With my bipolar, Daylight Saving Time is always difficult. Any change in routine, especially the sleep cycle, can wreak havoc physically, mentally and emotionally. The circadian rhythms that govern my body’s patterns are thrown offbeat. Over the past week, I have suffered headaches, low energy, fatigue, anxiety, nausea, crying spells and stomach pains. All because a single hour of my sleep/wake schedule has been altered.
The difficulty of this time is nothing new, yet two major factors make this year different from years past.
First, I have recently launched a business with Arbonne, which is the culmination of many desires and truly a gift for me, my family and my community. While the work is low stress, part-time and completely flexible, it’s the most hours I’ve worked since taking leave from my full-time teaching position last October. I am off to a great start and I love what I am doing, but it is still an adjustment.
The second game-changer is that I am re-learning how to rest. I’d like to say that all my health research and experience with the work/life balance makes taking time to care for myself a piece of cake. I’d like to say I am fully at peace with the limitations that are hardwired into my body and my mind.
If only. This week, I was slowing down my pace of activity, but it wasn’t enough. Tuesday was miserable and after my second breakdown of the day, I knew that I needed to slow down even more if I was to prevent myself from escalating down a destructive slope. At least one of my crying spells that day was a cry of frustration at God for making me so fragile. Why does the difference of one hour of sleep have to be so hard?
My women’s bible study is going through the gospel of Mark and this week’s reading was from chapter 4. Jesus sleeps on the boat in the middle of a storm, his disciples freak out, Jesus calms the storm, the disciples freak out again because of his power. A dear friend from church has told me that she sees me in the boat with Jesus, sleeping peacefully, because He’s got the storm under control. That surrender into rest comes when instead of fighting my frailty, I embrace it.
Embracing my frailty means I let David go grocery shopping for me. It means that instead of making calls for my business in the afternoon, I read. It means I lay on a blanket in the backyard with Thor and soak in the sunshine. It means I rake leaves while it feels good and stop when it doesn’t.
With my bipolar, Daylight Savings Time is always difficult. Maybe next year I can start the transition to the new hours more gradually, in fifteen minute increments over a couple of weeks. But if I embrace my frailty, I will fall back into strong arms and sleep peacefully, because He’s in the boat with me. In sickness and in health.