Off the Hook

I feel so broken. So disconnected. So ineffective. It bleeds into my career, my personal life, my person. I have lost my footing. My confidence shattered. My last episode really frightened me to my core. I am not the same.  I am so very afraid. Afraid of making the wrong food choice, picking the wrong TV show, looking you in the eye, drafting an email at work. It’s multidimensional. From minutiae to global.
It feels too painful to stay alive and pretend to be participating in the world. I’m a bystander. A wallflower at best walking around in a haze. I can’t pinpoint how I feel. I feel everything and nothing.  The music is too loud, yet not loud enough. The voices are a bully, yet keep me company. I have a desire to die, but can’t pull the trigger. I envision myself just walking away from my life, like on a movie set when the hero walks away from the final blow up scene.  Walk into the distance and never look back. Yet, I can barely leave my house.  If I’m walking anywhere it’s in circles.
I’ve returned to work on a part time basis. I didn’t realize just how off my game I would be. I can’t remember anything my supervisor says, can’t follow when she gives me directions to complete a task, quickly become disorganized in my head and get overwhelmed. I’m a bundle of professionalism. I arrived late today after I had a meltdown in my bathroom.  I refused to call in sick. I demanded I get myself together for my 4 hour day. 4 fucking hours, that’s all.  She came to my office and asked a question. I had been there for about 5 minutes tops.  I in turn went to her office to discuss a project, her first question to me was whether I needed to go home. My temperature rose, and shame filled my body. I asked her if I looked like hell?
She gently responded she could tell by my eyes I was struggling. She was trying to do me a favor, let me off the hook.
Just 2 months ago I didn’t need a hook. Well, maybe I did to reel me in. I was moving fast, and in charge of several projects. Now. Now I feel useless and no longer capable. She has taken over my projects. I find that very frustrating. My husband reminded me I am still recovering.  If I just had pneumonia I probably wouldn’t be trying to run. I’d be recovering.  Yeah. Yeah. I hate analogies sometimes!  They are so easy to throw out when you are not going through it.  He is also trying to do me a favor, let me off the hook.
So, it’s all me. What is it going to take to give myself a break. Extend myself some self compassion while I “recover.”  Always, always it goes back to acceptance.  Gee Fanatic you have bipolar disorder. This is not your first rodeo. This is not your first return to work experience.  I’ve been thrown off the horse before and will again.  It’s probably best to start gathering tools now. If I want to be my best self, I have to help myself first.

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6 thoughts on “Off the Hook

  1. Look how ********amazing******** you are.
    You could have called in sick, but you didn’t.
    I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of giving yourself a (major) break! Recovery takes time, and I believe it’s a lifelong process. Based upon reading just a handful of your posts, I believe that if anyone can reach true recovery, it’s you.

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      • Yep, I understand – it SUCKS for recovery to take so long. I don’t blame you one bit for feeling impatient; you’ve already lost too much time to this bipolar bullshit as it is.

        I second that sigh! 🙀

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  2. I completely relate to this! I too have recently returned to work after my latest episode. However, unlike you my colleagues expected me to come back at 100% and seemed surprised that I wasn’t firing on all cylinders.
    I find this disorder so frustrating at times – we sometimes feel we’ve made significant progress only to have the rug pulled from under our feet again.
    Keep fighting the fight honey and don’t be too hard on yourself – be gentle with yourself and treat yourself as you would treat someone else going through the same recovery 🙂 xxx

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