Lately it feels like everything in my life is left up to chance.
As a bona fide control freak, this leaves me feeling incredibly unsettled but I’m slowly getting used to it. You would think that when I quit drinking that would have shattered the illusion that I was somehow in control of my life but nope, it was still there. At least, it was until recently.
Last September I was fired from my job, for reasons that had nothing to do with performance and everything to do with being in an incredibly hostile environment. For the first time ever in my life, I was sacked. I suppose this was where it started – the feeling that no matter what I did, I did not control my own fate.
Not surprisingly that’s when I went manic. They say that stress can play a large part in triggering manic episodes, and I have no doubt that losing my job helped to set off mine. It was a huge blow to my already fragile ego, and it pulled my financial safety net out from under my feet and left me hanging precariously on the ledge of unemployment. That was my second lesson in learning that life is out of my control – being diagnosed with a pretty serious illness (bipolar disorder) and realizing that when not managed it could lead to psychosis.
So here I am now, unemployed and having mental illness – two states of being that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I would almost say that being unemployed feels worse to me than does knowing I have a mental health condition; at least with bipolar I can take medication. There’s nothing I can take for the mind-numbing boredom that accompanies long-term unemployment.
I can honestly say that this has been the hardest period of my entire life. Despite taking medicine, I’m depressed about my work situation (or lack thereof). This depression prevents me from having the energy to do things to otherwise occupy my time, such as volunteering. I force myself to exercise, but that’s about the best I can do right now.
My medication is also working against me, in the sense that it causes lack of concentration and akathisia (restlessness). I can’t do simple things like read a book or watch tv without feeling the need to get up and do something, despite the fact that I have nothing to do and really no money or energy to do it. It’s a vicious side effect that really only serves to exacerbate my already painful situation.
I recently had a job interview that I thought I had bombed. My being fired never came up, and probably never would have except that I got nervous and decided to bring it up myself. Afterward, I felt horrible about that and was certain I would not receive a call back.
But I did, and I’m going in for a second interview. This has made me tremendously happy. This job would mean the world to me; it would simultaneously restore both my financial security as well as my confidence, and it would give me a reason to get out of bed every day. It would allow me to feel normal again, in a way that I haven’t felt in a really long time.
And that’s the problem. Realistically, my happiness depends on forces outside of my control and I hate that. But if I’m to be completely honest, I don’t really have a choice.
People always say everything happens for a reason. I’m not so sure I believe this, especially in the case of getting fired and finding out I have mental illness. But if it’s true, then those reasons will present themselves whenever they damn well feel like it – not when I want them to. People also always say that true happiness can only be found within; clearly, these people have never been unemployed with bills to pay.
I want and I need this job. If I get it, it will most certainly alleviate at least some of my depression. If I don’t get it, I’ll live but I’ll be majorly bummed out. Whether or not I actually get it is basically just a roll of the dice.
I hope they land in my favor.