the trigger through while sleeping and woke up (almost) a new person, (almost) ready to face another final exam. Hydroxyzine is also an antiemetic, so when my emetophobia is through the roof and for a very sound reason – like a norovirus raging in the house – it helps too. And I don’t mind sleeping norovirus invasions through at all. I still have it and can take it when I need but that’s rarely. I don’t see my psychiatrist regularly, so after some time I went to my GP with my anxiety problems and told him the whole Hydroxyzine and anxiety and messed up sleep story, and he put me on Afobam, which as I heard later from my psychiatrist is more suitable as a sleep med for those people who tend to wake up a lot rather than those who can’t fall asleep, as is more often the case with me, but it works great for me so I’m still on it. The thing is, it’s highly addictive so I am only taking it on as needed basis. That is, when my anxiety is really severe or when I want to regulate my sleep cycle at least for a while or when I just know I won’t sleep and I have to sleep. If I need it for a few days in a row I take only a half of it. That’s not a perfect solution definitely, but at least when I take it, it works. I often do feel groggy after it and sleep for a long time, but I don’t feel hungover like after the Hydroxyzine and it noticeably improves my sleep quality, I wake up refreshed and well-rested most of the time.
  5. Have you ever tried home remedies to alleviate your sleep disorders? – Loads of herbal-based supplements and some other OTC products that worked just as well as candy, melissa tea which apparently is placebo, melissa essential oil which apparently works very well but not for me, smelling lavender which probably didn’t work because my sense of smell doesn’t work too well either haha, CBD oil which I am still trying but with no great results, I guess the concentration is too low or something, I’d like to believe that it works, niacin, which I really tried supplementing and wanted to but as high doses as they say that you should take for mental health were not doable with me because those pills are really big and I have a bit of a trouble swallowing big pills, let alone five or more at a time, and even when I broke them into halves or thirds it was still tricky to swallow such amount of pills in one go, it was crazy. πŸ˜€ I was able to notice some small improvement on it but I just couldn’t continue this way, my life would evolve around swallowing niacin three times a day and dosing it the right way, and then they say for it to work you need to take other stuff too, because it changes the absorption of vitamin C, and the niacin itself is absorbed better with something else. Ugh no thanks, my life is way more interesting without all that, and what if that cocktail wouldn’t work? All my efforts would be wasted! πŸ˜€ Also, I am trying out progesterone cream which also my Mum is using, which has directly nothing to do with sleep obviously but my Mum, being a great lifestyle geek has read loads of material on how helpful progesterone supplementation can be for women and also how much of an effect hormonal imbalance can have on mental health, and my hormones aren’t balanced even just because I have hypopituitarism. My Mum says it works miracles for her, though I guess for her it’s a bit different since she’s going through menopause so that must be rather obvious. I can’t say much on that cream though because I’m only using it since July, and it needs some time to have noticeable effects. What helps me is Misha, listening to music, reading before sleep, doing some visualisation exercises, prayer, having my feet warm – they’re usually cold so I like having hotwater bottle and when it’s cold outside I won’t fall asleep without it ever πŸ˜€ – trying to implement some sleep routine, though for me that’s really really difficult and never stuck for long, I am trying though, so I hope that counts and makes it better than it would be without it. Doing something relaxing always helps, whatever I find relaxing at the time. Oh, I nearly forgot, I also had numerous trials and errors – more of the latter – with melatonin, which at first didn’t work, and then every time I got back to it I had very nasty nightmares every night I was on it. I’ve heard that could be transient, but no one told me how long that transience should last and every time it felt like a bit too long to keep trying and waiting so I don’t think I ever will again. With my sleep paralysis, good sleep hygiene and some sort of a routine/schedule helps. I can’t always have the latter, but what I’ve found helpful is not napping, though I was never an enthusiast of naps at all, they just make more chaos. No napping, and no laying in bed awake in the morning for ages, as I carelessly used to do especially at weekends. Suddenly, after a while I become surprisingly, extremely sleepy again and I don’t even notice when it sucks me in. Also, generally I know I need to avoid such things like waking up and then going back to sleep after a while, because that very often brings sleep paralysis. But I never know how long that while should be, seems like even half an hour break between one sleep and another at night is too much and is risky, so if I want to avoid sleep paralysis I should just get up and start to live. Of course, that’s not always practical, because even if I wake up at night I may still feel like I need more sleep, or will be very tired during the day if I’d just wake up and start my day in the middle of the night, so sometimes I do this, but sometimes I don’t. The neurologist told me that sleeping on your right side helps with sleep paralysis. I laughed at it internally and thought it must be some superstition, the more that I much prefer sleeping on my left side, it’s just comfier and I read about some weird study that has shown that it helps the brain to clear from all that could be potentially toxic while you sleep, and I’m all for keeping my brain healthy. But it makes some sense. Sleeping on my right side, as I’ve noticed so far, won’t prevent sleep paralysis if it’s inevitably going to happen, but it’s less intense and shorter. The worse is when you sleep on your back, and that seems to be the case for most people. I hate sleeping on my back but it used to be the position I laid in when awake most of the time so then it hit me hard, now I try to avoid it if I can.
    1. Β Β  What’s the longest amount of time you went without sleep? – Thankfully only a bit more than 2 days. The good thing about my insomnia and Zombie days that I feel really lucky about is that I don’t have it the way some people do, that I would go on for days without sleep. If I have a Zombie day, it’s awful, but at least it means that at night I will fall asleep like a baby, and, usually, sleep like a log until early morning, and my sleep cycle will reset nicely and will be really decent and in line with my time zone for a while. Unless I am trying to play a hero and by night am so exhausted that my nervous system just gets overloaded and I can’t fall asleep despite you can’t really say I’m fully awake and sane by then.

The temptation of little Meriel. My short story.

OK people so here’s another short story I wrote basing on some writing prompts. Funnily enough, just as my first one, which you can read here,

it also features some yummy food in one of the main roles. As always, sorry about any potential stilistical, grammar or other shortcomings in the quality, I’m only just starting with creative writing in English.

Β Β  The temptation of little Meriel

“…95, 96, 97… stupid sheep! Why don’t they do what I want?!” – muttered a 6-year-old girl, tosing and turning in her bed. The girl’s name was Meriel, and her problem was that she couldn’t fall asleep. She was trying to count sheep for the last half an hour or so, but with very poor results. The sleep wouldn’t come, no matter what she did. SHe went to sleep in a very joyful mood, all happy and excited, because the next day she was going to have a birthday. A 7th birthday. Her school friends were invited, lots of fun games were planned, and yummy food was prepared. Only, how can one think of a happy birthday when sleep doesn’t want to come at night? The joyful mood has nearly vanished, and Meriel was growing more and more irritated, and more and more scared every minute. The moon was peeking into her room, and long time has passed since her Mummy kissed her goodnight. Soon after that, she switched off the lights, and Meriel could hear her steps upstairs, and the slight creaking of Mummy’s bed. Meriel knew that she mustn’t wake up Mummy. Mummy was troubled by an ugly monster called Insomnia,

who liked to creep into her brain at nights and make it hard for her to sleep, so that sometimes she couldn’t even sleep at night at all. Even the small white pills that always stood on her bedside table didn’t always help. So when Insomnia wasn’t creeping in her Mummy’s brain, or when the pills were able to scare her away, it was the more important to let Mummy sleep peacefully. That’s what Daddy told her, back when he lived with them. “You are a big girl Meriel, and I know you can understand this” – he said. – And she didn’t want to let him down. She also loved her Mummy, and didn’t want to make her sleepy in the morning. She didn’t know what to think about this Insomnia monster though. She didn’t like her, because she was bad for Mummy, but she also liked her at the same time. Because sometimes, when Insomnia wouldn’t let Mummy sleep, MummyΒ  would come to Meriel’s room and lie with her, or would just bustle around in the kitchen, making herself a cup of tea, which made Meriel feel safe in her sleep, knowing that no scary monsters will come to her because Mummy will see them first and won’t let them sneak in to her little girl’s room. Sometimes, when Meriel had trouble falling asleep too, Mum would make two big mugs of steaming hot chocolate for both of them, and after that, Meriel was fast asleep, sometimes even before she could brush her teeth and go back to her room and Mummy had to carry her.

But now there were no sounds that could mean that Mummy was still awake, despite Meriel listened really carefully. “Maybe Insomnia didn’t come tonight.” – she thought. – “Good for Mummy. That can’t be nice to have a monster in your head.” And then, a scary thought came to her mind. What if tonight Insomnia decided to visit her – Meriel – instead of her Mummy? Is it her who doesn’t let her sleep? maybe she is right here, in her room? Standing beside her bed? Or maybe she’s already creeped into her brain? “I wonder what she’s like. Is she scary, like a real monster?” – she thought. Dozens of images filled her little head, as she thought what Insomnia might look like, and she barely noticed that it’s making her a little uneasy, more afraid. Just as she thought about that, the window curtain moved slightly. Meriel startled, and could barely stifle a scream. “She’s here! I knew it, she’s here!” – she thought panicked. Regardless of whether insomnia was in her room or not, any chance of sleep was gone now. Meriel hid under the duvet, her imagination flooded with horrifying images that she has just made up.

She spent there a long time, or so it felt for her, until finally she could stick her head out and look around the room. There was no one that she could see. “I should be brave” – she whispered – “That’s what Daddy has always told me. I should try to sleep and tomorrow it’ll be my birthday. I need to sleep.” She tried lying with her eyes closed for a couple more minutes, but sleep didn’t come. She was still too startled. After a while, a thought came to her mind: “If Mummy’s pills scare this monster away, maybe I should take one too?” That seemed like a good idea for Meriel. Very carefully, holding her breath, she sticked out one feet from under the covers, then another, after a while. She put her fuzzy slippers on, slowly got up, and quietly came to the door, peering through. It was dark and quiet everywhere. Only her heart was thumping loudly, and Fluffy – her dog – was snoring lightly on the carpet. Meriel stroked Fluffy’s fur to gain a bit of courage. She didn’t like the dark, and was very afraid of it. As she went through the corridor, the tapping of her little feet seemed loud and eerie in this sleepy house. She almost ran through the flight of stairs leading to her Mummy’s room, trying to be as quiet as possible, stopping in front of the door. She opened them very quietly and peeped in. “Mummy? Are you sleeping?” – she mouthed. There was no answer. Mummy was asleep, all snuggled up warm, and, seeing that, Meriel felt a sting of jealousy. She came closer and listened to Mummy’s silent breath. “Will she be mad at me if I take one pill? Just one? I’m not stealing it, I’ll tell her I took it” – she wondered – “But if insomnia came to me, I need something too to scare her away, I can’t go sleepy on my birthday”. And then, very silently, Meriel reached out for the jar with pills, standing beside her Mummy’s bed. As she did it, Mummy sighed in her sleep, murmured something and turned over. Meriel got startled, again this night. “Oh no, maybe it’s not a good idea, I’ll wake Mummy up” – she thought. And sneaked out of the room quickly.

“So what should I do now?” – Meriel thought, suddenly feeling very lonely and on the verge of tears. “Everyone else is asleep, even Fluffy is sleeping. I want to sleep too!”. she thought about all those steaming mugs of cocoa they’ve drank with Mummy, and how they always made her instantly sleepy. Maybe she should drink cocoa then? The problem was, meriel had no idea how to make cocoa, nor any other hot drink. She was an only child, not a very autonomous one, spoiled thoroughly by her loving, single Mummy, who let her play almost as much as she wanted and didn’t want her to worry about anything, and to whom it has never occurred so far that it could be helpful to teach her daughter some practical skills, so that she could cope on her own in case Mummy wouldn’t be there to help her.

But the next day was Meriel’s birthday, and because of this special occasion, there was plenty of delicious food. Meriel herself wasn’t taking part in the preparations, as she was in school when Mum was making all those yummies, but she knew well all that was there, as it was Meriel herself who made the list of all her favourite things that she wants to be on her birthday party. Another thing that Meriel knew, which would probably surprise her mother, was where all those delicacies were hidden, in hopes that Meriel wouldn’t discover them too quickly. She figured it out much earlier on another occasion, but now seemed to be a good chance to use this secret knowledge. Meriel’s Mummy, unaware of her child’s great detective skills, has always kept everything that she wanted to hide from her daughter – in the basement. –

Meriel didn’t like the basement, it was dark, cold and wet, and she suspected that there might be some mice or perhaps even rats, so even though she knew about this hiding place, she wouldn’t dare go there. But now, as she had already get out of her room at night, and stood there in the dark on the stairs, feeling her mouth watering and her stomach gurgling, she thought that it could be a nice, little nightly adventure, to go down to the basement, and have a little treat before birthday. Mummy surely wouldn’t notice. Nevertheless, she could feel a big, unpleasant knot in her tummy, as she thought about going down there, so before her basement expedition, Meriel popped into her room once again, and took out one of the keepsakes from his Daddy – a small torch which he bought for her for one of their campings, to help her overcome her fear of darkness, as her Daddy was a real enthusiast of travelling, especially all sorts of campings and tentings, and had high hopes that his daughter will one day follow his footsteps. – The torch had been lying uselessly among Meriel’s things for almost a year, and now it was finally its time. As she came back on to the corridor, Fluffy yawned and looked at her, intrigued about what her little mistress is up to so late at night. Meriel felt happier and braver that she’s not alone anymore, and as she went, Fluffy followed her faithfully, as if encouraging this little crime. “At least even if Mummy notices I can say Fluffy ate it” – Meriel chuckled.

She started going down the stairs, down into the darkness. “Hm, maybe I should rather go back? I guess it’s not good what I’m doing. It’s cheating…” – she hesitated, looking down and, again, feeling less confident. “Oh well, but I’m hungry! And I can’t sleep. I have to do something that will help me”. And that explanation seemed to satisfy her, as little Meriel continued walking down the stairs. THe door opened with a creek, that seemed somehow ominous for the little girl’s overactive imagination and uneasy conscience. But she courageously went in, looking for the place where all her birthday food has been hidden. As she examined the contents of all bowls and plates she realised that actually it would be hard for her to eat anything of it not leaving any sign. There were mostly cakes, and Meriel wasn’t the most skiled at cutting yet, she knew she wouldn’t be able to cut an even piece of cake, and even if, Mummy would see that something is missing. But then she remembered. There was one dessert that Mummy didn’t do yesterday, because it the best when eaten fresh. Meringue with ice cream! “So there have to be meringues!” – Meriel said to herself. “Fluffy, what do you think, where are they? Will Mummy be mad at me for eating a little piece of meringue?”. The girl imagined that Fluffy shakes her head, and continued rummaging the basement. “Ohh, here they are! Look, Fluffy! Now we’ll have a real feast!” – Meriel took a piece and gave it to Fluffy. Just like Meriel’s Mummy, and Meriel herself, Fluffy was also a real meringue connoisseur, so she appreciated the treat. But Meriel was more hesitant.

She certainly wasn’t an angel and liked to be mischievous and cunning, which both her intellect and fiery temper helped with, making her quite a handful to deal with for her Mummy, but she was at the same time a good-natured child and lying, cheating or stealing wasn’t her natural traits, even if it was just about stealing from her own birthday table. With her kind and honest heart, she would most gladly go back upstairs, woke up Mummy and ask her if she could eat a little meringue, or just anything, but imageries of her Mummy being plagued by Insomnia monster kept her from doing so, as she felt somehow responsible for her mother’s good sleep, and she just wanted to deal with the problem on her own. She took another, very small piece of meringue and held it in her hand. Suddenly, her heart became very heavy and she felt that she doesn’t feel hungry anymore. Maybe she can fall asleep without doing it? Slowly, she raised her hand with the piece of meringue, and licked it. “Mmmmm…” Only that something still wasn’t right. Suddenly, as if driven by some impulse, Meriel quickly put down the piece of meringue on its previous place and went back to the door. Confounded and disappointed Fluffy followed her obediently. “Sorry, Fluff, not this time. I forgot we need to wait for the guests. It’s too early for feasting. And I think meringue tastes so much better with ice cream. On its own it’s too dry for me.”

She left the basement with a sigh of relief so big that she didn’t even feel disappointed that she didn’t get to eat the meringue. Instead of going back to her room though, Meriel again sneaked into her Mum’s bedroom, as silently as she only could. “Maybe if we will be together, we can win over Insomnia” – she thought. – She curled up next to Mummy on her bed, and immediately felt so muchΒ  better. Safer. Sleepier. Fluffy curled up under the bed and dozed off right away. The silent, monotonous sounds of Mummy’s and Fluffy’s breaths calmed down the little girl, exhausted after all her late night wanderings. She snuggled up close to her Mummy, and gave out a quiet sigh of satisfaction.

She was satisfied with herself, and knew that she did the right thing. The next time, she told Mummy about her night time struggles, and Mummy was very satisfied too, that she has such a sensible and trustworthy, mature little daughter. And since that night, neither of them has fought Insomnia on her own. They both know that they have each other, and no scary monsters can change it.

 

Question of the day.

Is there anything you’d like to tell me, or any question you want to ask me?

I’m gonna tell you guys things that I want to tell you at the moment.

My answer:

Hmmm, there could be a lot of things I could tell you, my lovely readers. First of all I’d like to thank you once again for the fact you are here, reading all of my scribbles and for all your likes and comments. I am thankful for all of you – those already 103 followers (yippeee!!!! thanks) and those of you who don’t follow me but still read my blog more or less often. And I am thankful for each one of you separately, all of your reading, likes, comments and follows, that means so much to me. You probably already know that I had a few other blogs before this one, they were much more humble, I even had one Polish blog on WordPress, but I’ve never got so many followers and I could only dream about so many comments and likes, it was in a big part due to my very poor idea as for how to promote myself and that although there are many blogs on Polish blogs, interactions on them are, usually, fairly poor. SO when I came here to the English language WordPress community, I felt shocked immediately, since I was getting likes actually immediately after I published my first post, and it was something I absolutely wouldn’t expect after my experiences with Drimolandia (that was how my previous blog was called). So yeah I’m so thankful for all of you.

What else can I tell you, I think I can tell you a bit about my day. So again, unfortunately, it is a Zombie day. Ughhhh. For those of you who may not know, Zombie day is how I call every day after a night of no sleep. ‘Cause well you literally feel and perceive the world a bit like a Zombie then, don’t you? I hate it so much, but not much I can do about it. It’s after 9 AM now and as for now I feel pretty decent and not sleepy at all, but I know that if I want to keep it this way or at least similarly I’d soon have to help myself with a coffee or two. In my case catching up on sleep during the day isn’t a good option and I do it only when I’m so exhausted that my brain falls into pieces and can’t function anymore because it doesn’t help my sleep cycle to settle and most probably I’d have another night of poor sleep ahead. So I’ll just have to get through it and then go to sleep possibly early hoping my sleep cycle will set up properly at least for a while. Shit I wonder what I’ll do if one of the days when I’ll have my finals will be a Zombie day. That would be a nightmare, but I guess that since I can’t do much about it, I shouldn’t think too much about it as it won’t help. So during that sleepless night I was reading a very interesting book, in Swedish. Almost half a year has passed since the last time I read a book in Swedish, so decided it is definitely a time to change it, and this book seemed so cool. It’s called “Konsten Att Vara Ela” (The art of being Ela) and it’s written by Johanna Nilsson. It’s kinda psychological novel about a girl, or actually a woman, who is very lost in her life, her family has fall apart and she can’t accept it, she isn’t really a grown up and she doesn’t want to be, she wants to be crazy, wild and free and so she’s criticised by her family. She generally feels very lonely, but then she finds a little, neglected girl called Klara whose mum is a druggie and homeless and can’t take care of Klara So Ela takes care of her. And she generally starts to change. Don’t know where it all is going yet, as I’m still in the middle, but it’s very interesting. My Mum woke up very early so I gave up on trying to get at least some little bit sleep in the morning and got up to, it was like 6. We talked about Zofijka’s school. Mum always talks to me about all her issues, that’s nice, well I mean I appreciate it because I guess it has to mean she trusts me, but she also almost always asks me for advice, and this time it was so too. Zofijka’s having lots of trouble at school, with her friends, and Mum doesn’t know what to do about it and how to be objective. The problem is I don’t know either, as I am not a children specialist and don’t plan to be one ever, so I just told her to go with her instinct and she was like oh wow yes you’re right I’ll do so thank you! like I said something extremely original and completely new, which made me kinda confused. πŸ˜€ But maybe that’s how it feels for her and if so, I’m glad I could help her. Then also Zofijka came and we all talked about it. She’s so poor, I really feel for her for all these stupid school affairs she’d been thrown in. That’s very complicated plus it’s her thing so I won’t go in the details here, I’ll simply tell you that it is a classic school issue. Because she’s different, has a different view on lots of things, because we as a family are different so she has a slightly different upbringing or way of life or call it what you want and a little different outlook on some things than all of those so very typical kids in her class, she’s now not liked in her class apparently by anyone. And she’s actually alone. It is a big deal for such a social butterfly who is made for and get used to be always in the limelight. And it’s hard to be wise in such situation, you know. Because she also isn’t a docile angel, and can be very moody, bossy, egocentric and stuff, so as we suppose, part of the guilt for why they don’t like her is on her side too. Zofijka was so stressed out that she didn’t even go to school yesterday, Mum actually drove her, but as she got out of the car she started to cry desperately and keep saying she doesn’t want to go to school, so Mum let her stay, if things are so very stressful, one day shouldn’t make much of a change. Today she did go to school though and on her own and I really hope things will be improving. There are always some kind of affairs in Zofijka’s class and somehow she s always involved in them, don’t really know if by her own choice or accidentally and don’t know what to think about it. Now there are only Mum and me and Misha inand I think I’ll soon have that coffee.

And the question I want to ask you, other than the main one is, what do you like the most on my blog?

So yeah, very curious as for your answers for both these questions.

Ugh… #ishouldbesleeping

Yes, I think I should. But because my brain rarely seems to care and do things as it should, I’m not sleeping. At the moment I’m writing this, it’s 3:59 AM. Well now it’s 4. Another Zombie day ahead? :/ Shit. My parents came back from that party about 2 hours ago, and went almost immediately to sleep. I feel rather confused. I was wondering if it might be after that drink of Jack Daniels I had earlier in the evening, but it usually makes me sleepy, plus it was rather diluted, there was more Pepsi than Jack in it, I didn’t want to elevate my anxiety by drinking something stronger. So I don’t really know what’s causing it. I woke up very early today, or actually yesterday, and, in comparison to most of my days recently, I had a really good day. And I am not anxious almost at all. Well I am but it is definitely manageable.Even despite being practically alone for the whole evening my “silence anxiety” was almost absent too (it usually comes out when I least expect it and don’t feel very depressed and when I’m alone, but today it was sitting still surprisingly). I just don’t feel sleepy at all. It’s still some time untill people will be waking up, especially since my parents came back so late and Olek is still somewhere out with his friends so I guess they’ll be getting up late, so maybe I’ll get some sleep in, but my experience tells me I won’t. Usually it’s been so that if I didn’t fall asleep until 3 AM despite trying, a Zombie day is ahead. I have them worryingly often now, it wasn’t this way even last year. I think I’ll try once again soon.

Someone else not sleeping for whatever reason?

A shitty, Zombie day.

Yeah, today I have another Zombie day, which means, if you’re unfamiliar, that I’m after a night of completely no sleep. I think the reason of my sleep being so poor recently is that I’m significantly anxious over many things. A bit more than a week ago my term exam session started, which is always some stress – almost none in comparison to final exams that I’ll have in May, but still, makes me quite tense. Besides, almost at the same time my brother picked up some tummy bug or something and was sick, with vomiting and all the attractions, which obviously triggered my emetophobia. It lasted for very long for him and then Dad got infected too and it lasted very long too, so I was freaking out literally, because they were sick and because I could get sick and anyone else could. I didn’t get it luckily, but still don’t fully know if it’s actually over for them. Moreover, my Mum had gastroscopy and colonoscopy on Tuesday before Easter. Well it didn’t regard me directly, but still it made me feel anxious for some reason, I almost felt like I myself was going to have gastroscopy, which would be just traumatic for me I guess and I was stressed for Mum. Don’t know why I reacted so strongly for it. And then Mum had also some not serious complications after that which contributed to my anxiety. It’s crazy. and my final exams are in a month now, which is the thing I’m most anxious about currently. It’s not only about the exams themselves and whether I’ll pass them, but also about the circumstances in which I’ll be writing them. I’m not sure whether I finally told you or not, I guess I did, but I won’t take them at my own school that I formally go to. My school is a normal, mainstream school and my Mum was kind of afraid I might not get all the adjustments I could get if I’d write at a special school for the blind, especially as for math, as this is the subject I particularly suck at and is very difficult for me. I agree with it and so my Mum came up with the idea she’ll ask the headmistress of one of the schools for the blind – not the one I was going to as a child, a completely different one – if it would be possible for me to write there. There was a lot of paperwork and other stuff involved, but it was possible and I got the permission finally. But this school, although is much closer than the one I was going to, is still quite far from where I live, in a different region. So we would have to stay in the boarding school. I know, I won’t be there on my own, there will be Mum and maybe Zofijka with me, I will live with them and the circumstances will be completely different, we’ll be out of there most of the time, I desperately try to think rationally about it, but the anxiety is still there. I know it’s so irrational and stupid and all, but it doesn’t seem like I could do much about it now. I’ll probably just have to face it and see if it was worth all that anxiety or not. Also, I’m having lots of nasty dreams recently, with sleep paralysis and without and they scare me so so much. Just last week I had sleep paralysis twice. It’s knackering and makes me feel just helpless. Often such dreams leave me anxious for hours after they pass away. So yeah plenty of issues that may contribute to that lack of sleep.

Luckily I didn’t have to do anything important today, apart from preparing to my History exam which I’ll have on Monday, but it wasn’t hard to do and I actually could do it tomorrow as well if I really needed. I feel absolutely crappy today, with no energy (despite three strong coffees), lots of anxiety and depression, but that’s normal I guess for everyone who didn’t sleep for an entire night, or at least it’s my normal when I don’t sleep properly, the more tat other things get in the way.

Recently I was writing that I plan on buying a new Braille-Sense, and it turned out that it’s time now for applying for funding, so I did some of that endless paperwork with Mum. Well I guess don’t have much more to say now. Just had to rant a bit.

How are you guys doing? πŸ™‚

Question of the day.

Are you a night owl or an early bird?
My answer:
My sleep patterns seem to change very quickly and I can easily fall out of my normal sleep cycle, but overall I am definitely a night owl. It is not a big problem for me to stay up very late and I often do it just because I want. I find night time a particularly good time fr writing anything so I often stay up late if I need or want to write something. Usually I am the last person in our house to go to bed, unless Misha is particularly full of beans or slept a lot during the day, or unless my brother goes out for the party or something. I like to get up early, but usually don’t wake up very early unless I just woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t fall asleep again. Getting up early is generally harder for me than staying up late and my brain functions definitely better in the evening than early morning. You? πŸ™‚

Sleeping and feeling more decently. :)

Yes, my sleep is now not very far from proper and I am happy about that. That Zombie day on Tuesday was so awful and exhausting. Thanks sooo very much to all those of you who supported me that day. I was so overwhelmingly depressed that actually at the end of the day I almost ended up self harming again, somehow resisted the urge, but then was even more frustrated and sick of myself, I self harmed just a bit more than a month ago and I had much longer periods without self harming in the past. The fact I didn’t finally do it didn’t really matter for me, I felt absolutely awful for feeling such a bad urge. Finally I went to bed at such a cosmic hour as for my sleep cycle as 7 PM, earlier than Zofijka. πŸ˜€ I usually go to sleep the last, only sometimes Misha is up for longer. and slept for… 12 hours! It was a very refreshing and heavy sleep, I actually don’t remember any awakenings. My mood lifted up a bit too so I felt functional enough to write my geography control assignment. It was so boring. Not like I expected it to be very very interesting, I’ve been always finding school extremely boring overall, but anyway it was boring. I had to write about different forms of nature protection in Wejherowo County where I live, like Tricity Landscape Park for example. I think I did it well. Last night I had another night of good sleep and have a feeling tonight will be so too. I don’t expect it to last long but as long as it lasts, I’m very happy about that. Emotionally/moodwise today I feel tolerably. Definitely not good, but functional. Recently I don’t feel very functional, so I’m glad about it. I gave my Mum my assignment to print out. My geography teacher is an elderly guy and rather extremely not up to date with new technologies, which makes it a bit hard for me and my Mum. Normally I could just send him this assignment in email, but as far as I know he doesn’t have any email so my Mum needs to take the time to go to the printing house and then deliver it to him. But well education system sucks in general, not that there aren’t any exceptions of course. Tonight Zofijka is sleeping with me. While my anxiety is definitely more manageable since last week, Zofijka who is a rather worrisome kid, is recently a bit anxious. They watched some scary stuff in class, well scary in her opinion. She seems to be always overly scared of things like demons, ghosts, vampires or paranormal phenomena. While her friends find it very intriguing, in my opinion probably also overly. So she wanted to sleep with me. She wants to sleep with me every night, but this time I agreed as I know how fantastic it feels to be scared in the middle of the night and alone, especially if you’re just a 10-year-old child, although I’m not very enthusiastic about sleeping with other people. I’ve just watched an episode of Happy Valley with Mum and then some film about the Tudors on Epic Drama. We love British films as you can see. And we had ginger tea and some chilli crackers. It lifted up my mood, I hope it will stay so until tomorrow. I think I’ll be going to sleep soon, it’s 10 PM so rather early but I somehow feel sleepy and I don’t really have much to do right now other than sleep, especially that I must be rather silent as Zofijka is sleeping.

Wishing you all good night and sweet dreams, or a nice day, whatever time is now where you live. πŸ™‚

Zombie day.

So yeah I have a Zombie day today, which for me means I didn’t sleep at all last night. So no wonder I’m not feeling the best today either. But also I’ve had much worse Zombie days. And, luckily I don’t have a migraine as I thought I would have. Just had three coffees in a row and feel a bit more energised and a bit more functional. Had to have Maths in the morning, but my tutor was very understanding and I just had one hour, and Zofijka then came back from school and she had two. We’ll soon have lunch, Misha’s going to be excited ’cause we’ll have chicken. Opposite to me, he seems to have a really good time recently. Everyone has noticed he somehow became more cuddly and sociable recently, more playful. Well he is always playful, but now he even wants to initiate playing with Zofijka. Yesterday Zofijka was feeding him and when he’s eaten, he suddenly jumped on her back and just stayed there. He does sometimes jump on people’s back, but only when they clearly want to play with him. I’m glad he’s so happy and more easy-going, whatever is the cause. Well actually we just had our lunch and Misha didn’t appear. Pity, because the chicken was really yummy and spicy. I asked my Mum today to make some pictures for me, of Misha, my room, gem stones etc. so hopefully I’ll be able to post them soon and share something more with you. I really am looking forward to the evening, I hope when I’ll get some proper sleep tonight, tomorrow I’m gonna feel better emotionally. I hope you’re having a good day. πŸ™‚

Wanna join the no sleep club? And a bit of a rant, couldn’t resist.

Hi. πŸ™‚

So, does anyone want to join the No Sleep Club? I don’t know if there’s something similar in English, but in Polish, we have a sort of saying: if for example you say to someone “I didn’t sleep tonight” that person can say “Welcome to the club” which means she didn’t sleep either. and I had such situation with my friend when I told her I didn’t sleep very well and she said welcome to the club and then we were talking about the idea of a no sleep club. Just a place where not sleeping at night people could be together and do whatever they want, but just be glad they’re not the only ones not sleeping. How do you like the idea? πŸ˜€ Just my thoughts. πŸ˜€

SThe rest of this post is going to be almost entirely a rant, so… just be prepared:

eems like I’m not going to sleep tonight, or at least not much. Today is one of these days when it sucks more than usually because I’m feeling very crappy and depressed since Thursday I think and I was hoping to at least sleep through some more of this shitty time. But probably I just had too much sleep last time as I slept from about 1 AM until almost 10. So again my sleep cycle is ruined. It all feels even more overwhelming at night. I just feel so low I am surprised I can function in the outside world as usual, or almost as usual. I feel like it could give me some relief if I could have some outlet, I’ve tried to write about all I feel and don’t feel in my diary and maybe why, but although I was writing for quite a while and wrote down a lot of my depressive thoughts and concerns and frustrations and all, I feel like I didn’t get to the core and wasn’t able to define what it is that overwhelms me the most, like I couldn’t get it into words. In any language I know well enough to talk at least basically about all this fucking complexity of my freaking brain that sometimes barely makes sense even for myself. Well most of the time I think. So I gave up with expressing myself, I think, at least for now.

But what I noticed looking at my diary recently is that I finally seem to see any patterns or cycles in which my depressive moods, or rather more depressive than usual, tend to go. I’ve always wanted to know if it’s possible in my case to define in which part of the day, or week, or month, my mood is most low or high. And I looked at the dates of entries and saw most of these filled with lots of depressive/generally self loathing thoughts I was usually writing either on the very end of the month, or the very beginning. And when I have PMS, but that I’ve already known. I don’t know whether it could matter or not, but am going to see how it will proceed this month and in a couple next months.

I think I’ve told you my ex therapist with whom I check in from time to time on the phone, thinks I have bipolar. No one else from the mental health specialists whom I visited suggested it, but she said that in her opinion mood swings I’ve been experiencing and sudden lift ups which aren’t very high, but are visible for me and which she had seen too, can be classified as hypomania. Only that I actually didn’t have such a really upbeat mood in months now. I had days when I felt pretty neutral or even a bit higher than neutral, but nothing like I could really say that I am in a good mood, no euphoria or anything. And so recently I started to wonder if she’s right or not. I know some people have longer cycles, but then if I had such a long depression phase, with so changeable intensivity, I guess I should have a longer hypomania episode, or shouldn’t I, I don’t know, that seems to be the only thing I know right now. And then thinking about that let me again to the conclusion that if I still don’t have the diagnosis other than that reactive depression three years ago and no actual treatment, it must mean I must be totally not fitting into any criteria, maybe I’m just somehow faking it or something or making a big deal of things, or am just untreatable. Of course rationally I know people can struggle with not getting a diagnosis either psychiatric or in any other medical field, for much longer, but emotionally I can’t really get it.

Good at least my anxiety has lessened since I’m on afobam again, it makes things more manageable, this yea is really so shitty, I don’t get how I’m actually supposed to get through it, so it’s good I’m on it now. And Misha’s with me. This is such a good child. It’s often hard to get him sleep with me at night, he sleeps so much during the day he’s then full of beans in the evening, but recently he started to come to me on his own when he sees people are going to sleep and meows at me to feed him and put him to bed. πŸ™‚ He’s just sweet. And I am working on a name game, just to not think too much, or to not overthink and I’m going to post it here later on. I hope you’ll like it too, I got the idea from Meagan a.k.a. Tulip By Any Name, but I’m making my own. I rarely have ideas about my own name games, though I love them, so I’m glad I have something to occupy my mind at least for a while. It’s nothing big, but you have to be focused on it.

This no sleep thing really frustrates me, mostly because I have Maths in the morning. I don’t know how I’m gonna make it through with no sleep, but if I’ll feel very zombie-like maybe our tutor will take Zofijka during my hours. And my head started aching a few hours ago like I’m going to have a migraine soon, so yeah, seems like I’ll be having lots of fun tomorrow, or today actually, or whatever else kind of shit it’ll be then. But I didn’t have a migraine for some time already, but why do I have to have it at all? Is it really so necessary if so many people can live without it? Shit. Yeah everything seems soooo overwhelming right now, almost whatever I’ll think about.

Sorry it is so chaotic, but I’m generally very chaotic when talking about stuff like that, honestly, although I’ve been always writing a lot in my diary about my, hmmm, internal experiences, I still feel quite odd sharing my negative feelings with other people, even writing.

Really thanks for reading if you made through all this.

Anyone else not sleeping?

Goodnight, good morning or whatever people say at 04:10 AM. πŸ˜€

Yeah, another night of no sleep. With the difference that this time I won’t be able to catch up on sleep in the morning if I’d become sleepy as I have things to do in the morning. So unless a miracle will happen and I’ll get an hour or two of sleep until 6, I think I have a zombie day ahead, as I always call days after a completely sleepless night. Ugh, I hate it so much. But maybe if I’ll go zombie for a day, my sleep routine will settle back and my brain will get in which timezone I am. The good thing however is that Misha’s with me fast asleep in his basket, giving me some more sense of safety, and, which I am very gateful about, my anxiety is definitely not as overwhelming as it was last night. I mean it still is there, but it isn’t so exhausting and I am more functional so after like two hours of tossing and turning I got up and started doing some nice things like I wrote a bit of a next chapter of my book. It’s called “Jack Hamilton” and I’ve been writing it for years, finding comfort in it. Jack Hamilton is just a simple guy, but with very complex life and he’s quite funny, he is actually writing his story on its own. I often plan to direct his life and make him do what I want, but I end up writing something completely different like he’d want to write a life scenario for himself. I planned to publish Jack, but firstly now it’s definitely too long, and secondly, he became my close friend over the years, someone extremely close to me, almost ten years now. My God I can’t believe I can manage with him for so long. He isn’t easy to live with. And although many people know I’m writing a book about a guy called Jack Hamilton who is half Irish half Swedish, even know some of his life story, I’ve never shown anyone more than my notes before writing an actual chapter. I feel like my relationship with Jack, although he’s only my creation, is very intimate is some way.

Besides Jack, I’ve been reading my book, snuggling Misha, still have music on and I think soon I’ll go to bed again just in case I might fall asleep, although I highly doubt it could happen.

Who else isn’t sleeping for whatever reason?

Happy birthday, Olek and Mum!

So as I wrote a while ago today my brother Olek and my Mum have their birthday together. Olek is now 19 and I can’t believe it’s my Mum’s 45th birthday. She definitely doesn’t seem her age for me.

Besides having completely sleepless and very anxious night, I’m doing well. I could catch up on sleep in the morning which I did. It’s crazy to fall asleep at 7 AM, innit? πŸ˜€ But I’m glad I fell asleep finally, I prefer to sleep during the day than go around looking like Zombie and feeling totally rubbish, especially that with all the celebrations we had quite an eventful day. Although I doubt I will sleep tonight too, but well, we’ll see.

So right now we had a full house with lots of family, they came around 6 PM and I stayed with them for a few hours, but then me and Misha took a French leave before nine and are both in my room together. We have loads of delicious food, my Mum’s spectacular dessert which everyone likes and which never is boring – meringue with fruits (today peaches and billberries), a cheese cake, chicken wings, gyros salad and chops with chilli and mushrooms and other stuff, and some nachos and breaded nuts. Misha loved the chops.

Earlier today when I woke up we went with Zofijka to the shop and bought Mum a blanket she wanted to have. It looks really cosy and snug. I got some money for Olek as right now it seems to be the thing he needs and dreams about the most, plus I just hadn’t got any other idea honestly.

Also I will get some music for Mum as she mentioned to me she doesn’t have anything new to listen in the car.

As for other things, on Thursday I had an appointment with that OM doctor who is also a dermatologist and about whom I wrote some time ago, this time I saw him as a dermatologist because of my dry skin and the infection I have on my leg, but he didn’t really tell me anything which would be very new to me. He said I shouldn’t take showers but rather baths and don’t use a usual soap. I stopped taking showers last week already and we all always use black soap which is natural, also I try to make my baths possibly short most days. He also told me I should moisturise my skin and he prescribed me something moisturising. I moisturised it before as I thought it’s logical when you have dry skin, but I did it with oils, so maybe that cream he prescribed me will be more helpful, I didn’t collect the prescription yet though. And he told me the issue should ease a bit as the winter will finish which he told me last time too and which I’m really hoping for. I showed him my leg and he said he also thinks it may be because of my dry skin, then I mentioned to him that I showed it my GP two years ago and she said it might be staphylococcus and he said that yes it might be this too, but didn’t even suggest to make any tests or didn’t prescribe anything specifically for it, so looked pretty much like he didn’t know what it is. I told him I try to treat it with tea tree oil which seems to help and he said I should continue with it as it helps with healing. So, both me and my Mum, who also has dry skin and he says it’s genetic, we felt a bit like we wasted our time going there.

Yesterday I had “brain drainage” in the evening – that’s how I call Maths because I always really feel brain-drained afterwards πŸ˜€ and I hate it – and because I was feeling so drained I decided to have some self care time. I had a long, oiling, moisturising and relaxing bath with olive, coconut and sunflower oil and Epsom salt. I felt a bit like I was sitting in some mediterranean dish lol, Greek salad or something, wondered whether I maybe should put some feta cheese or olives into it too πŸ˜€ it was really oily, but I felt a bit desperate to do something with my skin as it pisses me off more and more. It’s strange that it never was so hardcore until this year, I’ve never realised I had dry skin before. So I spent there about 15 minutes listening to Plu and relaxing and even took a drink with me to the bathroom and drank it, it was Jack Daniels with Pepsi. I love Jack Daniels (not only because it’s Jack πŸ˜€ ), this is actually the only alcohol I drink, and I didn’t have it for ages, since September, but somehow I felt I’d like to drink it that evening. It was so good to hear Gwilym singing and drink Jack. I felt very moisturised afterwards and also very relaxed and warm, so I think it was a good idea, although I think I should probably repeat it once or twice as I felt itchy again later at night, but not as horribly as it used to be recently. The doc said I may feel more itchy when I’m stressed and I was definitely very anxious at night so I think that could be a reason for it.

So yeah, the evening after Maths was definitely fabulous for me.

The night was pretty rough as I mentioned, my Mum suggested it was maybe because of Jack still circulating in my blood and I also think that’s possible. I felt somehow very agitated and anxious, sometimes even panicky and it was very exhausting. Misha wasn’t with me, I looked for him for a while but felt too overwhelmed and scared in general to walk around the whole house and look for him everywhere, I hoped he’d come to me later on but it didn’t happen and everyone was asleep so I didn’t call him with food as it makes a bit of a noise.

I still felt that anxiety staying with me for most part of the day, also probably because of so many people around, but now I’m not anxious almost at all.

How is your weekend going? πŸ™‚