A lot has happened since my last post, but it’s been really hard for me to get in the mood to write an update, until now. I was contemplating whether or not to continue working, and was about to go see my Psychiatrist, who would hopefully help me to make the decision about my job and working in general.
I’ve seen my Psychiatrist a couple of times in the past couple of months. I told him I was feeling stressed, having panic attacks at home and at work, and feeling depressed and anxious. He made some adjustments to my medications, and suggested that I go on disability and start to see a therapist again. Like a lot of people with Bipolar Disorder, I only heeded some of his advice. I agreed to the medication adjustments and started to take them accordingly. I didn’t go on disability and did not see my therapist. My therapist does not take my insurance, and I didn’t want to go through the hassle of finding a new one and starting all over with explaining my personal history. Not seeing a therapist, in retrospect was a huge mistake.
About a month later, on Monday, October 2nd, I got up in the morning to go to work. I woke up feeling really overwhelmed and panicked. It felt like the world was ending and there was nothing I could do to stop it. I tried to stuff down the feelings, and continued to get ready for work. Once ready, I went down to my car, started it, and then I just sat there frozen. A few minutes went by, and I decided I could not go to work this way. I called my job and proceeded to call in sick. The next phone call I made was to my Psychiatrist’s office to make an emergency appointment. The doctor’s office said they could see me the next day. I let my job know, that I had an appointment the next day, and that I would be into the office after.
The next day, Tuesday, October 3rd, I went to my Psychiatrist appointment. I was still feeling the same way as the previous day, and I let my doctor know all that was going on. I told him I was overwhelmed with panic and feelings of impending doom. I let him know that I was really depressed as well, but couldn’t pinpoint the reason why. He immediately told me that he was going to put me on disability, and this time, I agreed with his assessment and agreed to go on disability.
I left my Psychiatrists office feeling defeated by my anxiety and my bipolar disorder. I always feel like I should be capable of doing what I want to do, but my mind and my wants are not always in sync. That night, I submitted a letter of resignation to the company I was working for. The company was aware of my disorder and understood my situation, and accepted my resignation. After I resigned, I thought I would get some relief from the anxiety I was experiencing. I was completely wrong. For the next two weeks or so, my anxiety got worse and worse. I had trouble eating and could feel the anxiety in my stomach all day long. The only time I got relief from the anxiety was when I was asleep.
I was so depressed, that as soon as my husband left for work, I would go back to bed and try to go to sleep, just so I didn’t have to feel. I would sometimes cry, but for the most part I would lay there and think about what I was going to do with my life now. I was without a job, really low on money, and didn’t have enough energy or drive to do much. A couple weeks later, the anxiety vanished, like it was never there.
Now I have been off work for two months. During this time, I decided to finally apply for permanent disability, which is something I never thought I would have to do. Even now, writing the words “permanent disability,” makes my eyes well up with tears. It’s my last resort and something I really do not want to do, but feel that it is necessary. When I think about permanent disability, it makes me think that I’m giving up on myself. I don’t want to think that way, but it’s really hard to push those feelings aside. I keep thinking, maybe if I find a different job, it will turn out differently. Or maybe if I find something part time, I’ll be able to handle it.
I’ve applied for a few jobs, since I’ve been off. It’s really hard for me to think that I can’t work. I was able to do it in the past, so why not now? Right now, I’m trying to accept the fact that I have a serious disability, which can hinder my ability to work. It doesn’t make me any less of a person, but does mean that I might have to try a little harder, than someone without the disability, so I’m able to live a long fulfilling life. I also have to remember, that even if I end up on permanent disability, that if in the future, if I’m able to work, I can go back and find another job.
For now, I’m planning on focusing on taking my medications and looking for a new therapist to talk to. The therapist should be able to help guide me to make the best decisions for myself now and in the future.