I started this blog post at 2.30 in the middle of the night, a night where my youngest wouldn’t sleep. Seems like ages ago, but actually, it was only last night. Now that the daylight has come up, and I’ve had my first flat white, the coffee is working and I’m a new person. Well almost, because anyone who has a schizotypal personality disorder will know that losing sleep is one of the worst things that can happen to escalate symptoms.And my youngest seems to be perpetually teething and waking up constantly.
This sleep thing is actually double sided for me. When my eldest was little, she had everything that would make a child wake up during the night and cry. Some nights we were up 30 some times. I’m not exaggerating. I counted. That loss of sleep, and never getting 5 consecutive hours, was what made me go and submit myself to the hospital.
That awful situation had a silver lining, because I got my diagnosis. Which to many might not be a great thing to get. But for me, it was something I had been waiting for for years. I always sort of knew that I was different, and wanted a box to put it inside. Now that I’ve got my schizotypal personality disorder box, I’ve got a frame from where to work with myself. But as most psychiatrists will tell you, you are never 100% inside a box. Not one box. As every person and experience/disorder/whateveryouwanttocallit is different.
So to not experience too many of the dark and negative sides of my diagnosis, I need to sleep as no sleep brings the negative symptoms, which are not my cup of tea. Give me the positive any day. But not the negative.
So get some sleep! (note to self)
So I like a glass of wine once in a while. Actually, I’m always the last person to leave a party. So I really like a glass of wine once in a while. But how does that affect you when you are on medication? Doctors and leaflets all proclaim that you will be more sensitive to alcohol if you are one medication. Need less to feel the effect. My verdict? Mostly true. I feel it faster and I get more serious headaches.
So my advice is pretty simple. Drink slowly and make sure that you keep an eye on how you are feeling. All medication and all people are different. And drink responsibly. Especially now that you are on already on the crazy boat. Which is an ok place to be.
I’m halfway through ‘take 10’, the free Headspace programme I started recently . Here are a few thought on it:
- Don’t even attempt it at night after taking medication. You will fall asleep – instantly.
- Be realistic – this is not a cure all.
- It is uncomfortable in the beginning. Leave space for rumination without distractions.
- You will peobably loose your patience, but it’s only ten minutes, so keep going.
- Just do it.
It’s no quick fix, but it’s a great supplement to my medication which can get me a bit jumpy sometimes. Like I’ve had 50 cups of coffee. Instead of just one. Meditation with this non-patronizing monk is really quite cool. ANd the design of their website is sharp too:)
Another weekend is just ending and my second week back on meds is just beginning. So far so good. No side effects that are terrible – the hangovers have gone away and I’m actually enjoying the buzz a bit every night after I take my little pill. Guilty, I know it’s drugs and you probably shouldn’t enjoy it. Let’s call it a positive side effect.
I’m still having difficulty feeling my body though, just like many with schizotypal personality disorder. This was one of the reasons why I chose to go back on medication, this crazy unattachment to my body. One thing that is changing with my body, is my libido. It seems that the indifference or even repulsion that I’ve had over sex is going away. Slowly. And I’m not jumping to any conclusions, but that seems pretty good! Being in your body this way, is one of the most primal and natural situations and being able to relax in it feels pretty good. Also in my head. And also for my relationship. No surprise there, this has been a big struggle for us as it is often difficult for partners to understand the situation fully.
My body awareness is awful. Really, really awful. Having schizotypal personality disorder, or actually something just outside that box, means that my relationship with my body fluctuates. Sometimes, I’m in control and feel at home in my body. Then, I’m in total balance. Which is my goal.
But when I’m not, it can get so bad that my hands (legs, ears, pinkies etc.) don’t feel like my own and I can’t recognize myself in the mirror. That’s when the whole seperate reality starts kicking in. More on that in a different post. I’m so used to it that by now I don’t think too much about it, my autopilot just takes me for a spin and nobody ever notices what is going on inside my head.
SO what can you do to ‘feel’ your body? All sensory experiences are options, which is anything that primarily involves the body and not my overactive brain. My brain tends to hijack these experiences as well though, food for example is not purely sensory but also a subject for highly analytical brain activities. So I’m making a list of positive experiences and will work my way through it:
- exercise – the hard kind that will hurt a bit and make you taste blood. Ok, maybe not every time, but that’s the gist.
- massage – by having someone else touch your body, to me it seems more ‘real’
- meditation – goal is to get rid of the thoughts and focus on bodily experiences
- sex – don’t suppose I need to explain that one, but practice helps
Challange: get brain to not participate analytically in any of the above activities
Will keep you updated as my experiment progresses.