One of the more exciting symptoms of having the bipolars is the inability to get anything out of your head. I often refer to my brain as a Mobius Strip because no matter how far I follow a thought, how much I think I turn it over, I always end up back at the beginning. Then I repeat. They can be profound, or they can be mundane. What they all have in common is presence:
- Why didn’t [insert friend here] return that text? Is [insert friend here] mad at me? What did I do to piss off [insert friend here]? Why do I even have friends? I certainly don’t deserve them.
- How am I ever going to find a job? How will I explain all the holes in my resume because of the bipolars? You’ve made a mess of your finances? You’re gonna end up homeless or made into Soylent Green. If there’s ever medical rationing, I definitely won’t qualify for
- Why don’t people ever play Elton John’s “Your Sister Can’t Twist (But She Can Rock ‘n Roll)” and “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting” off of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road together when it’s obvious from the album that they are meant to be played together? There’s no space between them on the album. What’s wrong with people? Is this why people never let you DJ? Your taste in music sucks, and people are just being nice when they don’t point that out.
- Is the cat mad at me?
- They’re really gonna screw up that X-Files reboot, aren’t they.
- Did I talk to my stepmom enough before she died? I know I could’ve done more.
The upshot is that I more often than not I just lay in bed, upsetting the cat by not slumbering. Yes, the cat is mad at me. The cat is always mad at me; she bites my toes to punish me for not sleeping. My brain punishes me for not thinking.
I lay looking up at the ceiling, the patterns in the spackle forming islands and cows and mocking popes. And the tiny ambient noises – traffic, the house settling, some animal scurrying in the woods –organize themselves into whispers that offer rebuttals to the thoughts running thru my head. “When have you ever heard those two songs played together except on the album? No one likes it when you DJ.”
Ambien and NyQuil lose their effectiveness after a few days, plus you don’t ever want NyQuil to lose its effectiveness. I’ve tried white noise machines and such, but I begin to hear patterns forming which keep me awake. And, of course, there’s music, but music makes me think. “Seriously, they’re one song! They should be played as such!”
But a couple years ago, I discovered the one thing that did the trick: WORLD WAR II Continue reading