Bipolar Diary – Moving towards, gaining and remaining in work

That is the motto of STATUS Employment, the mental health charity that I’m currently working with. They offer a program to help people with mental health issues get back into work and today was the introduction to it. It’s called ‘Moving on – Work Preparation Course’, lasts six weeks and takes place on Thursday and Friday. The course covers four main areas, which are

  • Vocational profiling
  • Job search
  • Job training
  • Job retention

Within this are things like building up confidence, assessing strengths and weaknesses etc. I think for me the main thing will be working on identifying the area I want to work in and working on getting my confidence and self-esteem back up and to a steady level. It’s quite a stressful world to live in when one moment you feel as if you can cope with anything and everything and the next so useless you want everything to end.

I have an idea of the kind of work I want to do and what I would be good at and I will bring it up when the course starts properly and see how we can go about working towards it. Once I’ve discussed it further I’ll write about it here.

I will though keep an open mind to suggestions and what comes up during the course. There’s so much going on right now what with counselling and seeing my doctor to talk about how to go forward in that regard that who knows what could come up and present itself as appealing job wise.

The other people on the course seem nice. We all talked a bit today about our situations. Everyone has their own – and quite different to mine – problems and reasons for being there. In general I’ve got a good feeling about the group, there’s a good vibe in the sense that we’re all there to move forward with our lives, we’re all taking positive steps. I like seeing that in other people as well as practicing it myself. I don’t know why but I like seeing people being brave, being courageous, taking on and tackling their problems. I particularly like how in a group of people such as us there’s no ego. We all know we’re not perfect, that we have problems but we’re still there and we’re still fighting. I believe that such an environment offers a great foundation for personal growth.

The guy who is running the whole course explained how he himself was a sufferer of bipolar, which I of course found very interesting and I listened closely to him talking about his experiences with it. I’m at the start of my journey but he has dealt with and built a life around it. I think he said he was diagnosed over twenty years ago. The spectre of medication came up again as he explained the ones he was on. I explained the fear I have that I am losing my identity at the moment. Not so long ago I was just Hassan, now I’m Hassan, sufferer of a mental health condition alongside all the revelations I’m coming to about not being in control of my mind, my past behaviour, not being able to cope and everything else that is happening.

Still, one step at a time and honestly, today I’m feeling pretty good.

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