Category Archives: clinical depression

Sleep, the Unsung Hero

sleep1Before I learned that I was bipolar, I didn’t pay much attention to my sleep. Actually, I counted myself lucky when I got up in the middle of the night and was able to squeeze a few more hours out of the day.

Now that I have learned about bipolar and accepted my illness, I understand my need for sleep in order to avoid the depressive episodes that have so fully eclipsed my life in the past. These days I almost always make sure that I get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. If I do wake up early I try to catch a few more hours sometime in the morning.

Recently we went on a cruise. During our stay we made choices about shows and dinner hours that allowed me to get the sleep I needed. In addition to this I continued taking my medication and we had a wonderful time. Sometimes I take sleep for granted but recently I realized that in my case it is an unsung hero!


A Series of Unfortunate Events

(I’m writing this story because when I have tough stuff happen to me I find that writing about it and sharing can help turn negative into positive.  Thanks for listening.)


Our series of events may not be as earth shattering or shocking as the movie but its real none-the-less and it happened last night.


Our series began when our daughter, Cindy, mentioned that there was a really great play in town at a local theater.  Her children loved the musical The Ark, and they just HAD to see it! Cindy invited us to join them and bought tickets so we could all go.


The first sign of trouble happened when Cindy’s classes at the University of Phoenix were changed from Mondays to Thursdays.  The play, of course, was on Thursday.


Not to worry, Dan and I decided to take the kids ourselves while she was at school.  I got a sitter for 1 year old Joshua and looked forward to enjoying the other three children along with Dan.


Half an hour before Cindy left for school she closed the door to our room and focused as she finished homework for her new class and I was watching Joshua as he and 4 year old Michael played in the crisp autumn leaves as the gold, green and brown colors mixed together to form an inviting topping for the green grass beneath.  Three times I felt prompted to interrupt Cindy’s studying to get the tickets.  Instead I asked “Michael, I need you to go ask Mommy for the tickets Okay?” He nodded his head and went inside.


In the meantime a neighbor stopped by and I forgot all about Michael’s errand. 


Later, Cindy said ”When I was getting ready to leave I had the distinct and repeated impression to take my cell phone, but dismissed the feeling because I thought Kalli might need it.” 


Time flew and Cindy dashed out the door to go to school and I didn’t have the tickets!


It was almost 6:00 when Dan arrived from work; the play began at 7:00.   We quickly got the kids to the table for dinner and between bites of chicken I remembered that I still didn’t have the tickets!  Dan took over with the kids and I quickly drove to her school then spent half an hour hearing about confidentiality and trying to find out where Cindy was, only to learn that her new class was located on a different campus!


I rushed down 9 streets to find the new sitter’s address, got her home to watch Joshua then Dan and I got the other kids in the car and drove to the other campus.  15 minutes later and more discussion about confidentiality I found Cindy and learned that the tickets were at Will Call (why didn’t I listen better during previous conversations?) 


We turned left out of the college campus and got stuck between two lanes trying to maneuver into the right hand lane (ever felt the stress of 8 pairs of eyeballs blaring at you as you wait for the light to turn to green?)


By now the play had already begun.  Dan asked if I knew which building it was in or where to park.  Daaah!  As we drove around looking for parking Michael asked “When will we be at the play?” and 7 year old Tiarra kept singing songs from the play with Kalli.  “Please guys” I begged “we’re pretty stressed right now.  Please whisper!”  The whispering lasted approximately 2  seconds before the volume continued as before.  By now I was practicing deep breathing so much I thought I might pass out!


Dan let me out to see if I could learn where we should go.  I rushed toward an open door of Salt Lake Community College.  I began at the student barbershop discreetly inquiring of 3 students “Do you know where the theater is that is playing The Ark?”  These students had no clue so I decided to try the shot gun approach.  I entered and walked through the doorway of the beauty shop where about 15 people were being shaved, cut or permed.  “Anybody know” I shouted above the buzz “where the theater on campus is that is playing The Ark?” After observing several amused, shocked or passive expressions I got “Nope,”,“Sorry” or the shaking of heads (I hope I didn’t cause any haircut accidents). 


I ran out of the building and jumped into the car.  After catching my breath I suggested “Let’s park.”  Parking was not easy but finally we found a spot, fed the meter with what change we could muster then began our trek around the College campus with three kids in tow.  Half an hour later we found an information desk where we were told that there was no theater at that campus, it was at the south campus (of course).


By now it was 7:45. My blood pressure had risen considerably, the kids continued to ask “How much longer?” and Dan just wanted to forget the whole thing (despite the fact that the tickets were $10 each… at least they weren’t the seat on in the front that cost $24.00!)


We decided to call the box office before taking our next move.  Miraculously I found the number then heard “The box office is closed.  It will reopen tomorrow morning at 10:00.  Call back then or leave a message…beep…” (I hate it when that happens!)


Dan headed for home as he pointed out “Since the box office is closed we wouldn’t be able to get our Will Call tickets anyway!”


“Aren’t we going to the play?” demanded Michael “Sorry, Michael” Dan responded “We tried but it just didn’t work out.”


The environment in our car was anything but peaceful.  It included heavy sighs, exclamations of “It’s not fair!” and out right crying (I’m sure glad it was only a 10 minute drive to our home!)


After taking the babysitter home (at least this time I knew where she lived) I drove home and counted the many unfortunate events that led to the fact that we missed our beloved play.  Most of all I thought about when I felt I needed to talk to Cindy about the tickets and sent Michael instead. 


Earlier that day I had read an article written by my friend, Darla, where she didn’t listen to a honey-prompting:


One day I felt a distinct prompting to tighten the lid of the honey dispenser. My four little children had been especially demanding and I had ten things I still wanted to do to prepare for the Relief Society lesson I had to give the next day. I ignored the prompting. A second later I grabbed for the honey and was halfway across my carpeted kitchen before I realized I was leaving a trail of honey clear across the floor. I spent a half-hour sorely needed for other things on my hands and knees scrubbing honey and feeling stupid because I knew that even in this tiny thing the Holy Ghost had done his part to spare me this unnecessary clean-up—and I had not paid attention.


As I pulled in the driveway I had to admit to myself “If I had followed that personal commandment I would have gotten answers to the questions “Where are the tickets? What is the address of the theater and what is the address of the sitter?”


It would have been wise to remember “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear”. The result would have been enjoying an evening of entertainment instead of a series of stresses. (Here is the part of the story where I have to be careful not to get into self-beating)


This morning I found the scripture in John 15:10 “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”


I wish I would have listened more closely to my own personal commandment “YOU need to talk to Cindy about the tickets.”  So now as I complete the processing of this event I pray “Dear Lord, please forgive me for not listening.  Please help me REMEMBER to listen and obey so that next time I can avoid the series of unfortunate events!

Power Point Presentation about Bipolar Illness Packed with Possibilities!

"She seemed to be either all the way up or all the way down!!"When I was young, my Mother used to tell people that my emotions were either all the way up or all the say down.  We have created a power point in that summarize the ups and downs of bipolar illness, it’s symptoms as well as remedies in a presentation that takes less than 10 minutes!   Enjoy!