Over the weekend, perhaps because Chris and I had endeared ourselves to a good friend, our good friend wanted to stop by and see us. She was in the midst of having an episode in her soon-to-be diagnosed bipolar disorder. She hadn’t been sleeping, had racing thoughts, and lost appetite.
Earlier in the week, I had helped her get to her car, see her sister, and more. But those moments were just very smallâ€”a few hours where I kept my own sanity in check and slept in my own place.
What came next was unexpected. She wanted to see us, because we had always been a reliable source of support. When a race was coming up for her, her boyfriend and others were oddly getting busy, we were the only ones that stayed committed. That and all our support in various ways. She had regarded us as her “second home”.
So she arrived at Chris’ place. By that point, I had showered and was settling in a bedtime routine, reading on my kindle while Chris was playing the new Destiny. She texted and I said, “Sure, come over.”, thinking that we would chat a little to understand, help her with what she needed, and then she would be on her way.
But what happened next wasn’t what I expected. I heard her story, but she was tired. I looked through her paper pad where she had meticulously kept notes. Initially, I thought it was a great idea to track one’s self at this level. Because she was exhausted, I helped her transcribed her written notes to a digital form on the computer. I saw how few hours of sleep she had and the attempts at sleep hygiene. Having taken various notes in my life and reshaped them, I quickly got them into a Google doc and all was good. Then suddenly, she fell asleep on the bed/couch. We hesitated at first, wondering whether to wake her, but in the end, we let her stay and pulled a blanket over her and leaving a note to wake us if anything was needed. We went to sleep.
But I was very aware of how she would wake up in the middle of the night, so when in deep sleep, the shuffling of steps woke me up and I immediately went upstairs. “Need anything?” I said.
For the next several hours and again after a brief 2 hour moment, I transcribed and listened. Then Chris fed her and listened.