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    A Year Without Work & Hopeless
    Mick1987 posted:
    Hi, I just joined and this is my first post. Tomorrow is the 1 year anniversary of being laid off. In this past year, I haven't been able to make it successfully through interviews because of my lack of concentration, problems with memory re-call, and anxiety. I freeze up or draw blanks to questions. I try to rehearse but that doesn't help. It's humiliating.

    I was re-diagnosed from bipolar II to bipolar I in this time, after hospitalization for a suicide attempt. I had worked in high stress jobs in computer software. I've considered looking at other fields, but at this point, I don't feel like I could hold ANY job. I am plagued with thoughts of worthlessness, and each interview reinforces that thought -- despite my cognitive therapy.

    This cycle is exhausting and perpetual. Any advice out there would be greatly appreciated.
    mattthecat responded:
    Welcome Mick 1987. Have you thought about getting social security disability? bipolar is counted as one of the illnesses covered by social security disability.

    Hope this suggestion helps.

    Mick1987 replied to mattthecat's response:
    Thanks Matt! Yes, I have applied and the application is pending. Unfortunately, I'm actually worried about succeeding there; e.g., what will my family and friends think, etc. I know that shouldn't matter, but it does.

    mattthecat replied to Mick1987's response:
    Mick1987 I have a couple of suggestions. First you should see if you can find some one who will not judge you and will at least try to understand your situation to get your back when no one else will. Second you should fight to get social security disability.Even get a lawyer to push it through if need be. It will give you the ability to survive on your own and take the stress of needing a job off your shoulders. it will also give you time and ability to get counselling and medicine to get to the healthiest place you can. Any one including friends and family will not look down on you as long you are working on getting healthy and staying healthy. If they were to look down on you then you truly know who is on side/ interested in your well fare.
    No matter what I hope things get better for you soon.

    Mick1987 replied to mattthecat's response:
    Thank you Matt, that was helpful.
    dibbits0530 responded:
    hi mick


    if it is any comfort to you, i am celebrating 14 years this very weekend of not being capable of holding down a successful job. in this time i have found that my sandbox is much nicer than those i try to play in. that is, i work better when i am my own person to deal with and not many others to work with. my career was information technology. it was my job to break computer programs by finding ways to make them not work and cause meltdowns in the mainframe computer, then try to search anywhere outside the box to perfect the inconsistencies of the program. there were other facets to my career and personal life that caused me to be so overtly analytical that it cost me most of my life.

    remember that you cannot rehearse life. a great way to kick a lack of concentration, is to merely stop the exercise of trying to concentrate. does your mind resemble a gecko running over a bed of hot coals a mile in every direction? Breathing is a good thing. as long as it is measured. when the mind freezes up and you become anxious then (God forbid) the manic word comes out, you eventually start planning on a way out. believe it or not, this is standard operating procedure for any normal person too. when the extreme takes hold, then that nice garden path we roll along suddenly has ridges and slopes and dips and we fall. you know the drill.

    advice. remember that medicine has a tendency to create a facade. less is best. i was living with somewhere between 4 and 7 meds to keep me in check. well it didn't. within the journey to survive mental illness, we wake up with a variegated theme.

    how in the world are you right now?

    Mind? Body? Spirit? Mood? Daily Plan?

    if you are not following these 5 themes, start right now

    as for tricks to help with landing a job? memory fog freeze up. these are all stress triggers. first remember that none of it matters. Murphy stated that if it can go wrong it probably will. but why let it go wrong. walk into an interview holding all the cards. when you make a first interview, it is an ice breaker. it lets you know if the position you are inquiring about, fits you. it isn't the other way around. a hiring manager may look at 50 or 150 resumes are more. he may like 10. if you are one of the lucky few, you have more cards then they do. they need you or you would not be there. also remember that the hiring manager may know less than you do about a position. if you are interviewing with the vampire him/her self, then it is different but only in that they are fishing for the right person to fit their company. there are no perfect right or wrongs in an interview. it is merely a gathering. you go in looking good and appropriate with the right tools for the interview. if there is more than one person interviewing, you may have a hiring manager and the immediate person you are reporting to or with if more people are there. remember it is a get together in a somewhat formal way, to check each other out. you are the one with the advantage. because you have a mental "blank" you can ask to repeat a question or have a moment to gather thoughts. it is your right AND the hiring manager will like the fact that you do this because it means you want to be thorough in your approach. relax. make eye contact. if you interviewers or you look down or away, there is a break in communication. command your space. i happen to have a hearing deficit and need to have people look at me when they speak. if they cannot do this they are not forth right.

    Take from each day, all that it gives to you, return only to it, nothing less than the very best that you have to offer.
    Mick1987 replied to dibbits0530's response:
    Thank you David, that was really thoughtful and helpful!

    biPolar555 responded:
    Welcome to the board. I know exactly how you feel about the job situation. I have had more jobs than I can count. When I'm manic, I do great in interviews and can get jobs. When I get depressed, I feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with any job stress at all, so I start looking for another job. I have had 7 jobs in the past 5 years, and have decided it's time to stop this.
    I am planning to apply for Social Security Disability benefits within the next couple of months. I have to wait until my short term disability at work kicks in so that I will have at least some income while I wait for my decision. You might want to think about doing the same thing. If you can't get/hold a job, it's not your fault. It took me a LOT of years of people telling me that to make me believe it.
    I will be praying for you and am here if you need to talk.

    Mick1987 replied to biPolar555's response:
    Hi Penny,

    Thank you for your response. SS has scheduled a psych evaluation for me this coming weekend to determine if I qualify for disability. I know it's their job to deny benefits, whether I qualify or not. I'll just be myself, but who knows what that will be like in a week.

    dibbits0530 replied to Mick1987's response:
    Perfect Mick

    Just being whom you are is a first step. My psych eval was a bust. I was raised to "keep up appearances" I was on my best behavior and was (maybe) not completely forthright in my pinings inside myself. Because I was on my best behavior, the psychologist deemed me not to have Bipolar. At the time, I was highly suicidal and drove myself to the eval which was 50 miles away. I almost did not make it home that day from her prelim. Do not paint your prettiest picture but the picture that BEST demonstrates whom you are.

    Blessings and Agape.

    Take from each day, all that it gives to you, return only to it, nothing less than the very best that you have to offer.

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