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