Reality Bites

Well, THIS sucks.

I haven’t hit bottom, but it feels like the bottom is rushing up to meet me and I’m not sure what to do about it. Most of it is situational, but I think my brain has caught onto the fact that the Celexa is gone and it’s paying me back for trying to hide it with other medications.

The situational stuff is easy to figure out. A close family member is in crisis again/still, and told his Dad last night that he wanted to jump off a bridge. His Dad does not need to hear that, but on the other hand I’m glad he’s at least communicating with someone, as he’s still mad at me for not allowing him to move in with us when his marriage fell apart and Wifey kicked him out of the house. I love him dearly, but we’ve enabled him too many times, and he’s learned nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

So I decided that it was time for him to grow a pair and figure out his own problems, because it will never happen if he thinks he can crash on our sofa every time he fucks up his life. That does not, of course, relieve me of the burden of guilt when he calls his father and tells him that he’s been alternating nights in a homeless shelter and sleeping in his wife’s car. In 25* weather. In a big, dangerous city. With the holiday season approaching.

The trouble is, I never know when he’s lyin’ or when he’s truthin’; and not to put too fine a point on things, but the most obvious clue that he’s lying is if his mouth is moving. He could’ve just as easily been at his new girlfriend’s house—the one he took up with two days before his wife threw him out—as in a shelter. He told his Dad that he had a job interview today; I can’t help but question that as he made no mention of it when he called late last night. Long story short, his life is a hot mess, he has mental problems that he will not even acknowledge, let alone seek help for, and he is wearing out his welcome everywhere he goes.

Then there’s my own job situation. Damn my brain, it teases and tempts me with possibilities, even as I know that I’d be insane to think I could do anything with them. I’ve spent a good amount of time over the past few days trying to figure all the angles, to see if there’s any way at all that I could do the job I interviewed for, and hating myself because I can’t find one. To get thisclose to my dream of becoming a Somebody and achieving some form of economic security—and not being quite able to touch it—is soul-killing, and inside I am raging against the Fates that have apparently determined that I shall stay mired in mediocrity for the rest of my days.

This is not how things were supposed to work. This was my last chance to be something more than what I am right now—a rapidly aging nurse who can’t really even BE a nurse anymore—and my sick brain blew it for me. I had no business even interviewing for that position…..damn grandiose thinking had me believing for a minute that I could actually do it. What I should have done was thank the panel for speaking with me, and then ask them to remove my name from consideration because there is no way in Hell that I can travel and work irregular hours without getting sick.

But I didn’t, and now I’m actually praying that I’ll receive a letter saying “thanks but no thanks”. The prospect of having to turn down the position infuriates me……I feel like I’m giving in to my limitations, and as we all know, I do not do that gracefully. And while I realize that I’m heading into a depression and it will pass, it feels right now like the last spark of hope for a late-in-life resurgence has been extinguished.




Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

6 thoughts on “Reality Bites

  1. Oh Marla, you are doing great although you might be in a bit of Bipolar mania right now. First off, “tough love” with a friend is always hard but it needs to be done. He has to face reality and life isn’t easy. All you can do is be straightforward with him and try to give good advice. It is tragic when younger people feel they need to end their lives but when at the lowest point all they can do it look UP! You hang in there and don’t try to go off any meds. You are a good nurse and you would slap a patient silly if they did not take their meds. There is a reason your doctor has you on them so for your sake, take what is prescibed. You have so much on your plate right now with hubby maybe there is a reason why this job opportunity is not developing. Know that you are loved and we all want you healthy and well.


    1. Thank you, my friend. I am actually off my antidepressant because my p-doc thinks it could be contributing to my frequent manic episodes, and he asked me to try doing without it. I’m not having a good time, but into every (bipolar) life a little depression must fall, right?


  2. I’m also a nurse with bipolar and can so relate to some of the things you’ve said in this post. I want to go back to work so badly and it sucks in so many ways that I’m not able to. It HURTS. I haven’t worked in 5 years, was finally diagnosed 2 years ago and am still far from being stable enough to work. Anyway, I’m glad I found your blog–I’ve never read anything by or spoken to anyone who is both a nurse and has bipolar. I just recently found this and have been reading it from the beginning. I hope you’re doing well.


    1. Welcome, Ann, and thank you for visiting my blog. 🙂 I also appreciate hearing from other bipolar nurses who know what it’s like to try to maintain their career while struggling with the disorder. I wasn’t diagnosed until 2 1/2 years ago myself, but fought BP tooth and nail for decades before that, not knowing what I was up against or why it kept coming back.

      So sorry you’ve been unable to work. It does hurt…..I already miss my career, although I don’t think I would ever go back to being a floor nurse again. I’m too old and it’s too hard what with 12-hour shifts and understaffing. Anyway, I’m glad you found my blog and hope to “see” you around. 🙂


      1. Yep, I’d been fighting that unknown demon for decades as well before somebody finally figured it out. I did CCU and then CTICU nursing for the first 8 years of my career and then found hospice nursing–that’s what I want to get back to but the hours are too unpredictable and my med changes can make driving a challenge (which you posted about–that was funny but sad). A couple of months ago I was convinced I was ready, for the first time in a long time, to go back to doing hospice and that I was so awesome at it–like, the BEST–and that I would rock any interview I did and that nobody would NOT hire me because I was so great and perfect. Never even occurred to me that I might be a tad hypomanic. I just thought I was awesome. And then…. well, you know how it goes. I ended up in a mixed state and as I was coming out of it, I finally “got it”–that I have this thing that I’ll have forever and it might take my career away from me. But you were right in your post about appreciating what you have while you can. I have a husband who supports me and loves me and has stuck with me for 15 years, and 2 awesome sons who I don’t seem to have screwed up yet. I couldn’t ask for more.

        Thank you for your response and thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I hope you keep writing!


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