This was a day for the books as my grandmother would say. It will go down in my history book as my shortest job ever. I didn’t get fired. I imploded. I got up for work with my husband. I took my usual two plus hours to get ready. This is not because I’m a fashion diva, but because I change my clothes five to ten times in the course of getting ready.
I have ever since I developed bi-polar disorder. Or when I’m manic it could be many more times! Oddities like this befall the lifestyle of people with a mental illness. You compensate, absorb them into your routine. Joke about them. Try not to think that most people just get dressed.
Back to the implosion. I haven’t worked outside of my home office for nearly five years steadily. But, I thought I could get back. And I still feel I could, with the right circumstances. If the company leadership knew I had bi-polar disorder and would let me work and their office and virtually (at my home office). If I were doing what I love: social media, blogging, etc. I could see myself doing that.
But the days are past when I can call companies and people on the phone and sell them things. I’ve done some campaigns from home. I guess that makes the difference. However, it makes me anxious to think about it today. That’s how I imploded. I had a full blown panic attack and had to go home in the middle of lunch. These are not common for me. It was awful. My heart raced. I felt like I had to jump out of my skin, which felt all creepy crawly. I was hyperventilating. I tried to slow down my breathing.
Worse, I had to call and tell them about it and that I wouldn’t be back. Most embarrassing moments? Tell me about it. I called my supervisor and told him I experience a severe panic attack about the job and he said, “I guess it won’t work out then, will it?” I said I would be happy to call for you from home and he said they needed someone on site. So I apologized again.
Disappointment can reign in the mind and heart of an over-achieving bi-polar! And worse yet, I had an appointment scheduled with a really good new psychiatrist in two days and had cancelled it because of the new job. I didn’t want it to interfere. Poor judgment is another trait that plagues people who are bi-polar. I’ll get in to see her. But I wish I was seeing her in two days.
I do have someone I can call. It’s so important to get regular psychiatric help, and ask for help when you need it. Panic attacks are not for the weak at heart. I had my reservations about my desire and ability to do that job right then. So when I had the attack, I listened to my body. I didn’t push myself. Sometimes you have to do the opposite and push through the panic. Knowing when to push, and knowing when not to is key in managing a disorder like bi-polar.
Sure, I have to push myself or I’d end up sitting in a chair staring out a window. I push myself to be involved in life and to engage with people when I am depressed. I talk to myself to slow down and rest when I am getting manic, and give my husband permission to help me. I push myself to leave the house because I’m a bit agoraphobic or working outside the home would be as easy as writing in my home office.
That is the story of my shortest job. There are many stories like this in the life of someone battling mental illness. I am trying to live above the madness. I do appreciate your help! Please read along and learn with me. There is so much in life that’s new each day. I’m trying to find my way like you are. Let’s find our way together.
copyright Libby Baker Sweiger