I need advice. I have bipolar disorder along with borderline personality disorder and im not sure how im supposed to function anymore. I got diagnosed like 5 years ago. I guess the thing I need advice about it getting a job and dealing with all this.

mentalillnessmouse:

Hey anon. I am so sorry you are in this situation 😦 I know exactly how that feels…it seems pretty hopeless, huh?

It IS possible, though. Mood swings and delusions and disordered thinking DON’T have to control your life. 

Obviously, being on the right medication is super important. That’s what made the difference for me, when I started to think more often, “Huh. Maybe I CAN do things!” And I was slowly able to get up and be productive more and more often. I firmly believe that there IS a medication that will work for everyone, but sometimes, it takes a while to find it. DON’T GIVE UP if your medication isn’t working right away. Talk to your doctor. I can’t stress that enough.

I’d say, start out with a part time job. Get back into the swing of things. BUT DON’T overstimulate yourself. Don’t put too much responsibility on yourself yet. Don’t rush it!

Just go with the flow as you gradually have more practice under your belt, and you start to become more familiar with how you personally deal with things in public/at work. Over time, you’ll probably recognize when there’s more you could be doing. 

For me, once I stopped feeling things SO overwhelmingly all the time, I realized I was bored. The feeling took up so much of my energy that I didn’t really think about DOING anything. But when the extreme feelings weren’t there all the time anymore, I realized I actually needed something else to do. 

So as you get better and better, you’ll be able to handle more and more, and I think you’ll recognize when that happens, when you find yourself getting bored more often.

So start out slowly and work your way up to full-time, or as many hours as you can realistically handle. You will still have relapses sometimes. THAT IS OKAY! 

I honestly probably think at least once a day, “I cannot handle this, how am I going to be able to come back here tomorrow?! How am I going to keep this job!?” But I’ve realized at this point, that I actually can. I CAN come back tomorrow, and work well, and keep my job. It seems hopeless and devastating in the moment, but the next day, you realize you’re able to keep going.

One thing I also did when I started working was to be very picky about the jobs I was applying for. I do NOT recommend that to ANY person who is able to do anything, but for people with debilitating mental illness, there are just some things that would put us in a situation where we set ourselves up to fail. Some jobs are just not a good fit for us. 

So keep that in mind while you’re applying, and especially when you’re interviewing. It goes both ways. If you feel like it might not be a good environment for you to work there, don’t work there! It’s totally ok to say no to a job if you feel like you aren’t the best fit for it. 

I actually ended up quitting a job that was just emotionally draining me. The people who worked there were very distressing, and I could not get along with a certain co worker. Everything about the place just bothered me. So when it got to the point that I couldn’t control my outbursts of tears at my desk, I knew it was time to just call it quits for my own sake and mental well-being.

So then I got a job here, where I work full-time now, and it was such a better fit for me. It’s a really small company owned by really nice, down to earth people. They’re understanding of my mental illness, and they’re very supportive of me taking care of myself.

I would recommend you talk to your potential boss when you feel the time is right, and just make them aware of your situation, and that sometimes you just literally can’t help it. If they don’t understand, then you don’t want to work for them, anyway. Find the right fit for you.

I know it’s so hard to even comprehend or start thinking about. I honestly never thought I would be able to have a full-time job. But, here I am! It is really hard, I’m not going to lie. But it’s okay. I CAN handle it. And it gets better and better over time 🙂

Hang in there, Jessi

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