I lost a job today. No, I’m still employed, but an opportunity for a new, permanent position is gone. I made it through the initial screening, a phone interview and a face to face interview, but apparently I wasn’t good enough for the job. I’m a contractor, and my current employment could end any day, so losing the chance for a more secure position is not only disappointing, but scary.
It’s funny how much impact life’s disappointments can have on mood. I’ve been doing really well lately and have felt better than I have in years. I knew there was a good chance that I wouldn’t get the new job, but when I got the rejection email it threw me into a tailspin. I’m struggling to pull up out of this, but the stable happy mood has been overwhelmed with despair and fear.
Everyone’s life has disappointments. It’s impossible to live without someone or something letting you down or being less than expected. And when these things happen, it can be upsetting or put you in a bad mood. At least speaking for myself, being bipolar significantly increases the long term impact. The smallest of things can turn into a horrific depression in a blink of an eye. It could be news about a job or criticism from a friend, even something as simple as a look. My bipolar brain magnifies and distorts the negative and can destroy my self confidence and self image. Was I not hired because I’ve held and lost many jobs as a result of my dramatic mood swings? Has my over the top behaviors alienated myself from my friends? Are people tired of dealing with me being so down so often? It must be obvious that I’m mentally ill. In most cases I’ve found that I’m just overreacting and imagining that it’s more than it really is. One of my favorite quotes is “I’ve had a lot of troubles in my life, and most of them never happened”. I’ve wasted so much energy and time worrying about issues that existed only in my mind. I quickly build up problems to an overwhelming point that leaves me hopeless and despondent; there’s just no way out.
Conversely, it doesn’t take much to trigger a manic episode either. I can be excited about going on a trip, or anticipating a holiday, or even getting a new ‘toy’ like a new computer or camera. The excitement can quickly get out of control, and the next thing you know I’m bouncing off the walls. Making a new friend, getting a compliment or just the feeling that I’ve done a good job can get me going too. It really doesn’t take much to start the high.
Most people can roll with the disappointments and let downs that come with living without major difficulties. My bipolar illness creates more difficulties and consequences then necessary, often to the point of devastation dealing with the day to day. I’m also a rapid cycler, so every little thing, negative or positive, sets me off in a new direction, sometimes several times a day.
So I didn’t get the job. And down I go…..