There’s this really indescribable feeling I get when I start thinking about a career. I got my bachelor’s degree in record time. I did VERY well in school. Even with calling off “sick” constantly I got quality work done on time. I was good at what I did. I can whip out designs, layouts, spreads, etc. Tell me what you need I can make it happen when you need it. I desperately miss designing. Making print materials was my absolute favorite thing to do, especially magazine spreads. My Adobe expired recently and now I can’t even design for fun because I am not paying an arm and a leg (with Adobe probably my soul) just to keep a program on my computer that produces no income for me and my family.
Had I known that I was bipolar, I probably never would have spent all that time, energy, and money on a degree because I realize now that I just can’t be a career person. I can’t make that commitment that I’ll be at work, every day, fully functioning. Some days aren’t safe for me to drive. Some days I can’t even tell if I’m real or the world around me is real. I’m what you would call in the career world “unreliable”. From what I’ve read from my fellow bipolar bears, this is pretty common with our diagnosis. Most of the bipolar people I have encountered work part-time or do freelance work for themselves. I still get nervous even committing to helping with church events because I know there is a chance that I’ll be manic or depressive that day and unable to be of help to anyone. I think a lot of us in the bipolar community have this desire to use the perks of our diagnosis, for example, the extreme creativity, but we know it’s short-lived and might go away for a time. I think one of the worst parts about this is it could be a day, week, even months of lowest lows or highest highs. You just never know if you’ll wake up and be Tigger or Eeyore.
I think Ben puts it into words very nicely:
“You are good at a lot of things and it does stink that you can’t pursue them fully. But I really think you’re not a career person. And that’s okay because you don’t have to be. As much as you love graphic design it’s hard for me to picture you going to the same place day after day doing the same things over and over again and being happy with it. We’re a team and I think I took up all the routine and boring stuff lol. I understand that until you’re a mom you probably won’t feel totally fulfilled and I’m sorry but I think that’s because that’s what you’re meant to be doing instead of career stuff.” -Ben S
I sincerely hope he is right. I hope I was made for the mom life and that we can have our baby soon. How I’m feeling is an unusual kind of low for me. Not quite depression but similar. More of a frustrated depression. I don’t want to say because of my bipolar I can’t do things but it truly does change the way I have to navigate through life.