I usually wake up in the morning around six o’clock when my husband’s alarm buzzes off, making a particularly obnoxious sound so as to wake up deep sleepers like Bob and me.

Well, that’s not really true.  I usually roll over and groan when the alarm goes off, then drift back off to sleep until my youngest daughter comes to me for a hug before going and packing her lunch for school.

I may laze around in the bed for about five to ten more minutes.  My medications (particularly Tranzodone, an anti-psychotic) make me sleepy most of the time.  It doesn’t seem to matter how early I go to bed; the routine is the same every morning,

I finally get up when I hear my oldest two girls arguing about something—anything and everything.  I get up and referee the tiff of the day, then I go and grab a couple of granola bars for breakfast. (Another of my medications, Abilify, a mood stabilizer, makes me gain weight, and I am taking the maximum dosage of 30 mg per day at night. So I try to eat as lightly as I can.)

I try and help the kids get out the door with all of their bags, books, and assorted other needs for school, but the two oldest are fairly independent in that aspect, so I only exchange a couple of words with them and say goodbye before they leave for school.

I stay awake long enough to send off the youngest to school and Bob to his office, with me still in my housecoat and pajamas.  Then once they leave, I usually get back in bed and sleep another hour or so before starting my day.

Some days are better than others.  If I’m in a depressed cycle, during my days off of work I may find myself in bed until 10:30 or 11 a.m.  I always get up before noon, because Bob comes in for lunch around 12:30 p.m.  But in those depressed mornings, it seems safer to stay in bed than to get out.  Nothing can go wrong if I’m asleep in the bed, I think.

Work days are different. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I teach Composition I and II at a local community college.  Around eight or eight-thirty, I wake back up and go take my morning medications.  I take an Aleve currently for plantar irritation in my foot, then Klonopin for anxiety, Buspar, an antidepressant, Wellbutrin, another antidepressant, and a Centrum multivitamin.  I don’t know if I would do better taking them as soon as I wake up to go ahead and let the energizing effects of Wellbutrin kick in.  Someday I will stay alert enough in the morning to try that.  But that day hasn’t come yet.

Afterwards I get dressed and ready to face the world.  I do my quiet time and then check my work email to see what the administration had to say and to see if any of my students contact me with last-minute emergencies.  I also hope against hope that I receive some kind of response on any of the various stories, plays, and other writing I have under consideration at various outlets.  So that is usually a long wait-and-see proposition—but one can always hope.


7 thoughts on “Mornings

  1. Something I have learned over the years is that it’s possible that the bipolar affects our inner clocks. For years I’ve struggled with sleepiness in the mornings, and alertness at night. Since I don’t work out of the home, I don’t even try any more. I’m up most nights. I’ve met several people online with similar sleep patterns.


  2. ((hugs)) I take trazodone, too, but for sleep. I don’t have bi-polar disorder, but I have ptsd and take medications to manage some of the symptoms. Thank you for the glimpse into your day.


  3. Is it better for you to have this constant routine than to change things up a bit? I don’t know as I don’t have bipolar but have struggled with depression. I always find if I start changing things up a bit it helps me to not let the depression really hit and set in. I know obviously bipolar is a very different subject so was just wondering.


  4. Too much instability can set off an episode for me. A major shock, too many commitments and not enough time, etc. Stress is the killer thing for bipolar disorder. We need orderly, low-stress lives. Not that there can’t be room for a change in routine occasionally, but too many changes all at once and you’re right back in a mood swing one way or another. That’s what brought on my major depression before my psychotic break–I moved, had a baby, got sick, had a major car accident, and then endured Hurricane Katrina all within six months. It was all too much for me.


  5. Your routine sounds very healthy and nurturing for someone who struggles with bipolar. I have also gained weight with anti-depressants and that’s hard, but my husband and I have been making efforts to eat better together, and that helps.


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