Hypomanic Insomnia

As I am writing this I have been awake for 38 hours now. It’s just something that can happen when you go on the upswing of bipolar in to (hypo)mania. Essentially my brain goes into overdrive, and I become extremely energetic, silly, more personable, confident. My thoughts race sometimes, that’s bad enough. There’s a push-shove, love-hate relationship I share with hypomania. It has plenty of positive effects. It can allow me to hyper-focus, and complete tasks and projects I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to complete, at least in one sitting. There’s the rush of confidence, feelings of euphoria – and so on.

There plenty of downsides too – impulsiveness, hyper-sexuality, grandiosity, distractibility – among others. The most potentially destructive of all the symptoms however would be what the textbooks call “decreased need for sleep” and sure, sometimes that’s all it is. You fall asleep for 3 hours and wake up feeling lively and energetic. Other times however, the “decreased need for sleep” is the entire absence of sleep. It’s the inability to go to sleep. That is what happened to me yesterday. It was a wonderful euphoric “high” of hypomania. The trouble started last night when I tried to go to bed. Usually, the hypomania subsides enough for me to sleep, or to at least be overpowered by a sleeping pill. Last night, this was not the case. I could not sleep – no matter what. I sat in my room until the sun came up, and I had to get ready for work.

The day was actually pretty good. I felt lively, and energetic – almost as if I had actually gotten a really good night’s rest. At work, I was very productive. It was around 4-5pm where things got bad. Even now, my mind is very much awake – it’s very much active. However, my body feels as though it’s shutting down. I’m in pain from my head to my toes. My eyes are burning a hole into my skull and my body feels as though I ran a marathon. I’m heavy. My body is telling me it’s tired, and to go to sleep. My mind however, says no.

Guess who wins.