How do they do it? The ones with demanding and successful careers? The people with bipolar disorder who are surgeons and paediatricians, marketing managers and teachers, nurses and truck drivers. How do they manage their life? How do they juggle their illness plus the side effects of their medication plus their jobs that require a specific set of highly demanding skills, recollection and fine motor skills? How the bloody hell?
I could never be a surgeon, a welder or a make-up artist. My hands shake too much. You should see me in the bathroom in the mornings. I’m a nightmare drawing in my eyebrows. I’m a danger to myself wielding a mascara brush. And lipstick? No, we just won’t go there.
I could never be a pediatrician, a dentist or a mechanic. How do they remember the technicalities and details, so much information to be retained in order to do their job. How on earth could I be a bank teller or a hairdresser or the manager of an advertising agency when I can’t even remember what I did a half hour ago.
And a teacher? Forget it. I’d be so worried I’ll throw a rage in front of the students. And where do all of these professionals get their energy to be so industrious and accomplished? Granted I have a smidge of a demanding job, but by the end of Wednesday I’m exhausted. And I still have another 2 days to get through!
And please, where are all these accomplished bipolars with such successful work lives? Are they urban myths – I only hear about them secondhand from the boss of the accounts department whose uncle’s cousin’s friend’s father is a lawyer and he has bipolar disorder and he copes just fine. The only bipolars I personally know of are on disability and then there’s me, who claws and scrapes through each day like groundhog torture.
So I call bullshit to all these ‘well-informed’ ordinary folk who insult me by suggesting I could do better, work harder, smarter and that the world is my fucking oyster…. You’re a clever girl, you could do anything….. All I can say is, you don’t wanna KNOW what I think YOU can do.