Well, this was bound to happen sooner or later. It's hard to keep a secret from people you work with every day. Besides, four can only keep a secret if three of them are dead. And I made it through three and a half years, which is considerable. But the cat's out of the bag, the classified file is open on the desk, the skeleton just came bumbling out of the closet. And so did I. It's been a long strange trip, but I'm Out At Work now.
No, I didn't tell them I'm gay. They know that. I told them I'm bipolar. THAT they had no idea.
I might add I did this Against Medical Advice. Well, against some medical advice. Not every bipolar person/mental health professional subscribes to the same magazine, but the General Agreement among my gang of friends is that One Does Not Tell One's Place of Employ anything they don't absolutely need to know. And honestly, I wasn't planning to tell anybody anything, until either my symptoms became obvious or I needed a Reasonable Accommodation of some sort or other. [Reasonable Accommodation. Remember that phrase, kids. Your workplace doesn't have to do everything it can to make your life easier if you're disabled, but they do have to be Reasonable.]
See, last year at Christmas I got a glowing employee review. Seriously. Glowing. I think it was mentioned that I needed to work on my prioritizing and try not to get sidetracked quite as much as I was, but other than that, Employee of the frick'n Year. Practically. And I got a nice raise and a bonus. Well, I just got another employee review and it wasn't nearly as glowing. Not nearly. My boss said he was basically having to micromanage me, that I seemed to have no idea how to prioritize my work, that I'd lost track of all my cases and lots of other stuff you don't want to have written about you when your job is to be conscientious, accurate, thorough and, well, manage lots of stuff. Not so much people but stuff. Information. Items. It's hard to do that when you're not prioritizing, being micromanaged and you've lost track of all your cases. Tends not to be good for your clients, either, and since the clients are the only reason you exist, well...
Now, I could go through this review point by point and argue with a lot of it, but there's really no reason to. And I can't complain that it was a news flash because it wasn't. For the most part it's true, and for the most part, it all stems from the same source. That part of my brain that's just a little bit more interesting than most. Practically every single darn thing on all three meticulously typewritten pages is a symptom.
Which leads me to wonder, why now, and why didn't I see this coming?
Well, I'm not sure about the why now, but I did see it coming. Have seen it coming for a couple of months, in point of fact. Look, I've been ridiculously lucky. And I had this idea that as long as I took my meds when I was supposed to and did everything my doc (s) told me to do, I'd be Perfectly Normal. Alas, I am not and never will be normal. I wasn't even normal when I was normal. And, yeah, things happened that could have alerted me that all was not well. But I guess I didn't know they were this bad. Or were getting this bad. But fundamentally, it doesn't matter why this happened. What matters is how to fix it.
(That's always my first instinct. Fix it. I heard an appropriately September 11-themed story about a mom who, on that day in 2001, was watching TV and crying, like many of us were. Her four-year-old daughter came in and asked her what was wrong. Not wanting to lie to this child, but not really able to convey what had happened to a child that young, she said, "A lot of people have died. It's a very sad day." The four-year-old said, "I'm a big girl, Mommy. I'll fix it." Yeah. That sounds like me.)
Anyway. I saw Doc#2 yesterday. He can certainly help Fix It. Changing behaviors is kind of his specialty. I see Doc #1 tomorrow, to see if something medicational needs to happen. And in the meantime, I experiment with alternate strategies. I make lists. I ask a bunch of what seem to be stupid questions. I try very hard to get more sleep. And I try not to let down the side at home, because according to Joan, the symptoms of whatever-this-is are showing up there, too. What she said was, "It's like you're more and more willing to just let things slide." And in the name of clean cat boxes, that can't be good.
The hope, here, is that things will improve enough by December that I can get back into the Good Employee box, even if I also have to reside in the Freak Box. And that the news of my Delicate Condition doesn't spread beyond the manager and my immediate boss. I know, I know. Four can keep a secret if three are dead. Hopefully I won't deck the first well-meaning fool who asks me, "It's not like you're Napoleon, is it?"