Checks and Balances

I don’t think I’m going to get the chance to turn down the State job after all. I was supposed to hear from them by the end of this week, and it is now Friday night and there has been nada.

Oh well. This makes it easier to move on, even though I don’t see myself “moving on” anytime soon. In fact, at this moment in time I don’t see myself moving on, period, because I cannot fucking handle anything. When I heard about how hard the surveyors were on our care managers during this week’s inspection at my facility, I got anxious on their behalf, even though the whole thing was over by the time I got to work this afternoon. Then I thanked God for something like the 974th time since May that I was no longer in a position of responsibility and thus didn’t have to face that again. What the deuce ever gave me the idea that I could do ANY of that again??!

I know that most of my attitude comes from the depression, which isn’t severe but is making me angry, irritable, and very, very discouraged. I’m upset with myself—again—because my mania keeps writing checks my body can’t cash, and then the truth comes out in the inevitable crash that follows. And while on some level I understand that it’s all a matter of balancing things out, I hate what feels to me like an overcorrection.

I wonder sometimes if I’ve got a little PTSD mixed up in all the bipolar stuff. My p-doc is not a big fan of loading up peoples’ charts with diagnoses or posting an alphabet soup behind their names, but some of the emotional shit I deal with is definitely not related to my BP. At least, I don’t think it’s related……maybe Dr. Awesomesauce knows something I don’t (well, DUH, that’s why he’s the doctor and I’m not), but in this case I think he might agree with me. This stuff comes from a place way down deep that is very, very insecure and very, very frightened, and the fact that certain situations bring it out is pretty telling.

And what it means is this: I’m broken somewhere on the inside, and until/unless it can be fixed, I’m going to continue to fear success almost as much as I fear failure. Yes, I’ve been aware for quite some time that I’m afraid of succeeding, because that means people will have expectations of me, and I’m never sure that I can live up to them. In fact, I think that’s why I’ve had so many failures…..I do well for a while, my bosses and co-workers come to rely on me, and then I get scared all over again because I cannot maintain that level of intensity forever. Then when it all falls apart, it’s almost a relief because the expectations go ‘poof’, I quit or get fired, and I go on to the next big thing.

Well, I’m approaching double-nickels at the speed of light, and what’s more, there IS no next big thing… time to be the new wunderkind on the block has run out. Now I am stuck in a very diminished role that quite honestly is what I need, but it’s far from what I want. Or what I think I want. Or what I’m supposed to want. Obviously, I haven’t sorted that out yet.

So yes, this is very much an existential crisis. (And yes, I’m still bipolar……if this depressive phase doesn’t prove THAT to me beyond the shadow of a doubt, nothing can.)

By the way, this mixed-up brain chemistry business is for the birds. I am registering a complaint with the manufacturer of my brain and suggesting He make some modifications. Maybe if I can ever get all the synapses to fire correctly, I might have a fighting chance to figure things out. Maybe.





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.

2 thoughts on “Checks and Balances

  1. .re: “I do well for a while, my bosses and co-workers come to rely on me, and then I get scared all over again because I cannot maintain that level of intensity forever. Then when it all falls apart, it’s almost a relief because the expectations go ‘poof’, I quit or get fired, and I go on to the next big thing.”

    raising my hand, that is me all over!!! I often get put in positions of authority (by default) always reaching that one notch higher then getting overwhelmed and my illness rears its head. Not saying it is a cause but it’s a set up for sure! 😦 so now I have to keep myself right-sized and that seems to be helping… I just don’t like the size I am!


    1. That’s exactly my problem……I am not fond of being ‘right-sized’, as you call it. I want to be larger-sized and taken seriously again. Doesn’t seem like it’s in the cards for me, though, and that’s probably for the best as I fall flat on my face every time. 😦


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