TW: discussion of paranoia and mental detachment
Sometimes in the deep of the night, firmly in the clutches of insomnia, my mind begins to roam. And separate.
I live with mental illness that sometimes impacts on my ability to parent effectively. That is a difficult thing for me to admit to but I must in order to make sensible decisions.
Most of the time I am normal parent. I follow the steps I need to and ensure that I medicate regularly, eat properly and exercise when I can. I also am supposed to get enough sleep which is why DH does nights with the baby. All good things to do to self manage myself.
And then there are the times I don’t take care. I still take my lithium and thyroid religiously. But if I let one element of anything else slip, then the cracks appear and my brain exploits them ruthlessly.
I have eaten such crap the last few days. I haven’t been out walking or on the exercise bike. And, crucially, I have not been sleeping. I have Promethazine available but I can’t take it as DH has not been well and I find it leaves a lingering dopeyness in the mornings which make it very difficult to get out of bed. So I can’t use it if I am home alone with the baby.
In the depths of the night, it is so easy to let the inside noise through, that which I stifle during the day. Those voices murmuring quietly that I am a burden to DH, that his life was so much easier before my arrival. Floating through my grey matter like whisps are memories of my daughter pushing me away, crying, desperate to go to her papa for solace. I am not needed or wanted.
The insomnia calls to me seductively. Would it not be nice to join us, embrace the paranoia and the delusions. Why continually fight the inevitable? Not to take my medicine, to go for long late night walks, seal myself off from the whole world in my mind?
In the dark, it is easy to see the slide into what would be madness. And it is tempting to check out for a while, especially in times of great stress that my family and I are experiencing right now.
By engaging further with that train of thought is to embrace what I consider to be delusions in the cold light of day. To abdicate all responsibility and slip into my dream world. Even just for a few hours. The whispers can get very loud at night.
Then two things happen. I inadvertently click on a picture of me and my daughter a couple of days ago. One where I had her giggling at the camera. Perhaps she might need me around sometimes. I might not be the world’s greatest mother but she’d rather I stuck around in my normal head rather than disappeared into my sick one.
The other thing that snaps me back to normality in the midst of the wee hours pretty rapidly? Poking DH repeatedly in the ribs to get him to move and not snore. Sometimes it’s the mundane that helps us back.
The whispers have faded now. I’ve got my eye patch and ear plugs at the ready to attempt to get a few hours of good sleep which will keep me on the straight and narrow. I think it would be more fun to see my baby laugh tomorrow than it would be to ramble endlessly inside my head.
Sleep well everyone.
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