It may very well seem to someone on the outside that I am pretty “high functioning”, right?
Because I’m writing again, and starting to be able to separate myself from my mind..
However, the phrase “high functioning” is very outdated.
It’s really awkward word use, and I think was created by those who don’t fully understand mental illnesses, to try to loosely categorize some of us.
Just because I now have moments of clarity, and adore writing, does not make my illness less valid.
Regularly, my head will scramble itself.
It’s truly an exhausting and terrifying struggle to stay in front of all of these psychosis symptoms.
It is not a life for the weak.
At this time, I’m able to be more aware of myself and my moods than I was ten, fifteen, even twenty years ago.
My mental health has been more debilitating than not over that same timeframe.
To a point where I had no idea that I’ve been so sick my entire life until this summer.
I had no idea what I’ve actually been dealing with all this time.
To a point where I was not able to separate what I was hearing and seeing in my world, from everyone else’s reality.
To a point where the hospital was the only option next to suicide.
I’ve spent most of my life in survival mode which makes it very difficult to function, let alone hold down a job.
I got my first job when I was fifteen years old.
I grew up in a paycheck to paycheck household, and needed my own money.
I got a job at a sandwich shop, and it helped me pay for my first car.
Since then, I honestly cannot remember how many jobs I’ve had.
Especially if I’m counting the jobs that don’t make the resume or application cut.
Since I was fifteen, I would estimate that I’ve easily had a new job every year – with the exception of very few.
With quite a few places, I was there for less than a month, or even a week.
I’ve quit, been fired, I’ve walked out and not come back from lunch breaks.
I’ve quietly ducked out, but I’ve also stormed out while still cussing out the manager as I go.
So many jobs I would never tell other employers about.
So many jobs have never taken up space in my memory.
Now, I’m at a point in life now where I can’t work.
My psychosis symptoms surface and I take my anger out on coworkers and customers.
I can’t think straight.
I can’t stop it.
Not at this point in my life, not yet, if ever.
My dysfunction and illnesses consume me.
I lash out at coworkers, customers, and especially bosses.
I cannot stand authority figures.
I get into weekly spats with coworkers.
I subconsciously and unknowingly misinterpret almost every situation or interaction that arises at every job I’ve ever had.
I blow things out of proportion, and have many, many more constant miscommunications.
I have a tendency to be “too much”.
At least, that’s the phrase I’ve heard the most over my life.
And I do get intense.
I get defensive very quickly as well.
Intensity should be my middle name, really.
I feel everything so much.
My feelings are amplified by thousands within me, they spill out violently at times.
But, I’ve also been told my happiness is instantly contagious.
So, I guess it may be a partially okay thing to be able to be so intense.
The happy moments are fleeting, but they’re ever so beautiful when I’m in the middle of them.
Honestly, the amount of ups and downs and mixed in delusions that I have make it almost impossible to work anymore.
It’s embarrassing to not be able to work.
But it’s debilitating to have a job and not be able to do it or be “normal” while at it.
I will overreact to someone or something and will eventually voice my anti establishment viewpoint.
It’s usually provoked, but actually, how so?
I need to watch what leads up to that point more.
I could not be as provoked as I thought.
But, it honestly does feel like no matter how hard I try to be constructive, I come off as rude and antagonizing.
I misinterpret a lot, most, I’d even say, conversations that happen at work.
Especially with managers.
I have a hard time taking direction.
Not because I don’t understand, but usually because I forget details and make up my own way half way through.
I usually can’t see things through.
I start up something else, or completely duplicate a task I just finished, not realizing I had just done it until finishing again.
I used to place double orders on accident all the time for stores I worked with over the years.
I mean, it’s product, It’ll sell eventually, but it wasn’t needed.
I have realized all of this crap while writing.
How I can’t retain simple things.
I’ve never really been able to listen through my delusions that are constantly rambling and clouding me.
It’s bizarre to notice that this is a huge pattern.
For so long, so long, I haven’t been able to live in the same reality as everyone else.
The only direction I can look is through my own eyes, and my own eyes do not know the difference between what my mind tells myself I see, and what I actually see.
I really don’t feel as though I have any real foreseeable future to offer.
I’m not saying that to be dramatic, it just is.
I’m not ever going to be even close to well off monetarily.
In fact, quite the opposite.
I have a very, very limited income.
And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Physically, I’ve run myself into the ground.
Along with my Rheumatoid Arthritis that surfaced in my mid twenties, I’ve had very physical jobs more often than not since I was a teenager.
I have successfully wrecked my lower back and both knees over the years.
I took these jobs over a desk job because they were usually much more flexible, and had no uniform policies.
I tried to be “normal” with a desk job at one point, but I couldn’t do it.
I ended up coming in whenever the hell I wanted to throughout the morning, just to quit after months of getting talked to about my tardiness and attitude problem.
But, I could not pull myself out of bed at that time.
It was not possible.
My mind won’t let my body take care of itself a lot of the time.
Self care has always been difficult for me.
Getting enough sleep is seemingly impossible.
I shower when I absolutely have to.
Not because of anything specific, it’s just annoying to me to have to shower all the time.
It’s super annoying.
And I become very unmotivated to self care very quickly.
Besides, why would I take care of something I hate?
I didn’t know that having a job was one of the only reasons I was regularly showering, though.
Because it’s not socially acceptable to be even slightly dirty, or smell different when in public.
I’ve been spoken to on several occasions for poor hygiene at work over the years.
And the day I couldn’t report to anyone anymore, was the day I stopped showering but once or twice a week.
It’s starting to pick back up with the new medication and therapy recently.
Which is promising.
But it’s very difficult to do basic, self care things more than once every five, six days for me.
When I’m by myself, like I have been the last few years, I honestly don’t care about my hygiene.
Especially when I continuously come in and out of these psychosis episodes and fogginess like I have been.
My brain can’t handle it all.
It’s entirely too intense.
My brain quickly shuts the self care part of itself off when it’s overwhelmed.
I become tired and lethargic, foggy and frustrated.
I physically become very heavy feeling and subdued.
But, slowly I try to move forward, even if I have to take a couple steps back here and there..
It’s blatantly obvious to me now why a lot of my past employers have spoken with me about my hygiene.
In hindsight, they were probably more concerned for my well-being than anything.
But, it came off to me as judgemental, unsupportive and attacking.
So, of course, I always got spicy with them.
But, I still don’t understand the full gravity of how my mental health issues affected me at the time.
I’m starting to though.
2 responses to “Employment Issues”
I feel for you here. I can relate to a lot of this, although maybe not at the same level of severity. I think I’ve been fortunate that I can still hold a job and help support my family, because that was in doubt at times. However, I often feel like I have no choice but to force myself to function when I really don’t feel capable.
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It’s a very difficult subject, and I’m proud of you for still working, even if you don’t feel capable at times. I’m fortunate enough to be in a situation where I have been able to wait for disability to be approved. It takes it’s own toll tho. I have put in countless hours for all types of assistance and it makes me want to smash things at times, but I’m also endlessly grateful for the programs I’ve found and the family I have to help me right now. It takes just as much courage to fold as it does to bluff, but I hear you and you can find a balance, I’m sure of it. The best schedule I found for myself was 4-10 hr shifts. Was off Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday every week.. it made it tolerable for quite a few years.. I believe in you ✨✨✨
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