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Bipolar Disorder: Navigating the Shame I Feel in Working Part-Time

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Two years ago, I was at my weekend retail job, silently cursing to myself while collecting trash in the Target Starbucks. A line was forming as moms rolled up with crying babies in strollers and espresso machines hissed.

Clad in a red hoodie, blue jeans, and black boots, I shook the gossamer plastic garbage bag to fill it with air. This was my corner of the world for 90 seconds.

I was inside looking out at people who I assumed hadn’t experienced a manic episode that ruined their lives. My face was hot.

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