I really thought yesterday was the anomaly. Since my brain didn’t wake itself up and even though I recognized the “immediately awake” state of my brain. I still somehow thought I wasn’t kicking off another “up” period of hypo-manic lack of sleep. Silly me.

It’s so alluring, the thought of being normal. And, when I am normal for long periods, I forget or convince myself that that normal is the new normal[1]. I forget that the very nature of cyclothymia (or manic depressive / bi polar) is literally the cycles or the shifting from one pole to another. The cycling from one state to another is the definition of the condition. It’s right there in the name, just what it says on the tin.

However much I may be lulling myself into forgetting that normal isn’t for me normal, I am not forgetting how to manage. I’m not frustrated by this wakefulness. I am not confused and running through a list of things that may have triggered “bad sleep” (Did I exercise too late at night? Did I have caffeine too late in the day? Is the bedroom uncomfortable?). Sleep problems are a symptom, and so solving them isn’t the ultimate goal. And this is just a state to be accepted and managed — fighting against it only brings frustration when the fighting doesn’t work in promoting sleep.

The song in my head this morning

[1] Not so dissimilar to how when I’m “down” it feels like I’ll be down forever. Though I usually have a voice in the back of my brain reminding me that this isn’t normal — except for the darkest of days when there is no such voice. And when I’m “up” I’m very clear that this is a temporary state of affairs and will soon pass.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Gross

For the record, did get out and exercise yesterday. Streak of 1 so far.

Originally published at on August 16, 2016.

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