Love that song.. I think it’s a Brett Elderidge song. One sentence and I already digress.
I took Paisley for a walk to the park today. We (she and I) refer to it as Paisley Park. hehe… Loved that album. And, yet again, ADD kicking in.
I was walking back from the park and thinking about WordPress and blogging. Writing and categorizing my blog as Depression and I’m good with that because 8 out of 10 times it’s going to go there. Today won’t be any different. But, I was thinking about all the times that I read about how we cope with bipolar disorder and how we support each other here. How we are so alike. And, we are. Thank the Lord (whoever that may be for each of us) that there is a place for that. I think this time, however, I’m going to vent a bit about bipolar disorder and what I’ve been facing lately… whether it’s true or just in my head… because we all know that sometimes – or a lot of times – it’s really not necessarily as bad as we think it might be. Or, maybe it’s not that way for you guys. I find that I “have” everyone else figured out before I give them a chance to explain themselves or even experience something for themselves to even form their own opinion. OR… better yet… they aren’t even going to “go there”.
I am a high school teacher. I have an absence problem. It’s pretty serious actually. It has been the entire 20 years that I’ve been teaching. I have really been lucky. I’ve squeaked by with hospital visits mixed in throughout the years. I’ve taken more non-paid sick days in those 20 years than I have paid… probably. In those years, I have always scored exceptionally well in all of my evaluations – other than a mention of the absences of course. But, never have they mentioned my disease. That is because it is never a problem in my classroom. I know when I need to be out. I know when I can’t do my job. I know. I have tried to explain to my principals that I try every year to make my attendance better. I try understand the need to be in the classroom for the kids. They always look at me funny and say ok. No one every really understands and more than that, they don’t ever ask or in my opinion, try to understand.
Then, in February, it happened. We had a two-hour delay. My boyfriend and I had a bit of a “tiff” the night before because … well, it doesn’t matter… any tiff to an emotionally unstable person like me can cause some serious panic at any moment. I was talking to a friend of mine at school about it when it happened. I had a panic attack. Never happened to me at school – EVER. I went to the assistant principal in charge of substitutes and the best I could somehow squeaked out that I couldn’t make it through the day and needed to go home. At that point I could see that he got it. FINALLY… after 20 years… FINALLY someone saw ME. Believe it or not, in the midst of a panic attack (yes, panic – not anxiety) I could see that this man was thinking “She really is sick. Maybe she hasn’t been making it up all this time”. Now, again, I could be putting all of this on him. I do that, like I said. However, he did call a few hours later to see if I was ok. No one has ever done that before.
What I’m dealing with at this moment… the “VENTING” part of this entry.. if you’ve made it this far.. is that lately in the news there have been a couple of cases – one, extremely tragic – that involve bipolar women. One women, in Florida waltzed into a McDonalds naked and tore the place up. According to everyone she was a crazy woman and needed help. The news reported that she was a non-medicated bipolar patient. The second woman is a much, much more tragic situation. She was/is medicated. She is bipolar. She shot her two teenagers to death. Please to not quote me, but I believe she said the medicine told her to do it. What is most disturbing to me is that attorneys on both sides of the case are in the process of trying to decide how to best use her disease to make their case.
NOW… here sits my administration in their rockers at home watching the nightly news. “Hmmm… bipolar…” What I failed to mention is that after I had the panic attack the school put me on administrative leave until they could do a “fit for duty” evaluation on me. It turned out in my favor. The psychologist felt that I am not a danger to the school or my job in the least. He told them that I am bipolar. That everything I have told the school about hospitalizations and doctors and medications is fact. That I do have a lot of panic about getting to school in the morning, but as I told him, once I am there I am golden. He suggested some accommodations they could make for me and they are making them. What’s the problem then, you ask?
My administration… the same ones who never understood… cared to understand… never asked… sit there at night and watch the news and see reports like this. What ideas are they forming about me?
That’s all I’ve got. Just wondering….