Living with bipolar disorder sometimes means living with a great sense of failure. Our genetics are wired differently and one of the many consequences of being ‘faulty’ means we are inconsistent.
The highs and lows make it difficult to follow through on tasks – over committing when hypo/manic, to withdrawing when depressed. Our social anxieties, OCD and panic attacks ostricise us and our lives become overwhelmed with self-doubt, self-loathing and guilt; feeling that we have disappointed loved ones, not lived up to expectations
The remedies to this situation are not easy. But we do as we always do, we try. And we keep on trying:
- don’t set high expectation that are unrealistic. Keep your expectations reasonable and within proportion
- no two bipolar disorders present in the same way. Don’t compare yourself to others
- don’t take the judgments of ordinary folk to heart. They do not walk in your shoes
- above all, try to treat yourself gently, to love and accept yourself
- and never, ever give up trying
I’m terrified! It’s back to work tomorrow after an absence of almost 2 months.
Firstly, do I still have my job? That is, either a job within the company or my job as it was before I left. My concern is valid. On my return to work after a previous hospitalisation 5 years ago, I began my first day back learning a new job. Ya get my drift, right. I’m worried…. very, very worried.
And secondly there’s the curiosity factor. The surprise to see me, the little-bit-frightened to see me (‘cos ignorance) and can’t quite make eye contact, the questions, the gossiping and ultimately the judgment.
Where have you been? I haven’t seen you in ages? I heard you were sick, what was wrong with you?
Oooohmehgod! I’m bipolar for godness sake. I’ll rattle off the truth, social boundaries be damned:
“Well, ….. suicidal ………. psych hospital ……. suicide watch, and then …… destabilising treatment ….. horrible withdrawal …………. sick …………… human misery ………… mostly now I just have diarrhea”
And then would come that standard reply: “Ooooh!….. aaaah, um, I’m so sorry, well, um…. welcome back. I’m glad you’re better. You’re looking so good!”
I know some of them would mean well, but………….. Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgghhhhhhhhhhhh! I look good ‘cos of makeup, but I’m certainly not better. Not cured! I’m not even adequately medicated at this point. This is only another new beginning of another new cycle of experimenting which new drug I can tolerate. So NO! I’m not better, not cured of my insanity. But I can’t say that.
Lemme tell you, Lover is not just a pretty face, he gave me good advice – deflect the question, people like to talk about themselves, and if you have to, answer indirectly, he said.
So I’ve worked on my strategy and a few replies:
I haven’t seen you in ages, where have you been? Ag, I wasn’t well at the end of the year, but I’m much better now. Tell me, how was your christmas and new year? Did you do anything special? Boom…deflect!
What was wrong with you? It’s personal. I’d rather not talk about it. But thank you for your concern. By the way I love your dress! The colour looks gorgeous on you. Where did you get it from? OR I don’t really want to talk about it ‘cos it’s quite personal. But I’m so glad to be back at work *forced laugh* How was your christmas break?
AND AGAIN LADIES AND GENTLEMENT – BOOM…DEFLECT!
Isn’t it tragic when one of the people who created you, exhibits such displeasure in who you are, in who you have become, and will not allow you to be yourself. Who shows no concern in your mental health, is ashamed by the diagnosis – hell, won’t even say the word……
Hell, doesn’t even believe I am sick. I ask him to google, read up on bipolar because that will give him a better understanding of his only child. He tells me he doesn’t need to do that, he has a general idea of it. I need to exercise. And meet new people. Then I’d be right as rain.
I was trying to build bridges with him after a long period of no communication. But after this, I’m not interested in bridges. Only being left alone by said party.
If its not one loss its another. I’ve been thinking about suicide a lot. I know how I will do it. I have two options. One, gunshot. Two, jump. I’ve chosen the building. And it seems appropriate to jump since that’s what my mother did 23 years ago. And after all the bullshit today, I decided I would do it. No sooner had that thought crossed my mind, than I had an actual visual flash inside my brain. Followed by “FUCK THAT! Why should I let them rob me of my life!”
Just because I have failed my whole life to please that man does not mean I have to be sentenced to death. If he doesn’t like his daughter, then he should just fake it ’til he makes it. Am I right? I am who I am and I have a lot more good qualities than bad. He needs to take parenting classes more than I need to be committed.
If his only child brings displeasure and embarassment to him, then I’d say that says more about HIM than it does about me. So FUCK THAT! For the time being, I choose to live. And live any way I want to.
One christmas I saved my money and bought my father a plaque for his desk at work. Such a young chick, I was oblivious to its actual meaning.
There was a late afternoon ritual every week day My father would come home from work, he and my mother would disappear into their bedroom. As he shed his suit, he would rant, rave and froth at the mouth about his co-workers. They were stupid, useless, liars, stealing clients, not doing their jobs. There was a different story every day about how someone had underminded him, cheated etc. He deserved better, had earned better, was better than everyone else. His rage would scream VICTIM, VICTIM, VICTIM. Faultless and unaccountable.
You can’t soar with the eagles when you work with turkeys – the plaque read
Ah well, from the mouths of babes. Too innocent to understand the insult, I always wondered why he never took it in to work to display on his desk.
We no longer talk for many reasons. One being that I’ve discarded my quest to gain his approval, to please him. We’re on the outs, he’s the victim again because I’ve wronged him and have just become the proverbial turkey to his eagle. Or perhaps I always have been? Regardless, it’s rather fitting for christmas.
Deckkkkkk your balls with mounds of hollyyyyyyy
Fa la la la laaaaaaaaaah, la la la laaaahhhhhhh