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Working full time with bipolar feeling very overwhelmed

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Old 01-15-2013, 06:47 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Happy313 HB User
Unhappy Working full time with bipolar feeling very overwhelmed

I have been working now for 5 months at a full-time mond thru friday 8 to 430 job, this is the first full-time job in 2 years. I did not feel comfortable or confident that I was stable enough to return to full-time work but I no longer have the finacial ability to work the part-time jobs (sometimes I would do full-time hours depending how I was doing it was good and very flexable). Anyways I am starting to get very overwhelmed as I feel I am only living to work, I want to get involved in some classes and/or activities however most of them go until 930 at night and I have to be in bed by 9 as it is already hard enough to get up in the morning (I am periodically late). This job is a great opportunity for me and I have been through 28 jobs in 12 years, both part time and full time and non for more than a year and those were mainly the part-time jobs. I cant afford that any more I have to do full time I just feel like I can't do anything else I am so drained and tired, I just want to be like the rest of my family and go take an class at night after work or stop off to see a friend at night without being afraid to stay out to late because I have to take my meds early enough.

I am very overwhelemd and have already broken down at work a few times I am also losing my temper more and more these days and I am getting worried.

I need some ideas and ways people cope with Bipolar and working and how you don't lose touch with the world between working, sleep and the damn medication.

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Old 03-08-2013, 07:49 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 1
AngeloftheDawn HB User
Re: Working full time with bipolar feeling very overwhelmed

I could totally relate to your post. Lots of it hit home with me as well. I too work full time and at times find it very overwhelming. Just this week was one of the tough weeks, which was why I reached out on my computer to some form of community I could find. I was happy to find your post. Nice to not feel so all alone.

First of all you have to appreciate that as people who have bipolar we are the minority who hold down full time jobs. Most folks are not able to do that. For some of us it is a massive necessity because we need to keep the roof over our heads and food in our bellies. Getting up everyday and going to work is a huge step forward in my recovery. And that is how I think of each day. And sometimes I say to myself out loud "I am so proud of you." "You are doing what most people with this illness can not do." And as crazy as it sounds it makes me feel better. I know I am the exception. And that doesn't make me special in anyway. It just means that where I am in my recovery I am able for the most part to work. I feel like a contributing member of society. Which is really important for me in my quest to feel "normal".

It does get tougher when you are not sleeping. It is such a delicate balancing act with our damn meds - I get that. I can't make plans in most evenings because of my med schedule. Heaven forbid if I forget to take my anti-psychotic at the right time. Throws my whole program off kilter. Not sleeping on a regular night becomes a huge issue on those nights. So some of those mornings I may be in a little bit late. But I stay later on those days to make up for it. I know I can't take advantage of my employer, but I will tell my boss that I am having trouble sleeping if there is a really rough patch. Thankfully I have one that understands.

I have found that one of the big keys for me in recovery is that I need time to myself to do nothing. As in no demands on me and my time. I use that time to journal, go for walks, watch some mindless TV, read or listen to music.

I would caution you on taking a course in the evenings. You are already feeling overwhelmed so I wouldn't add yet another demand on your schedule. Even if it is something fun. Or if you really do want to do it book it on the weekends when you may have some more free time. Personally I have found that if I have no free time my moods shift. I purposely avoid activities because I know I need space. I still am sure to make time for friends and fun, but it is totally on my schedule. I do not let anyone dictate to me how I will spend that time. And for me who has lived a life out of control for so much of it, that just makes me feel a little more powerful. Being in control is the big part of this illness for me that makes me feel well and healthy.

I don't know if any of this will help. But I do know how you feel. And it is incredibly difficult to hold down a full time job with this condition. No question about it. But you are doing it. Sure there are hiccups along the way, but for the most part you are getting there and doing it. And people without bipolar have moments when they lose their temper.

Best advice I ever heard was to be gentle with myself. Curb the negative self talk. Stop beating ourselves up all the time. Try not to focus on all our weaknesses. Think of things on the positive side. In other words be gentle with yourself. Hope that helps.

Old 04-21-2013, 06:01 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Happy313 HB User
Re: Working full time with bipolar feeling very overwhelmed

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I think I push myself to hard probably a lot to do with my family. I am deffinatly taking your advice regarding the self talk, we live in a day and age where it is very easy to be hard on yourself especially if you have limitation. I think I have settled qith the fact that if I want to do a course it wont be a night.

I noticed you are from BC have you always lived there? I only ask as I am from ON and am always hypnotized by the beauty out there. I have grabbled with the idea of moving out there for years but didnt want to be running away. The thought has been creeping in more and more again.

Its a hard journey anyway you live but I really do appreciate your commwnt as it made me rwally think and recognize how hard I was actually being on myself.

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