Falling Asleep on the Bus

April 17, 2008 at 1:49 am 7 comments

Going to therapy was awful today. The session itself was fine – it was the journey there and back that was hell.

I got about three hours sleep, missed my alarm and ended up with about ten minutes to get dressed and get to the bus-stop. I managed this (I’ve had plenty of practice ) and got there just before my bus arrived. The bus was pretty full, so I grabbed a seat facing towards the back of the bus, opposite two women. I felt so tired that it was difficult to stay awake, and falling asleep and maybe off my seat in front of two random people didn’t sound like a great plan.

The bus clears out once it gets to the city centre, so I got a seat towards the back of the bus. I was listening to my mp3 player, turned up to full volume. And even so, I couldn’t stay awake. I’d fall asleep, then jerk back to reality a few seconds later. The bus ride was like a series of time-lapse photographs, every one a few more metres down the road. As I got close to my stop, I started feeling incredibly nauseous. I get motion sick, although much less now than when I was a kid. Not being able to see the motion of the bus makes it a hundred times worse. I was genuinely afraid I was going to be sick, though since I hadn’t eaten for hours, there probably wasn’t anything for me to be sick with.

I managed to get off the bus and was feeling slighly more conscious by the time my therapist called me into her room.

I babbled for a while before we settled into a more normal kind of conversation. The ongoing conversation gave me a thread to hang onto and I managed to keep myself awake. Once we were done, I left the health centre and immediately started shivering. I don’t think it was especially cold, I think my ability to thermoregulate had glitched out from the tiredness.

The ride back home was even worse. It’s scary to be falling asleep in a public place. I was holding my head up with my hand, so every time I fell asleep I’d slip and wake up. I was worried that I’d miss my stop. I didn’t, though. Once back home I went back to bed and slept the rest of the day.

And I used to feel like this all the time.


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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. BPD in OKC  |  April 17, 2008 at 2:08 am

    I’ve never actually ridden a public bus because here in Oklahoma everyone drives, but I can imagine that I’d be terrified to fall asleep on a bus. I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about buses. I hope you don’t feel like this often.

  • 2. experimental chimp  |  April 17, 2008 at 3:48 am

    BPD in OKC: I doubt anything bad would happen here, although I’d rather not find out. Fortunately, I usually have enough sleep these days.

  • 3. Prester John  |  April 17, 2008 at 10:56 am

    “I left the health centre and immediately started shivering. I don’t think it was especially cold, I think my ability to thermoregulate had glitched out from the tiredness.”

    I’ve noticed and wondered about my tendency to feel cold when I’m on the way down. I’m often thinking/hoping I’m getting sick, as in flu, rather than depressed, but that is almost never the case.

  • 4. experimental chimp  |  April 17, 2008 at 10:58 am

    Well, it snowed sometime yesterday while I was asleep, so maybe it was cold.

  • 5. Prester John  |  April 17, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    It almost doesn’t get cold where I live. (LA, or lower Alabama.)

  • 6. billfromaus  |  May 19, 2010 at 8:15 am

    haderp a derp. I sleep on the bus every day too and from work, nothing dangerous unless you slip on into the asscrack of the world aka america.
    There aint no gta based on australia

  • 7. jordie  |  May 16, 2011 at 1:08 am

    this happens to me, but not just on the bus,
    its weird, i mean i blink to stay awake but it feels like a heavy sheet blocking out some light, and it wont return to my eyes until i close them and what feels to me like a minute, is actually ten!
    when I was doing my gcses in an english lesson it happened, previously it was only buses, or when watching movies in alesson, when the strength or wave of the light could have possible changed but that time was in an extreamly bright class room, and i gave up fighting closed my eyes and woke to being kicked in the leg by a friend, I’d been a sleep for five minutes? but to me it was just a long blink?
    it never happens at home, unless i have eaten a pile of carbs but its different as i don’t get the eye fog.
    it’s weird i was just wondering if you get this feeling?

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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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