I had to give myself permission. Permission to be bipolar and unable to function at work today. I tried so many tools. But each time I found myself crying in the bathroom stall. I made some tea. I took 2 minutes to just breathe. I went for a walk. This was all before 10am. It started in my driveway at 7:30am when I had a panic attack while my car was defrosting. My mind became a whirling dervish out of nowhere. My breathing became shallow. You know all the symptoms of a panic attack…
I waited myself out for about 5 minutes just breathing. Focused breathing. I took off to work thinking, okay..I got through that. Then the tears started. Then a few all out sobs. Slowly I gathered myself by the time I reached the parking lot of my job. Even more slowly I walked to the door and entered.
I had one task for the day. I had to focus on a specific project. I wasn’t worried about it. It was just something I had to do. Hopefully TODAY. Then I got a follow up email that ignited a shit storm in my mind. I was just confused. I was disorganized. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t think or process. I couldn’t’ breathe. I couldn’t stop the tears. Enter the tools I tried. They just weren’t working today. I just wasn’t functioning at a professional level today.
I have told only a select few I am bipolar. My office mate is not one of them. Perhaps if I had my own office and could just keep the door closed today I could have stayed. Perhaps if I tried to talk to someone at work who knows I could have stayed. Perhaps, I made the right decision by asking to work from home for the rest of the day.
I push back so hard sometimes when these symptoms creep up. I don’t allow myself the moment. I don’t acknowledge, gee okay..seems to be a rough day today for whatever reason. The dialogue in my head is more like, this is unacceptable. You are at work. No tears at work. Get it together woman. Did I mention I tried my tools? So, I’m home now. Feeling a bit beat up. Feeling a bit of shame. I brought work home so I can still feel productive in some way. Or at least try.
I could reach out
But really, what would I say?
But you already know that as you see me knee deep in chaos
But you already know that as you see my scars
But you already know that as you see me wipe away the tears
But you already know that as you see I can’t breathe
But you already know this as I harbor secrets about myself
But you already know that as you hold my shaken body
But you already know that as I’ve lost my voice
But you already know that as you see me spin in circles
But you already know that as you see me lifeless on the couch
But you already know that as you see me struggle to stand
But you already know that as you see me withdraw into nothingness
You don’t know this as I can’t seem to fully let you in
Communication is not easy for me. I have these impulses to run. I want to say they are new, but they are not. I have physically packed some stuff and split a few times. Before the bipolar diagnosis and getting sober, I would just run and drown, in the bottle. I cant escape my thoughts. I can’t escape you asking me about my thoughts. I can’t sleep. I have a fantasy that I will find a quaint hotel on the beach and come to some sort of realization about myself. Solve the riddle. At least emerge from my sequester released from the bondage of self. Didn’t really work last time. I was quite manic. I have lists upon lists of ways I could be a better person. Sometimes I can see that’s not really the issue. I am already a better person. What I am longing for is feeling/believing I am a worthy person despite this illness. That even steeped in madness, crying on the floor, kicking the cat, or frozen on the couch unable to communicate I am still worthy. Even when all I can think of are ways to end my life. To end the pain. Don’t take my meds. Take too many of my meds. I’m still okay. I’m still loveable. When I hurl mean emotional daggers at your head I would never normally say, when I can’t let you in, when I skip my psych appointments, or I hide beyond my wall I am still special. Breaks my heart. Looking in the mirror sometimes and just wanting to give up. When tired wraps itself around my body and I cant cook dinner or clean the house. When I run, I only have me to feel guilty about. I want to be more, not less.