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imagesCAI5Y16OI do believe that I am going to be fired today.  Like most organizations they will probably wait until this evening and after I have done a full days work before letting me go.  In many ways I think this is fair.  In many ways I caused the problem that I am currently in, and there isn’t much I can do about.  I could poetically go on about how wrong the company is, how badly I was treated during this whole thing, but we all know that will simply be my opinion.  Maybe true, maybe not; but wholly irrelevant.

What I do know is that the lessons of my bipolar played some part in this.  I have been thinking about it alot lately, those lessons that I have learned from a disease that I never asked for.  I have been let go because of episodes, fear other employees have of me, and my own ups and downs.  I have been shunned, lost people I consider maybe not my friends, but the potential to be my friends, and I have been looked at with distrust, horror, and most of all fear.  It is par for the course with a disease, and I imagine if you ask an AIDS survivor you would get similar answers.

Ask a person without mental illness their purpose, the point of their lives, and while you may get jokes or sarcasm, deep in there, somewhere, there will be an answer.  A stay-at-home mom won’t commit on the access to the solitude, or the sheer pleasure and comfort of hiding from the world.  They will talk about all the things they do for their home, their children, their spouse.  Ask a bipolar person what their purpose is, and you will get dejected sighs, and possible tears.  This of course, may not be true of everyone, but it is certainly true of me.

The lessons this disease has taught me is evidenced by the fact that I now and will always, bury much of myself.  I don’t loose my temper, I am honestly too scared to.  I rarely if ever get in disputes or arguments, I neither see the point nor want to fight battles that I tend to lose over and over.  I rarely succumb to tears, but then I rarely succumb to that belly laughs that can release those beautiful endorphins that make the world so much better.  I don’t scream, and even when I do, it is short and pointed until I can reign myself in. I don’t allow myself to express the emotions that are so clearly there in order to protect myself.

I don’t surprise nor hide much from my husband. He sees more than even I do.  He seems to understand my triggers, my patterns, the little things that show him where I am in my day.  It is a wonderful way to find myself less burdened.  I don’t have to pretend, or I can act simply normal, and someone knows where I am anyways.  That is a gift.

But it is not a gift that my co-workers, my friends, even my children can give me. They don’t know and believe the shell that I carry on my back. That is also a gift.  It means that I can’t hurt them and in most ways they can’t hurt me.  But it backfires; and today I will probably feel the price. Today, I will feel the price of not arguing, not standing up for myself, not showing my emotions. I will pay the price because I let a situation get too far out of hand and didn’t do something about it from the beginning.

I don’t mean to take it all so personal, I don’t mean to believe in my heart that I am a good person and deserve some sort of respect.  It seems wrong to believe that.  To believe that despite my disease I am good; almost as if I am being the one thing I can’t be dishonest.  It feels like believing in myself is deceiving myself.  By believing that I am somehow undeserving of what I am about to come across, it feels egotistical, selfish, harmful.

I sit here and type this and still don’t know the truth.  I don’t know what I should have done, could have done and I am second-guessing everything.  It is a horrible way to live, a horrible thing to my stomach, to my heart.

I understand there are natural questions; questions everyone asks.  Did I deserve this? Will I get a job ever again? What do I say; what do I do? I know these are natural, and I know that if everyone who was every fired from a job never worked again the world wouldn’t quite be spinning the way it is.  But it doesn’t help.

Somehow today, just like yesterday, I have to convince myself not only of my worth, but that this wasn’t my fault or the fault of some disease.  Once again, I have to find a way to believe in that which I have no faith in: myself.

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