El Diablo

Dancing Devil

After my break, I was sent back to Texas to recover.  I spent about 5 months recuperating in the comfort of my parents home.  During that time, I read tons of books and visited with one of my favorite people in the world, J.  J accepted what had happened and really took the time to talk to me and treat me like a normal person – I will forever be in his debt.

Recovery was proving a slow process…I was seeing a psychiatrist, in therapy, and was making major strides to regain my sanity.  Hard work, but I was conquering all the paranoia that had encompassed my mind in the months after the big B.

During my stay, I needed a haircut.  As I had lived in my hometown during my graduate studies, I already had a hairstylist who I trusted with my locks and I was excited to see her again.  In all the time I had known her, she had transformed from a rebel into a hardcore, born-again Catholic.  In her eyes, Jesus Christ was the only way to live and His Word was golden.  She loved to quote scripture and attempt to convert people to her church.  As I am not religious, I tolerated these invitations because she is very talented with a pair of scissors and I liked her as a person.

I was very selective about telling people of my break and why I had moved back to the area, but I trusted her and as gals do during “hairapy” sessions, I felt that I could trust her with my big secret.  I spilled the beans about my diagnosis, but held back little tidbits of the facts to protect myself.  She immediately decided to pray over me–in Spanish.  I had no idea what she was actually saying, but appreciated the sentiment.

Then, she informed me that I should move back to Texas and give up my evil ways in New Orleans.  She had the nerve to say that I wasn’t actually sick, I was “possessed by the devil” and needed Jesus in my life to rid myself of the demons in my mind.

Needless to say, I was taken aback and a little hurt by her words.  At that point, I had three doctors whom had confirmed my diagnosis.  I was in treatment, I was taking medication and fighting quite hard to be as close to my normal self as possible.  Her statement made me question a lot, as I was still paranoid about many things.

I told a few of my most precious supporters about what she said and they told me she was full of shit.  Granted, I had dabbled in Tarot leading up to my break, but, I still don’t think it is anything more than a fun card game.  However, her statement made me question things.  At that point in time, I questioned the possibility that me dabbling in Tarot had brought about bad luck and accelerated my break, but I didn’t believe I was possessed by the devil.

New Orleans is a very spiritually dynamic city.  It is old.  When you come into the city from away, the energy in the air is palpable.  I believe the devil exists and is alive and well in New Orleans, however, there is also a lot of “white light” positivity to be had as well.

Bottom line, people who are diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder are not possessed by the devil.  It is a scientifically proven chemical imbalance in your brain and 9 times out of 10, the only way to manage it is through medication, good doctors, and therapy.  In my opinion, to imply that someone else needs to find God is rude and unwarranted.  You don’t know their life.  I believe everyone is entitled to his or her own faith, however, involving the devil into your personal, ignorant diagnosis of another person is dismissive and makes you guilty of a “holier than thou” attitude.

Don’t impose your personal faith on someone who confides in you about his or her mental illness.  Prayers and support are nice, but mental conditions are not something you can simply “pray away”.  Needless to say, I haven’t seen her since that devil of a day.

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That Time I Was Fired for Being Nice

Too NiceI used to have a job as an assistant to a very high powered woman.  Think of Meryl Streep’s character in “The Devil Wears Prada”.  It was intense.  I was excited to get this job and attacked it full force, but I never received the proper training on the software we were required to use, so I was always kind of a step behind.  Not a good thing when you are working for a high powered executive.  I asked for help, and it was given (not without some grumbles), but nothing ever stuck.  Maybe I had a mental block about what I was learning–I don’t know.  What I do know is I tried my hardest to do the best job I knew how to do for this woman.

That job lasted about nine months.  Then I was called into the HR Department Head’s office where he and my direct boss were waiting for me.  They went on a whole diatribe about how I worked so hard and I was very resourceful about many aspects of my job, but I was just not “getting it”.  Then they said, “But you’re so nice!”.  As if that was supposed to make me feel better.

Around this time, my husband and I were about to sign on the dotted line for a house we were trying to buy.  Literally, the next day we were supposed to begin closing proceedings.  I was shocked, devastated…pretty much every emotion one feels when being fired from a job you have worked so hard for.  I promptly called our realtor and told her the deal was off, that I had lost my job and we had to stop all proceedings.

Looking back, I realize I was starting to become manic while I was working for this woman.  Hindsight really is 20/20.  But, at least I know that I’m a nice, professional person and I realized through the process of working, quitting, and being fired from a handful of jobs surrounding my break that I want to work with passionate people who aren’t just married to his or her job.

The last job I had was working for a silk screen printing company.  I don’t typically have allergies, but I was allergic to that job.  Literally allergic to the paints they used to print those shirts.  So much so that I missed work.  They told me they were okay with my absences, and I was finally getting my health under control.  Then, they fired me.  I wasn’t as shocked this last time.  I’ve come to accept being fired as a huge possibility when working for someone.  I sometimes feel like I just can’t catch a break.

HOWEVER.  I had a job interview today. It was with a temp agency, so basically, I’m hired but they have to place me in jobs.   I’ve been out of work for about 9 months now.  I was registered to work with a temp agency before, but haven’t had much luck working temp assignments through them.  I took a break from sending out my resume around the holidays, but I’m back at it full force again.  I really hope that this new gig can help me gain full time employment – I have had success with temp agencies in the past.  Let’s hope this one sticks.  Wish me luck!