Coming Out Bipolar
I came out to my instructors this morning.
I didn’t have much of a choice. I simply cannot abide being thought of as old and slow, even though my work performance thus far sure makes me look that way. I hadn’t planned on doing it, but given the grim tone of today’s meeting, it was an act of sheer desperation: I’d rather have people think I’m crazy than stupid.
Which, as I explained to the two of them, I am not. I reassured them that I’m doing all the right things to be as healthy as I can be and my illness is reasonably well-managed, but it also makes learning new things more difficult and I have to do them over and over again until I get it. Unfortunately, there are only so many do-overs built into the training program, and I’m reaching the end of the line. So if I wind up being forced to drop out, I’m going to need something I can show the Employment Division as a reason for quitting.
It was interesting to note the surprised expressions on their faces. They clearly weren’t expecting that announcement. But they both remained professional, and I give them credit for hearing me out and not reacting with horror and revulsion. I don’t want special treatment, I just wanted them to know that there’s a reason why I’m so inept at this.
I haven’t decided whether or not to share my not-so-secret secret with my managers. I asked the trainers to keep what I told them in confidence, and they promised me they would; it’s my story to tell or not tell, after all, and my co-workers certainly don’t need to know. The trainers work with me every day, though, so if anyone deserves to know, it’s them. But I’ll be meeting with the managers on Thursday, and I may or may not say anything about the bipolar; they are both very nice people, but so was my last boss, and we all know how well THAT worked out for me.
At this point, however, I don’t think I have much to lose. I’m very well-acquainted with being in a precarious position on the job, and I recognize when I’m getting close to crashing and burning. I’ve already had several people say “I told you so”, and it’s true, they did; but no matter how this all turns out, I don’t regret for a minute my decision to take the job in the first place. I knew I was taking the chance that I’d fall on my face, but I’d have kicked myself forever if I hadn’t at least tried.
It’s hard not to let the constant negative energy get to me, but I can’t get too down on myself over this one. As disappointed as I am that things have turned out the way they have, life is way too short to be this miserable at the place where I spend a good portion of my waking hours: I dread the 40-mile commute, hate the cold, sterile building I’m in, and don’t even like the actual work. What on earth would make me think it’s going to get better even if I COULD learn it?
But like Scarlett O’Hara, I’ll think about that tomorrow. After all…..tomorrow is another day. 🙂