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    Advice Needed
    delora_anne posted:
    I just returned to work from a 7 week leave of absence due to a major mixed bipolar episode. I finally returned full time again, despite my wishes (the job & coworkers triggers the episodes), and i'm experiencing problems again. First off, there is a woman I work with who seems to always have it in for me, she is a total bully. She has been warned about it multiple times by management. Today is the first time since i've been back that she has pulled a stunt on me. She thinks she is being sly, but she isn't. It makes me so mad I start shaking and have to walk away, and then the rest of the day i'm totally p-o-ed, lol! I have mixed episodes, so I start getting anxious/agitated and cry. This time I was able to avoid the crying but man I was so mad! Customer service makes me anxious too and they told me I wouldn't have to do that, but today they laid that back on me as well. I can't just quit because I need a job. I've been searching, my doctors and I all know i'm in the wrong career entirely. I haven't been able to find anything else. The job is going to give me a stroke or heart attack one of these days from the stress! I just can't take anymore BS. I don't fit in with anyone there either. They are all happy/perky/fake, OMG that is so cute people, and i'm so NOT. LOL. I have no interests in common and I could not be more different from them.
    lexismom11 responded:
    Hello Delora_Anne;

    The advice I would give you is what you already know you need to do. That would be to try and find a less stressful line of work. I know that is easier said then done. You don't need to be working somewhere that is going to trigger episodes. I have been on medical leave several times and I know how hard it is to come back to the same stress you had to get away from. In fact, I am on medical leave right now because of an episode. I eventually went to part time work at a different company because I could not handle it anymore. Is this something that is possible for you? Returning part time? I don't know what your financial situation is like. I am just throwing an idea out. Right now I feel like I am looking around at all these happy people and why can't I be one of them? I understand the feeling of not fitting in because I feel it too. Let us know how everything goes.
    delora_anne replied to lexismom11's response:
    My biggest fear I guess is that of failure. I only have 4 weeks of fmla left and it has to last me until next March. I got sent home today because I was sick and it triggered another episode. I am worried I am going to run out of leave and get fired before I am able to find another job. Financially I can't work part time right now, I can in a couple years once my husbands new job is secure, but that doesn't help me right now. In addition to the bipolar I have a ton of other health issues and its always one thing after another. The crying episodes are embarrassing too, I did it at the doctor's office and at work again today.
    delora_anne responded:
    I am also concerned that I may not be able to handle any job. They can't make my job much less stressful than it already is, and every job has stress. I just wonder if I'll be happy with anything. I know how you feel, wondering why you can't be one of those happy people.
    melly2210 replied to delora_anne's response:
    If you are feeling this way right now, then you really need to start filing for Social Security now because it takes so long to get approved. This would give you a break eventually. Being fired is simply more evidence towards that situation.

    I was doing customer service too when I fell apart. Panic attacks, outright anger, crying jags. They even called the ambulance on me a few times because the episodes were so bad. As part of my FMLA, I negotiated that I could take additional breaks when things would get bad. Yes, it ate up the time from my FMLA, but it helped me to cope temporarily. You know how they record calls for quality? You could actually hear my demeanor change when things hit the fan. And at the end, I did have a manager who just didn't give a rat's butt about me. She hated me because I bucked her system and took my disputes to higher management. You can imagine how that ended.

    Keep hanging in there. And I'd continue to ask HR for a position off the phones. And if things don't work out, be sure to document all of your requests carefully. With your dx, you fall under ADA protection which makes it harder for them to terminate rightfully.

    Good luck!

    Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops... at all. ~Emily Dickinson

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