Tag Archive: health

Fired (in 2010)


Almost Five years ago, a few weeks if not the week before Christmas, I was fired. Fired from a church. At the time, I was playing piano for the jazz service twice a month and playing keyboard for the contemporary service every week. The contemporary service was a lot of stress. However, the income helped support my family.

I had recently been married a few months prior and had also just gotten primary custody of my daughter who was 12 at the time. I was also in the first semester of my doctoral program at the University of Houston. Lots of positive change, but lots of stress. 

The last time I played music for that church was a Wednesday night rehearsal. It was the same day I was diagnosed by psychiatrist as having bipolar disorder. 

I had been having severe manic symptoms for a few months. I was overwhelmed to say the least and had an emotional breakdown during the rehearsal at church. I broke down crying because I was messing up on a song. A few days later I was fired. 

Funny, it was the first time that I was ever fired and that firing involved the group of people praying. I wonder if they prayed for God’s will in the decision to fire me? Basically, they were looking to cover their own asses in my opinion. 
We can’t have the service go wrong, right?

I have struggled with this resentment for years, and gone through periods where I let go of it and periods where I took the angst back. 

I don’t know at what time I went back to the church to attend the service that I had been fired from. I even read re-friended the worship leader on Facebook. (a friendship I may lose after posting this)

I am a Christian, and I do believe in Jesus. I believe that he died for me. I want to be very careful not to bash a church or bashing a pastor or bashing a worship leader. But was that the “Christian thing to do?”

No notice. No time to prepare for loss of income and.

I have questions: did the show compassion? Did they do anything to help me? Um… would Jesus have fired me? Ok, ok so Jesus isn’t in the business of running a big church. That’s a gig for people and people are callable. 

Was firing me a week before Christmas in someway a gift?

I can say this, I am very glad that I do not work there anymore. For what it’s worth, I’m grateful for the six months that I worked there. I’m still a member of the Methodist Church, albeit a different one in a different part of town. 

Did they fire me because I have bipolar disorder? Did they fire me because I was emotional in rehearsal and that was the final straw? 

I must not leave out that I was called on the carpet once or twice before because I was struggling with organization.

Whatever the reason, this is an attempt at letting go once and for all. I will not name names and seek to fully forgive those who made that decision to fire someone with a recently diagnosed mental illness, one which they were aware of. 

avoiding mania

I don’t want to go manic.

I have a mood disorder, Bipolar I, and generally have both a depressed and manic spell each month.

I go through this cycle often.

I absolutely welcome not being depressed anymore, as I came out of the darkness last Thursday. Subtly. But on Saturday, I saw my first flashes of “fast time” though. I immediately checked in with dudes in my support group, some in recovery and one who is clean/sober and also has bipolar. I made the commitment not to eat sugar or take caffeine, as suggested by one of my dudes. Sugar is like cocaine to the manic brain. Same for caffeine. Those are two of my last devices to cope with. Sugar especially when I have depression.

I’ve done well with that so far. I also started my walks again. Walking is good for both sides of the spectrum, of course. I walked for an hour yesterday. Today, 45 mins.

Here’s where it gets tricky: SLEEP. I went to bed Saturday around 10:30pm and made it a point to turn my wi-fi off to help fight my compulsion to be on my phone. I used my meditation app Simply Being and got some rest. Then I woke at 2:45am…

For the day.

I played my church job which I am super grateful for for many reasons. I avoided caffeinated coffee and the mmmmm lovely Shipley’s doughnuts at the church. After a father’s day gathering with the dad’s on my wife’s side of the family, I left to get home to work on a paper that’s due today. I wanted to work all day with no naps but that wasn’t going to be possible.

I am grateful I could nap for an hour. What I must keep in mind is that my illness is getting better. It really is better. When full-blown manic, sleep is quite elusive.

By 8pm, it felt like the middle of the night and I pushed through to write about and listed to Debussy’s Pagodes more. 

My goal was to sleep 10-6am then get up and work for the day. Instead, boom! I’m wide awake 3.5hrs later.

I’ve gotten some good progress and have to question why if I haven’t blogged in months am I doing so now?

It is because I’m frustrated and tired of this. I don’t want to have bipolar disorder. I just want to be cool. Maybe a little up, a little down, but not this shit. Depression is for the fucking birds and I can fight it, but I cannot seem to beat it. It’s as if I’m going to be depressed for at least 10 days out of the month. Ugh! And mania, well, although everything feels good, I often lose track of time, spend money I don’t have, and other painful things.

Having written that two things come to mind. It is getting better. I am on an incline where the spectrum of mental health is concerned. I have more tools to cope than when I was diagnosed with BP in 2010. So… I’ll keep taking my meds, I will check in with my doctors, I will carve out time to walk everyday, I’ll go to more meetings, I will stay connected, I will schedule meals (I forget to eat), I will meditate, and lastly, I will avoid caffeine and sugar.

I don’t have to go full blown manic, I can harness my superpowers for good.

I will write a good paper on my analysis of Debussy. It’s 4:25am and the world is quiet. Class isn’t until 2pm.

I don’t like this last “I will” statement… I will stay offline until this evening. #yikes

Thank you for reading this.