No time left for writing

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I basically have two options: I can look after my son from 5am until 6pm, or I can write, but I definitely cannot do both.

Two months ago my girlfriend found a minimum wage job at one of the local cheese factories. She had spent fourteen months basically immobile through a pregnancy, then the first year of our sons life, and she needed to have a place to spend her day interacting with adults.

So at 5am, five days a week, she drops our son off at my apartment. Most days he and I both sleep for two, maybe three hours — him in my bedroom, me on the couch. Then we spend four or five hours trying to figure out what he wants.

On the nice-weather days we spend the afternoon in the park, or cruising around our village in his little buggy.

The afternoons are great. The mornings are the exact opposite. And from 7pm, when my girlfriend takes our son to her home, until I finally pass out around midnight, I might as well be a zombie.

Caring for my son is exhausting, but really mostly for the non-sleep factors. Caring for him having only had three to five hours of crappy sleep, where I’m waking up every hour on the hour, is turning me into a mindless automaton.

Long story short… I have no time to write now, or for the foreseeable future. My girlfriend is looking for a job with more reasonable hours, but that could take months and inevitably really solve nothing.

So between now and then I’ll mostly be posting photos here. At least that’s the plan. Setting up a schedule that allows me to look after my son, spend time with my girlfriend, eat as well as write is something I’m working on.

I figure posting something, anything, that is simple and quick will give me something to concentrate on that’s not the high pitched screams of a 35-pound raging poo badger who really only wants daddy to pick up a toy said badger just threw across his room.

Without all the hassle of having to maintain a coherent thought through a fog of exhaustion.

…he’s actually a remarkably quiet, thoughtful, mellow and sweet kid. But still, I’m a freaking zombie at the end of the day.

Writing just this much means I’ve now been awake for twenty-two hours. And I’m only up this late, writing, because my girlfriend is taking a day off because she misses hanging out with our son, so I get a diaper free day of sleep.


The photo is a self-portrait of me in the dentist chair getting a cleaning. She found no cavities, which means I’ve gone almost an entire year without a hole appearing in my face. And my gums are healing as well.

Just another victory for me… quit smoking, quit chewing my nails, quit drinking, getting treatment for the bipolar and diabetes, raising a fantastic kid, and now no cavities. Damn.




About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, crazy people with no pants, Father, Health, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Mental Health, Photography, Zombies and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to No time left for writing

  1. thordora says:

    It does get better I promise! I do not miss those days of zero sleep, but did manage to learn to sleep covered in children anywhere, anytime. :p

    • Gabriel... says:

      Hi thordora, and thanks for the encouragement. My girlfriend actually took Friday off, and looked after our son while I slept in until 1pm. So that was awesome. I would have thought my biggest problem would’ve been me being irritable or frustrated because sleep deprivation is crushing my mind, but really it’s that I can’t think of what I’m supposed to do. Like, I’ll just sit on my bed, playing with him, and forget there’s a world outside we could be hanging out in… or I’ll remember we should be outside, but be too tired to think of ways to get there.

  2. zoom says:

    I never got anything else done when my kid was your kid’s age either. Parenting a toddler is a full-time job, only more fun, more hours and no pay. I’ll look forward to reading whatever content you do post…even if it’s shorter and less frequent and unedited and sleep-deprived. 🙂

    • Gabriel... says:

      Hello zoom. I definitely think you’re right about shorter, I can’t even think of how I could keep a thousand word post semi-coherent from top to bottom, but 500 words or less seems feasible. Keeping them short and breezy might let me post more often. Either way, definitely unedited and written in a sleepless fog.

  3. H says:

    it DOES get better.. but honestly? My daughter is at 3 and I’m still a sleep deprived zombie at the end of the day. Cross my heart. I wake up, eat, go to sleep for 8-9 hours, maybe work out, come home, eat dinner with her, hang out with her for an hour, maybe 2, put her top bed, try and drag myself out to play roller derby and then come home exhausted and do it all over again. The weekends are almost worse, because all I want to do is cuddle and she wants to do is run around like a Indian with the Cowboys close on her tail and explore EVERYTHING… *but is it TOO much to ask for her to sleep past 8? REALLY??* but chin up. You HAVE accomplished alot…and parents are essentially just food retrievers and toy-getters the first few years. You’re spending time with him 🙂

    • Gabriel... says:

      Thanks for the encouragement AichJay. I am getting my mother back into helping with my son, basically for a few hours a week I let the two of them be alone together. So that’s helping me, so long as she doesn’t break the One Rule (no having my son around her mother). It gives me the opportunity to try to get the ringing in my ears to go away.

  4. Detached says:

    Little ones are hard…especially when trying to cope with a plethera of health issues. You are doing a commendable job!

  5. Detached says:

    Its tough to have a little one, and even harder to keep said little one alive when facing other health challenges. You are doing a commendable job 🙂 Take one day at a time and do the best you can. And congrats on the dental appointment!

    • Gabriel... says:

      Thanks DeDiff, it’s always nice to be recognized… I’d have used “awesome”, but I’ll gladly take “commendable”. I definitely live in a day-to-day state of mind. If things get at all rough, I just count the time until my girlfriend gets home.

      And thanks for the congrats, it’s a huge deal for me. Just last year they were telling me it was possible I was going to lose another two, even three teeth. So YIP-freaking-EEE…

  6. Pingback: A gravestone update plus a video of me pushing my son around and some thunder | …salted lithium.

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