In March 2018, I was diagnosed with depressive disorder. My mind was teetering toward the edge of a downward spiral. I had been in that headspace before—twice. The edge is marked with monotone, repetitive sentences:
“I don’t want to be here.”
“I don’t want to do this.”
“I’m tired of trying.”
“I don’t want to feel this way.”
In past times, an opposing sentence would charge up the spiral like a linebacker knocking me back into the doing of my life. During 2002, it was a Bible study group. 2005, a job offer. But in 2018, nothing came rushing up the spiral and the ground beneath my feet was slick. I was starting to slide.
A referral from my therapist led me to a psychiatrist who asked me several questions and determined that along with therapy, medication would help keep me away from the spiral and start walking a healthier path.
Not sleeping and failing
So, I am what some might describe as a “high-functioning” depressive. Since high school and maybe earlier than that, I got IT done. Whatever IT was, I got it done. I compromised sleep to do it. For several years I lived off of an average of 4-5 hours of sleep a night. Many of the questions my psychiatrist asked were about sleep. How much did I get? Often did I wake up? How long did it take to fall asleep? Did I feel rested? How long did it take to get up?
Analysis: I was on #TeamNoSleep when # was only that weird button on the phone.
Moving forward in my treatment process, sleep has become a major deal with me. Last year, I tried my old “tough-it-out-and-push-through” mantra and pretty much passed out on my pillow every time. If I was going to achieve my goals, I was going to have to do it with balance, with sleep as an intentional part of the plan. Needless to say (if you follow me, you already know), I did not achieve much last year. It’s bad enough being depressed, but feeling like 2018 was my year of #Fail wasn’t helping matters.
Kicked off the team
Enter 2019. Self, we are going to sleep AND achieve. Joining #TeamSleep. This is paramount, never done before in my 37 years of life.
Working with Isha Cogborn, founder of Platform for Purpose, I am focusing on 3 goals charted out over the next 12 months. Isha coached me to break up my first goal into chunks that lead to milestones. Now, I have given this same advice to my clients, yet here I was having an epiphany with the CEO of Epiphany Institute about breaking up my larger goal into smaller goals. SMH!
You can’t see the picture when you are the frame, Isha says.
I can report it’s working. I sleep, I work. I sleep. I do a host of other things as well, but the bottom line is that I sleep to have healthy mental health and achieve my goals. My first goal is to launch The #JustWrite Guide package in mid-spring. The first milestone is to complete my rough draft by February 17. Hold me to it. If you see me on any social media at the wee hours of the night/day, then you have my permission to check me and check in on me.