As discouraged as I am about my job these days, I realized something yesterday as I was trying to find my way back home after getting lost in Fungus Corners, Oregon for the third time this week: I have once again achieved a relative state of normality.
This is no small feat in the face of circumstances that would ordinarily bring on a freak-out of epic proportions. Everything is in a state of flux—I don’t know how much longer I’m going to be employed, or what we’ll do if/when we lose our health insurance, or even what kind of job I should look for—but I’m much mellower than usual, believing that God and/or the universe has a better idea and I just need to trust that I’ll be taken care of.
It hit me as I was headed west on an unknown road when I should have been going east on the freeway. One of my biggest fears is driving alone and getting lost, which almost always causes me to panic and drive around in circles; but yesterday I was amusing myself by singing silly ditties that I made up for the occasion, and eventually I found my way back to the main highway. By the time I got home, I was grinning from ear to ear even though I’d had the work day from Hell, because I was so proud of myself for facing down my demons and NOT losing my shit out there in the middle of nowhere.
I was also proud of myself for sitting through another round of criticism from my trainer over my performance of the day’s duties without feeling the urge to weep until I puked. I was unhappy about it, to be sure, but I knew it was coming and I was able to remain professional throughout. And again it struck me: I was behaving like a normal person.
This period of relative serenity has been brought to you by the makers of Zyprexa. I’m so glad Dr. A left me on it, even though I’m still not thrilled that it takes TWO antipsychotics and five meds overall to control my symptoms. But I have been calm through things that bother the hell out of me most of the time, and better yet, I recognize and appreciate it. This must be what it’s like for people who aren’t bipolar; I mean, everyone has bad days, bad weeks, bad jobs—it’s how we react to those things that’s different. Normal folk get upset and talk to somebody; bipolars freak out and think life as they know it is over.
I know better than that. None of the unhappy feelings I’m experiencing have the slightest thing to do with my illness. Not now. And this isn’t even a matter of using the term “situational” as an excuse not to call my doctor and get my symptoms treated, because these aren’t symptoms. They are nothing more than a perfectly understandable reaction to events beyond my control. Of COURSE I’m apprehensive about losing my job, even though I suck at it and am not enjoying it at all; the job market isn’t all that great for people in my age bracket, and I have no idea what I’m going to do next because returning to clinical nursing is not an option.
But somehow, I have faith that I’ll land on my feet, because that is what I do.