I used to look pretty. Now I look old and my hair is thin. My face tells a story of depression. People are looking at me. I think my neighbours ARE talking about me after all. I don't deserve to be here. I am no good.
This time everything is different. Once again I have won this battle but this time there is not much left of me. I gave all I've got. I am wounded, exhausted and self-esteem gone. I am exposed and scared.
I am nothing.
I crashed in June after six months of mixed episode. It happened overnight. It was my first mixed episode and the only thing I learned was how low I can go. It took ten months of my life and all good I saw in myself.
I used to be confident. I liked what I saw when I looked at a mirror. I was as good as anybody else, even talented in some things. On my manic days I was arrogant, felt really good about myself and believed there was nothing I could do. Now I can barely look at my reflection.
I am no more than a shadow.
A sick leave is doing no good anymore. I have too much time to think when I am home alone. I've become passive. World out there is scary. I think people are looking at me. Negative thoughts everywhere I go. Mind nearly delutional. Are they following me?
I lost my position as the head of my unit. I am still going to be a boss but not as big manager than I used to be. I was the only competent person to that job but I guess me and my bipolar disorder are a threat. It hurts, really does. Stigma that comes with this illness is real.
So I am going back to work in two weeks. Whoever have been away from work because of mental illness, knows how hard it is. All those questions in the air that nobody dares to ask. This is my second time in a year. Two comebacks in one year. No wonder I am torn apart.
Rest of my sick leave won't give me enough time to put myself back together. It's gonna take much more than that. Working again will probably bring back some confidence but I need to adress this issue before that. I have to do some research how to improve self-esteem. I'm anxious all the time and it has to change. My self-image must change.