I Guess This Is My Life Now

Having Bipolar Disorder and working full-time is a fucking challenge.  How else can I say it?  It is taking all of my resources to keep going.  I feel like I’m running a marathon every week.  Most people see working a full-time job as no big deal, but for me, with Bipolar Disorder, it takes herculean efforts to live this kind of life.

I have to get up at the ass-crack of dawn, because I have to have “me” time in the morning.  It’s just a personal requirement.  I am a monster without my morning “me” time.  Don’t ask me to go without it.  Then it takes me a good half hour to eat breakfast, which I hate, but it’s a requirement, to get through the morning.  Then I have to take a shower and get dressed in something nice, because I have to look nice.  It’s just another self-requirement.

Finally I grab my lunch that I made the night before (no eating out for me, it’s too expensive and it’s not as healthy) and I’m out the door for a 45 minute commute.  I turn off the radio and use the time to say my gratitude prayers.  I find that gratitude is a very important part of my daily regimen.  It puts me in a good headspace and I get to work with a good attitude.

Work is going much better now that I have things to do, I work totally independently on the projects that I have, I just sit at my desk and work work work.  I am totally fine with that.  I also sit and quietly tell people to “shut the fuck up” (very quietly) and when the rage at the noise really builds up, I take 1/2 a Xanax.  I also chew tons of Nicorette.  I don’t smoke at work because I don’t want to alienate people with the stink of smoke.

Sometimes I am so absorbed in my work that I forget to go home on time, but oftentimes I am itchy to leave and I’m watching the clock.  I run out of the office and into the comfy confines of my car, where I can smoke and smoke and smoke!  I drive like a semi bat out of hell all the way home, by which time I am usually pretty tired.  I usually wash my face, put on my pj’s, take my nighttime meds, make the next day’s lunch, and go to bed.

On the weekends, I go to the grocery store, sleep in gratefully, cook something for the coming week, do my laundry, and usually go to my parent’s to watch the Denver Broncos.  It’s not much of a life!  Mostly I work at keeping the Work Engine going.  Will it get easier?  I hope so.  Right now it feels like everything is centered around work.  I have gotten two paychecks, and it’s nice not to be broke anymore.  But I do have to admit that there’s been days that I’ve just wanted to quit.  I miss my slow life.  Sadly, the slow life doesn’t pay the rent.

Now that I’ve gotten you all psyched up to work full-time, tell me, how do YOU get through the week?  Hope you are all well . . . Let me know!

42 thoughts on “I Guess This Is My Life Now

  1. Yowsa! That’s a tough schedule to maintain. I’ve been on SSDI for six years due to my bipolar and my fucking migraines. I went back to work part time a year ago and having done so, I know there’s no way I could do it full time. I have also taken on another side gig, helping an author friend market her new book. Which I did no think through carefully and probably should have said no to at least some of it. All the while still working through getting us to Israel at the end of December. I have one day off per week, and last Friday I was so exhausted that I had to make myself do nothing, to stop using my brain. I had to work hard at relaxing!

    So, kudos to you for making your lengine keep chugging along! Keep taking your me time, stay stable on your meds, eat properly, hydrate hydrate hydrate and stay away from sugar. I’m rooting for you and am totally impressed with what you’re achieving.

    • Thanks Sue. Staying away from sugar is a tall order. Sugar is my nemesis! I will try 🙂 Hope you are doing well and the trip to Israel planning is going along well too! Still praying for you and your hubby! ❤ ❤ ❤

  2. I like working. I feel like it’s the only place that can take me outside of my own head. Solving problems gives me a feeling of accomplishment. Sadly it also drains me emotionally. But I force myself into other activities, taking a walk, meeting with a friend, buying myself something small. It justifies all the working time. Whatever gets us out of the house is a good thing. Go you. Don’t forget to smell the roses, or insert some other bullshit quote here.

  3. It was very difficult for me to work full time with bipolar disorder. I could only manage 4 days which was overwhelming for me. It was like I can only concentrate and take care of one thing….it was difficult with kids, husband, housework, pets, etc. Work took up all of my energy and I always said it was my “A.D.D.” that caused me to be so scattered but it was really bipolar. Last year I tried a part time job and it still was like the job was the only thing I could focus on despite being part time. I’m so odd….

    I’ve been on SSDI for 2 years now. I should have applied sooner but didn’t understand how and didn’t realize that I had bipolar disorder. AND then learned that it’s possible to get SSDI for Bipolar disorder if you can get approved.

  4. I can’t do full time work. Just can’t. Part time is all I can manage, but I also have school, so that may change. I too need me time in the mornings. I shower the night before so it primarily entails lingering in bed and breakfast. It gets easier though. You’ll find that you can do more things in your off time. The hardest part is the shift between your previous slow life and fast paced life with too much to do. I have a mantra to not put off what I can do today which keeps me on track and leaves me with more free moments. Keep at it, you will get used to it eventually.

  5. I’m impressed. You’re doing great. Hate that workspaces are so open and loud. Are you allowed to wear headset and play music to block out background noise? Not sure if that would help. My son uses his music and earbuds to block me out. That and stern reminders to be quiet, because he’s listening to his music.

  6. I’m with like you about the headset. PTSD has made my startle response so high that I often feel like and anxious, schizy cat! I even tend to flinch when the hubs touches me unexpectedly. It’s a bitch!

  7. I’m beyond proud of you. You’re working your ass off every minute of every day, both in and out of the office. Thank God you got projects @ work, but I know it’s still incredibly hard. I hope with all my heart it gets easier for you pronto, sweetie. XoXo

  8. I’m impressed! You’re doing what I can only dream of anymore. At one time work was my refuge, but then it wasn’t. My bipolar had gotten too bad. And management changed, so I didn’t get the support I used to. I got SSDI on my fourth try after almost 4 years. It took a lawyer but was worth it. That was 11 years ago. Since then I have volunteered and taken college classes part-time. The semester I tried to go to college full time convinced me that that I could never work full time. That and one volunteer “job” I had where they worked me too hard and I almost wound up in the hospital. I did wind up in the hospital after the school fiasco.

      • So sorry on that. I think what helped me was that when I went in front of the judge, I was both very manic and *extremely* anxious. I guess it didn’t look fake (it sure wasn’t), he immediately ruled in my favor. The lawyer had warned me that he normally took days to come to a decision, that he never did so on the spot.

  9. Wow! You are amazing! Keeping to all your schedules and getting everything done! How productive can you be!? You’re doing it! Hope you are very, very proud of yourself! I am thinking of either going back for my PhD or doing something else on a regular basis. You are an inspiration to me. Keep going, it will get easier. Hugs.

  10. I’m glad you have projects to work on and money coming in! I use a timer at work and set it for 8 hours. It’s easier for me to see how much time is left than try to calculate the hours on the clock. Really helps my brain. Instead of a timer you could put hash marks on a post it or scratch paper. I hope your routine gets easier. I’m rooting for you!

  11. I absolutely LOVE this post!! I have only just been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and am having a full psychiatric assessment in the next couple of weeks to determine what type I am. I sat and giggled at this post because it is just how I feel at work! Telling people quietly to shut up :’) Sometimes losing track of time and sometimes wanted to run as quickly as possible away from the place! So pleased others are happy to talk about it 🙂 Also this one spoke to me as a fellow Broncos fan 😀 x

  12. Well, I was working full time, but I recently had a psychotic episode at work. Now I’m waiting on a determination to see if they’ll accept my restrictions from my doctor. It’s been hellish. I picked a high stress field (in my defense, I did NOT know I was bipolar when I got into it) and I have paid for it dearly since.

  13. I am a bipolar survivor as well. I started as a homeless woman in my late thirties. I then, I started getting treatment with a homeless clinic that treated me with some therapy and medications. I then

  14. Being bipolar doesn’t have to define you and i think that your struggle is proof of that. It’s hard for sure. I’ve been diagnosed bipolar since 13 and the labyrinth of challenges and daily needs and wants can be so hard to navigate. A schedule is super important, which you’re seeing by now I’m sure, and personal time even more so. If i may make a suggestion, something that’s helped me tremendously, plan fun into your day too. It’s a powerful stress reliever and with your schedule as it is it may seem that you don’t have time for it. One thing I’ve learned in my adult years is that we all have the same 24 hours and if we figure out what’s most important and execute that as part of our routine the headspace is much more serene. I hope that helps and than you for being so vulnerable in sharing your story

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