This is what it’s like having bipolar disorder and falling down the stairs….True story: The stairs collapsed underneath me.
I was feeling pretty good today, unlike past weeks where I had hip bursitis or a rib out of place that the osteopath must put back in. Mentally, I’ve been stable. Check. So, naturally, with both hemispheres of mental and physical in good shape, I went out for a walk, heading over to East Coast Park outside my condo.
But I didn’t get very far.
As I walked past the kiddy pool I said hello to an upstairs nanny and glanced over at an outdoor yoga class on the pool deck. As I walked down the wooden deck stairs to head over to the back gate the stair fucking broke. Pieces of it whipped underneath me and I went crashing down the god damn stairs, landing full-on on my right knee. I jarred my hip and my sensitive rib cage. But I jumped up right away to ascertain how hurt I was. I was OK initially. But I was pissssssed off.
I grabbed part of the broken stair as the yoga teacher came over to see why I “fell”. I promptly told her the stair broke under me and showed her the piece. She held her hand out as if to take it from me and I was like, “Hey, I’m taking this over to the management office now, not giving it to you!” Yeah, I was that mad that I snapped at the yoga teacher.
After taking obligatory photos of the broken steps, I marched, limped, stomped over to the condo management office. They were stunned as I breezed in demanding an injury report and immediate action. They had no idea what I was asking for. It took two tries but finally got them to view the stairs and fill out the report. I had to keep making them edit the paper saying it was NOT me slipping! It was the fucking stair that broke underneath me!
Nuances, you say. But, ah, legal shit. Legalese—it was not my fault, it was negligence on the condo management side. And watch out for the bipolar over-analyzing, awfuling and catastrophizing because that’s all going on in my head already, too.
The rational bottom line, however, is that the condo management did not keep the stairs safe, which is crazy since tons of people must traverse that walkway daily. An old person or toddler would have ended up really hurt. This 47-year-old battle axe is still pretty sore and my knee looks like shit. But I can walk and I’ve yet to head over to the clinic for scans. I just don’t want to deal with it. Because, bipolar.
I emailed back and forth with a lawyer and he, as Singapore does, was clear he felt the building would indeed say I was clumsy and avoid admitting fault. This just made even more pissed off and upset. I have time stamps on emails I sent with photos immediately after the incident, along with an injury report and 6 witnesses. This all makes it harder for the bipolar mind to absorb.
Just in case you didn’t get me, I didn’t fall the down the fucking stairs on my own; the stairs broke!
After ruminating about this for a while, because bipolar minds are great at replaying traumatic events and conflict, I had to attend a nice luncheon at the Hilton on Orchard Road with some nice AWA ladies who are all chairs of the special interest groups for the association. I was invited because I am starting a support group for expat ladies because, well, people need help. It’s called the Listen Ladies, after the Simpson episode where Marge becomes the Listen Lady at the church, helping people solve their problems.
With this, I realized, “Shit, I’m good at helping other people, but I’m shit at being resilient myself.”
I’m really ashamed of this.
Yeah, I’m human.
Yeah, you don’t have to be 100% together yourself to help others.
Yeah, I have a lot of experience.
Yeah, the stairs broke.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.
But it still makes me feel like a failure. I know I gotta get over this because I have a lot of work to do in terms of teaching, mentoring and hosting a variety of people over the next few months. I can’t afford to feel bad about myself. I can’t afford to let bipolar tendencies get to me.
When I get like this and other issues come up, like my sweet little girl acting up or the possibility of dealing with another medical issue not related to me falling down the stairs, I get overwhelmed and I can’t even type on my iPhone. That’s like the bellwether of when I need to take some more meds—I can’t type. I hit the wrong letters and then I get more and more angry about it and frustrated for not being able to communicate fast enough. This is from the woman who types 120+ words a minute on a keyboard, like now.
So that’s what’s up. That’s what I decided was worth a blog post after many months of silence.
Having bipolar disorder makes it really hard to be resilient, BTW. It’s a constant struggle. I get so upset my stomach muscles hurt and only sedatives relieves it. It’s fucking hard.
I know many of you can relate to a bad day. We all have them, yes, I know this. But how do you bounce back? How did you learn that?
I’m always amazed at people who can navigate and overcome a very bad day. My husband is one of them. The guy just amazes me.
I’d love to hear from you, dear reader, how you manage to build up your resilience. Please share! Comment or PM me.
Thanks for reading.