I was going to wait until I had something ‘intellegtual’ or ‘funny’ to post about. But let’s face it, this is bipolar. There is nohting nice to say about it. So here is my post today, spelling mistakes and all – since I appear to have adopted some type of hyprid dyslexia. Just another delightfully novel side effect from whatever, I forget.
I used to be an encglish fundi. I pride myself on good spelling and grammar. But since being medicated that’s all gone for a bucket of shit. I don’t just misspell words. I haven’t the faintest fucking clue how to spell the word. It’s not like me at all. I have to GOOOOOOGLE ‘how do you spell embicile’.
And today? Memory. Huhhhhh, my bad memory. I put me bihend at work by hours. HOURS I tell you! And I went in early this morning because we’re so buys AND I stayed late to catch up. I make notes. Reminders. But I forget to read my notes. I forget I’ve made notes to be read to remind me.
I googled it. It’s called cognitive something-or-other. I forget. But here’s the link if it interests you http://www.bphope.com/Item.aspx/972/the-cognitive-connection
The resullt of my confusion, memory fog, cognitive whats-it-whatever is I MAKE MISTAKES. When I make mistakes I get in trouble and if I get in touble enough times, what I fear the most………….. theln I possibly get fired. So for the most part at work, I feel useless, helpless and anxious. And I feel like:
‘HOW DO YOU SPELL EMBILCILE’
I had an unusal start to my day.
I was more than slightly bewildered by the lack of traffic on the road. And I got a fright as I pulled in to work to discover the parking area almost full. I was late. A quick glance at the clock in my car revealed I was very, very late indeed. An hour late. But my alarm on my phone had gone off at the right time this morning?
Confused, I parked and scratched around in my handbag, hauling my cell phone out. Hmmm…. That time was an hour earlier than the clock in my car. I didn’t have time to dwell on it. I had some missed calls and text messages from my father and my boss. They were concerned about me – is everything okay? That type of thing. They were probably worried I was hanging in my closet. I was touched by their concern but I needed to haul ass. It was a busy day. And I’d just lost an hour.
I came barrelling into the office talking about lost time and twilight zones amidst much laughter from everyone. Once I had calmed down, and scrolled through my phone, I discovered where I’d gone wrong. Miss Bipolar-can’t remember-anything-gets-all-confused-and-possibly-dyslexic (me) had set my phone to the wrong time zone. I live in Durban, South Africa. I’d set my phone to Dublin, Ireland. Durban, Dublin. Yes, similar. But really? Honestly? Dublin?
The joke was on me for the rest of the day. I played along to keep things light and funny. But the disturbing thing for me is, this time zone debacle is one of many, many confusions, errors and memory losses that befall me on a daily basis. And in a way, I can’t help but feel guilty that my ‘airhead’ behaviour today, although entirely unintentional, does reinforce some of the aspects of the stigma associated with mental illness.
Well, what’s done is done. Bipolar kicked my ass today. Let’s see how tomorrow goes.
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.
It pains me, and shames me to reveal this. Got into trouble at work again. A written complaint. “My behaviour”. I stand accused by a precious youngster, brimming with bitchiness and self-entitlement, who still lives at home and is half my age. “My language” seems to be the issue. I openly admit to using foul language. It’s part of the way I express myself in any fearful* or angry moment. I would never use it to directly or intentionally offend.**
I am not going to bore you with the details. There’s her side of the story, there’s my side of the story. And, let’s welcome Mr Murphy’s Law into the picture – we were the only two in the office at the time. I can’t guarantee you my side is the gospel truth, because my perception of reality is tainted by bipolar. And I forget an awful lot of things. Hence, constant self-doubt.
Its a double-edged sword. Co-workers only started complaining about me once I went public about my diagnoses. But at least with full disclosure, I do have the labour law in my favour. So while I am incapable of defending myself, the law has my sorry-arsed, disabled, back.
And going forward you ask? I’m clueless. In an effort not to offend said individual, I shall have to stop talking at work. I can hear you all gasp, aaahhhhh, ohhhhh no, she can’t do that! I’ve done it before, and I will do it again. It’s the ONLY way people will not cast judgment, accusations, and written complaints against me. Its the only I know of that will help me keep my job. I’m now single. If I loose my job I’m fucked (fearful* moment).
**past men/lovers/fathers are excluded