The Pressures of Being a Working Bipolar Parent During a Pandemic

The Pressures of Being a Working Bipolar Parent During a Pandemic

Last week I had a small episode. Luckily the medications did their job and it was contained in the nic of time. Not only the medications, but I sought out help from the ER staff and family who supported me through my transition.

But why was my brain so overactive to begin with? What pressures was I facing? Could it have been prevented? And what can we learn about this in the future.

When I got offered an interview at Canada Post in Hamilton, I knew a few things. One, I thought it was too early. Two, I wanted to at least try it and see how it goes. Three, my family disagreed that I should work during a pandemic. Four, I knew we would need more finances to get through Christmas. Five, I knew the guy that set off my first episode might work at that depot (I knew he worked in Hamilton but it was 7 years ago, and there were 4 depots in Hamilton). With all the information I had, I figured I could at least do the training and then see what happens.

Once I started working more regularly, I noticed that I still felt unconnected with work. I felt like I was Mrs. Claus working with the elves, but I didn’t feel like I belonged. Eventually, someone at work said I could transfer to Cambridge, which I was told during training wasn’t possible as a temp. The next day after I heard that I could switch, I saw the guy I feared to see. It wasn’t momentous, but it definitely felt strange about the timing. Still, it wasn’t like I was going to do anything wrong. But my thoughts did wander, as did my heart, so I repent of and move forward with.

But afterwards, I started noticing that I was irritable, frustrated, angry, and sad leaving the house… and it was exacerbated when I was working in the cold winter rain for 6 hours. I was miserable. And I injured my knee as well.

At home, I was upset that my child was watching too much TV in general. And I really wanted to follow the science behind not showing TV to little infants up until 1.5 years old. But that was clearly not being followed, and I disliked that immensely. So I took it out on my family; I was mad at the TV issue when really I was just mad that I wasn’t home and in control of my child’s environment like I should be. So I have made the decision to stay home. I haven’t gone to work all week even though I was called in all week.

My psychiatrist didn’t think it was medications related (like too high or too low) but rather, situational. She thinks now that I am at home, I should get better.

It was really tough on me. I was reminded strongly that God is my rescue and my refuge, and that He is in my brokenness. But I am better for it. I also need to work on my boundaries; keeping mine steady and strong while also respecting other people’s boundaries. And finally, letting go of old dreams so that I can make new dreams.

I think the only way I could have prevented it was to listen to my heart at the very beginning that said it was too early to go back to work. I knew it was, but I went with it anyway, as if saying I believed God was wrong with His timing.

Now, my husband and I have plans to get clients for site development so that we can work from home and we can work on a husband and wife ministry simultaneously. So everything happens for a reason.