Bipolar Girl Goes Back to School

So, I’m going to grad school. I didn’t want to write anything about it until it felt a surer thing. It does now, because I’ve enrolled in classes after waiting for some bureaucracy crap to allow me to; and I’ve bought all my books. Having my schedule, talking to my advisor, and knowing I’ll be a legitimate student come January 16th has made me feel more confident about my decision. I’m going for my Master’s in English at University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL). Now the only thing to be anxious about is finding out what kind of financial aid I’ll get, which won’t be for a few days.

I have a lot to write about here, since the last post was a very negative, slightly caustic jeremiad shortly after losing my full-time salaried job and not knowing what to do next. Well, I did go to several interviews at marketing companies that would have paid +40K; but I didn’t get callbacks and I knew the positions weren’t a fit for me at all. And I’m not a good bullshitter, so if I know something’s not right, I won’t exactly put on a game face. I don’t even have a game face. I also almost fell for a job selling life-insurance, but cancelled my second interview last minute because I realized how sketch it was.

What ended up happening is that I took a job at St. Louis Bread Company (or Panera, to everyone else in the country). It was truly depressing for me at first, I quickly didn’t get along with some of the people there, and I had trouble as a cashier interacting with customers. However, I became proud of myself for not quitting out of despair, and improving in my job. After the stress of my wedding passed in early October, my attitude greatly lifted and I focused on all the silver-linings: my improvements at a job that doesn’t come naturally to me, the coworkers I have whom I do like, decent managers, and some positive interactions with customers. Once I looked more at the silver-linings than the adversities, I stopped wanting to quit and didn’t feel like dying every morning I had to wake up at 4am for a 5am shift. But, I have learned that other employees still see me as being bad at my job, which definitely has lowered my spirits. I told a coworker that I am now resigned to not being good at my job, because I’ve tried my hardest but people still talk shit about me. It doesn’t keep me from being silver-linings girl, but I’m thinking about looking for a different job. The thing is, Bread Co. (Panera) is a stressful place, because it’s incredibly busy and has enormous (though delicious) food offerings that make it difficult to sustain a stress-free “oasis” for guests–it becomes impractical under the sheer weight. It might not be as stressful to me if more of the employees were nurturing and helped me learn without being bitches to me. But it’s impossible for lots of these people to not be bitches, and I admit that I am a very sensitive person who prefers non-bitches to teach me things. Maybe I’m asking for too much, but I don’t think so. I was planning to become a very proficient employee at Panera, but resignation to my ineptitude has dampened my outlook.

Also, I’m changing up my medication. I’ve been on the mood stabilizer Lamictal for, what, seven years now? And have gone through a few antidepressants to supplement it, not thoroughly satisfied. I asked my psychiatrist about going on an antipsychotic, something that is particularly good for bipolar depression; rather than another SSRI like Cymbalta, which is what I’ve been on for awhile. I’ve been on a trial of Latuda for the past six weeks. I’ve had the side effect of feeling uncomfortable in my body while I’m trying to go to sleep. I think it’s a very mild form of the Parkinson’s-like side effects I’ve read about. It has gotten better since I’ve been on 40mg for a few weeks, but I’m starting my 60mg dosage tonight and am nervous that the feeling will return. However, I am optimistic that I will be able to replace my SSRI with something I think is more catered to my problems.

-Hazelnut Pie

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