Too Bad that my Job is a Trigger for my Depression

go to hell

If I wasn’t depressed or bipolar before, working here would do it.  Have you ever had a performance appraisal that sounds like this:

Blah Blah Blah Creative

Blah Blah Blah Growth

Blah Blah Blah Respect

Zinger

Splat!!!

Blah Blah Blah Trust

Blah Blah Blah Loyalty

Blah Blah Blah Happy

Zinger

Splat!!

Some genius decided that saying three positive things to couch each miserable insult was supposed to be helpful.  This is the review to tell you how you are being watched.  As if you had no idea when someone kept walking past you every five minutes to see what you are doing.  There is no idea for improvement because the only improvement they can think of is getting you out of here. Fast. Without severance pay.

The suggestion is that if you looked at the positive things in your life, you would snap out of it, and smile, and appreciate how good you have it here.

By the way, we don’t like your personality.

But anyone would want your job.

And anyone could do it better.

But you want to clean out the office fridge because it shows your loyalty and desire for growth.  Mold is encouraged to grow more than I am in my position.

It is like little subliminal messages that they sneak in, in front of the office snitch, so the only person to speak up is you.  You know that you are not crazy, but you go home wondering if it is the bipolar, or the job, that makes you want to jump off of a tall building.

You are better at being you than anyone else I know

quote about people judging others

Fear has silenced you. Anxiety and insecurity have prevented you from stretching yourself because your most basic needs must be met. You are realizing that you have your own strength and desires and needs. You want to improve your life.

For the last, however, many of years you have been told not to speak unless spoken to. Your right to express yourself has been limited to a small room with people that no one else wants to meet. By taking away your opportunity to speak, others tried to beat you down and defeat you. Rejection from others, and your own despair of moving ahead, have turned you into an insecure frightened person with no self esteem.

If they beat you down enough, then they win. The “they” can be any name you want to replace it with. There is always a bully or someone else whose own insecurity prevents someone else from shining his or her light. This is not a game of tug and war, this is your life. You have not given anyone the right to take away your voice. Who you are remains inside of you and is a part of all that you are. Your personal strength is not a matter of someone giving you permission. Not a spouse, not a boss, not a child, nor anyone else has the right to take away your opportunity to express yourself in a safe way. Find a way to be heard even if it is only in your mind.

If you have a voice, then let it be heard. There is not one thing that you could say that someone else will not agree with somewhere in the world. There are so many people silenced by regimes that block their freedom of speech. You have a right to be heard and to express yourself in any manner that does not harm anyone else. If your expression is music, then sing. If it is art, declare yourself an artist and determine that whatever you create is part of the expression you add to the great art of the world. Dancers unite in circles and perform publicly in squares. You have a voice; you are someone, no matter who tells you that you are not.

If your own worst critic is you, then you must allow yourself to be heard. Journal, write down your words, create a poem, put a quote that you enjoy on a blog, express yourself to a therapist, plant a flower, or feed a fish. Pet a dog, look at a painting, listen to your favorite music, search for an idea on Wikipedia. Find some way to express yourself and improve your life even by one minute, by one idea, which serves to improve who you are in the next minute. And the next. And the next. Do this until you have given five positive minutes to yourself and realize that you are someone worth loving and listening to. You do not have to hide away unless you want to. If you need to keep yourself away from others out of fear, then believe that they do not have the power to limit you, inside, even if you are already fighting a battle.

Put your foot down. Then put the other foot down just a bit ahead of it. Then begin to put one foot in front of the other and get a drink of water. Fill your body with a clear fluid and feel your cells hydrate. Your brain cells receive oxygen and you realize the gift of swallowing and feeling your heart expand with every kind thing that you do for yourself. Once it becomes a habit, share it with others. Help to do kind things for others for the sake of making them feel better than you do right now. Even if they never say thank you, know that you have helped another human being and given a gift of yourself to brighten the light of humanity. Step out of the darkness, even if it is only out of your bed, and see that someday it will not feel as bad as it does right now.

train tunnel

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Rubbernecking in the Depressed Lane

confused traffic signs

The moving is slow, lined up like ducks at the edge of a lake, hoping for a crumb from the tourists. We watch ourselves and how others watch us. We are weary of the hiding, the stigma, the pushing out of strength and energy.

Meanwhile, even though our predicament comes with isolation and revolving negative thoughts, the rubberneckers just look at the wreckage as they pass by. It must be great to pass judgment without ever having to experience what the road is really like. They never have to drive with the hazard lights on or the panic attacks forcing us to the emergency rest stop.

For anyone who has had to suffer with changing moods, copious weeping, and the energy of a sloth, we know what the road signs look like. Driving dependent on the GPS of medications and trying to bypass the traffic jam of emotions, others speed by us never realizing what caused the morning back up. They just grumble at us moving slowly in front of them waiting for us to get out of the way.

If I ever pass anyone in trouble, I understand the detours on the crooked paths that lead them there. Seeing someone in bad shape on the side of the roadway, I know the tools that they need and the boost of human kindness. They need a hand, just a smile, or someone to help them get moving again. Instead they wait watching the movement of life and activity passing them by, hoping they can get on the path again another day.

The Uphill Battle on a Downward Day

Crying-Babies-mime

As a depressed person, I really am the Masked Avenger. I feel for everyone around me, or in the community, or in the world. My heart breaks for anyone else in pain because I understand it so well. I try to help them even though I cannot help myself. But I have to get through the day and put on the smiles in case someone looks at me so it can seem like I am oh, so, cavalier.

I stick up for the underdog, I always have. But when you are the highly sensitive underdog, you see how much of the world only recognizes the top dogs. I want to right wrongs and create justice where it does not exist. But the first place is in my own environment where people know my feelings are hurt and the sadness that exists. Silly me, communication is supposed to create understanding. Well, it only created an opportunity to stick the knife even deeper and see what it takes to draw complete defeat for me.

This cannot be why I was put on Earth. There has to be more than just pain and stigma and crappy treatment. There have to be other people who understand how it feels to try to blink away the prick in your eyes that brings tears to the edge. The feelings and the sensitivity that brings me to the edge. The more I want understanding, the less I see. Trouble is, I feel the pain and that is part of the challenge. It is also the victory for those who remind you of how little you matter and that your presence is not required or desired.

I don’t drink or smoke because I don’t want to mess up the treatment, or what is supposed to be the cure for what ails me. But I really understand why people are driven to it, trying to create an escape and a way out. Sometimes the pain is so bad and the heart is too broken to cheer itself up.

But I am really struggling to get through the nightly parade of negative thoughts and the make-believe to get up and do it all again tomorrow.

crying-baby_medium<

Riding the Wave and trying not to Crash

explosion wave

Today is one of those days when I feel somber, sad and washed over with a tidal wave. I try to stand in the surf, being brave, when along comes a giant wave. It covers me, I cannot breathe, I feel myself shaking and sputtering; it feels like a giant panic attack.

When I try to be positive, or get through my loss, I am reading and looking for answers. I am begging my angels or spirits or whoever is around me unseen, to please please please , let me know that I am not alone.

I have not had that validation and I question so many things. How will I know what is right? If I look for answers in unusual ways, am I being manic or slipping into psychosis? I think that is what it sounds like to someone who cannot fathom what I am talking about. I have to defend myself and reiterate that despite what it seems like, I am not falling into a chasm of manic depression. I have not lost my mind and my meds don’t need adjustment. The therapist and doctor are on call if I need them, but I am just trying to adjust to the situation in the best way I can. While I have had episodes of pain, I am trying so hard to find clarity and energy in a situation that is washing over me with more grief, mourning, and loss than I have ever experienced.

I was crying and the comment to me was “oh, you are thinking again, aren’t’ you?” Well, I am always thinking and always feeling. But I cannot help it, I react emotionally and I cry. I grieve, I mourn and I feel so alone and such loss. I feel unloved and abandoned, misunderstood and ignored. Just because I see the wave coming, and feel it, doesn’t mean it does not lay me out at times. Some days feel like a total wipeout.

If that is depression waving its heavy hand today, then so be it. The pile of crumpled tissues sits on the bed beside me. Sometimes, I simply don’t have the energy to get up. But I am trying to keep standing and keep going no matter how many times it tries to knock me down.