Can you answer this question: a career, job or nothing? It’s funny because I never thought of myself as a “writer”. My siblings were the ones who wore that hat. Over the years I have come to realize, it was a high school teacher putting me down that contributed to my uneasiness at pursuing anything related to writing. Until now.
Throughout the years all I have wanted to be is a contributing member of society.
I had all these great plans. I was planning to get my chemical engineering degree. You can read my experience in Electroconvulsive Therapy on the Brain. Then, I wanted to go on to Medical school or get my Biomedical Engineering Degree.
That is one of the points here: I had a choice. I had NO choice with the plans I made. Bipolar disorder ripped the choice away from me!
I have pretty much had every job or possible career you can think of. From engineering intern to retail to personal trainer to pizza delivery man. I tell you this to show you something that those who are afflicted with bipolar disorder must face: maintaining a job or career is almost next to near impossible. My mind and body just does not fit into the pigeonholed 8-5 workday, Monday – Friday.
At first, I felt low about this sentiment. I had to break through that paradigm. You see, bipolar disorder is not a disease about just moods. It is so much more complicated than that.
Fluctuation in energy is a big issue for me. I must take advantage when my energy is high or higher than normal to get anything done. That is why this online venture is so conducive to someone with a mental illness. You can plan your work around your illness and not your illness around your work.
A Contributing Member of Society
Now, back to the whole idea of being a contributing member of society. It took me awhile to figure out the true meaning of that statement. You do not have to work to contribute. You can volunteer, take care of your parents, stay-at-home with the kids and more. The point is you do not have to work an 8-5pm job to contribute and feel like you are doing something. I think this is important for someone with bipolar disorder to realize. Society has these preconstructed roles and norms that if you do not fit into, you are immediately considered an outcast.
I may, in a future post, talk a little bit about this blog and website I have up and going. If you have an idea and want it to come to fruition, it is one of the easiest ways to go. Plus, I have extremely enjoyed learning about social media and the various platforms. I bring this up because if I wake up and cannot get out of bed, I can wait until later to work on my blog, website, etc. Once I have the energy, I can tackle it with all my might. The cool thing about blogging is you really should be posting anywhere from one to three times a week. Is this something you would be interested in learning about?
However, if you are depressed and cannot get out of bed for a week, you just do it when you can. You do not have someone huffing and puffing over your shoulder and watching your every move.
Some individuals with bipolar disorder have found a way to fit into this corporate mold. If that is you, then I give you all the kudos in the world.
I just want everyone to feel like they are a part of life, that they are contributors and should feel the love.
Do not ever discount yourself as an individual because of who you are. This illness will wreak havoc upon yourself and life. Anything I can do to help you feel better, I will.
I remember I used to speak to my dad about this very thing. You know, getting a job, and making it into a career. He would say “John, focus on your health, and put it first. That is the most important.”
I love my dad for telling me that. After all, what good am I to my family if I am not healthy? If you do not have your health, you cannot do much.
When I used to get depressed more often, I would get incapacitated to the point where I could not function. I learned firsthand and at some young age the importance of health and well-being.
So, when I am here discussing the importance of careers and jobs, always take heed of the advice I learned from my father: focus on your health and put it first.
Until next time, take care of yourself. Please do not forget to sign-up to be a part of The Bipolar Battle Community. You can do this by signing your name and e-mail. Thank-you and take-care! 😊