For me, the challenge of working was brutally and internally stressful on a daily basis. While trying to work as a Registered Nurse, I continually tried to find a place of happiness where I felt less stress and more confidence, a place where I could use my skills. Unfortunately I found a place where I became enveloped in a haze of discomfort and anxiety – not only once, but many times. I was able to work with my Dad for about four years and thankfully he was able to monitor my emotional status, and he was able to make work capable for me. However, the stress reaction and panic, aside from the help of family, was too much for me to handle on a continual basis. And to read back on some of those times in my life is emotionally tiring to even think that I subjected myself to such inner turmoil.
Suffering from a mental illness while working was an all-consuming exhausting emotional ride for me – one that I had to escape from. The inner rest obtained when I was able to stop working enabled an escape from a roller coaster of emotions. A job was not just “a job” for me. It was a time to implode and explode continually. Dear God, thank you for the release!
Just the emotional ride from daily tasks (employment aside) is a job in itself. A job that requires my monitoring of my emotions and reactions. I struggle with daily thoughts, and require help from support people in my life. It is not that I cannot be the parent, wife, friend to others. I am capable of giving those aspects of emotional support to others. Yet I also understand that a reciprocal relationship helps me immensely. I try not to be needy, though I have become familiar with the inner struggle to ask for help from others and to actually “Ask”!
So though I do not have employment, I WORK on a daily basis. My aim is happiness, emotional stability, and some sort of contentment. The WORK of a mental illness is a challenging job.