I know the warning signs.
I know when I’m on the edge and about to explode — or implode — emotionally. I’m close to that point now and doing everything I can to ward it off. It’s part of being bipolar, I suppose, and it’s not a fun part.
The good news is I’m aware of what’s happening and I know what steps to take to help myself. It’s not a perfect system, and I’m still at risk of losing it. But it’s better than it used to be.
My job isn’t helping the situation. I’m working as a tax preparer, and of course, this week is crunch week. The deadline for filing this year is April 18 (the 15th is on Saturday and Monday the 17th is a holiday in Washington D.C.), so I’m pushing my limits everyday except Sunday (we have Easter off) for the next week. It’s not a good thing when you have a mental illness.
My co-workers are great; the other woman in the office I’m assigned to is just about the perfect co-worker, and my supervisor somehow has managed to keep her cool and a good sense of humor despite the fact she’s worked every day since December. Without that, I don’t know if I’d be doing as well.
But there’s always a thread that might cause everything to unravel, and that thread was pulled today.
It started last Thursday, when the local trash collectors picked up my garbage can for alleged non-payment, and I very nearly lost it. I had paid my bill two weeks before, well before the due date. The lady in customer service, who was very nice and professional, did her best to get the container back to me by yesterday, so I’d have it for trash pick-up today.
It’s important to note here that the garbage company provides the trash cans, and we’re required to use them. No personal cans allowed.
They didn’t deliver. Heather, the customer service lady, had told me I could use my own container, so I thought, at least there’s a way they’ll pick up the garbage. I was forced to drag out my old, personal trash can from under the back porch in my townhouse, and haul it up a very steep hill, where I slipped more than once, sending that container down the slope. I was frustrated and angry and doing my best to keep it together.
But events conspired against me, or so it seemed in my agitated state. One team from the garbage collection agency dropped off my seized garbage can today at 1:55. My personal garbage can had already been placed out front for collection, and I wasn’t about to transfer all my trash from one can to the other.
So the pick-up team shows up at 1:58, and refuses to pick up my garbage because I did have one of their assigned containers, which we are in general required to use, but I hadn’t used it.
Are you kidding me?
I called customer service again, and thankfully, Heather answered my call. First, I apologized for directing my anger toward her the week before. Then, because I knew the thread was being pulled, I (relatively calmly) told her I was even angrier today. That acknowledgment helped me keep it together with her.
If you think things got better after that, you are sadly mistaken, but I have already written too much about my garbage. Suffice to say, that garbage collection company is on my list.
But here’s the thing: I’ve been taking care of myself by getting enough sleep & exercise, as well as employing little tricks I’ve learned that help me keep my cool. I didn’t completely fall apart. I’m still feeling on the edge, but I just might make it.
It takes more than one pulled thread to make me unravel these days.
Image Credits: (weaving) courtesy of Pixabay; (Retro Woman, Garbage Can, Retro Happy Woman) © Bigstock.