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Work and Bipolar Disorder

Author | Audiobook narrator | Singer


Work and Bipolar Disorder written in bold in the middle. Purple, pink and blue flowers on top of it with butterflies on the side.

This post is about my experiences with work and bipolar disorder, my fails and my gains and experiences with depression and mania. Accepting your needs and illness is a long bumpy road. And fighting the strength to forgive oneself the wrongs is the hardest thing I have ever had to do.


Work and Bipolar Disorder

Lately, I had to give up my job once again. But the reason was not that I was not appreciated or good at my job. The weird part of this illness is that the people that have it. They can be very good at what they do, often over-achieving. In my case this has two reasons, the first one is that I don’t want people to see the obvious signs of my illness. I want to be perfect, and immaculate at my job. The second one is that with hypomania, I have energy. More than one could use by the end of the day.

So many nights I spend writing or cleaning up my whole apartment. And you can see where I am going, even if I tolerate stress very well, for prolonged periods of time… It all comes back, many sleepless nights and my perfectionism, to bite me in my ass. I burn myself out or just plunge from the heavens head-first into concrete. Depression is a feral dog that doesn’t care that you are in the midst of climbing a career ladder or that others depend on you.

Me quitting my job with one-day notice once again, made me feel even more worthless and incapable. I did feel it coming and adjusted my medication accordingly, but… it often takes weeks for them to work. I spent my free time curling up in my bed, ignoring my boyfriend. Almost becoming self-destructive. How can I be a part of a functional work life if I don’t even want to be a part of life itself? 

The Difficulties (Work and Bipolar Disorder)

The Mania

I have had many jobs that I have excelled at. Starting from car painting and cooking and ending with different jobs in the field of client service. Every time I start a new job I feel as if I can overcome all the anxieties that come with my state. The enthusiasm is real and I arrive with a big bang. Often I forget to sleep or take my medication which naturally makes my state even worse. 

For a period of time I can maintain work and write like a champ. Dance in the middle of my room drunken on wine to deathcore or skinny-dip at 4 a.m. This is the only me I have known, feeling life at its’ extremes. And I wouldn’t change that. I just wish I could erase the unpleasant parts, don’t we all? But at the same time, it makes me appreciate the good times a little more.

But it is not all flowers and glitter. Or fancy wine and bars of chocolate. It is cheap wine and hiding my irritability and anxieties from my peers. Often directing them inward, at myself. When I overflow it is as if I can not shut of the paranoid little arsehole inside of my skull. Or the nightmares that cause me to wake up 8 times during the little sleep hours I do have. Or the intrusive vivid pictures where I see myself stepping in front of a train.

My grave mistake 

That sleeplessness has rendered me incapable of working any job that starts early in the morning. When I was younger I often would go with 3 hours of sleep divided over 4 days. I would become this maniac mess that couldn’t think straight or would burst out crying for no reason at work. No longer was I able to do the things I wanted to do even if I had the energy.

I begin imagining the worst scenarios. Like being fired for my mistakes or my peers having a plot against me to get rid of me. I see devils lurking in the smiles or agenda in every praise. It has gone to the lengths of me talking to myself or seeing cameras where they are not. I become crippled by my illness. A blob of fear and shaky hands, a speech that is detached from reality. 

My grave mistake is that I am ashamed of sharing my worries. What will people think of me when they find out that I am not who I present myself to be?


What goes up must come down, right?

My whole life is this big ass roller-coaster where I try to keep my light from going out. I grip onto it with my whole might, digging my nails into hope and belief. But it wriggles from my hands like a beast and escapes from my sight. Completely ignoring my pleas to stay. I look for a saviour at the bottom of a bottle of Shiraz. Or the burning sensation of a cigarette smoke in my lungs. I would just sit on the floor of my bathroom and chain-smoke, staring at a wall. 

How have I managed to keep it hidden from my other half, I still don’t know. But when he is away, I would cry in my bed or stare at a wall incapacitated by my own thoughts. For a while work becomes my only saviour, the only place where I feel like a human being beside the bed of me and my man. I need constant reassurance and love, cuddles and kisses from my mate. I don’t want to leave home, everything is grey and dull.

Even everyday tasks become a fight

I stop showering or using make-up, or even brushing my hair becomes an unpleasant task. Mirrors are my enemy, it is as if I am a soulless husk of a fiery person I once was. My ability to work diminishes and things I was previously good at, are tainted with a lack of motivation and mistakes. I don’t want to be present, I want to shut the door, roll down the blinds and escape into the world inside. The world of an artistic person, the world which is a made-up make-believe.

This time, this state was the reason I quit my job. Yes, I am a human after all, not a god. 

What is my next move?

Yes, I know my financial state requires me to work. And to people looking in from the outside. My decision seems childish. But no money is worth my health. This time I told myself that I need time for myself and that it is okay. Or at least tried to inject that optimism into my veins. In reality, I still feel a little worthless excuse of an adult.

I have decided to do odd jobs at different places through “go work a bit”. There I can decide my schedule myself and have more freedom for keeping my health from declining due to stress. And I have decided that I will no longer put my health at risk because of what society thinks what or who I should be. Also, I will inject more time into my blog and my art. 

I know the life of an artist is a financially poor one but I don’t need much to be happy. And I don’t aspire for a fancy castle or a car, these things don’t matter to me. I just hope for a cottage and a garden of my own, a love that makes me feel stronger. A room with dim lights for my vinyl records, wine and poetry. And recording them. It is what makes me happy. 

Thank you written in bold in the middle. Purple, pink and blue flowers on top of it with butterflies on the side.

Links To My Work

Poetry: Dragon of Alcanmore, Poetry of a Love So Cold.

Stories: Six-Sentence Stories, Short Stories, Romance and All That, Elves and Fantasy

Posts on music that I love are here.

I am on YouTube where I also have created lyric videos.

Here is my Spotify 

My band can be listened to on YouTubeSpotify and other streaming services.

Follow me on my YouTube Channel for Audiobooks.


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