It’s been my way for as long as I can remember that honesty is the best policy, even when it’s ugly, even when it makes you vulnerable, and even when people might discriminate against you or hurt you for it. I’ve gotten in more trouble for telling too much truth than I ever did for hiding anything, but I’ve also seen a lot of good come from being up front and direct instead of beating around the bush.
That’s why I wrote this letter to my bosses today. It talks about a mental breakdown I had last night and why I need a few days off. What they decide to do with me now will really show me the kind of organization I’m working for (which by definition is supposed to be a “supportive employment” agency.) If they decide to fire me, then it shows that I’ve really been delusional all along and I belong on general assistance, despite all the years of fighting to make an honest living like any normal person.
I’m writing this message now to avoid any unnecessary emotional meltdowns.
I’d like before anything to apologize for how I handled this morning. My judgement was bad, and had I been thinking clearly, I would have called off the night before, but I was panicked and so desperately trying to hold everything together that it just all melted down. My judgement is only objectively clear enough now to let you know that, for the good of everyone involved, I probably shouldn’t be used at work for a few days, and why.
I’m undergoing a meds adjustment, and there was some confusion yesterday evening on how much I was supposed to take (which of course wound up being way too much.) My partner and I were stuck on new years eve trying to figure out if any of the clinics were open or if I should just blow it off and try to go to work in the morning and work through it, and the end result was a psychotic break, a suicide attempt and me passing out. I woke up late the next morning, rushed for the bus, and along with general confusion and loss of bodily functions, I finally had my first clear thought, which was that I was not fit for work today. I came home and slept it off, and as I write this I’m still unable to walk in a straight line.
I don’t tell you guys this because I want your sympathy, think you want to hear it, or even have the time for the drama in my personal life.
I write it all out honestly because I want you to know that, until after my meds are re-adjusted on Thursday, this is the sort of thing I’m going through, and it’s not professional. It’s not safe. My judgement is bad, I had a panic attack over some paperwork on the floor not being picked up yesterday for example. I wouldn’t trust me to ensure the safety and security of a building full of fire hydrants right now, let alone living human beings with rights and concerns.
I really hate to do this too, because I had gotten so little work this last month. I really wanted that holiday shift today. But I won’t fake being “okay” and put other people’s safety in jeopardy for some extra cash. I hope you understand- I’m trying so hard to deal with this professionally and without getting anyone hurt.
(It would probably good to get some kind of meeting with Schenelle soon, if she’s who I want to talk to about mental health concerns in the workplace.)
Again, I am so sorry that I had to write this message. This is the worst that things have gotten for me in a work context, but I have confidence that there are programs in place to help me through this with Solutions. Thanks for being there and I hope I get better enough to keep making the team look good.
-Thomas LJ Harper
Maybe I’m crazy for sending that kind of a message. Maybe that wasn’t professional, but it was as far as I could tell. If it wasn’t, then maybe I do deserve to get fired.
As you can probably tell, I’m struggling with whether all this non-profit stuff is a delusion as well, or if I really should keep at it.
The only thing I know right now is that I’m at a heightened state of emotion with distorted values and judgement and any large decisions I need to make should be held off until I’m more mentally stable.
So, I’m taking a hiatus from Tote Street Studios. I’ll still be studying feverishly in my given areas, working on programs, and putting little things together in the shadows. But as for the pressure of scheduled updates, presentations, starting recruitment, and basically putting out anything that means people are depending on me, it’s just too much for now. I need to get my meds adjusted, is all, and until then, I don’t want to screw anything up.
So updates to TSS, the volunteer program, and all related hijinks are on standby until further notice. A lot of people were getting excited about what I had to offer. I’m sorry that all I have to offer for now is the broken state of my mind. This is a terrible start to the new year.
But don’t forget to read about these guys if you find what I have to say discouraging.
I hope you’re having a better new year than I.