It would be facile to say that knowing I wouldn't sleep kept me awake. However, I did know that sleep would be hard to come by tonight. I went to bed and took my tablets (other way round, actually), watched a bit of TV, put the light out and fell asleep. For a measly fucking hour. It's nearly 0100 and I'm absolutely wide eyed, as though I'd had a good night, instead of a pathetic 60 minutes.
It's weird, but I get most of my hits on the blog after midnight, so hello to all of you sleepless people out there reading this - I sympathise. If you're American, then it's 8pm or 5pm, depending on where you live. Whoever you are, and wherever you are, it's nice to have you on board, and thanks for reading.
The last time I was in the States, it was in San Francisco - the most fantastic (and expensive) city. Good vibes and very steep hills, trolley cars and, in my case, excellent cocktails. You could smoke in bars in those days; now you can't even smoke on the streets. I've been to America three times: Washington and Virginia; San Francisco and Los Angeles, and Boston and New England in the Fall. New Hampshire and Vermont were completely amazing - I began to think I"d lost the capacity to see the colour green, as it was all reds, oranges and purples and various shades thereof. Not a green tree to be seen. In Virginia, I had the most fantastic crab bash - you get a bucket full of crab, and they fill it up as often as you can eat it. Ditto lobster. When I was in Virginia Beach, I went up in the lift of the hotel to go to the room: when a woman heard my accent she asked me to repeat myself so her daughter could hear a real Limey. I didn't much like Los Angeles, however - I couldn't find the heart of the place. Nowadays, they might not let me in as I have a mental illness and you have to declare it - I could, of course, just lie like I did the last time. Barking - me?
Time to take stock of my mood. It's fallen since I went to bed - how can an hour make such a difference? Well, two hours, I suppose - not long, anyway. It's 8 hours until HT phone me - that's like a whole day. I can't possibly stay awake all night, can I? I used to be able to go to all nighters and still be smart and clean for work the next day - uniform pressed and shoes polished. (Actually, the staff did the shoes) Now I need 10 hours to stay sane; no wonder I'm ill with the little sleep I'm getting. I shall be turning night into day next.
Friends are so important, and I'm lucky with mine on the whole. I've lost quite a few through being ill and being unable to be the life and soul - unless I'm high, they think I'm flat and boring and not myself. Bugger them - I don't need that kind of pressure. One mate disappears off the radar when I'm low - she has no self awareness, so certainly no idea about being down. I think she is afraid of the unknown - she's absolutely not in touch with her own feelings, so I can't expect her to empathise with mine. It's all superficial with her - jokes and catchphrases are in, serious conversation out. She drifts back when I'm well again, but each time it happens, I like her a little less. On the other hand are my friends who try very hard to understand what it is I'm going through, and ask how they can help. Most have now read this, so that's given them a bit of a feel for it. Finally, of course, there are the friends who have been ill themselves, with whom I can talk in a kind of shorthand because I don't have to explain myself. All my friends are valuable to me.
I'm going to post this and make myself a hot drink - leaded coffee or a Red Bull, anyone?
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?