Rage episode brings about advocacy

Today has beaten me. I’m black and blue and trailing blood.

rage

The culprit? Another rage episode. That’s what my doc calls it – a rage episode. This is my worst symptom second only to insomnia. At work I am rather notorious in the temper arena, in the past having been called in by management for numerous accounts of “unacceptable behaviour”. I’ve worked very hard on strategies to temper that temper, but it would appear my current instability has breathed new life into it. My biggest trigger is when I feel something unfair or unjust is being done to me. Which is what happened to me today while dealing with an internet provider.

Advice isn’t always a bipolar fit

But ordinary folk don’t understand this side of bipolar – the uncontrollable rage. They offer advice (or judgment depending on the person). Suggestions of:

all you need to do is ….xyz
maybe if you this…..
or maybe if you didn’t do that…….
you don’t have to get so upset
it’ll blow over in the morning….
just put a smile on your face
its not bad, you’re blowing it out of proportion…..
maybe if you spoke nicely…..
remember you attract more bees with honey…….

After the unexpected outburst I disappeared into the toilets to cry, giving opportunity for my co-workers to talk about me. You know that abrupt silence mid-conversation as you walk through the door? Yep, I’m already deeply ashamed, and now I’m marginalised. I felt demolished by the whole incident. But I took a deep breathe, apologised for my behaviour and, punctuated by crying-hiccups, tried to explain triggers and episodes in this particular instance.

Once the dust had settled

I tried to explain ME. That I don’t enjoy behaving in an inappropriate manner; that its not something I choose. I explained I have strategies in place to prevent being put into those triggering situations, but sometimes things in life pop up and are beyond the containment of my strategies. I tried to explain that I couldn’t follow their advice because my brain simply doesn’t work that way. I ended the conversation with – I don’t choose it, it’s just the way I am.

They seemed sympathetic and I can only hope that what I said brought about a better understanding of ME, and a greater tolerance of bipolar disorder. So despite the bruises, bumps and lumps of a traumatic day, there came an opportunity to advocate for bipolar. I hope I did us proud.

 

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13 comments

  1. I really, really understand. I learned to “stuff” my rage after having my teeth practically knocked down my throat by my mother, enough times so I learned to at least keep my mouth shut. No matter: I still find ways to shoot myself in the foot when I discover I’ve been screwed over, double-crossed, passed over, or other injustices. I think we’re just She-ra stuck in human bodies, forced to live among muggles who have no possible way to understand our preternatural abilities. Hope this one blows over quickly….”Just count to ten…..” Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I lost 2 job’s due to rage/brutal honesty episodes. (FYI, it’s not a good idea to call your boss a whore.) After that last one I went over the edge and had leave the workforce and go on disability.
    I just returned to the work and I am now the boss. I made it a point to have individual conversations with everyone regarding my mental health background. None of these little talks were easy for me; it felt like a proactive apology for future bad behavior. I made this choice because I’m in charge and sometimes my personality may seem erratic to say the least.
    Most importantly I no longer live in the shadow of Mental Illness. It is a part of me not who I am and what I found was overwhelming support. It might help that I’m the boss but the support is still welcome…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, you’re very brave to have spoken to each person individually. I’m open about my bipolar – I left it to the grapevine to spread the news. My company has me registered as a ‘disabled woman’ so they can get a tax rebate. But in return, they cannot just fire me. They have to accommodate my illness and work with me in regard to bipolar and my work. So I am protected. Unfortunately the people I work with consistently judge me. It’s soul destroying

      Liked by 2 people

  3. mmmmhmmmm rage is one of my biggies, too. And you’re right, you try to put safeguards in place, but you just can’t predict anything. And sometimes even the safeguards don’t help.

    I’m sure you did a great job advocating. Only we can advocate for us.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I’m sorry for this experience hun..I know that feeling of being wronged unfairly so well.Although I am not bipolar, I have also lost it in such moments…My anger usually turns into shouting tears..(If that makes sense)..Hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly what I feel. Under those circumstances, ANYONE would have lost their temper. But the people around me minimize all my actions and reactions, not just in this instance, but consistently. I’m never validated. It’s like no one believes me. Thank you for your hugs, they are much needed ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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