I never thought about this. I even thought my illness would be a strength when applying for job on projects for people with similar vulnerabilities. I guess not. They will ditch me, it seems. That is a little unfair I think. If I am asked about illnesses at a job interview, how can I tell the truth without waving the job goodbye?
Over and out.
I want to tell you a story. It started with a sick girl. She had a stomach ache for years. She tried anything she could think of in terms of special diets. It made a different but never treated the cause.
This girl had a panic attack in the school canteen. No big deal.
This girl went travelling. Maybe things would be better away from home. But not really. New faces, new structures, new challenges. She stopped eating.
This girl came home. She was exhausted – and thin. No big deal.
She started working. Still thin. Her days went on like in a mist. Unclear. Everyone saw something was wrong.
That was my first depression. I share it with you because I have never said it out loud to anyone. I have never said how sick I was when I was 18.
Thanks for listening. Over and out.
I slowly opened my eyes from my second nap this afternoon. The world was still there. Dammit.
It has been a lazy Sunday. I have taken 1-2 hours naps and there has been nothing else I wanted to do today. I wanted to sleep and sleep the world far away. Also I have cried.
Sleep is a common topic when you are depressed or bipolar, right? Either you sleep to much or too little or you are depended on a strict sleep routine. Sleep matters. I sleep when I am down. I sleep because I am tired, but I also sleep to make the world go away.
I feel better, I think, as the months from my last depression goes by, but I still hit these holes of darkness. Deep holes. This time I think it was provoked by starting a temp job last week. Or drinking beers with friends last night. What ever I did, it was dump.
I am getting tired again. Apparently that is still possible. I will go to bed soon to celebrate that I have been outside the door today – twice.
Over and out.
Last time I went to the career coach I had to fill out a branding map of myself, my personality and values. I learned that that is pretty hard. It is even harder because it didn’t match what I did fill out some years back. And I realise that it might have changed over those years because life changes you, but still.
Last time I did this personal branding/personality test, I was very ‘sociable and pragmatic’, ‘analytical’ and ‘open for change’ for being an introvert. Today I am ‘analytical’ and ‘structured’. Not so open for change anymore (I had a minor break-down at a party last weekend – how is that for flexible and open for change..) I have learned to be structured instead because it suits my mind better.
I want write it of as growing up but I am not sure. I truly hope I am the only one who feels like my personality has changed a little during the disorder?
Over and out.
I have been there. I have been the friend and I have been the depressed. Each role has its challenges. It is hard for everyone.
My story as a friend started years ago and it hasn’t ended. In this time it has changed who the depressed friend is. Each case is individual but I found that in all cases my friend needed me to listen. So I tried. I tried to listen and to be supportive. Before my last depression I didn’t understand that I could have helped them by lifting some of the weight of their shoulders for instance by doing their grocery shopping. I know that now.
I have heard (from an article by a psychiatrist) that it is important to familiarise yourself with the illness, remind that it is only temporary and take the initiative to go and do something. These are things I would have liked to know years ago so I could have been a better friend.
While i exoect understanding of my friends, I am much more demanding when it comes to my family. I can’t even imagine how difficult it must have been (and still is) for them. What I demand of my family is unfair. I expect that they support me, hold me when I cry, and help me with practical stuff. Basically everything. It is not a spoken demand, but the problem is that I simply can’t do it by myself.
I feel with my friends and family but while I’m in the darkness I can’t think of anyone else but me. And even that is too much. I wish I didn’t burden them so much. But my wishes do not do the dishes or clean at home.
All those tears, all those dishes and dinners and grocery shopping, all those calls on my behalf (I have a hard time making a phone call when i am depressed). My loved ones really work hard. For me. Thank you.
Over and out.
I am unemployed but the job hunt is challenging. It is not because of the economy since it is fine these days with an unemployment rate on 4.2 per cent. It is slightly higher for those with master’s in social science such as me. I am applying for the moment and staying at home to write the required number of applications and more. I must admit that I am getting bored of staying home, and especially because I have problems with my concentration. I just can’t keep focused. Even the fun stuff limited. I simply can’t concentrated to watch a whole film or knit for that long. It is too much for my brain.
What really bothers me though is that I have problem with my memory and I talk gibberish or am inappropriate (but not on purpose) most of the time. And my brain does not seem to work. Even a simple picture analysis is impossible for me at the moment. All this makes me seems unengaged and like I don’t care. But I do. At least about most things.
I would like to blame my drugs and get a new combination because that would be an active solution. A solution where you act. The other solution is the one my doctors prescribe: Wait! What I describe could be left-over symptoms from my depression and the cognitive difficulties that follows. But who knows? I don’t that much is certain.
This makes it so difficult for me to go to a job interview (I tried last week and I sucked!). Even the step before that, job application, is insanely difficult. How do you describe your working competences and your personal qualities when you have just had a depression and your self-esteem is hiding under the floor boards?
The gibberish/inappropriate talk is what from time to time breaks the silence. I am more silent than talking. It didn’t use to be this bad. When I say something I usually comes out wrong. It feels like a curse on my tongue. My brain does not seem to be working. I wish i could do something but maybe I have to sit on my hands and wait if I should listen to the doctors. So I will. And I will make my cognitive exercises. But if you know what I should do I can’t wait to hear from you.
Over and out.
This is not about stigma, but about owning your diagnosis: Your relation to the illness (which according to me is different than the stigma, which I define as the general point of view on mental health/bipolar). Owning my diagnosis is difficult for me though since I have problems accepting my illness for good. For some reason it has been easy enough to say ‘I am ill’ to myself but accepting that I can’t do everything due to my disorder, that is somehow hard for me.
So owning it: I know it is a little late to bring up Carrie Fisher, however, she said something brilliant. I read an article about her in which she said that if you can claim it (the disorder) you can own it. You see it in other cases like immigrant boys in Denmark reclaiming degrading names as their own and reclaim it in their external identity.
So I believe her – Carrie Fisher – when she say that it is better to own it that letting it stay in the destructive shadows. And is mental health concept of bipolar any different from other social concepts? I mean, it is still an idea with a word, connotation, and an ability to affect external identity – just like other markers of identity.
I try to claim my illness every time I tell about it. I try to be open about it and share. I try to believe and communicate that it is a disorder and not my personality. It is not my fault but all the stupid things I did, it was me doing it. I mean I did it, I was stupid, but there was a reason behind, which explains some of it. The disorder is my explanation but not my excuse – and it can never be. But at the end of the day I am not that good at separating me and the disorder as I want to be.
The disorder is very present on my mind, as you see, and it is partly because I just had a nine months depression and partly because I have had episodes overlapping each other the past years. It takes up a lot of room in my (due-to-depression-extremely-) limited mind. A lot.
Over and out.