Category Archives: Employment and Career

Sharing Experiences That Can Be A Warning To Some

 

As a mental health advocate, I am sometimes asked to share my story with others. This was the case this past weekend when a young ladies parents asked me to share my story with their daughter. Their daughter is a young lady who after achieving a four-year degree in nursing last year she took her first job as a healthcare professional.  Not long into her new job she began to exhibit the symptoms that lead to her diagnosis of bipolar II disorder. The young lady was devasted to find she could no longer continue in the career she had worked so hard for. At the end of our time together I think she understood that this is only a setback and her life can still be wonderful even with bipolar disorder.

Bipolar sufferers are very caring people no matter what this illness does to us. For those reasons, many of us wind up working in health care in one way or another. The problem is that healthcare is a 24/7 business. It is rare to find a position in healthcare that does not involve having to work revolving shifts. That is the nature of health care.

Here is the problem, as a bipolar sufferer to go from day shift to afternoon shift to night shift, or the twelve-hour day/night rotation, and keep up that rotation we inevitably fall prey to our illness.  This does not happen some of the time, it happens all the time.

We spend years going to school, which is nine to five, to have this great career in healthcare. Then we show up on the job or our practicums, internships, residency or whatever and find after a short time we just can’t handle the changing shifts. I know because it happened to me.

I went to school to be a care-aide to work with the elderly and the mentally and physically challenged. Having become more than a few thousand dollars in debt from two years at the technical school I found I could not do the job because I could not do the shift rotation.

It was not the jobs fault, it is not the schools’ fault, it is not my employer’s fault. It was not even my bipolar disorders fault.  I could not do the job because I have bipolar disorder and having to change shifts every week just does not work for someone with this illness. It is like someone with diabetes taking a job as a sugary treat taste tester, it just is not going to work out well.

If you have bipolar disorder and your caring heart is leading you to go thousands of dollars in debt to be a health care provider in any capacity, please don’t. It is difficult to suffer from bipolar disorder, be thousands of dollars in debt and unable to work in the field you have studied so hard to be in. It tends to make you angry and resentful, which is not a good way to live.

Please share this post if you know someone who has bipolar disorder and is considering a career in healthcare.

As we conclude this week’s blog post always remember our battle with bipolar disorder is with and in our minds. Our battle is with our illness not with other people, places, situations or other external things.  Remember our battle for mental health will always be with our minds and our minds alone.

The great inspirational speaker, Jim Rohn, said:” Work harder on yourself than anything else.”

I say,” Work hard on yourself and everything else falls into place like magic.”

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

 

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BLOG OF THE WEEK:

Many other people blog on bipolar and related subjects. Mental wellness is all about knowledge and learning about ourselves. The more informed we are the easier our struggles may be. Each week I attach a blog written by someone else that I found interesting that may inform you as well.  This is another author’s work I am just attaching their blog for you.  I hope you enjoy this week’s blog from the time to Change Website, Author Unknown.

www.time-to-change.org.uk/blog/bipolar-my-best-friend-and-worst-enemy

Success is how you look at it

 

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I have failed lots, but the man who had the most failures that I know of is Thomas Edison. He failed 10,000 plus times to invent the light bulb and only had one success in that area. Pretty bad really, 10,000 failures and only one success.

That is the thing; it is how you look at it, and for me, how to define success.

Today I am super successful and that success keeps growing. Wait a minute I am a Janitor/Goat farmer with no goats at the moment. How can I be successful? I am not rich or famous; I can meet my bills and have a little left over.

I am happy, joyous and free – to me that is successful. I am useful to so many people. I am asked to come around to places all the time. People actually like me, not put up with me.

I have heard so many BP suffers talk about giving up on success. Who’s success or definition of success? I am not successful if I do not have a Lamborghini? Would a Lamborghini even be practical in your life?

We are bombarded with things that say you must have a career.  For me a career is just a job with a suit on. Or that we have to do this or that.

I used to think like that too, and tried and tried. But I was never any good at it.

I have made and lost millions, had my own businesses and been a manager in other people companies. I was not good at any of those things. Why? Because I can not handle stress and listening to a lot of other BP suffers, they can’t either.

Stress is a feeling and what makes you stressed may not bother me. But in most cases I have found that if we, who have BP, feel stress we fold like a bad poker hand.

So we have to redefine success for ourselves. Each of us individually, success is a word and it follows ambition. I found when I came across a definition of ambition that worked for me, my journey to success started.

Do not look at what others define as ambition or success; find your own; you will be amazed at what that will do for you. If you make your own definitions and follow them, stress does not appear. I know because I have little or no stress in my life. Yet this last two weeks I have worked almost 120 hours and still had time to do my other interests and I am not bouncing off the walls. Because I love what I do at all times. I love my job and I love my life. I say that either out loud or silently hundreds of times a day to myself, so I cannot help but believe it.

 

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere

Employment and Careers

“They are the unfortunate people who have mistaken their mission……..Their ambitions is forever outrunning their capabilities.”  Edmund Morris

Our shared illness causes us to fail in a lot of areas of our lives until we sincerely embark on the road to mental wellness. We fail most miserably in the area of employment. We spend years going to school where many of us implode at the level of higher education. If we graduate we find we are incapable of handling the work we are assigned in the profession we have chosen and dreamed about for years. All of which causes us to think we are failures. We are not failures, our untreated illness causes the failure.

One of the big issues with BP is that we, as sufferers, cannot handle stress. Our untreated mental state does not allow us to learn the skills needed to objectively look at stress and how to deal with stress. I never say manage stress because trying to manage stress is akin to herding cats, in my opinion. Learning the skills to deal with stress takes the demand of management out of the equation. It becomes a learnable skill like tying my shoes and if practiced enough can become as much of a habit as tying my shoes.

My thinking in the area of employment and career was all wrong, like my thinking in a lot of areas of my life. Having a career carried way to much weight in my life which caused stress and led to failure. I redefined career for myself with this simple statement, “A career is a job with a suit on.”  This worked for me and really took the pressure off, because a career is just a label on a job. The weight we put on the idea of career, a label, far outweighs its real importance. This weight we place on the idea of career is what causes us to “mistake our mission” as Edmund Morris says.

My idea of career and my actual mission in this life were as far apart as the poles on this earth. In finding my real mission, or calling, which is to help others through my experiences and what I have learned, rather than my career in health care with its erratic shift changes and extreme pressure.

This is the first part of my change in thinking on employment and career. Tomorrow I will discuss the other part of the employment puzzle which is stated in the quote of Edmund Morris, our definition, or idea, of ambition. “Our ambition exceeded our capabilities” which again caused feelings of failure.  Failure is not failure if there is a cause beyond our control and BP is way beyond our control.

Keep to the path, the hard one. The easy one does not go anywhere.

Today’s Site: https://www.facebook.com/newlifeoutlook.bipolar?fref=nf