Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Milestones’ Category

Koios and I moved to a new apartment! This time I decided to do things differently than the other times we’ve moved because of my lack of motivation that comes with bipolar.

I used to never get anything done. I simply could gather the energy to attempt to do what needed to be done. Last time we moved, we packed everything in boxes but I never unpacked most of them. We had boxes that hadn’t been opened in 2 years! I’m so bad at moving that I have boxes in my car from when I moved out of my parents’ house. I want to be done moving so badly that I always half-ass it.

This time, I made sure that we only had 10 boxes. That way I’d have to unpack them before I could move anything else. I found that I have been more thoughtful about where I put stuff in the new place and more selective about the things to give to Goodwill.

It took more time (a lot more time, haha), but I tricked myself into working with my bipolar.

-Ashes

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Koios Is On WordPress!

Koios has expressed an interest in authoring posts on this blog so I made him a WordPress account. I’m very excited for this change! I think that posts from someone who loves a person with bipolar could offer a different perspective on this illness and create interesting discussions. I’m not sure when he’ll come out and say hello, but we have some neat post ideas in the works so you’ll be seeing more of him in this blog. I think that Koios’s posts will also motivate me to get off my ass and post here more. It’s a win-win for everyone!

-Ashes

Read Full Post »

I’m so glad that I won’t have to go back to where I work unless I want to. I was thinking about getting a job there again after this quarter, but looking back on my experiences with management makes me question my thought process.

Most workplaces won’t do more than they’re legally required to accommodate mentally ill workers, but that didn’t make it any less frustrating to deal with. When I asked if HR could try to give me a more stable schedule (rather than working 12 hours one week and 28 the next, which screwed with my bipolar and furthered my stress because I didn’t know how much money I’d be making for the month), the scheduling manager talked to me like I was stupid while saying that she would “try”. Nothing changed until I threatened to quit because of the unpredictable hours. Thank god I was one of the better workers in my department or my ultimatum wouldn’t have worked.

Even after having a bipolar breakdown because they were screwing up my sleep patterns by working me til 11pm they wouldn’t stop scheduling me those shifts until I finally got a doctor’s note. They contemplated firing me when I called in for 2 days because I couldn’t make myself get out of bed after my breakdown even though they knew it was caused by my bipolar reaction to the late shifts. Even though management is supposed to keep health histories confidential word somehow spread that I had bipolar and that gave the other workers reason to resent me for them having to pick up my shifts for a bit.

I know that my workplace is within its rights to do most of these things but it still feels cruel. How can they not understand that it was actually dangerous to push me so close to the edge? Koios was about ready to march down to my store and have a “talk” with management after he saw just how affected I was by the wonky hours, but I asked him not to. It would have only made things worse. I contemplating checking myself into a hospital after my freakout triggered by the holiday hours because I was so frayed around the edges that I couldn’t trust myself. The only reason that I didn’t was because I couldn’t afford it. I had rent to pay; I couldn’t lose earning power and possibly my job by checking into a hospital for who knows how long. I was also afraid of the stigma. How would my coworkers treat me after I came back (if management took me back, that is)? I knew that word would get out that I checked into the loony bin, even though it technically shouldn’t. Would management stiff me with hours or fire me because they couldn’t depend on me? Would they not want me to work on the sales floor, lest I go crazy on a customer?

I don’t know. My store was no better or worse than any other retail place, but that’s what makes it sad. The only jobs I’ll be able to get while I’m in school will be retail and I don’t know if I could deal with all of this shit again. I don’t want to put myself in debt with student loans so early in my education, but I don’t know if I could go back to being treated like I wasn’t even human. I know it was nothing personal because they treated all the employees like that, but it was especially hard on me.

The only good thing about working in retail was it toughened me up. I used to not be able to say no to customers and other workers. I was often guilted into giving customers a better price or taking on someone else’s work because I just wanted the uncomfortable guilt at the thought of saying no to go away. Now I’m better able to look out for myself, because no one else at my workplace was going to. I still have a hard time saying no to customers and being firm with them, but I’ve gotten a lot better. That’s the only thing I can thank my workplace for, but it was such a hugely important lesson.

Whatever I decide to do later, I’m glad I’ll have a break from retail hell. I don’t think that there is any job that is perfectly accommodating for people with bipolar, but I know that retail is far from it. Maybe I won’t ever have to work another retail job again, but even if I do I’ve learned where my limits are with bipolar and work. At least I’m taking something away from this, even if it’s just a list of How To Prevent Management From Fucking Me.

-Ashes

Read Full Post »

Despite being medicated I still have enormous trouble with motivation. I cannot finish projects that I start or gather the energy to do required errands, no matter what I do. Being prescribed to Adderall definitely helps me do the things that I need to do, but I want to be able to find motivation on my own rather than relying on chemicals.

My lack of follow-through is linked closely with my perfectionism. I don’t want to finish projects because I don’t want to face the possibility that my final product will be less than I was hoping for. My image of my abilities and strengths is normally destroyed after not reaching my impossible standards for myself, so I don’t finish anything that I start. Part of why I graduated late was due to my endless editing process for my projects and assignments. Nothing that I did was ever good enough, so I would spent months trying to perfect an assignment that didn’t really matter in the long scheme of things. I somewhat overcame that and managed to graduate, but it was a daily struggle.

My first success outside of school was competing (and winning!) in this year’s National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to writing a 50,000 word first draft of a fiction novel in the month of November. I was so proud that I met and exceeded the word goal, but today I finished my first read-through of my draft! I normally would have shoved my novel in a drawer and forgot about it because the amount of work to perfect it is so daunting. The fact that I got through the painful experience of seeing the weak points in my writing is a big boost to my ego. My perfectionism usually prevents me from wanting to confront things that hurts my self-confidence, but I managed to take it all in stride and look at my draft without beating myself up over the parts that need improvement.

The fact that I was able to complete the second phase of the creative process is a huge milestone for me! I hope that I’ll be able to continue learning how to confront the fact that I am less than perfect and keep the motivation going for my first novel.

-Ashes

Read Full Post »