I have long prided myself on the fact that no one, ever in the history of my life, has called me a dumbass.
A smartass, yes; a pain in the ass, definitely. But never a dumbass……until now. And the one who thinks I’m a dumbass is ME.
Why? Because of the mush my mind has turned into since I got into all this mental health trouble. I’ve bitched about bipolar brain-fade before, but now that my intellectual abilities are being seriously challenged by my current job, I feel like I’m doomed because I can’t remember the billion-and-one steps every task seems to require. I’m okay in the office, where it’s quiet and there are few distractions so I can think, but I’m getting thrown to the wolves this upcoming week, and I’ve been pretty much put on notice that this is make-or-break time.
Nah, no pressure there. I’m going to be out there on assignment and have to remember what the trainers taught me about interviewing people, about carrying the laptop everywhere and how to use the software, about what to document and where to document it. I want to see if I CAN do it, but to be honest…..I’m terrified. And my brain tends to vapor-lock when I’m terrified.
I’ve spent most of the past two weeks trying to learn and practicing the computer stuff so I don’t feel so unprepared this next time, and I’m just not getting it. I have managed to accomplish some of the objectives—yesterday I succeeded in importing the “kit” for this week’s survey to my laptop, and I was so proud of myself for doing it unassisted that I almost called my instructor to brag about it. I thought better of it, though, because that’s one of the easier maneuvers, and I should’ve been able to do it weeks ago.
This is without a doubt THE most incompetent I’ve ever felt in all my born days. Not even nursing school was this hard. I feel slow and clumsy and stupid, and that’s a gnarly emotional stew for me as it brings back awful memories of late elementary school, when I was slow and clumsy (although even I knew I wasn’t stupid….at least not then). In fact, I’m sure these feelings had a lot to do with my late unlamented mixed episode, and I don’t know quite how I’m going to remain stable if this is the way I’m going to feel—as I’ve been warned I will—for the next year or two.
But the worst thing is not knowing if it’s the job, or if it’s just me with my short-term memory deficits and my damaged brain and my meds. And I wonder, would I be able to thrive in an atmosphere where the work didn’t challenge me? Sometimes I dream of working in a little shop or a restaurant where I know all the locals and the only thing I have to worry about is giving them the correct change…..but then, I need SOMETHING to keep what’s left of my grey matter from rotting.
I just don’t think this is what the Maker of brains—bipolar or otherwise—had in mind when He issued mine. Guess we’ll find out soon, won’t we?