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Keeping it "Together"


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This applies to several areas of our lives, but especially our careers. There is where we attempt to make money and pay the rent. Several of us have jobs, or need jobs, or go through them like crazy, and we need to look "normal" at our jobs so we won't be found out and discriminiated against. At my last job, I made the mistake of being "out of the closet" about my MI. Never again!

How can we keep it together through med changes, moods, stress, crying spells (often saved by random thoughts of Mothman) and other madness?

How do you do it at work when you just want to scream and hit someone? Or when you feel that nice mood shift and it goes from high to low, or your voice cracks and you know tears are coming? We all have different issues we face at work.

What do we do about it? Can we prevent it?

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last resort I carry an emergency med dose just for the times you explained.

first I try to distance myself from others

plug in headphones to 'up' music and do some physical activity, the more strenous the better

surf net to look for jokes

that's about it for me

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This applies to several areas of our lives, but especially our careers. There is where we attempt to make money and pay the rent. Several of us have jobs, or need jobs, or go through them like crazy, and we need to look "normal" at our jobs so we won't be found out and discriminiated against. At my last job, I made the mistake of being "out of the closet" about my MI. Never again!

How can we keep it together through med changes, moods, stress, crying spells (often saved by random thoughts of Mothman) and other madness?

How do you do it at work when you just want to scream and hit someone? Or when you feel that nice mood shift and it goes from high to low, or your voice cracks and you know tears are coming? We all have different issues we face at work.

What do we do about it? Can we prevent it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I saw this title several years ago, I had to think REALLY hard to remember and find it, think I'm gonna buy it...

Working in the Dark: Keeping Your Job While Dealing with Depression Here's a link.

Good luck with your new job loon!

Hugs,

S9

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I also used to distance myself..try and just keep quiet. If tears were coming, I would frantically try and think of anything else or make a trip to the employee (private) restroom. Blame it all on allergies..etc. You can also pretend that something else is bothering you..like a family problem, too many bills..any excuse is better than MI, I found out!

I kinda learned to choke back tears..somehow..cause confiding in anyone at work was not a good idea as you said, Loon. I tried that to a supposed friend and it turned out she was not my friend.

I am not working now but will definitly check out that book.

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My problems are not so severe that they always intefere with work/uni life.

I'm lucky in that I have a supportive work environment, even though it's part time work. I work in the deli department in a grocery store, and the two full timers that work there both know about me. The whole store doesn't, mind you!

They found out, because they asked me to work on the same day as a pdoc appointment, and I said I was busy, going to the doctor's. They asked how long, and I said it went for an hour. One of them guessed that I could be going to a psychologist or psychiatrist, since it goes for some time. She asked if I was okay and stuff, and I explained my symptoms and why I was going. Later, she told me about her friend who has began taking anti depressants for anxiety. The other one's son is seeing a psychologist for problems related to his job. So, I'm lucky in that way.

But before, and when I worked on register, on those bad depression days, people assumed I was having a hangover, or if people asked if anything was wrong, I just said "late night" and they can assume what they like. Or, my classic excuse. It's just that time of the month! Feeling depressed like that doesn't really make my work that much worse, even though I guess my 'customer service with a smile' skills go out the door. But oh well, I'll try to do the least amount of customer service possible. I don't get uncontrollable crying, lucky me. I don't really cry like a normal person in the first place anyway. I just get tears, snot and sometimes even saliva spewing from my face. Well, I don't let it out. I just keep rubbing my eyes to get rid of tears, sniffing or blowing my nose, and complain about the awful cold I have, and swollow the extra slag.

What sucks and rules at the same time is that people notice quiet a bit when I'm down, since I think I have a pretty hyperthymic personality normally. Thank the lord for nice and understanding people!

Loon, when you 'came out', did you explain what the problem was? I told someone about having depression, and they were like "you have manic depression?" and I explained that manic depression was bipolar, which is different from unipolar depression, which is me. She then said she thought bipolar meant split personalities. Oh, even worse, my dad came over for Christmas dinner, and mum told him the guy next door has bipolar. My dad freaked out, saying they were dangerous people, since he heard on the news the a bipolar guy was shot on a plane because he had a bomb. Then my mum explained that bipolar and manic depression are the same thing. (He has been dxed with bipolar) My parents are Hungarian, things like that happen. Some people just have no idea about what some illnesses are. And yeah, people are scared of the unknown.

What was the reaction at your last work?

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Shinkei,

I also worked in a Union grocery store..first in another dept, then full time deli. I found those people to be the most gossipy, mean spirited people in the store. I guess cause they were unhappy with thier lot in life.

You are lucky you have a good group cause I didn't.

I do find alot of people are afraid of bipolar people. They imagine all sorts of stuff or remember a news story about someone gone manic, and it sticks in their mind.

I know people who think schizophrenia means split personalities, also.

*edited for typos

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With me, it seems to be a little different.  I have a relatively easy time holding on to my "happy face" for the required 8 hours, then I freak out on the way home.  The strain from having been "up" all day finally catches up to me on those days.  If I am at work when I feel a bad mood shift coming on, the restroom is my sanctuary.  If people notice that I'm a little off, I explain it away as a migraine (which I do sometimes get).  People have sympathy for migraines more than bipolar.  ;)  

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I'm having this paradox now: my moods are more stable and better than ever before.  I rarely freak out at work (or elsewhere).  But when something is wrong I now have trouble hiding it.

See, I've learned to be more honest in general in my life.  My "sane face" is generally pretty strong, but when I do react to someone being mean or get discouraged by a difficult project I generally need to express it somehow.  Like Shinkei I work in a very supportive environment and can get support and encouragement from most folks in my office.  I work hard and usually do a good job, so people are happy to help me out and listen to me if I'm upset.

It turns out that back when all I showed was the sane face I often acted angry or neurotic, which annoyed folks to no end.  Now I'm generally nicer and calmer, so when I do get freaked out I get much better support.  People don't know about the BP (at least we don't talk about it), and given my profession I don't know that I'd tell them, but even if they knew I think I'd get treated well.

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How do you do it at work when you just want to scream and hit someone? Or when you feel that nice mood shift and it goes from high to low, or your voice cracks and you know tears are coming? We all have different issues we face at work.

What do we do about it? Can we prevent it?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

"Pull the blinds on your emotions

Switch off your face

Put your love into neutral

This way to the human race"


-- Spike Milligan

Look busy, carry papers back and forth.

Make heavy use of the "postpone" facility of email, later "put blinds on your emotions" and conciously and concientiously pull all emotion out of the email before sending.

Use email/voice mail instead of face to face when you can't cope.

Get obessive about writing things down. Doesn't matter if you immediately throw it away. Doesn't matter if it's just doodles. Write / draw.

Tidy your desk. You may be internally a total absolute wreck with a brain like an exploding strawberry mousse. But a tidy desk impresses the suits.

Go out for lunch. Take your full lunch hour. Sleep in the park (set alarm / cell phone / watch to wake you.) Sleep in your car. Hide.

If you want to hit a sod who famously deserves it, tear yourself away. Go for a fast walk anywhere. (Carry protective busy looking papaers / folder) Then write a detailed letter / email describing his ancestry in exquisite detail.

Delete it without sending.

Take something quietening before meetings eg. Kava kava,

A cup of tea, coffee or something to hold, sip, fondle, stare at during meetings.

Stress takes it out of you. Put extra vitamins back in.

Get a very very small, pocket size, camoflaged as a key ring, teddy bear to hold. (Just thought of that one, must try it.)

When you are coping, think strategically. Choose your fights.  Have a plan in your mind who deserves and can be screamed at, who deserves but can't be before you get the urge to scream..

Detach self from face. Make bluff and cheery faces while you scream and cry inside. Practice bold and hearty voice.

Slow down five notches, do very small steps, but get them Done.

Perfection is the enemy of Done. Done is more important than Perfection.

Once you have Done, you can Perfect, keep your work in a state where if the suit arrives and starts shitting you, you can hand him the pile of crap. He won't care if it's crap, he doesn't know crap from cardboard. All he knows is "Done" and "Not Done".

Done but lousy postpones the evil day. Not Done but Perfect and you're fired Now. Done Now, but perfect tommorow when you're coping a bit better keeps your job.

Yes I hate myself for all these suggestions. They are all shallow, evil, pathetic. I'm profound, good, and stong when I have the strength, I scrape by when I haven't. But then you weren't asking for a cure, merely how to get by.

Apply a caustic layer of mockery to your own outside to prevent this facade from corroding your soul.

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Good suggestions.

After working for 5 years at the same place, I gave notice last Friday. I've used pretty much every tactic described in this thread. My "coping skills" have evaporated. Have no job lined up. Feel such joy at knowing the end is near. Feel such anxiety about bringing in some kind of income. Working enviroments (other than band gigs) slowly kill my soul. I'm tired of playing the game.

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My immediate co-workers know I am crazy, so if I am losing it I can just say so and go for a smoke break or short walk.  I ALWAYS have a little stash of valium in my purse.  Even if I don't take it, it is comforting to know it is there.

Regardless, I feel like everyday is one day closer to being unable to work at all.

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My problems don't interfere with life until someone triggers me at work *cough couth, someone at J***s H*****s*

Then I go into the men's room and cry. =P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

LOL. Like SFV...

I don't know about the translation of Unterarm being underarm. Yes, literally, but I think they mean either more of an armpit or perhaps forearm, like your veins. All I mean is that I think it is supposed to translate into something harsher than underarm. Maybe we just don't have a way to put it.

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My problems don't interfere with life until someone triggers me at work *cough couth, someone at J***s H*****s*

Then I go into the men's room and cry. =P

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

LOL. Like SFV...

I don't know about the translation of Unterarm being underarm. Yes, literally, but I think they mean either more of an armpit or perhaps forearm, like your veins. All I mean is that I think it is supposed to translate into something harsher than underarm. Maybe we just don't have a way to put it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I thought underarm and armpit were the same thing. =P </aspie literalness>

But forearm wouldn't be such a bad translation... think about getting an IV sedative... the burn goes all the way from your forearm to your neck, but - it's definitely more pronounced from the shoulder up!

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