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Beautiful Dreamer

August 28, 2013

Have I ever told you about how awesome my son-in-law is? He’s a hairdresser who can literally make magic: he has the ability to turn a frumpy, late-middle-aged grandmother into a sassy chick with attitude. It takes over three hours to do my hair, but the results are well worth it—I look and feel fifteen years younger.

I’ve always been very conservative (read: nervous) about allowing anyone to cut, dye, or otherwise mess with my hair, but this time I let him have his way with it, and the blond streaks running through my light-brown locks are spectacular both in their color and intensity. It’s like my hair is infused with light.

The man is an artist, I tell you, and every time he does my hair I learn to trust him more. Maybe one day I’ll even let him cut it short…..but it won’t be any time soon. It’s not that I’m afraid for him to do it, but even at my rapidly advancing age, I’m just not ready to give up the mane.

So, I told you that story to tell you this one:

Ever since I started on bipolar medications, my dreams—which have always been interesting—have become more vivid and unusual than ever before. Most of them are okay, although they are sometimes disturbing or unsettling, but I seldom have flat-out nightmares….except for last night’s feature presentation, which starred yours truly as a woman who just got out of a mental hospital and went straight back into the job that made the stay necessary.

I mean, this dream was so realistic I had to force myself to wake up to prove that it was nothing but a dream. All of the people I used to work with were there, and that wasn’t so bad, but the idea of returning to that place and that position sent chills down my spine and pumped up my anxiety to the boiling point, and I woke up yelling “NOOOOOOO!!”

The hell of it is, I know exactly where it came from….thank you, Employment Division. They sent me a referral via E-mail (and you can’t just ignore these—you have to call the unemployment office and then arrange to put in an application with that employer) for a job doing EXACTLY what I was doing before.

I promptly broke out in a cold sweat and my stomach lurched as I read the message. I couldn’t believe they wanted me to apply and interview for the same kind of position that nearly landed me in the psych ward in real life. During my UI benefits hearing, I’d had to explain what my job had done to me psychologically, and I had backup documentation from my p-doc to prove it; I was assured then that no effort would be made to locate a similar job for me.

But now here it was, right in front of me……and I HAVE to call the unemployment office for information on the job, I can’t simply say “Yes” or “No” online the way you can with most of their referrals.

NOW what the hell do I do? I’m still drawing some benefits because I’m working only 8-10 hours a week, but the caveat is that I still have to look for full-time work (even though I really can’t handle it). But I’d rather be dragged through hot coals by a team of sled dogs than even interview for a job like this…..can we say PTSD?

Of course, I could always accidentally-on-purpose get myself out of it by telling the interviewer exactly why I was forced out of my last job (“They fired me because I have bipolar disorder and I had this massive breakdown and I almost got carted off to the loony bin!” ought to do the trick). But the panic I felt as I attempted—for the fourth time today—to pick up the phone and call the unemployment office is eerily reminiscent of that horrible time, and I’ve been fighting the urge to pop an Ativan so I can chill out enough to talk to them about this.

Hopefully, they’ll come up with a really GOOD referral for me soon. In fact, I’d actually like to have an interview this week, if for no other reason than my hair looks amazing. I can fake the rest. Go me!

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