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Jess’s Story: My Ups & Downs

I have been in the longest depressive state since being diagnosed. It started around September 2021. I had many reasons to feel positive about life. I moved into a condominium with a roommate, I had a car, a great job, and had been stable for about 2 years. Then everything started to go downhill. My father became really sick, he stopped talking and walking and doing things for himself. We took him to the hospital and he began to go through alcohol detox. It turns out he was drinking every single day for years. His detox took about 5 weeks. During this time he was hallucinating and was very aggressive and confused. He was then diagnosed with liver failure, Parkinson’s, and dementia.

I continued to stay strong during the day but my Bipolar depression was taking me down a windward spiral. The job that I had started in September was so stressful. I was on call 24/7. If I couldn’t find coverage for a house I had to go in and fill the shift myself which happened very often. My boss was always in a bad mood and would yell at management and blame us for mistakes other employees made. It was the most stressful job I have ever had.

I began to heavily drink alcohol as a coping mechanism, after work almost daily and on the weekends. I began to experiment with other drugs to just numb out the pain and the stress from everyday life. Besides going to work, I didn’t do anything else. I was so depressed, I stopped cleaning around the apartment, stopped doing laundry, and would sleep 12-14 hours a day. I just went to work to pay bills.

The week of January 9th became really stressful for me. We had 3 weeks until the state inspection for the company and my boss wanted me to stay late and work 12 hours days on top of being on call 24/7. She became really stressed with the inspection and started to yell at us even more. I worked 14 days straight and on that 14th day there was a snow storm and it took me 2 hours to get home. I got home at 2 am and she wanted me to go back to work at 9 am.

Working without a day off and constant stress and pressure from my boss made me lose myself completely. I called out the next day and day after day for 2 weeks. I didn’t leave my house for the entire 2 weeks, I didn’t speak to anyone, and wasn’t taking care of myself. I explained to my boss what I was going through. She told me she understood and for me to take my time to get better. On Friday 1/28 she asked me to go to the office and sign some paperwork. Although I was feeling suicidal I went in because I knew it was important and it would be quick. I went in and signed the papers and she asked me when I was coming back to work, I said I’m starting to feel better so hopefully soon. On Monday morning I woke up and decided to go to work because I was low on money and was feeling 10% better.

 I went to work Monday and she wasn’t in the office, so I called her and the first thing she told me is that she wanted me to drop off the work phone at the office. I told her I came into work and she said she needed to speak to me. So I didn’t want to just sit there and do nothing until she came in. So I started to work, I completed a lot of tasks because she didn’t come in until 1:30 pm. She immediately calls me into her office, we sit down and she tells me I’m a good worker and she doesn’t want to let me go but she had already offered my position to someone else because she thinks that the job is too stressful for my mental health and she doesn’t think I can handle it. She then offered me a position where I would make 27,000 dollars less per year. I told her I would think about it.

I couldn’t help but feel like I was being kicked while I was already down at one of the lowest points in my mental health journey. I was having suicidal thoughts and couldn’t get out of bed for 2 weeks. I know it sounds bad but I have been wishing for a manic episode just so I can feel happy and not depressed. Just so that I can feel like myself again and be productive.

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