It probably seems stupid, that I am now in my 40’s. Yet I had never had a diagnosis, never taken medication for Bipolar.
- I used to think that I sometimes had depression
- Mania/Hypermania was NORMAL me
- Normal was boring and I feared people would want me to be my manic self
My work has been working with vulnerable people. How I have done this for so long. I really have no idea.
In fact, as stated above I really had no idea what was happening or why. I was an intelligent person, with a BA Hons Degree, a post grad, and decades of experience. Yet things always ‘went wrong’.
If you are reading this, understand Bipolar, you probably understand how it goes:
- You think you are doing amazingly well
- Other people get pissed off with you
- You think they are just jealous and trying to hold you back
- Then you crash
- Then you face the music, and feel sad. People don’t understand who you really are on the inside.
Today I went to work. I am now on Depakote for Bipolar. How different the workplace looked. It was like having a pair of glasses on, and seeing through different eyes. I was who I REALLY am.
I looked back, to the excitement when I started the new job. How much of an asshole and how grandiose I must have appeared to the team. I just felt, calm. I LISTENED, rather than talked. I felt absolutely no need to prove anything to anyone else. I was interested in other people, rather than talking constantly about this excitement that was going on inside of my head.
I realise just how fucked up I have been for most of my working career.
I sat quietly in a meeting. Whereas once, I would have worried that people might think I was being sullen, or depressed by being quiet. I was quite ok with this. I was listening.
At this point I realised how much I dominated the conversation. I realised how nobody else did this either. It was not necessary, or needed.
Afterwards, I went for a cigarette out back with the gossip in the organisation. She said how well I looked, that I seemed ‘so calm’. I said that I felt it. Then I made perhaps the biggest mistake? I said ‘I think I am Bipolar, I am on medication, and I feel ok. I feel calm’.
After saying this. Knowing that I am speaking to the biggest gossip in the organisation (she had in fact at time of speaking, told me gossip to run down another member of staff). I then said ‘ I have no diagnosis, I don’t know if I am Bipolar’ ….. as if by way of explanation.
Afterwards, I thought, ‘why should I have to explain this? Why does it matter anyway?’
If I take medication and it keeps me well. Does that matter? What is the difference between me, and line manager, who has diabetes and needs to take medication to manage his health condition?
I had thought about leaving. But I don’t want to do that. The cause means a lot to me. It is just that the organisation thinks that i am a grandiose arrogant asshole -as I started in a new job and was so excited, I HAD to tell them all my experience, qualifications…. etc… you know….
I am determined to see this through. To keep going. I am unsure how open I should be about it? I think I should be absolutely open. But i am unsure whether this is a good idea?