My bipolar brilliance got me fired
I was fired. Thank goodness.
Not one of my finest moments. And I am still occasionally hurt and confused. My boss rejected me. Not in a drive-by, but actively and daily, for the last year of our three year engagement. And I had been brilliant. My ideas had come in rapid succession – how to improve marketing, people management, operations. In fact, how to revolutionise the way the firm worked and I alone could drive the change. And if he wasn’t on sides, I worked around him, because surely he would see the bright light, right ahead? I was blocked, many times. For once I didn’t play the corporate game, because this was a firm, and I was a Partner, and I took the risk.
I remember, during the death-throws, my decision to stick to my job specification, which made me sullen and disengaged. It reminded me of earlier in my career, when a senior told me to ‘be less enthusiastic’. Yes – less me. Actually, be less of the best part of me.
And I made sure my boss felt my wrath (you know, in a quiet revolt, office-polite, passive-aggressive kind of way). After a few months, the inevitable happened, and we unwound our awkward stand-off.
I was the victim and looked high and low for another job; declined mentally to a three-week hospital stay in Ward F; and was then into a work ‘separation’ discussion. I suspect that this second trip to Ward F did not help my case. In summary, my performance in the third year – after shooting the lights out – took a nose dive with no recovery in sight. A business won’t and can’t carry the burden. I hadn’t played the game, I hadn’t hidden my diagnosis of Bipolar 11, and understandably, the commercial world needs allegiance and steady, assured delivery.
Want to hear my re-frame?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my working career for 20+ years. Now I have taken a break to spend time with my kids.
I may go back to corporate. But for now, I have the privilege of not having to chase the big money. Thank you family, thank you Second Hubby, and thank you me, for saving and negotiating. I have time for soccer matches (literally) and pottery.
So…. thank goodness for life’s curve balls. I would never have stepped off the corporate ladder voluntary. Working gave me all the security, validation and independence I needed. To be clear – it paid for the kids’ school fees, the mortgage, food. And I am still motivated by all those things – in good time. Perhaps even in an environment where I can bring my crazy, my enthusiasm – and then weeks of checking-out, without having to duck and dive.
Because now I see more options open to me. I see what most people actually do … get busy with life, earn a living, and don’t fear being found out for who they really are.
Thank Goodness, and thank you me.