#61 Going back to work is scary

empowerment wisdom May 21, 2020




Have you ever been forced out of a job by mental health complications? If you have a bipolar disorder, the answer isn’t “if” but “when” you have to walk out on a job. And that sets you up for a lot of fear and anxiety, since going back to work will always have that personal insecurity attached to it.

Some people have had more jobs than they have fingers and toes because of this disease. If your career choices and employment history are “spotty”, then you’re absolutely normal for someone who isn’t guaranteed stable energy, thinking, or expectations like everyone else. This is just reality with bipolar.

The good news is that with increasing knowledge, wisdom, and self-care, you can actually get to your dream job. Or whatever it is that “does it for you” when you envision yourself occupied, happy, and paid. Parents, this includes you! On today’s episode of The Bipolar Now Podcast, Mike takes you inside his personal roadmap to scoring work with a Wow-factor.


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  • Sometimes you can have the most perfectly-constructed plan for your work life, and a personal crisis can come along and wipe it out. How you restart your work life is key to recovering from this.
  • In addition to ordinary crises, bipolar itself supplies everything needed for a painful and disruptive event in your work life. Learning to take care of bipolar first is the most important task if a long and successful career is one of your goals.
  • There are less than five steps between a full “restart” (due to deteriorated mental health) and a supremely satisfying return to work. Know where you’re at.


Lifer Discussion Guide

Use the questions in today’s Lifer Guide to help you talk out the subject of going back to work, with all the nerve-wracking questions and emotions that go along with it!

“Lifers” are special people who have unwavering faithfulness. This assures you that they’ll stick around through all the highs and lows that are normal for a life with mental health challenges. If you haven’t nominated a lifelong family member or friend as part of your non-medical support team, what are you waiting for? :-)


The Questions

1) What’s an early memory for you, about being a cool grown up with a cool job?

2) What was your first official job where you got a paycheck? / What are some of your memories of that, good or bad?

3) What’s been your work experience when it comes to having a bipolar disorder? / Has it disrupted you?

4) Where are you at when Mike talks about the five steps to your dream work? / Do you need me to help you push for that next step, or are you good to go with where you’re at?


Join the Tribe!

Once you’ve had a chance to talk or journal about these things you might have a question from this episode. If so, make sure you head on over to The Bipolar Now Podcast Group on Facebook! We all have jobs that we’ve lost due to this disease, and yet we haven’t given up on ourselves. We’d love for you to share your experience with us. So don’t miss out!


Other ways to enjoy this episode

Download a transcript