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Fundamentals to Getting and Keeping a Job for Generation Y bipolar people

Bipolar people may face an even more difficult time entering and staying within the workplace than traditional workers, especially older workers. Younger workers, those in Generation Y face unique challenges not necessarily experienced by those who went before you. This is especially true of Bipolar people.

In Nick Morrison’s article for June 4, 2015, “The Four Key Skills Generation Y is Missing”, he speaks to essential skills needed for any job.
1. Working “Life” Skills – turning up for work on time, dressing professionally. . . Understanding what a working professional is
2. Self-awareness and confidence
3. Learning how to communicate professionally with collegues either by email or voice. Look people in the eye when talking to them.
4. Ability to see things through the client’s eyes or the company’s rules and ethics

Inclusive of the ethics of seeking a position and holding onto it are some fundementals:
– Learn to listen carefully and respectfully to collegues and managers
– Follow-through – do what you are told to do or you set out to do. If filling out an application finish it, then send it. If called for an interview, show up, dress appropriately, listen, ask careful questions
– Weigh your current skills with what is asked for. You probably won’t be called in for an interview if you don’t have what they need. However, don’t discount skills and experience that don’t fit easily into the niche. For instance, babysitting teaches you how to deal with children and their parents. Landscaping for your uncle during the summer, demonstrates you have the ability to show up and work hard. Promote yourself.
– No matter how nice the day or what activity you want to do – SHOW UP TO WORK
– Do what needs to be done. If the floors need sweeping, counters washed, do it even if not asked
– Ask what the customer needs, listen attentively, smile and take them where they need to go or get someone to come over to do that.
– Be honest. There are no freebies unless otherwise specified.

In “Perception vs. Reality: 10 Truths About the Gen Y Workforce” in Quintessential LiveCareer by Randall S. Hansen, PhD., this generation is seen as entitled, arrogant, self-centered, impulsive and possessing a short attention span. This is partly based on parents who tended to over-praise, give what they themselves had not, and rewarding you for any little thing. “These parents stunted their children’s growth by proactively removing all obstacles and potentially negative experiences. ” This may be especially true of young people with Bipolar.

This generation has the reputation for being Lazy, with a poor work ethic, Little respect for Authority, too Individualistic, with Overinflated/Unrealistic Expectations. They are seen as being not committed to work, having no loyalty to employers, lacking social skills, and Needy. That’s a heavy load to face and the only one who can change it is you. Work based on your merits. Know you are more accepting of diversity than older generations were – an important skill. Use that understanding with everyone. Accept work is not like school or home – no one is going to praise you or pat you on the back everytime you do something well. That is something that is an expectation in the workplace. Don’t let your parents take control of your job. This is your responsibility. Managers are trying to help you, trust them to show you skills needed and attitudes expected. Don’t expect a promotion until you have paid your dues – pace yourself. Also, realize work is a combination of teamwork and individual assignments – learn to work both ways. Don’t question every decision made.

There is a lot of thinking to do about finding a job and keeping it. Be consistent and patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You can become a responsible, valued, progressive employee. Just work on the areas you fall short in and shine up your assets.

Combatting Bipolar Disease on a daily basis

Do you know that old time hymn “I’ve got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in my Heart . . . I’ve got the Peace of God, Peace of God Down in my Heart”? Well for me, and I suspect, most BiPolar people, that just doesn’t track. The cynic, and the disease, tug me away from those feelings.

For me, a wellspring of sadness and despair coat my linings, much like that Pepto Bismol commercial. Anxiety flavors the mix. My heart is treacly coated with the stuff. I can be laughing, giggling, joyful even, and still can touch that pain and despair, still feel the anxiety. There isn’t any distraction from it. Even with a stable medication regimen, anxiety pervades my consciousness and dreams. I am haunted by Depression.

Amnesty International’s latest annual report speaks to a paradigm shift worldwide into Depression and Despair writes Mark Kerstan on May 27, 2017. I suspect much of that is normal despair, not the kind of thing BiPolars’ experience, but still, it’s a frightening fact.

Moreover, we need to continually monitor our frustration and anger levels as they are two heads on the same coin. Our emotions can escalate and drop at alarming rates and anger is a seductive release from the pent-up pain we carry within.

Coping strategies that work for some, may not work for others. Know them, read up on the latest research and articles, but ultimately you may need to pick and choose among them to find out what works best for you. Millions globally find much relief in Mindfulness Meditation and even though I practiced it for a year, I just can’t slow down the chatter my mind offers up. I have found reading and writing work for me. So does housework. Repetitive activities comfort others – coloring, sewing, cooking. Music therapy is wonderful. Some swear by Affirmations – put a poster of them up on your wall for you to tap into.

I do try to observe negative coping strategies and reduce or eliminate them. Some practices simply serve to agitate me further. I look for something that works better. For instance, when the sorrow and anxiety grow too uncomfortable, I look for someone I trust to unburden myself upon. It sounds crappy, using someone like that, but I try to respect their decision to not listen when they choose or need to. If they accept that role, unburden away, get that pain out of you.

Ask yourself, Do I want to be in control? Is that what is making me squirrely? Antsy unrest, obsessive thinking, and nervous irritability are symptoms of Bipolar depression or mania, with possibly a co-existing anxiety disorder. Everything feels hopeless. The mountain is too hard to climb and I’ve run out of power bars and water. Or my body is too handicapped to even begin the walk, even on a flat surface I am limited. For me, its a sure reason for anxiety and depression. I hate my limitations. Fear builds because I see the never endingness of my life situation.

And don’t even get me started on Money, maintaining friendships, or dreamed of escaping, having sustainable, or any, social life. Seeing and being all those things I dreamed of escaping – sands through the hourglass – fear builds. Just the daily stress of life can prove too anxiety producing.

What it boils down to is relatively simple. Find coping strategies that work for you. Keep seeing a therapist. Talk to others about your feelings, keep on the right medication regimen for yourself. Practice Humility – give up the need to be in control. “Let Go and Let God”. Radical acceptance – forcing yourself to see things as they really are (although I sometimes prefer living in my fantasy world), and not as they should be, is a trending treatment. Pray – turn your burdens to a Higher Power. When I do that I experience a measure of peace for a while – and then have to start all over again.

Even with all the helpfulness available to us, we BiPolars have to realize that we have a Disease that is not going to magically disappear. There will be good times and bad. We just need to find our way through the morass and use the tools that work for us.

Palliative Care

Hospice – Palliative Care
slowwww ddownnn
No routine
Eat however much
whenever mood strikes
even though mood is a misnomer

No more struggling
to make walk.
Showers out
sponge baths in bed in
Hospital beds
Wheelchairs
Pureed foods
Lifts if necessary

Trips are gone,
body too fragile
mind largely gone
pay attention to face –
grimaces? Stop, ease off
smiles, try more activity

For caregiver, its harder
if you have been with patient
a long time
two people needed
when one sufficed before
for moving patient from one place
to another or
simply to change clothes in bed
Taking are of person
is challenging – at best.
new, different skills are needed.

Putting away items
not needed anymore
in a few months time,
she will pass into great beyond.
Little time left –
starting goodbyes
in minute gestures,
tears filling heart,
sadness lining body cavities

A magnificent woman,
broke glass ceiling
in world of Finance
now beginning new work
breaking glass ceiling
to Heaven . . .

The Other Woman

Every night I pray for her.
In my mind’s eye
I so clearly see her.
My platitudes ill advised,
meaningless . . .

How can I justify our God’s plan?
Why should I be free of need
and she have anything but?

I know it’s stereotyping
but her swollen belly children
deserve an accounting.

Soon she will be gone –
disease stealing her strength away.
They will be orphans -alone –
under a tattered canopy,
thrust into begging to survive.

Just one more parent gone,
one more family destroyed
one more ten year old
parenting a large brood
under the blazing sun.

Why she – why me –
I who have nothing to give,
intimately knows every wrinkle
worn of care . . .

But I am here
babbling words to our Father
as she dies bit by bit
under the African sun
in a refugee camp
alone . . .

Court Jester

The bull roars
prodded by blazing iron –
branding him, casting ownership
on his steaming rump.
Check those whites,
they keep growing
obliterating pupils . . .
damn you all!!

Who the hell
gave the masses sanction
to have jurisdiction
in my life?

Since when did this
become a dictatorship –
I failed to catch
the civil war preceding it.
When was the loser vanquished,
and by what method?

Pompous asses all of you . . .
thinking your thoughts
in my mind
are so vile then
the thoughts I claim
ownership to.

How dare you presume
to control my life . . .
and by whose authorization?
I’d like to see
some papers please!

Arrogant paupers
claiming heir to the throne,
no peasant am I
to conform to your bidding –

When will you learn
that loving kindness, tenderness
Love bring ten-fold rewards
rather than harsh methods
more conveniently used?

Go find another jester
to amuse your court.
I no longer wish
to play your game,
So . . .
who won the game after all?

Beginnings

picture by Marty
Spring has announced its presence,
birds are pecking pungent soil,
sniffing air – content the remain
until the changing tides of autumn’s
gusty, chill bidden breezes.
Flowers are poking their heads
through moist, fragrant earth,
beginning to make their presence known,
butterflies begin unravelling cocoons.

All this is to let you know
the time has come
to vacate those dark corners
and seek light breezes
and cozy, sunny places
in the glistening morn.

For gloomy thoughts
and reluctant bodies have no place
in the glorious melodies of Spring.
So cast off those Winter chains
and break those bonds . . .
become as free as the winds.

A happy mind makes a happy worker
be she drone or queen.
And content people are more apt
to be productive, accepting of their lot
and enthusiastic regarding
their performance.

This is a general service announcement
for the disheartened, disgruntled,
disillusioned, discombobulated,
and thoroughly disheveled
Winter rung philistines.

For Better or Worse

His memory lingers
long after the last door slam,
to unsettle emotions
and distort newly held beliefs
His legacy bequeathed
in the divorce settlement
are ripples on a mirror surface. . .
the crinkles of eyes laughing
arms meant for holding,
thoughtful insight of a kind
rarely seen in the eyes of men.
And yet,
the papers speak
of a different reality,
of dreams gone awry,
and a world spinning of balance.
No regrets –
but sometimes, in quiet moments,
when I forget to raise my shields,
the memory of his eyes
as he made love to me
tears at my heart,
that I remember
there won’t be another
such as he . . .
for better or worse.

In times of greatest anger
I find myself wondering
where did that great love go?
It is here, pocketed within secret places,
to emerge in the peace of the night
and remind me
how great the loss was
to walk away in anger
and carry the love.