Saturday, May 1, 2010

My Mid-40's - Crash and Burn!

In 1998, I was 45 and working for a Consulting Firm who hired out Psychologists to work with companies in strategic planning, training, and utilization of personnel. There were all kinds of personalities in the firm. The woman I was working for was high up on the food chain, controlling, crabby and wound very tightly. I was getting very wound up myself and stressed out to the max. After I'd been there about six months and was in the middle of a huge project, I fell to the floor in my small office, no longer able to walk or speak. Naturally they called 911. As soon as the paramedics got there they tried to talk to me about my medical history because no one knew it. I had taken oodles of psychological testing and skills testing for the job, but didn't know anyone there well enough to have confided in them what everyone practically at my present job knows: I am bipolar. They said to you have any major medical history we should know about? I finally gasped: bi-polar. They practically yelled in front of all the people gathered in the hallway to try to find out why I was on the floor and uncharacteristically speechless: Oh you're BIPOLAR!!! That's most likely related then! I was furious. I couldn't move! I felt stiff as a carp as the saying goes. So they rushed me to Methodist Hospital which does NOT have a psych unit by the way. I figured my job was cooked at that place after their announcement to the general staff. Being psychologists, and their underlings, they were paranoid about that sort of thing.

A couple of days later in the hospital I find out from the doctors I had suffered a stress overload, something I had not heard of and most people haven't. It was a complete stress burnout reaction and my body said enough! So it quit walking and talking! I had my walking back by then but the talking took a bit. I even required speech therapy which was difficult for me...I love love love to talk!

Well I was finished in the full-time work place. I never got back. My bi-polar disorder skipped ahead and only allowed me to work part-time after that. My career was over.

It was very hard for me to accept, still is some days even though I have had a nice part-time somewhat challenging job -- the same one -- for six years now. I am very blessed really. I'm sure many people who have something like that happen to them and are bi-polar never really come back at all, so I thank God that I still have a good mind and ability to work and write to all of you!

Thanks for listening. The fifties I do not crash and burn I promise :)