Thank You, Xanax!

That makes me sound like a major druggie.  Well I had my big two-hour interview with four managers today, which actually was two hours and twenty minutes but who’s counting?  ME!  It was a fucking marathon!!!  I studied yesterday and all morning today and then right before leaving for the interview, which I was very nervous about, I took half of a 0.25 Xanax.  Man, did that do the trick!  I was able to calm down and answer their questions with a clear mind and I didn’t have any brain freeze!!!  Wow did it make a big difference!!!  I sound like a Xanax salesman don’t I.  Well after my nightmarish interview where I froze up several times, this was quite a change.  Things were very positive, I answered questions calmly and succinctly, and overall it was a very pleasant experience.  WHAT?!  Yes it’s true.  So THANK YOU, XANAX!!  I’m not going to take it for every damn occasion, but dayum!  In those extreme cases when my head is about to explode, it’s nice to know I have the option.

I am going to sleep well tonight, knowing I have done all I can to get this job, including writing thank you notes to the interviewers.  It’s all in the Universe’s hands now.  I feel good about things.  Sleep well, friends!  Peaches!

Because I Don’t Know When To STFU

As the title implies, I don’t know when to shut the fuck up.  Or, maybe, I just don’t like to.  So, the devil on my right shoulder said to me, “Why not email the hiring manager from the job that’s not working out and tell him just how disappointed you are that it’s not working out?” and the angel on my left shoulder must have left to go buy chips or something, so I said “OK let’s do it!” and I popped off an email about how sad I was that the job wasn’t working out, did I do something wrong, couldn’t they hire me as a temp, or could I go through another contracting agency?  WELL!  What I got back was a severe-sounding email, with the Account Manager from the contracting agency cc’ed, saying that they had been working very hard to complete the contract, and progress had been made, and that they hoped to have me on board next week!  Wellllll I just wonder if I changed everyone’s minds with my stupid email!!!  What a way to go into the weekend, feeling one drop hopeful, ten drops stupid as hell!!!  Hey people, if ya wanna know what not to do, just read this blog!!  

Fucking Job!!!

Well in the ongoing saga entitled “Starting A Full-Time Job”, once again my Start Date has been put off.  I emailed the recruiter and the account manager Friday morning to ask them what time I was to report to work Monday morning, and I didn’t hear anything for hours . . . and hours . . . Finally, I got a call late Friday afternoon from the account manager stating that the fucking contract wasn’t fully signed, so I couldn’t start on Monday.  They’re hoping for Wednesday.  Hmmmm…..haven’t I heard this shit before???  Why yes, yes I have.  And frankly it’s getting a little old.  To say I was unhappy is kind of understating it.  I need to get this shit over with already!!!  And Jesus!  How long am I expected to go without a paycheck????

So I decided that these fuckers may be yanking my chain, despite their promises that I do indeed have a job.  I am going to start looking for a job again this weekend, as much as that idea turns my stomach.  I can’t just be a sitting duck, waiting indefinitely for this fucking thing to happen.  What if it never happens???  Anyhoo, I am disgusted with the situation and very frustrated.

Hope your weekend is going better than mine . . .

A Firm Start Date!

I FINALLY got a firm start date for my job!  Yes!  It’s real!  I am starting on Monday, September 18.  Back to full-time work.  Lawd, help me!  So I have a little less than a week to write.  There’s nothing on my damn schedule (except maybe a nail appointment) so I think I’m meant to write.  It’ll be a good way to ignore this nervous stomach of mine.  Holy God, how am I going to work full-time???  I guess time will tell.  Ta-ta for now!

I’ve Started Writing A Book

Whoa.  I always thought I had a book in me, and now, with this free time, it has begun to spill out.  Right now I am writing an outline and reviewing my life, and honey, it ain’t pretty.  The life of a Bipolar person isn’t all roses and sunshine, surprise, surprise.  For me, it’s a story of semi-functioning, hyper-functioning, and not functioning at all.  It’s painful to look at.  There were many years of not being properly diagnosed and medicated when I just flailed about, making a mess of things.  I know I worried my family terribly.  I have to be able to look at my past, and say, “This is in the past”, and not beat up on myself for it, or get overwhelmed with past feelings.  I fucked up so many things on such a grand scale!  If you could get an award for fuck-ups, I would maybe win the Fuck-Up Olympics.  Ok maybe that is grandiose.  Maybe you have some spectacular fuck-ups in your past too.  Well I hope it makes a good book.  I’m thinking of calling it “All This Bullshit Has Happened And I’m Still Alive!” or maybe just something simple, like “How NOT To Live A Life”.  I don’t know.  We will see.  I have some time.  All I HAVE is time.

Anyhoo, Happy Monday to you.  Hope it’s a good one.  Peaches!

My, Madam, Your Bathroom Is Sparkling!

*Said no one, ever.  But godDAMN is my bathroom sparkling, people!!  This time off has done wonders for my apartment!!!  The dust level has gone down many, many piles . . . to nearly nil.  I have washed, scrubbed and vacuumed the FUCK out of this place!!  It’s amazing what a little free time will do to a person . . . my oh MY it feels GOOD being in this apartment now!!  I can’t think of a single thing I need to do!!  I think I’ll go ice my back, and read something.  I’m enjoying my last days of laziness and idleness . . .  soon I will be crying from the intensity of a full-time job I’m sure.  Happy Friday to you all!  ❤

Keeping Busy

I don’t know if I have a touch of hypergraphia or if I’m just lonely but I sure have the compulsion to write!  I am still waiting for the job to start – the latest is they think it will be the middle of next week.  I had a Come To Jesus email with the recruiter and account manager and said basically, HEY!  I DO have a job, don’t I?  And they assured me that yes, I do, they are just getting the contract signed, and the manager is out this week.  My imaginative and paranoid mind thought that they were interviewing other candidates and keeping me on the back burner.  But they said in no uncertain terms that I DO have a job.

So in the meantime I am trying to keep busy.  I am actually cleaning my apartment, I have become that desperate for things to do.  Yesterday was surfaces, today is floors, tomorrow is bathrooms.  I have to space it out because my poor back can’t take too much in a day.  I’ve also been walking every day, and cheese and rice am I out of shape!!  I haven’t exercised with any regularity in a long time, I’m embarrassed to say.  It used to be a regular part of my self-care, and when I let it go by the wayside, I ballooned up thirty pounds.  Now I want to get back into it, and hopefully get rid of this pregnant-looking belly (I know it’s hot as hell but hey!).

My mood has been pretty good, a little sinking here and there when I get overwhelmed with the tasks I have set out for myself, and I have to give myself a pep talk, and focus on just the one task at hand, not all the things I want to do.  I’m easily overwhelmed, which can lead to discouragement.  I’m also a bit lonely.  I’m quite isolated with no contact with Dr. Flaky and not going to Mom & Dad’s three times a week like I’m used to.  I was just so determined that I wanted this free time to myself, but I didn’t think through how isolating it would be.  Oh dear . . .  Soon enough I will long for this time . . .

Well I suppose I will start vacuuming up the dust piles here . . . better put on a gas mask . . . I hope the sweet little birdies survive the storm!  Hope you all are having a good week!  Peach out!  BPOF

Last Meeting With Dr. Flaky

Yesterday I had my last meeting with Dr. Flaky.  It was sad, but satisfying in a way, to have a good ending.  I presented her with my handbook that I had made for her new assistant, and she was thrilled with it.  I was pretty proud of it myself.  We went over a few outstanding issues and I gave her my final bill.  Then she gave me a card, which was so nice and unexpected, and what was inside was REALLY unexpected – $300!!!  Boy oh boy was that nice of her.  Between that and my final bill, I was able to deposit over a thousand bucks into the bank.  That sure made me happy.  Dr. Flaky and I hugged and had a tearful goodbye.

I got to meet the new assistant and I went over the handbook with her and all of the basic tasks of the job.  I think she will do a good job for Dr. Flaky.  Not as good as me, but pretty good :).

Then I went home and I felt kind of lost with nothing to do.  I may get over my ambivalence about starting the new job pretty fast!

I used some of the $300 (a little less than half) to order some new clothes that I can wear at the new job.  It’s been a few years since I bought clothes, and I really need them!  I am excited to have some new pieces.  I ordered from a plus-size catalog, size 18!!  It is hard to believe that I am a size 18, but that’s where I’m at right now.  I think as long as I stay away from the pot, I won’t get any bigger, but I sure would like to shrink a bit.  This will require some exercise, which requires a willingness I haven’t had up to now.  Maybe all this free time . . .

I have a few errands to run today and then I’ll probably email the recruiter to ask her when in the hell I’m starting my new job.  What’s up with your week?  Hope it’s a good one!  Peach out, BPOF!

Endings

This has been a week of endings.  I finished being a maid for Mom and Dad.  It was sad, because I have enjoyed spending so much time with them.  But, it was also happy, because I hate damn housework and I’m a terrible maid!  I’m also ending my work for Dr. Flaky.  Yesterday, I assembled the handbook I had created for her new assistant.  Last night I did my last voicemail log for her.  I’ve been doing her voicemail log six days a week for over a year.  It’s gotten to be pretty tedious, but it’s also a routine.  It was bittersweet to delete the daily reminders from my calendar.  Finally, I unhooked my extra phone and voip box that I used for working for Dr. Flaky.  She is going to buy it and give it to her new assistant.  It all seems so…final!  I will deliver everything, including my final whopper of a bill, (YAY!) to Dr. Flaky tomorrow.

So now I have this great big giant opening in my life – no work – and no start date for the new job!  Yikes!  What if the new job somehow doesn’t happen?  I’ve created this space for the new job, but it hasn’t quite materialized.  That magic Start Date hasn’t been handed to me.  Again, I’m ambivalent – scared to start the new job, yet scared shitless of not having a job.  And what in the helly-hell-hell am I going to do with all this time on my hands???  I’m feeling kind of lost.

Last night I did something unwise . . . I got drunk.  REALLY drunk.  In my mind, I thought, I’m celebrating this change in life.  In reality, I think I was drinking away my stress and anxiety and fear.  At the end of the night, I had a blackout.  I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic, wondering how I got myself to bed, wondering if I texted or called anyone while drunk, scrambling to check my phone.  Thankfully, I didn’t.  Still, that’s WAY too out of control, having a blackout.  It’s got me thinking I need to pursue sobriety again.  Damn it.  Why do I have to do things so out of proportion???  I don’t even want to have just a “drink” – I like to get buzzed.  But, this was way beyond buzzed.  It really has me thinking, and questioning myself today.

Well I hope to work up the motivation to go do my laundry today.  I HATE going to the laundromat!!!  I haven’t even put away the clean clothes from the last time I did laundry, and I’ve just been throwing the dirty clothes on the floor where the laundry basket belongs.  Ohhhh I have my life so togetherrrrrrr!!!  Maybe I’ll just read a book and procrastinate.  It’s Sunday.

Hope you are all well, happy, ok, not drunk, not blacking out, and maybe procrastinating too.  Peach out!

Bipolar Beat The Odds

Well it looks like I am going to start a job as a Security Operations Center Analyst the day after Labor Day!!  What a long road this has been since I left my job in IT Support in December 2013, thinking I was going on FMLA for six weeks to have a little ECT, and ending up taking three years of private disability pay.  Being so depressed for so many years, and yes, disabled by it, I never thought I’d work again, let alone gain a new career.  That wasn’t even an option that I thought of.  I didn’t even think I’d ever have my own home again!  But this last year has provided some major growing experiences, and life sort of said “Ready or not, GROW!”

It started when I was living in my sister’s basement, which wasn’t ideal, but I couldn’t think my way out of the situation.  By April of last year, the disability payments stopped, and I was working a part-time job and living off savings.  Then last Fall, my sister rocked my world by asking me to move out.  I was completely blown away!!  I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me!  What was I going to do??  I didn’t feel like I could work a full-time job, but I started looking for one, half-heartedly.  And I started looking for a place to live.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, I got a phone call.  Why I answered the phone, I’ll never know, because I never answer the phone.  But you know, it was one of those God things, I think…and this guy starts talking to me about training that I might qualify for because I might possibly be underemployed, and there’s grant money available, might I be interested in IT Security?  In my mind I was seeing a way out of the horrible dead-end that is Desktop Support, my previous profession.  It was all I could do not to cry on the phone, it seemed like a miracle!  A grant to take training and get certified?!?!  It seemed too good to be true!!!  Yet it was true, I did get the grant, and I was able to take two IT Security training classes and certification tests.

So I had a plan!  And now I just needed to find a place to live!  How do you do that with non-verifiable income?  One thing I did when my sister asked me to move out is I started to pack.  It was something to fill my time, and it was something I could do to show my faith that things were going to work out.  People would ask me why in the hell I was packing, when I didn’t know where I was going?  Well, I knew I was going somewhere, and I needed to pack.  So that little act of faith, and seeing the boxes, helped me.  I kept looking at places in Boulder that were like little dumpster fires, they were so bad!  Everything in my price range was just horrific!  And really, I wanted a one-bedroom apartment, not a studio apartment.  So I expanded my search to the next town over, Longmont.  I looked at one place that was like a flophouse, and my gut gave me a hard “NO!”  But then I came across a place that was…ok, and the landlord was trying awful hard to sell it to me, offering a discount, and flexible lease terms, so I decided to go for it.  Of course, he wanted to do a credit and a background check, and with a bankruptcy in my history, and no real effort to rebuild my credit, I had to talk to this guy.  I just gave it to him straight.  “Look, I’m working part-time and bringing in x amount.  I have x amount in savings.  I’m going to be studying for these IT Certifications and I just need a place to live where I can study.”  He said “OK, let’s go for it.”  And I got the place!

All of a sudden I had my own home again!!!  After I had agonized for years about whether I’d ever have a home again, and whether I was just being a fool for storing all of my home goods, like my kitchen stuff, I had a home!!!  It felt great (and still does).  I moved in and unpacked in record time.  I had to be ready for my Security + class, which started in January.

Security + started and I became a student again, studying for hours every day.  There was a lot to understand and a lot to memorize and I was very concerned that the knowledge wasn’t “sticking” like I thought it should.  I talked it over with Dr. Drugs and we decided to add Aricept to my drug regimen, a drug that helps you form new memories.  I do believe it has helped me immensely.  I don’t know what the ECT (40+ treatments) has done to my brain and maybe it’s just that I’m in my 50’s now, but I needed help.  In addition to the crappy book that the class provided, I bought my own book on Security + (much better at defining the concepts) and I also bought access to that author’s website to help me with study questions.  Taking practice tests over and over until I mastered the material proved to be crucial, and two months after taking the class, I passed the certification on the first try (much to my surprise and relief).

Next up, and much harder, was the Certified Ethical Hacker class.  I started this class in April, a month later than planned, but Security + took some study to pass.  Again, the book provided with the class was a piece of shit, and again I bought my own and just began studying that, not bothering with the other book.  I was a bit burned out and had a really hard time concentrating in class, but I made it through the 40 hours of class time.  Then the real work began.  I studied for a solid two months, but even after two months of studying, I still felt like the material was somewhat over my head.  By the end of June, though, my funds were running low and it was time to start the job hunt.  (It was also time to stop my daily marijuana habit, so that I could eventually pass a drug test).  I had to take the certification test, ready or not.  I scheduled the test and poured on the study for one more week.  I fully prepared my family (and myself) for my failure – I just wasn’t “there”.  I went and took the test and at the end it said “Congratulations – you passed!”  —  I nearly fell out of my chair.  How I passed that test, I’ll never know.

So began a job hunt for a Security job, mostly a futile job hunt, posting my resume with my brand-new certifications on all of the web sites, getting NO calls for Security jobs, and endless calls for Desktop Support jobs.  Can you say discouraged?  How could I come so far, only to go back to a Desktop Support job?  Well, hell, I was desperate for a job, so I started taking interviews for Desktop Support jobs, even an interview at Hustler!  You may have read about that J.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any darker, I got a call about a Security job!  Great!  Yay!  Yes!  I’ll interview!!  I got up ultra-early and studied my brains out for the interview, only to go to it and freeze up like a damn popsicle.  Mid-sentence!  Uh…wha…I mean…It was so humiliating!!!  I totally BLEW the interview!!!  It was painful, let me tell you.  I went home and wrote a heartfelt thank you note, trying to re-sell myself to the interviewers.  And then I tried to let it go.

Four days later, I heard that they wanted to hire me.  All I can say is, another miracle.  Because based on that interview, I should have been banned from the building.  So, one background check (how do I pass these background checks??) and one drug test later (60 days without pot now), I have a start date for my new job:  the day after Labor Day.  And I have to say, I’m scared shitless!!  But all I can do is what I’ve done for the past year, and that’s walk through the fear, one day at a time, one moment at a time, and trust that life has a plan.  Just the fact that I’m going back to work means that I’m beating the odds.  All of my doctors recommended that I be on Social Security Disability (denied three times) and that I never work again.  I guess life has other plans for me.  For those of you with Bipolar who feel beaten by it, all I can say is, be open to life.  It can change.  It can get better, so much better.  And I am soooo grateful for that.

I Got The Job?!?!

Nobody is more shocked than me, but I got the Security job.  Yeah.  That one where I bombed the interview.  Don’t ask me how, I don’t know.  Maybe it was my heartfelt-and-somewhat-pitiful thank-you note after the interview.  I am completely floored.  How did this happen?  It might be God.  But the rollercoaster ride isn’t over yet!  I still need to pass a background check.  I have Bipolar and ADD.  There might be things I don’t even know about that will bite me in the ass.  Who knows?  I am sort of crossing my fingers.  I say “sort of” because I have such mixed feelings about taking a full-time job.  How in the fuck am I going to do this?????  I do not know.  All I can say is I’m going to have to take it day-by-day.

I will write an update once I hear whether I passed the background check or not.  Then there’s the drug test.  I’m less worried about that, since it’s been fifty-plus days since I used pot.  In the meantime I am enjoying the slow pace of my days, and my last days at my parent’s house being the maid.  I am worried about what Mom and Dad will do without me.  I have to let that go.  So much letting go . . .

I’d love to hear from those of you who work full-time – how do you do it???  Hope you are all well.  Love, BPOF

Do You Dare To Dream?

It seems like having Bipolar Disorder is a whole exercise in lowering your expectations about life.  Can I achieve anything?  Often getting through the day has to be the achievement that I aspire to.  This makes the dreams I have particularly painful.  You see, I have big dreams.  I wish I didn’t.  I wish all I dreamt was to work a job and pay the bills.  Maybe I could achieve that.  I wish that were enough for me.  But it’s not.  I dream of owning a home, of having dogs again, of having a garden, of starting a community homebuilding program to help others achieve their dream of home ownership . . . these are big dreams.  And they are front and center in my mind.  These dreams even appear in my sleep!  Last night I dreamt that I had two white Great Danes (my dream dog, I have had Great Danes in the past).

I often ask myself, why do you have to dream?  Can’t you be happy just existing?  Can’t being stable and living out of the hospital be enough?  But it’s not!  I have these dreams!  Do I have them for a reason?  Are they meant to be realized?  Or are they just pipe dreams?  Maybe I should take the “Dare to Dream” signs down.  Maybe I shouldn’t dare to dream.  Maybe it’s just making me unhappy.  Maybe it’s just giving me Reverse Gratitude and I should just focus on being grateful for what I have.  I don’t want to fall into a trap of feeling sorry for myself, that’s a rabbit hole I could fall down and have a hard time coming up from.  Is there a way to be grateful and still have dreams?  Can I be compassionate for myself and my dreams?  Can I accept them as just dreams – and nothing else?  Not meant to be reality?  The answer is no.  I believe that they are meant to be reality.  How do I get there, that is the question.

I’m wondering if my fellow friends with Bipolar Disorder have dreams that seem unachievable, and if so, how do you deal with them?

The Painful Side of Being Bipolar

Well this is so painful to say, but I BOMBED my Security job interview.  I mean, atom-bombed it.  I froze.  I forgot words mid-sentence.  I felt like a fraud, like I was full of shit.  I think I came across that way.  I attribute this to brain fog, which I attribute to an increased dose of Topamax, also known as Dope-a-Max,  which Dr. Drugs increased to stabilize my mood.  My unstable finances and this job search have thrown me into turmoil.   Before this, I had a relatively nice long stretch of stability and some happiness with life.  But, unstable finances are enough to drive me to drink, if not to suicidal ideation, and not wanting a job, combined with needing a job, makes me quite crazy.

It makes me sad to have done so poorly in my interview.  I got up at 5am to prepare, and I really tried my best.  I feel betrayed by my brain.  After the interview, I was in so much mental and emotional pain, it was hard to be with myself.  I wanted to drink, I wanted to drug, but I just had a seltzer (my “drink”) and tried to be kind to myself.  Sometimes life is just painful.  I wrote an appropriate, heartfelt thank you letter for the interview and let it go.

I got a call yesterday about another Security job, this one much closer to home, and PART-TIME!!!  I had a pre-qualifying phone interview, which I passed, and I’m waiting to hear if there will be an in-person interview.  They asked what I wanted in terms of pay, and I don’t know if the numbers I named were too high but dammit it’s a Security job and I want to be paid appropriately!  So, we will see.

I have an interview for a damned Desktop Support job on Tuesday, I will go reluctantly.  I just have to keep walking through this job search with some measure of willingness.

I’m glad it’s the weekend, I need a little break from life!!  Hope you are all well.  Peach out, BPOF!

Security Job Interview Today!

Well there must be a God because I got the Security job interview without the managerial reference!  I sent the damn contracting company two peer references and one of my dear, dear friends who I used to work at Starz with gave me a knockout reference and they decided to let me interview!!!!!!  I never heard back from my former manager.

I am so intimidated by this interview, I was praying for a hailstorm to bust the windows out of my car so I wouldn’t have to go to it!!  I still fight the feeling of being a fraud even though I have this training and studied for a solid six months for the two certifications.  I wanted to blow this off so bad due to fear, but I am forcing myself to rise to the occasion and TRY.  I got up at 5am to start studying for the interview and I have until 11am.  I downloaded one software package that I know they use and I have been doing tutorials on it for about an hour and a half.  I tried to download another software package, but they won’t let me without a business email address.  FUCKERS!!!!!  So that is why I had the free time to write this quick post.  I will just go in as prepared as I can be, and if I can’t answer a question, I’ll just say “I can learn it” – my go-to answer.

Please pray for me or send me good thoughts – I really want a job in Security needless to say and I really really want to be saved from having to take a job in Desktop Support.   I also think it would be best for my mental health if I did NOT have to take a job in Desktop Support and that is the TRUTH!! Hope you all are well!  Peach out!  BPOF!

Can You Say “Desperate”?

Whoa I finally got a call about a SECURITY JOB!!!  This is something I really want and I really had to sell myself through two phone interviews to convince them to submit me for the job.  It would be so good to get a job in the Security field, rather than having to take a Desktop Support job.  I would really like to use these certifications I just got, and learn, and expand my earning potential!!!  Now here’s the rub:  they asked for two managerial references.  I scratched my head for a good minute, because I could only think of one:  Dr. Flaky.  Then I came up with Dr. HasHerShitTogether, and I’m like, good!  Well, they called my two references.  Dr. HasHerShitTogether is out of town, and apparently Dr. Flaky didn’t give them what they wanted, because they emailed me and said that before they could submit me they needed a managerial reference who could speak to my technical abilities.  So my whole drive home from my haircut (about a half hour) I’m thinking, can I get one of my friends to fake it?  The one friend I’m thinking of, who is technical, and I used to work with, well I think she’s probably too much of a Christian to lie.  The other friend who I used to work with, he’s a programmer, he’d probably lie for me, but a little wrinkle, well, he’s on meth and I just don’t know what might come out of his mouth.

SO!  I am desperate so I contacted my old boss from my last job three years ago through Linked In.  I asked him in the request to make contact if he’d be willing to be a reference to attest to my technical skills.  I have NO IDEA what he thinks of me or if he’s going to laugh his fucking ass off, ignore me, or tell me to go to hell.  But FUCK IT I HAVE NO PRIDE I WANT THIS JOB!!!  So I am trying.  And I figure, if it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be and it will work out.  If it’s not meant to be, it won’t work out.  I’m Bipolar and crusty and I’ve had bad relationships with bosses!  What can I say?  I can’t beat myself up!

So that’s the crazy news from here, I’m UP and I’m down with this job search.  But I keep taking the calls and I keep submitting my resume to every fucker who calls.  What can you do?  Hope your week is going well, friends…..  ❤ BPOF!