Thursday, May 01, 2008

The upside of insomnia

I have decided to change the way I think about my terminal insomnia. In therapy we call that "cognitive restructuring"; the principle is that changing how you think could help you change how you feel.

Instead of viewing terminal insomnia as a worrisome, persistent symptom of depression, I'm going to look at it as preparation for motherhood. Because babies (and, if you go by Jerusha's experience, children) almost never sleep when you want to sleep, and when they're awake they often expect you to keep them company. I've been sleepwalking through this semester, but I'm still getting good grades and none of my clients have tried to kill me. Hence, I can function quite adequately on less than optimal sleep.

Also, there's an inherent optimism, somewhat out of character for me, in assuming that someday I'm going to be walking back and forth at 3 a.m., patting a cranky baby and saying, "Mommy needs to go to sleep, precious... Mommy wants you to go to sleep... give Mommy a break, despite the epidural you were incredibly painful to push out...." Supposedly optimism can be learned. I'm going to give it a shot.

It's getting expensive, though, because I lose things. Since January I've lost two hats, three umbrellas (honestly, someone should invent a disposable umbrella), my flash drive, and innumerable pens. I guess that's part of the cost of living with bipolar disorder. Some of those things might turn up again in the chaos that is my apartment -- I'm happy to report my favorite vibrator emerged from beneath a pile of books and papers on my couch. The others are fungible.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

1 comment:

  1. OMG! you found the vibrator! I'm gratified to hear it.

    Also, your cognitive restructuring is brilliant. And that's speaking as a dad who was up from 3 to 5 this morning :) You're building a skill set and exercising muscles most people don't know they have.

    Love you, darlin.

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