Once again, I am writing from personal experience. I am not a physician but I have been diagnosed with bipolar disease.
I have to admit the past couple of years seemed like my life was slowly spiraling downward out of control until my problem was discovered. It almost cost my life but thankfully, I did not succeed.
For me, the biggest problem was my work. I was a department manager for a retail store and really liked my job at one time. I’d say in the last year there were big changes in the company which I among others had a lot of trouble dealing with. Many of us quit and went onto other jobs. I found a job as shift manager with another company which turned out to be my crashing point. The point where I mentally crashed.
For the second time I spent a week in the mental health ward of the hospital. My family being very concerned begged me to talk to the doctor about going on work disability. The fact was, I did not want to quit working. I knew I would go stir crazy at home all the time. My husband suggested volunteering which would be good. I felt that might be something I’d intend to do but probably not. I just wanted to work and bring a paycheck home. A structured lifestyle with a schedule.
I talked to the doctor about it and she also felt it would not be healthy for me. My family was just concerned about the stress and how i would deal with it.
I had to make a decision. I had decided to quit my job as a manager. This was something I did not need in my life.
When passing a restaurant one day I noticed a sign, Server Wanted. I told my husband I always wanted to try waitressing. He suggested i give it a shot. So I did and got the job. She wanted someone more mature anyway and being 53 I was perfect for the job.
I have been working for two weeks now. I seem to be catching on quickly and they seem to be happy with me. I am really enjoying the job. I get to talk and meet people and I am making money. Eventually, more with progress. I look forward to going to work each day.
Yes, it is a stressful job at times but it is good stress. A job that helps my day go by fast. You need good stress in your life. Believe me, there is a big difference between good and bad stress.
The point to my story is that I did not have to go on disability. Yes, my husband is always nervous about another mental crash occurring but that good be triggered by anything. My medications are working well and I feel great. My doctors are pleased with the outcome of everything going on in my life.
So should bipolar disease be a considered a disability? I feel in most cases – no. I feel in most cases work would be the healthier way to deal with it. This includes a person’s medications and lifestyle being constantly monitored.
What is your opinion?