[deyn-jer-uh s]: The song gained traction after both KROQ and KCRW Los Angeles championed the track, leading to Big Data signing with Warner Bros in July 2014. A month later it rose to the top of Billboard’s Alternative Songs chart.
The House That God Has Forgotten part 61: Me and my paranoia.
It is that time again. After 3 bosses in the past 6 months, I am forced to step into an office, close the door and explain to an almost complete stranger about my illness.
It rolls off the tongue…Bi-Polar. Sometimes saying the word makes me feel like a freak like something is wrong with me (Ok…there is) like a nerd that loves his or her computer games a little too much or that person that has 20 million piercings and loves to show them off.
Things that are part of your personality.
I think a lot of times people get confused and think that it is a part of my personality. A cute little quirk that makes me special or eccentric, or a little different. But, how little people know or understand…
…it is like living in your private little hell.
First, let’s talk about paranoia. I have 6 bottles of waters in the back of my car. “just in case” I need to have water in the car. Like a ritual, I fill one up every day after work and put it back there, and take a new one in the morning. I convince myself that “just in case” I am stuck somewhere I will be able to survive on that water. My thoughts go crazy about getting stuck somewhere without water. I carry water with me everywhere I go. I sleep next to a 2,6-litre jug of water by my bed. I walk around with a bottle in the pants of my uniform. I don’t drink extreme amounts… but, God help me if I do not have that fucking bottle with me!
I am fixated with thoughts. I flip over every mistake I make and double and triple analyze it. I cannot just let things go. I worry. I stress and I think of extreme punishments and measures for those mistakes I make.
I live in fear of superiors. I always feel like they hate me or are out to get me personally. I worry that they sit in a room and talk about us all. That is what they sit and talk about.
So yes… I am paranoid and I take medicine for it. The same kind of medicine they give to schizophrenics.
I take medicines that make me not feel anything. I never this extreme manic happiness that everyone has that is normal. I have trained myself to say “Good morning” and to be polite because that is what you do in the social world.
I never get depressed. I do not know what it is like to feel sad unless it is something that is extreme that would tear anyone apart. Sure I can cry, but I never know what it feels like to feel kind of down or anything like that.
Today I asked my wife; “Have you noticed if I have been acting more bi-polar than normal?”
“I am so used to it, it is hard to tell anymore,” she replied.
I think of how I was 9 years ago when I yelled and screamed at everyone. That I was super aggressive and had no control over my emotions. When I got in a fight with my ex, after 30 minutes, something important to her would be like amnesia to me.
It must have been tough to be with me those days before the medicines.
I remember wanting to kill myself the winter of 2012 after my daughter was born. (Oh my daughter! The best thing ever to happen to me, and the person on this planet I will always love more than anything.) How I feel really guilty about feeling that way, and will always have to live with that.
The lying on the floor of my apartment after drinking a bottle of vodka (straight) and trying to think of ways to do it, but the only thing that could keep me alive was “Who will find my cats?” because I did not think anyone would be looking for me.
Now I take medicines. LOT’S of medicines. My doctor tells me:
“You take a very large amount of medicines for someone that is bipolar”
I do not pop a couple of Lithium like you see on TV (Lithium does not work on me so well…so I have to take 3 tablets a day of something that if you take it will give you handicapped children if you get pregnant).
Instead, I pop that medicine, medicine against paranoia, medicine that stabilizes your moods (That plus the one I take 3 of…so that is a total of 5 mood medicines a day). I take 2 non-narcotic sleeping aids to fall asleep every night, and one pill for my thyroid that is a physical illness…that is chronic.
So let’s see… 5 plus 2 plus 2 plus 1. 10 pills a day. 10 pills a day I need to be so that you see the person you walk down the halls that you say “good morning” to.
10 pills to be that person you talk to in the locker room with.
10 pills to chit chat on the elevator with.
10 pills to work with.
10 pills to run that elevator. Open that door. Answer that alarm. Run promenade.
10 pills to be a mother, and a wife.
People wonder why I never go out. Why I miss the chance to be social. I hear the stories, I wish I had the courage to be there. BUT I am tired. It takes a lot of energy to be me.
That is not mentioning the trips from Vallentuna to Vastertorp to Sollentuna and back those days I have my daughter, and those long shifts when I don’t.
The being functional. The getting through the day. Keeping it all together.
How do you explain this to your boss? How do you tell them that you are not like the people you see on that bad Netflix series where the person with my illness goes all bat shit crazy.
You know… I cannot relate to those bipolar support groups I am a member of. All of the talk about not being able to work, or how they cannot take their medicines because they feel nothing.
I have resigned myself to realize that I have to take the pills. That I cannot drink alcohol. That I have to think about anytime I feel my mood shifting at all.
Earlier this week…I was hyper and full of energy. These past few days I am exhausted a have no energy.
How do you explain that you have “rapid cycling” and that means your mood can shift from 30 seconds to a week to a month? That you have to take 10 pills to have control of that.
I have countless bosses in The Department of Corrections and the first thing they ask me is about my medicines. (which they are not allowed to do) but in all disclosure, I explain that my medicines work and I have been on the same ones for over 2 years.
That I meet my doctor 2 times a year and phone in when I need more pills. Otherwise, I see him if I need help and things start to get out of control.
How do you share all of this with a stranger? How do you take the time to educate them, and hope that they take the time to understand what you go through?
So I am going to try to have that conversation with my new boss for the 20th time. To talk about 10 pills and how I do not cry in the shower in the fetal position. How I do not want to die (anymore) and how quickly my moods can change but:
“Feel free to tell me if you notice anything funny”
“Everyone I work with knows I am sick”
My wife thinks I should never have to tell anyone that I am sick at work.
I do it for awareness.
I do it because I work in The House That God Has Forgotten, and if I didn’t…they would eventually find a way for punishing me if I did not explain myself.