If there is one thing we all have in common, it’s that bipolar disorder has a major impact on our jobs. Some of us have bipolar and are able to work regular jobs. Some of us can’t and need to be on disability. There is no right or wrong way of living your life. For me, I did work and I’m trying to get back into it.
Next month is going to be the one year mark for my unemployment. At the end of February last year, I was one of many who were laid off. It was a sudden, company-wide decision in the midst of promotions and raises, of which I thought I was receiving. Upon hearing the news that day, I immediately became suicidal and underwent a deep dark depression that I wouldn’t get out of.
For months, all I could do was lie in bed and cry. I was so ashamed of myself. For some reason, I told myself it was all my fault for losing my job.
I chastised myself over and over again about how I could’ve been stronger, that I shouldn’t have gone to the hospital and taken time off of work when I was depressed. That I should’ve “sucked it up” and focused harder on being the best worker. Even now admitting this is more anxiety-inducing than I can even explain. This isn’t easy for me to talk about. All I want to do is blame myself for not being strong enough, when I had the job I loved, to make sure to do everything in my power to keep it.
But that isn’t healthy or true. Circumstances beyond my control put me out of a job. I remind myself every day of that. But I’ll admit right now that I have been and am still struggling fiercely with it. You see, for the longest time, my parents have told me that my worth as a person came from how successful I was in life. So if I don’t have an amazing job as a molecular biologist right now then I’m a failure and not worth anything. And those words: failure, loser, weak, etc., swirl around endlessly in my head despite the fact that they aren’t true.
So what can I do to fix that?
#1) Well the first thing I need to do is stop feeling sorry for myself. Nothing good is going to come out of me lying in bed calling myself a loser. And I know that people who truly care about me will only support me and be there for me.
#2) Next thing, which is probably the most important, stop caring about what other people think. This one is the biggest one and most difficult for me. There is nothing wrong with not working if you have bipolar. I am so much more than a job. I’m a gamer, wine enthusiast, cat mom, wife, godmother, etc. One of these things doesn’t define me, they all do.
#3) Last but not least, I need a game plan. Over the past few months, I’ve been slowly picking myself up and back together. I want to go back to work and feel like I’m ready now. So I’m doing everything I can to work towards my goal to get back to work.
With my friends and family to support me, I’ll be able to tackle whatever new trials come my way in 2017. For me, the most important thing I need to do is keep going. Don’t give up. I gave up last year. I decided that I was worthless and I’ll never make my parents proud. But that’s not true and it doesn’t matter what my parents think of me, or anyone for that matter. What’s important is I take care of myself first and foremost. Everything else will fall into place once that’s done.
Don’t let bipolar take away your dreams and aspirations. If there is something you want, go for it. Don’t let this mental disorder hold you back from the person you want to be.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community