……His wonders to perform. Or something like that.
I’ve only got about an hour and a half till lights-out, so I’ll have to make this relatively quick. Tonight, it feels as though a heavy burden has been lifted from my shoulders, blunting the sting of yet another disappointment. I’ll explain that in a minute.
As is my tendency after a mood episode, I feel extraordinarily fragile, as if it would take only the tiniest of upsets to tilt my world on its axis again. This was a bad one…..I really didn’t know just HOW bad it was until I realized that my ultra-conservative psychiatrist basically threw the kitchen sink at me to try to bring the damned thing under control. The fact that the gambit worked is a testament to his excellent judgment and expertise. But I also think God was working through him on this one, because I have things to do and people to annoy and a mission to fulfill. Just what that mission is, I have yet to discover, but after this afternoon I’m pretty sure what it’s NOT.
During the summer when I was looking for work—before I took my current job—I had applied for a position with the state that involves inspecting nursing homes to make sure they were in compliance with state and Federal regulations. Since the wheels of the government turn very, very slowly, I thought nothing more of it until a few weeks ago, when I got an E-mail inviting me to interview for the position. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? So I did the first interview, more out of curiosity than anything else, and I did well enough that I was asked back for the second round.
Today was the day. I didn’t have a great feeling about it, possibly because I was hypomanic when I did the first one and I most definitely do not have that sort of energy going for me now. I also tripped over a couple of questions and got flustered, which at my age and stage of professional life shouldn’t happen. But when it was all over, I realized that no matter how much I might want the job or how interesting it would’ve been, the fact remains that I cannot work a full-time job with long, irregular hours and frequent travel. I cannot do it. I have a sick husband who needs me close by, and I have bipolar disorder.
Once again, I’ve bumped up against the hard truth that there are limits to what I can do, and I resent the hell out of it. But Will put it this way: “Don’t do it. You and I both know that you’ll have another episode, probably sooner than later, and the next one just might be too much. Besides, you know what Dr. A would say.” Hoo, boy, do I ever know what he’d say…..he wasn’t exactly thrilled with the idea of this job BEFORE I found out more about it.
But that statement lifted an enormous weight from me: that of unrealistic expectations. Nobody—not my family, not my friends, not my doctor, and certainly not my employer—expects me to take on such a challenge. And what have I lost, really? Nothing. I simply stay where I am, doing what I’ve been doing…. picking up more hours when I’m feeling well, and throttling back a little when I’m not. Meanwhile, I’m working with some of the most incredible people on the planet, and more importantly, I’m home every night with my Will, and available to him when he needs me.
And so I say, the Lord works in mysterious ways. If I hadn’t crashed after going wackadoodles, I might have actually accepted the job if it were offered to me. If Will hadn’t developed swelling in his legs that needed attention right away, I would have gone into that meeting today with more confidence that everything would just somehow work out, and perhaps not fumbled those questions.
I must have been NUTS to think I could do this, even for a minute. God knew that.