Working Again

I have not had a steady job since early in 2005 due to my mental illness. I have been on disability and not worked at all since 2007. Two weeks ago, I returned from a long trip across many time zones and started working part-time as a certified peer specialist intern within two days.

I have trained for the position, and the internship is shaping up to be a good one. However, I have to inform my readers that I’m exhausted. It leaves me drained. After the first few days on the job, I found myself sleeping ten-hour nights.

I want so much to write about the job, but I’m rebuilding my stamina at this point. I hope you will show me patience. I will return to regular writing as soon as possible.

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Working and Bipolar

I am happy to announce that after discovering, waiting, researching, waiting, applying, waiting, being accepted, waiting, training, and waiting, I am now a Certified Peer Specialist Intern in mental health licensed by the state I live in.

I am going on a three-week trip to attend a family reunion and visit my parents. I will leave next week and return in early June. As soon as I return, I will start my internship at the state-run Community Mental Health Clinic here. That’s right. I have a job.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to work in the field of mental health. I want to help. I want to recover.

Feeling Surreal

Can time be experienced as more than simple aging and decay?

Can time be experienced as more than simple aging and decay?

I wrote recently how my negative self-talk had stopped. I’m happy to report there’s been no resurgence. I won’t call this permanent, but there’s a sea change in my head. I glow.

My psychiatric nurse practitioner took one look at me yesterday and noticed. I’m beaming.

I have been studying for my job training classes. They hoisted an enormous 3-ring binder on us bursting at the seams with information, and we will be tested on it at the end of the training. There will be a written and an oral test. I’m concentrating on the present. I’m studying and retaining as much as possible. The test isn’t today.

Where did this patience come from? When did this ability to live here now appear?

I can honestly say I awoke after the training and realized I had a head clear of the negative bombardment I’d known all my life. I’m questioning when these qualities I’ve seen in others came to me.

I’ll be going for another week of training in a matter of days, and I am truly excited. One of the next lessons will be about battling negative self-talk. Ha! It appears that all I needed was to write a WRAP, and – poof! – they were gone.

Job Training

I have written a couple of posts on this blog about a job I applied for. It’s called a Peer Specialist. I began to toy with the idea of working a year ago. I applied for the training program 6 or 7 months ago. I was accepted for that training 4 or 5 months ago only to have it delayed to the new year.

Now it’s the new year, and I finally have the schedule in hand. I will be certified to work with people just like me, people with mental illness. I honestly don’t know the full capacity of the job yet. I don’t know full extent of the training even. I only know it will take 5 weeks. I am very excited, but I’m also worried.

I tried working in late 2008 and failed miserably. However, that was a high stress job. The one thing I’m certain of in my new endeavor is that I will set my own hours. It will be very part-time. I will not save the world with this new position. I will simply be working one-on-one with others who have a mental illness.

One day at a time, I will stretch and grow in my new job. This field is entirely new for me as a provider. I have only been a consumer. I will be part of the network of support for others.

I will have a chance to pay it forward.

A Job Part 2

I wrote about applying for a job here. Well, after many months of waiting, I found out I have the job. Actually, I’ve been accepted for job training. This is big news for this bipolar person since I didn’t expect to work again. I don’t do well under stress to put it mildly.

I am going to be trained as a Peer Specialist. I will work with others just like me who have been diagnosed with mental illness and may be struggling with anything from bureaucratic paperwork to daily life routines. I will be giving back what has been given to me. I am going to be part of the network of support.

The organizers of the training sent me all the dates and said they would be back in touch with travel arrangements soon. Their next correspondence did indeed come soon, but it was with news the training was being delayed three months. I am still excited and looking forward to the little bit of traveling I’ll get to do to go to the training site.

It feels good to be wanted.