Why do I have to explain this again?

Okay, my work started a new absence policy.  We all hate it, but whatever.  It has already caused more than one termination of a good worker.  I wonder how that is going to go over since this next month is EOQ (end of quarter).  I have already had a warning about my tardies and absences.  [Thankfully my psych is filling out FMLA papers for me.]  So I took some unpaid time off on Monday because I had an appointment with my psych.  To be exact, I took a 1/2 day.  That means I work 4 hours of an 8 hour shift, correct?  It seems that my management has difficulties figuring this out when I am working the last 4 hours of my shift versus the first 4 hours of my shift.  They keep trying to tell me I was late because I didn’t come in 4 hours after my shift started.  Except I get an hour lunch with that 8 hour shift, meaning my total shift time is 9 hours.  Now, when I am taking a 1/2 day, that still means I work the last 4 hours of my shift.  They keep telling me I am late because I am not working the last 5 hours of my shift.  So I replied to the email informing them of such…again.  I honestly think my bosses are trying to get rid of me since I have argued with them about absence issues previously.  My boss has started including HR and his boss on the correspondence.



Well, I did see my psych on Monday, and the appointment went well.  He is pleased with the improvement on the increased Lamictal.  Yay!  This is also important because I have only been on the increase for about a month.  I have another appointment in 6 weeks to see about further improvement or any increased side effects as the increased dosage continues to make itself known.  I also gave him the FMLA paperwork.  Finally.  (Self-destructive behavior anyone?)

I saw my therapist again for the first time in months on Tuesday.  We talked about my self-destructive behavior, my fears about “getting better”, and whether I use Bipolar as an excuse for my behavior at times.

I have had tendencies toward self-destructive behavior since high school.  As I have gotten older, those behaviors have gotten both better and worse in some ways.  I know my BD is a factor in some of these behaviors, whether conscious or unconscious.  The worry for me is determining when the behavior is on me due to my past or my fears (job searching, anyone?), versus a symptom of my bipolar disorder.  Or is it both?  Am I using my bipolar as an excuse for my own damaging behavior?  Trying to parse out which is which isn’t going to be easy.

I have a lot of fears about “getting better”.  In the past, I have stabilized in a depressed state without realizing I was still depressed.  As many times as I have stabilized, the BD always come back.  Often, it sneaks up on me (and my docs) until I am in a full-blown depression.  [My hypomanic episodes are of such short duration I can rarely see them unless someone points them out until after the fact.]  I also am not really sure what “normal” is for me anymore (in this I definitely mean only for myself and during a steady state that is neither depressed nor hypomanic).

A huge factor in the above fear is also the idea of “getting better” when so few people believe I am sick to begin with.  I mean, if it has taken me all of this time to get certain information understood by those around me, what is going to happen now?  I am sure some people are going to think I was “cured” and should never have these problems again.  Or they will think that I was never sick to begin with, just being “moody”.

Then the big fear comes out (the previous fears might be considered a subset of this one).  I am scared to have to act like an adult and function in a steady state, because then I cannot say the reason for a certain behavior is due to the bipolar.  I am not saying I always use it as an excuse.  Since I have been in a depressed state for months, I don’t think I have been.  But the temptation is always there.  I brought this one up with my therapist.  She was actually really proud of me for recognizing that it might be a problem to consider.  I honestly don’t know if I have used it as an excuse in the past nor am I going to go digging to make myself feel bad.  The point is to make sure I am not doing it now.

Okay, that was long.  And I have to get ready for work.  But I did have fun over the weekend and I want to tell you all about a performance K and I went to go see.  So hopefully that will be written about in the next day or so.


~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on September 25, 2013.

7 Responses to “Why do I have to explain this again?”

  1. Glad you had the time to see a therapist. We’re all really good at twisting ourselves into subtle knots.

  2. I struggle with that “what is normal” question on a regular basis.

    • I have come to the point that for people in general, the closest we come to normal is a setting on the washing machine. But with bipolar, trying to recognize when you are stable in the right place, “normal”, is extremely difficult. I have been in a depressed state with extremely short bouts of hypomania for much of my adult life. So what is “normal” for me? I know I am not the only person that deals with questions like this as you and others have told me about your own struggles. I know that for both you and I, there is some measure of comfort in not being alone but also a feeling of distance because none of our journeys are exactly the same. I am always glad to hear I am not alone.

  3. i have to say I am tremendously impressed with the things you are looking at now versus the last ## years. You are doing great and I can see that you are really taking the time to analyze behaviors. I have ALWAYS been proud of you and ALWAYS will be.

  4. I think many people see me as a model of recovery. But I see myself as hopelessly stuck and a bipolar mess. This tells me that I’m still depressed despite my good looks. 😉 I guess we’ll always have to explain these things to those that can’t understand. Thank you for doing so. It helps to know about others like ourselves.

    • Thank you. I know I have taken a while to reply to your post and I hope you get this. Every day is harder than others know, but believing it gets better makes it worthwhile. Knowing I can help others find a sense of camaraderie helps as well.

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