Even before I knew that I had bipolar disorder, I knew that I had cycles. I had enough self-awareness to know that I was productive in six week cycles. This is how I did my job, six weeks at a time. I would go weeks or months without accomplishing hardly anything and then BOOM I would get the juice and do six months worth of work in six weeks. During these weeks, I could hardly tear myself away from my desk. I skipped breakfast and lunch. I lived off coffee.
And in those six week spurts, which I now know were hypo-manic episodes, I was confident, arrogant, brilliant and successful. And when they were over I would become listless, unmotivated, dull-witted, and depressed.
Well now, I have no bursts of productivity. No innovation. No confidence. I’m trudging along. I only do what’s asked of me, and I’m struggling to even do that. Sometimes I look at my software code, and can’t even understand how I did what I did.
On the upside, I don’t get into endless debates. I don’t make inappropriate comments in meetings. And I don’t try to fuck my coworkers.
So how do I work without mania? Well, I suppose I get my work done one little bit at a time. I take it in little bites. It’s hard. I waste a lot of time blogging or listening to music or reading because some days my brain just can’t break through to get the job done.
I worry that they’ll notice, and that my job will be in jeopardy. Technically, I can cry disability. But I’d rather not. I’d rather be back on top. I wonder if my boss misses manic me. I was a work horse…at least in six week spurts.
Sorry, no advice to give on this subject. Perhaps you could give me some.
I recommend reading this article: Bipolar and the Americans With Disabilities Act