Talked to Tim on the phone last night. “My voices are back,” he said. As he’s gotten older, he has started to get the ability to separate his own thoughts from the three voices he shares his head with, at least for a time. After secretly congratulating myself for warning his case manager that this cycle was coming, I asked if he’d talked to his case manager about it. He assured me he did, but I’ll be calling him today to be sure. Tim can decompensate fast.

I seem to be cycling too. No sleep last night. I think it was a combination of these strange restless leg symptoms that have snuck up on me over the past several months and Tom’s snoring, which usually doesn’t bother me, but is completely impossible for me to sleep through when sleep is hard to come. I seem to have a sleepless few days about the middle of every month for the past several months, and I need to find a way to nip this cycle in the bud. I’m actually glad cooler weather is coming. I always sleep better when it’s a little cool out.

We’re going up to visit Tim this weekend. The plan is, so far, to take him out to dinner, but it all depends on how he’s dealing with this cycle. I always hate this point of his cycle – not the mania and voices per se, but the depression that I know is to follow. I feel so helpless when he sleeps, mopes, and is generally down on himself and life. We’re lucky in that his lows aren’t anywhere near as low as his highs are high. I don’t know how parents of kids with a deep depression cycle handle it. I definitely deal with the chaos better than dispair.

Tim’s three voices seem to cycle in his head, too. He almost always gets his friendly, “little girl” first. She’s more of a playmate and confidante, from what he’s described. After that comes the voice similar to his own – this one can alternately put him down or support him. I haven’t quite pinned down how this one impacts him yet. The third voices is the one that frightens me. It’s the one that tells him he’s in danger, that everyone is out to get him, that he is useless and can’t do anything right. Tim calls it “the screamer” because it will often just be a loud scream in his head. It frightens him. I’m pretty sure that Tim could deal with just having “little girl” and the second voice, if we could just get rid of “the screamer”. I can’t even imagine how terrifying that must be.

I hope we get there this weekend before “the screamer” does. Tim’s been a bit homesick, and there’s no comforting him when “the screamer” is in residence.

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  • Anonymous September 18, 2009 at 1:22 am

    Sleeping? it's probably the stress that's keeping you up, anxiety. I think I read on this blog that you dislike medicines yourself, so maybe a cup of chamomile tea would do the trick?

    They gave me trazodone for sleep; my cycles are all jacked still. But tea worked on me for years, even though I, personally, don't enjoy chamomile tea. The affect it had was worth it.

    ~ Wondering Numbers

  • Adelaide Dupont September 18, 2009 at 1:22 am

    I hope the screamer doesn't bother him – and you – too much.

    Yes, depression can be a real drag-down, especially if you don't get out of it so easily. My own depression has been more dysphoria lately.

    It's the September equinox in a few days, so hopefully there may be some equilibrium. (I remember to spell that word because there is a tranquiliser at the end).

  • Chrisa September 20, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Adelaide, maybe you're right – he seemed much better yesterday when we visited him!

    As far as sleep goes, Numbers, I'm doing better. I'm trying to get on a regular schedule with sleep – I think that is one problem of mine – kind of being all over the place as far as sleep time goes.