One thing I learned after being admitted into a psychiatric hospital two times in two years are strategies in managing stress. I have learned how to recognize triggers and I have found constructive ways in giving myself self-care. This may mean knowing when it’s time to take a mental health day from work, increase physical activity, meditation, and prayer. At times, this even may mean taking a break from loved ones.
My baseline is approximately 7-8 hours of sleep per night. I have been operating on about 2 to 3 hours of sleep per night for the last 3 weeks.
Although this may not warrant alarm for some, this is not my normal sleep pattern. The interesting thing is: I’m not as tired as I think I should be. I have kept myself busy creating my own version of art-whether it’s funky t-shirts promoting Sula as seen here or thinking : “How can I reach more readers and listeners for Sula?” I have spent countless hours brainstorming how I am going to get my homemade scotch bonnet pepper sauce in local restaurants. I’ve also practiced perfecting my braiding skills (thank God for my open minded mentee)!
The concept of presenting my content in more than one way was suggested to me by more than one friend. Both highly intelligent and knowledgeable about this sort of thing they have said in their own way:
Not everyone will read your words. Not everyone will listen to your words. However, many will watch a video of you delivering original content.
My soon to be released video collaboration with popular dancer and comedian Gully Chris is in response to this much appreciated advice.
All these things are swirling around my head at 1:00 a.m, 1:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. as I finally drift off to sleep (after working over 12-13 hour days). Although I am devoting a lot time around Sula, if I were honest with myself and if I really honed in on what I learned in one of the best psychiatric hospitals in Fairfield County and if I were to truly reflect on all I’ve gained in intensive outpatient therapy, one on one therapy and group therapy-then I would readily admit 12-13 hour work days and promoting Sula are not the triggers for my lack of sleep as a result of mania.
I can recall the exact moment a shift happened. I was home. I was in bed and ready for sleep. I welcomed it. At first, it didn’t come. I was restless. I tossed and turned. I flipped my thick locs one way and then another. I fluffed my pillows for the millionth time. Then the realization of what I knew I had to do hit me. Square in the chest-a piercing pain shot through my heart.
My marriage was over.
I didn’t want to try anymore.
We always joked that love was never our issue. We had all the love in the world. However, we would always agree: love just isn’t enough. We knew that with a certainty we could never have imagined as boyfriend and girlfriend or even as we took our vows on a hot Sunday afternoon in August. “Remember, this is just one day” my cousin warned me. “The real marriage begins after everyone is gone. That’s when the real work begins” . I heard him, but I didn’t hear him. I got caught up in all the details that really doesn’t fucking matter.
And so, here we are. Sleep deprived and restless. Where do I go from here? How do you manage heartache and life changing decisions? Please share.