Coming Out Bipolar: The Sequel
Today was “report card” day at work, and my meeting with the managers went just as I expected—they are very understanding and supportive, and they definitely want me to be successful, but I’ve got to get my shit together.
So I told them what I told my training instructors the other day. Oddly, they didn’t seem as surprised as the trainers were, but I’m sure they’ve had bombshells dropped in their laps before. I know I have….as a supervisor myself, I had employees literally confess all kinds of things to me that they probably should have told their priest or therapist. So the announcement of an itty-bitty case of manic depression shouldn’t have been a big deal, right?
What it all boils down to is this: I have an illness—and am on medications—that play nelly-hell with my ability to learn new information and, to some extent, recall older information. I can’t help that. Sometimes I’m tempted to go off meds in the hope of getting rid of some of the brain fog; all it would take is missing a couple of nighttime doses, and I’d clear up in no time. (It would also throw me headlong into mania, which is when I THINK my mind is firing on all eight cylinders…..although from what I’ve been told by family and friends, it really isn’t.) But of course quitting meds is not an option, so I try not to ruminate on that too much.
Ultimately, it won’t matter because this job is not going to work out no matter what I do or don’t do, but I still think it’s preferable to be thought crazy than stupid, and to this end I decided to lay it all on the line with my supervisors. Of course, sitting there in the conference room talking with them, I’m sure I didn’t seem crazy, and they both acknowledged they wouldn’t have guessed this about me. Once again, I assured them that my illness is under good control and that any breakthrough stuff is dealt with swiftly by my doctor. All in all, it was a good conversation, and I was able to keep things professional and maintain my dignity throughout.
And on the inside, I’m screaming “BULLSHIT!” There is nothing dignified about any of this. I hate it that I’m so slow in processing information. I hate it that I’m so anxious. I hate it that I’m in over my head—again—and drowning in my own foolishness. But mostly, I hate it that I don’t know what to do about it.
Thank God I see Dr. Awesomesauce tomorrow. I’m feeling somewhat mixed again, though nowhere near as much as before I went back on Vitamin Z, and I hope he’ll have some ideas……since he often plays the role of job coach, cheerleader and guru, he’s sure to come up with some piece of wisdom I can use. I’ll have to admit he was right about the job, and to let him say “I told you so” because he did tell me so, as did my sister, my husband, and several of my friends who know me well. But I know he won’t rub it in, and after the humiliation of being almost four months into this job and unable to function at even a basic beginning level, the last thing I’m worried about is a little good-natured ribbing from my psychiatrist.