Manic Dude A walk through the joys and struggles of the life of a bipolar guy
June 30, 2016
How many of you out there who are also Bipolar are out of a job, or have found it extremely difficult to find or keep a job because of your illness?
I used to think that I was just restless and that was why I never stayed at one job more than a couple of years. But looking back now I know why I job hopped so much. I had to in order to keep my illness under wraps. Working in Information Security has definitely had it's advantages. It is a fast paced employment environment and it certainly wasn't unheard of for someone with my expertise to be in high demand and to job hop for more money, etc. so it was easy to hide my illness. When I was manic I was at the top of my game and could easily churn out two or three times as much work, but I needed to be able to do that in order to make up for those times when the depression would hit me and I would either go to work and sit there in front of my computer like a zombie just waiting for the clock to chime 5 o'clock so I could go home, or for those worse days when I couldn't even make it out of bed. And when those sick days would pile up and make my boss suspicious then I knew it was time for me to pull out the resume and look for something new. Somehow I was always able to stay one step ahead of the game. I'm just thankful that I selected a career with the flexibility to do that. If I had one of those jobs where you do the same thing every day, day in and day out and were expected to produce a certain number of widgets each day, well, let's just say that I wouldn't last long before I would be handed my pink slip.
In all of the years that I've been working now and all of the different employers I've ever had I can honestly say that I've only ever been "fired" twice. The first time that I was fired was because I was considering another job hop and my current employer found out about it and decided just to let me go. The second time was because my employer found out about my illness, through my now, ex-wife. Now, I know that it's not legal for them to fire me for that reason alone, but trust me, if they want you gone they'll find a reason to do it.
For those of you who do have a job have you disclosed your illness to your employer?
I've thought about a full disclosure to my employer, but even though this is 2016 and companies are supposed to be sensitive and understanding to their employee's illnesses there is still a LOT of stigmatism around any type of mental illness and I'm not convinced that my employer wouldn't find a reason to let me go.
Truly, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. I now work for a major financial employer working in my field of expertise and I work entirely from home. In fact, I only ever have to go into the office every now and again if a special meeting comes up. And, my schedule is completely flexible. As long as I'm meeting my deadlines then nobody questions what I do day to day, I'm sort of flying under the radar. This couldn't be a better situation for myself, especially when I'm rapid cycling, which has been the case over the past few months. The only disadvantage to this setup is that I know I won't have much of a chance to advance within the company unless I go into the office and see people face to face. But truly I just can't take that chance. I am perfectly content where I'm at and hope to stay in this role within this company for many years to come.
So what kind of successes or failures have you all, with BP, experienced within the work place? I'd love to hear about both your wins and losses which I'm certain can help all of us who have gone through or are going through similar struggles.