Bipolar: The WHAM Episode

It’s like Babylon-5-era JMS is writing my life and, when things have only just started looking up, he launches a WHAM episode.

I don’t want to write about today (or yesterday, depending on when this post goes up), because it was a most unpleasant WHAM in terms of realizations about myself and my psyche.

The day, and events leading up to it, can be basically summed up like this:

  • Last week, something utterly stupid happened at work and it was my fault.

  • Part of the mistake started when I was “lucid”, for lack of a better term for when the mania and depressive episodes have laid off for a while. Which is ok; mistakes happen, and work understands that bit.

  • The other part happened when I was in a depressive state of mind, which is that I couldn’t handle what was needed to start correcting the mistake. And I made a decision that resulted in losing an entire feature—granted, this was internal, and not something customers would ever notice, but still.

  • When my boss asked me in our 1-on-1 to go over what happened last week, I started processing the event again—but this time I noticed that my thought process was far more analytical. Whereas last week, well, my thought process was anything but. The contrast was so stark that even I couldn’t deny anymore that it exists.

  • This was literally almost a worst-case scenario: I thought I was firing on all cylinders and went into work, instead of taking an FMLA day, which I can afford. My judgement was impaired enough that I simply couldn’t tell. How do you deal with something like that?

  • Denial was also at play in this disaster. It permeates my life, I realized, more than just the PTSD and the bipolar. Today I spent a little time confronting some chores I’d been putting off, but that’s not quite the same thing as facing off against, well, work and stuff.

  • I’m also going to have to figure out how to tell when I’m not all there before it’s too late. I don’t even know, man.

Coping… I think the coping with the WHAM of this day alone is going to kick me out of lucidity tomorrow. We’ll see; I know that self-fulfilling prophecies are bad, but it’s so hard to predict the weather in my head without enough lead time. Is it a self-fulfilling prophecy to say that’s a possibility? Or is it an attempt at breaking through denial? Or is it denial itself? Have I sunk into a slight depressive mode and it’s subtly influencing me to wrongness? Am I being realistic or not?

Damn it all. Nothing’s the same anymore.