Permission Granted

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.

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