How do you deal with Bipolar and what accommodation do you receive in our everyday life?
Bipolar people receive accommodations??? Where and when can I sign up for them?!?!
Having bipolar and trying to function like a typical every day Joe Schmoe (if they even exist) can be quite tricky. You constantly have to monitor you moods and your reactions, then judge how much human contact you can handle. When I was doing the stay at home mom gig, this was pretty simple, but now that I am back to work … not so easy.
If I’m in a low, which I was lucky enough to be in one the first two weeks of this new job, I have to find a way to channel my depression. Sometimes, work is perfect for this. If I can get lost in a file and keep busy, very little interaction with others and very little time to “feel” anything. Only time to work. However other times, even work can’t cut the thick crusty mustard. Those are the days where my acting skills come into play.
Over the years I’ve learned to play the role of “Happy MB” quite well. It’s kinda a grin and bear it kind of me. If I just act the opposite of how I feel, no one will notice. The problem with this coping mechanism is, after a long day of trying to ignore how I’m feeling, I am exhausted and I return home pretty much in zombie mode.
MB returns home after a long day of grinning and bearing it. Mr. MB welcomes her home and smiles. MB walks past said husband mumbling things like … “Long day. Too much talking. No more people. Not hungry. Must sleep.”
Mr. MB is way not fond of these days. And to be honest, neither am I.
Then we get into the fun part of being bipolar, Hypomania. (It’s kinda my favorite) I’m happy, I’m goofy, I’m pleasant to be around and everything is just dandy. There’s no acting in this happy. It just is. Sound great eh?
As much as I like hypomania, it comes with it’s own set of challenges. My thoughts look more like this …
“Hmmm. I’m hungry. I think I’ll go out to lunch … every day this week. Money? What’s that?”
“Must . Not . Email . Coworkers . In. Pirate . Speak.”
“BUT maybe speaking in the third person could be fun… NO … speaking in the third person will scare away coworkers!”
“But it’d still be fun.”
“Oh look, new file. Work it work it work it. Ooh, what’s that? Shiny screen saver!”
“Must . Not . Talk . As . Fast . As . My . Thoughts . Are . Moving . ThroughmyheadbecausepeoplemightlookatmewithOMGWTFfaces.”
So as you can see, although it’s fun (Especially the talking in third person part) I have to be professional. So instead of acting like “Happy MB” I have to put on the face of “Calm and Rational MB”. And that’s kind of a drag.
When it comes to my personal life, bipolar can be a huge upper or a huge downer. My family loves me when I’m hypomanic. I’m fun, I’m engaging, I’m awake, I’m lively, I actually cook … but when I’m down, my entire family sinks down with me. Mr. MB gets cranky, the kids get bored and feel neglected. Mr. MB feels neglected and instead of actually trying to do something about these issues, I just go to bed. When I’m depressed sleep cures everything!
And unfortunately, as I stated in the beginning of this long rant, there really are no accommodations given to help cope with these things. I can’t insist I sit at a desk by a window so I can be exposed to natural light. Seniority just doesn’t let it work that way. I can’t spend half my day in the bathroom crying over nothing. There’s just no time for that. And, whether or not I want to cook, my kids and Mr. MB need to eat. And unfortunately, I haven’t found that money tree yet, so as much as I want to just go out to eat every night, it’s not going to happen.
I suppose my family is a bit more accommodating than I give them credit for though. Mr. MB let’s me sleep when I’m sad. We’ve bought broad spectrum lights to help lift my moods. And sometimes the kids even make their own food! But, as grateful as I am for all these things, sometimes, it’s just not enough. Sometimes there are no accommodations that could even be made to help me cope.
But seriously … if you could find me a house with an all you can eat buffet, whirlpool tub, personal masseuse, and a room full of money to go shopping with … PLEASE point me in that direction! Cuz those are my kind of accommodations. (Let’s not talk about how they probably wouldn’t help much during big highs and lows, but I’m willing to try!!!)
Oh oh oh!!! Can I get that house on a beach too?
I was just asking!