A couple weeks ago I had an entire week off work for vacation time because my wife was between semesters for her doctoral program and wasn’t working on a practicum (think indentured servitude) at the time. It was great — sort of.
This last weekend I had four days off because my company gives us an employee appreciation day before Labor day or Memorial day (employee’s choice), also great — again sort of.
I love the time off because my wife and I can do things together and have an awesome time working with our puppy (well, she’s not much of a puppy anymore at 1.5 years old). It’s some of the only time we’ve had in a good few years to do things together uninterrupted by her homework and other responsibilities associated with schooling.
We spent time doing movie marathons. In particular we like to find obscure post-apocalyptic movies such a Z for Zachariah (which was really good by the way). We also have a few channels on YouTube we follow closely like This is Dan Bell and Rob Dyke’s Serious Strange. All of which we do between other projects around the house.
We will stay up way late watching these things and as a result sleep really late into the following day. I mean, like we go to bed around 3 or 4, and don’t get up until 11/11:30 the following morning.
For someone with bipolar disorder, this is really bad!!! In my case it triggered a hypomanic state and for the last 2-3 weeks I have found it nearly impossible to fall asleep. And when I do finally fall asleep it’s coma deep sleep. All of this hurdles me (and my wife, as a bystander) into a whitewater rapids of emotional instability.
While nothing out of hand happened, my behavior was loud and abrupt. My actions, such as startling one of the dogs for no apparent reason other than to do it, would be childish and totally spontaneous — without any forethought. I would also be very repetitive in my speech — not like I would repeating things in my sentences when speaking normally, but I would sing a silly line of something I made up over and over until it was no longer even remotely funny. I would do this without even realizing it — and I gotta give my wife kudos for placating me by laughing along even though I had probably driven her completely nuts.
So the lesson boys and girls, is practice good sleep hygiene even when you have no responsibilities requiring you to manage a strict schedule. Not doing so can (and likely will) trigger mania or depression or increase any issues with anxiety. If you are willing to live with that, have fun…I can say, from my experience, it’s not always the best policy to roll those dice.