Moments before I left for my Disney vacation this year, I was pulled aside by my boss and told that during my vacation I needed to either come up with a plan for personal improvement or not come back. This was an unexpected attack, although par for the course considering the personality of both the man and the company. It was delivered to me in a way that can only be described as disrespectful, and the conversation was related to my co-workers the moment that I left.
I am a person who has literally learned to not care about my work and the people I work with. Through personal experience I have been taught that games are played, loyalty is a figment of my imagination, and I truly will never be the ideal employee. In the back of my mind I always remember that work isn’t supposed to be fun, and quite frankly, I shouldn’t allow people who mean nothing to me outside of eight hours, Monday through Friday, to hurt me.
But it does; I am human. With a disease like bipolar, you can’t be on your game each and every day. You have bad days, and while you also have good days, human nature demands that we only remember the mistakes. I don’t talk about my disease outside this anonymous post and to my family. Even then I try to be somewhat circumvent in order to protect myself from the reactions of those that can and do hurt me. My father for instance, will honestly say stuff to me that can stab me in the heart, and turn around and not be able to understand what he did. He doesn’t remember, and he never considers his words before he speaks.
I choose this job because I considered it lesser, and easier for me to accomplish without hurting the company I work for. It is less stress, supposedly, and less work. I can leave on time each day, and I can come to work and write posts that fulfill something deep inside me. However, all that being said, I still attribute my work as important. Not in the way brain surgery is, but rather my ability to make others happy with simple tasks. I like making others’ lives easier.
When my boss pronounced that something was wrong with me that I needed to fix (once again) my first reaction was to wonder at my self-worth. I have spoken often about the fact that I have no self-confidence, nor any real trust in myself; this disease doesn’t lead to either. But once again, I was forced to question if the fact that I had a disease that made me so much less in others’ eyes, wasn’t that a damn good reason for me to not exist?
Why should I work if all I am going to do is cause problems? Why should I honestly try to better myself, and keep myself, if all I am going to do is cause headaches for those around me? If I can’t help someone, what is the point in me being around? Am I worth a paycheck? Am I worth anything in this world, seeing as I have a disease that rears its ugly head time and time again? If even those who do not know me on any level find that I am unworthy, why should I?
While I know for a fact that no one in my office knows that I am bipolar, I still attribute each and every negative comment given to me to the disease. I look at bipolar as that single thing in my life that is not only uncontrollable, but unchangeable and I wonder if the fact that I cannot improve myself makes me worthy at all? Who am I to be in public, to be around people, when I am so unworthy of respect, compassion, or even honesty?
These are tough questions for anyone with a disease, and I know on some level this is the reality of living with a disease. I know that my ups and downs are not my fault, nor the fault of the mediation I take, but rather the chemicals in my brain. I know that there is no cure, and therefore, I will suffer this disease for the rest of my life. But I wonder often, what really is the point?
I don’t know why I was given this disease; I imagine that until God himself explains, it will remain a mystery. I don’t know that I suffer any more or any less than every other human around. I don’t know that my disease makes me any less or any more than anyone else. I imagine in most ways while it makes me different, it also makes me just the same.
I will always feel unworthy. But I am getting to the point where I am having to fight for the very life I live. I am having to fight to understand the importance of being there for my children, for my husband, even for myself. I am having to fight to believe that I deserve to be on this earth, despite the disease that I was given and the complications and reality it brings. I am different, and I will never be what the vast majority of humans have the luxury of being; steady. But I am going to have to find a way to live.
Right now even typing this I am thinking of my bed, of a dark room, and hiding from everything and everyone that can hurt me. Once again, I know that this isn’t the solution, but the calling, the need to do just that is louder than the voice of reason. I wonder why I am subjecting myself to a job, to people I can’t respect, to a life that doesn’t allow me to be the compassionate, kind and helping person that I truly want to be. I don’t understand why I am forcing myself to face a world that at its best is unkind, mean, and wholly hurtful. I look for the good, but there are days like today, when it is so hard to find it.
Will I ever come up with a solution? Will I ever find a life that while hurtful and hard, can also be worthy? I don’t know. Maybe when I get through this current down, I will try to figure out what exactly worth is.