Well, it finally happened, and much sooner than I had anticipated, actually.
I was delivered a cupcake at work, filled with rage, hostility, and aggression, topped with sprinkles of paranoia and terror.
No sooner had I realized the cupcake was poisoned when I also realized this mixed episode was looking to be a doozy, something that warranted immediate self-ejection from work and removal from the proximity of my co-workers who were lined up, totally unaware, like cannon fodder.
Last week I was greeted with the flu, and spent my entire labor day holiday weekend laying on the couch “resting” to get better. My mood had taken a drastic hit into depression land, but by the time Tuesday came along things were much improved.
But that’s when the second wave of flu hit me, Tuesday night I writhed around as a stomach flu had snuck in while my immune defenses were down. And this one was ten times worse than the first go as far as pain and general discomfort were concerned. Interrupted sleep, nausea so intense I couldn’t even eat macaroni and cheese (which is to me as hay is to horses), and sinus headaches immune to everything I threw at them.
The fastest way I’ve discovered to launch me into a chaotic state is through physical pain. Even everyday pain like headaches or cramps are liable to turn me from bystander to bitch within an hour, and last year after my six week migraine I quickly plummeted from bad to much worse, requiring a hospital stay after experiencing that much pain.
After this week’s particularly painful flu, I made a big mistake. I went into work Friday morning. Up to that point I had been experiencing depressive symptoms with a few sporadic little mixed moments… which really should have been more of a tipoff.
It wasn’t until I was growling angrily at someone that it hit me, and I fled to the restroom. Instead of a peaceful moment where I could collect my thoughts, two women were standing right inside the door to the restroom having a seriously loud conversation. The shill echoes immediately made my ice pick headache much worse, and I used this pain as my excuse to make a run for it.
I went to work Friday because a fear (that co-workers tend to get a little frustrated when someone isn’t working as much as they are) was pressing itself upon me relentlessly. I couldn’t say how much of that fear is true, I’ve seen it in the past but the amount of paranoia that bloomed when I arrived at work Friday probably blew the whole thing far out of proportion.
Of course, now I can’t help but kick myself for not seeing the signs for a potential mixed episode in the works and staying home. After all, is it worse to not show up at all, or to make a total ass of oneself and bring the hostile to “hostile work environment”?
That’s what I thought. Not showing up at all. Or, at least, I guess I’d rather be considered a flake as opposed to the daughter of the devil, overlord of evil.
As of this moment, I couldn’t tell you how much damage I did, or what the consequences will be. I do know there were raised voices, and enough frustration in my blood to make me shake in a pretty enraged way, but I feel fairly safe in assuming the frustration was primarily mine, and things always look differently from an outside perspective. Whether that difference will be for better or worse, I don’t know.