January 15, 2008 at 4:29 am 10 comments

I’m sleeping a lot at the moment. And feeling pretty down when I’m not asleep. Then again, my latest sick note is quite exciting. So far I’ve had ‘Anxiety’, ‘Depression’, ‘Mental Health Problems’ and, on my most recent one, I finally have ‘Bipolar Affective Disorder’. It’s taken me four days to actually look at it, though.

Today I had my work-related interview down at the JobCentre. Because my sleep patterns are really screwed up, I woke up at 6am, which was convenient as it meant I was already awake to go to it at 11. The JobCentre people have given up on me. I have to have six of these interviews (which are normally monthly), but my next one is scheduled for three months, because there’s nothing they can do to get me back to work at the moment. Then I came home and slept for another six or seven hours.

I woke up about 10:15. I want to fall asleep again already and it’s only an hour later. Everything bores me, myself most of all…

Watch some TV. Read some stuff online. Conspiracy stuff, which I always find mildly amusing. I wish I could believe in these overarching conspiracy theories, to give proper shape to my madness. I wish I could look at politicians and see them as aspects of a reptilian overmind, rather than petty, unimaginative bureaucrats who are far too enamoured of management jargon. I have trouble believing in anything at all…


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Self-harm just ain’t that serious Melange

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. amy  |  January 15, 2008 at 5:39 am

    i’m sorry to hear it. i feel that i am also mindlessly moving through the motions of everyday life. i am bored almost out of my very existence. being at work doesn’t make the day move any faster, perhaps even slower. i don’t sleep on and off all day (if you don’t count at work heh), but reality drifts away from me so i don’t even know i’m awake sometimes. i hope things get better for you.

  • 2. Gabriel...  |  January 15, 2008 at 6:48 am

    What supplements are you taking? Have you ever tried the light therapy thing? If you haven’t, I’m starting this week so I can let you know how it goes… the lamp my doctor loaned me is freaking huge, but they make them about the size of a keyboard now.

  • 3. adifferentvoice  |  January 15, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I doubt there is a person in the world who would not be bored by being in a flat 24/7 with only the television for company. Boredom is normal in your situation.

    You know I’m basically a nice person, so please do not take this the wrong way, but what is it that stops you finding something to break the boredom – a dog walking job, a university masters, a volontary job such as at the CAB (it’s really, really interesting and you would make such a difference to a lot of people), anything ?

    I went on holiday by myself for a week once to a place where I knew nobody. By about day three I was finding things really difficult, and the walls were closing in on me. Big Mistake. Can’t you find a way to be with people at least some of each day?

    Or go out and look for the first snowdrop. I saw mine today, so I know things have turned the corner.


  • 4. Ruth  |  January 15, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Can you pass me some of your sleeping vibes?

  • 5. experimental chimp  |  January 15, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    amy: Thanks.

    Gabriel: I’m not taking any supplements. Someone suggested the lightbox, but I’d have to buy one myself and I can’t afford it. Especially since light doesn’t seem to do much…

    adiffrentvoice: I can’t do any work, even voluntary, because I’d risk losing my benefits. Which is a dumb system, but it’s the one I have to deal with unfortunately. It’s difficult to do anything with a regular schedule, because my sleep patterns are so irregular…

    Ruth: Sure.

  • 6. adifferentvoice  |  January 16, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Incapacity benefit, right?


    You can do any number of voluntary hours you want. Don’t you have a volunteer agency in your town/city, or try the CAB.

  • 7. experimental chimp  |  January 16, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    adifferentvoice: I get income support, not incapacity benefit. But it looks like the same rules (it’s different rules for paid work, I think, which might be why I’m confused). I don’t think there’s many voluntary places that can work around my sleep patterns, though…

  • 8. adifferentvoice  |  January 16, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    IS/IB – I think the rules are probably the same too – it’s not like JSA where you have to be available for work …

    Winston Churchill led his country to victory through a world war with depression. He managed to work round it.

    Why not try some voluntary work, now that you know it’s allowed? I volunteer at the CAB – you generally have to work only two sessions a week (one half day = one session) and I think you would find the work intellectually demanding and worthwhile. They are ALWAYS looking for volunteers and offer very good training. If not the CAB, then there are many others. Often there is even a volunteer bureau that co-ordinates all volunteer vacancies. Any voluntary work you can do will really help you get back to work, and account for some of the empty time while you are signed off. I don’t want to sound preachy, but I do think it would be good for you in many ways, without being more than you can manage. Lots of people use the CAB as a route back into work, and I’m sure it’s the same for other organisations. Use your super duper broadband to have a look to see what’s available. NHS trusts often want patient representatives!

  • 9. experimental chimp  |  January 17, 2008 at 3:48 am

    adifferentvoice: My problem is that I can’t guarantee that I’ll actually be awake at any specific time. I can just about manage to make my medical appointments, although I’m not always terribly coherent when at them. Even charities need volunteers to be somewhat reliable – and that’s not something I can manage to be at the moment.

    The depressions alone aren’t really enough to keep me out of work; it’s the sleep problems that make it really difficult. Actually, if I could keep to a schedule, without it having very negative effects on me, then I’d be working in paid employment rather than volunteering…

  • 10. Gabriel...  |  January 17, 2008 at 5:02 am

    I think Chimp is, like three weeks into his recovery… starting work or trying to maintain a set schedule would definitely not be the thing to do so soon into his recovery. Especially with an untreated sleep disorder. Volunteering would be even worse… something we have to avoid at this stage are feelings of guilt and shame, and promising to be somewhere when really there’s no way to get there regularly enough to make a difference just leads to both. Setting goals like getting out of the house once in a 24-hour period makes sense, anything else… not so much.

    Vitamin C, D and a calcium supplement would, however, help your brain out…

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Hi, I'm James. I'm a 26 year old guy from England with bipolar disorder (currently well controlled). I also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder (not so well controlled). This blog has charted my journey from mental illness, through diagnosis and, recently, into recovery. It's not always easy, but then, what is?


Self-righteous note about smoking

As of 12th September 2008 it has been forty five weeks since I quit smoking. So in another seven weeks it'll have been a whole year.

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