Back To The Workforce

RelaxDamit!, nobody ever said life would be easy….

It’s been a long time since I have taken the time to sit down and share my thoughts. Three months ago I decided to return back to full time work. As any fellow Bi-Polar Bears know change can be crippling.

For 7 years I had been on disability and my status was not in question. For the most part, with the help of my med’s, my mental health was relatively stable. My “job” was to work on my mental health, and be there for the family.

In the past two years both of my teenage kids suffered sever mental episodes that required hospitalization. During that time change was a constant and daily life was dictated by crisis management. Once the fog cleared I realized that I was able to function despite the challenge of coping with change.

So when an old friend asked me to help get a start-up company off the ground I said yes. There was no gradual transition, one day I was living in my small controlled world the next I was thrust back into the workplace and a small startup company to boot. One minute I’m putting together a marketing campaign the next I’m dealing with operational procedures. I have had to both hire and fire people. To to top it off this venture isn’t even remotely close to anything in my professional background. Needless to say change is the new norm.

Returning to work has been overwhelming and more than once I have almost walked away. For now I am hyper aware of my mental state. At a minimum I stop what I am doing to a mental assessment. When needed, I step away and go for a short walk or find a place to sit and clear my mind. A few times I just packed up and decided to finish out the day working from home because I needed a break from being around other people.

I just remind myself to RelaxDamit!

 

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Lost Car Key Meltdown

Relax Damit! The key turned up eventually….

All this has happened before and all of this will happen again. (Battlestar Galactica) Today is not the first time I have lost my car key. Actually, it happens on a regular basis. I blame it on the ADD. 

Today the key disappeared just as I needed to leave and pick up my daughter from school. Her school is 40 miles away in Los Angeles traffic and not only could I not find the key I could not find the spare. I have guests staying at the house and they helped raise the anxiety to a whole new level by helping me look for them. Finally, I gave up and had to borrow a car. 

When I got home my panic attack kicked into overdrive as my guests had torn apart the house looking for the key. After 2 hours I gave up and decided the key just didn’t want to be found. A walk helped clear my head but the panic came back with a vengeance as soon as I got home. 

When my wife got home she found the key in about 3 minutes. Ughhh!!!!!

I blame it on the ADD…

Sunset’s

Relax Damit! Sometimes what you are looking for is in the opposite direction…
All my life I have lived with the notion that Sunsets are at varying degrees to the West. That said, where I live the most beautiful skies can be to the East. I live in a valley and just on the other side is the Pacific Ocean. 

Often the clouds that create the dramatic sunsets are blocked these mountains. The odd thing is that another mountain range to the East  also causes clouds to gather. 

As a photographer I look to the West because that is how things are supposed to be. Perception is not always reality. Sometimes i need to remember to open my eyes and forget what is deemed to be normal and what I’m looking for is not where I think it is.

Snowflakes

Relax Damit! Some people will never understand…

This afternoon I spent an hour or so talking to my father about Bipolar Depression and Mental Illness in general. Even though both my brother and I were diagnosed with different types of Mental Illness he can’t wrap his mind around the concept. 

It’s not as though he is denial that we have a illness, he just doesn’t get it. It used to frustrate me to no end. Now I find it easier to accept he may never understand and that is okay, at least he is accepting and honest about the situation. 

The fact that no 2 people that have been diagnosed as Bipolar have the same conditions never made sense to him. Today I used snowflakes as a visual reference. Snowflakes all look the same until you can study them closely. Mental Illness can be like that. On the surface nothing seems different.

I think for the first time he may have understood some of what I have been struggling to explain. Some people may never understand and that’s ok…

Holiday Madness

Relax Damit! This will all be over soon enough…

Bah Humbug!!!

I used to enjoy the madness of the holiday season but now I’m medicated. Without the natural emotional ebb and flow I find myself irritated with the same bustle I used to enjoy. Malls are overwhelming and Extended family gatherings are barely tolerable.

I still find moments of joy in the small things I find genuine so I will roll with that for now. Soon enough the stores will be pushing items for the next holiday and I will have an all new excuse to be cranky.

Advice on falling asleep

Relax Damit! Half of this advice is a slam dunk.

This afternoon my therapist suggested that if sleeping and sex were only things to take place in bed, I would have a much easier time falling asleep. 

Since my wife is  in trauma therapy, and dealing with her own issues, sex is a non factor. I let a little laugh out when that was brought up. A sign sign of personal growth is that I have not (and will not) mentioned this to my wife. 😎