“Mom Sleep”

Today on Instagram I saw a post that said: “Mom Sleep — It’s like normal sleep, without actually sleeping.”

It made me feel terrible. I’m talking deep down shame.

The last time I talked to my psychiatrist I said why — why on earth can’t my body sleep? Why do I require drugs to knock me out? He said it has something to do with a bipolar brain’s wiring.

It made me think of a broken heater or a broken computer. It made me feel broken.

When I was on a typical pregnancy site I asked if when you get a c-section do you have to sleep with the baby — because I can’t do that.  Everyone asked what I would do when the baby comes. I explained that because of my medication my husband would be on call at night. One woman replied, “lucky.”


Lucky that I have to take medication to knock myself out in order to function, lucky that I’m basically helpless to my daughter in the middle of the night, lucky that my body can’t do a typical, normal thing it should totally be able to do.

And it never really did. That makes me sad, too. As a little girl I was so frightened, so awake, so troubled and so totally unaware of what was happening,

But I suppose this is my version of MY “mom sleep.” I’m redefining it.

“Bipolar Mom Sleep. It’s like sleep, except your body can’t sleep so you knock yourself out with heavy drugs and sometimes it doesn’t work and if that happens you get manic and if that happens all hell breaks lose and you could possibly lose everything you love in your life. Bipolar Mom Sleep.”

Okay, okay. FINE. I’ll trrrry to think of it like:

“Bipolar Mom Sleep. You take the right drugs at the right time to get healthy sleep to stay sane and happy.”




1 Comment

  1. Whoa I am still learning about you and after all these years (1990) i did not actually realize what sleep or the lack thereof was like for you. Thank you for teaching me more about this allusive disease. Does it ever go the other way? Like all you can do is sleep for a week straight? I love you xoxo thank you for your honesty and vulnerability I truly respect you and all you do and create and love despite these limitations that are so incapacitating.


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