Help Wanted

So I’m on Week 3 of my job search, and yesterday I got slapped upside the head—again—by the realization that no matter how capable I still am, there are some jobs that are not for me. This is not rocket science; everybody has limitations. But I’m still having trouble wrapping my brain around that concept, and if I can’t do that I’m apt to wind up in still another unsuitable position.

I interviewed with a home health agency for a position as a case manager, which I thought would not only be interesting since I’ve never done it before, but give me the opportunity to work 1:1 with clients. (I’ve been healthy enough, for long enough, that I think I could handle clinical nursing again as long as I’m not dealing with 35 sickly and/or demented nursing home residents, or 7-8 acutely ill medical/surgical patients.) But then the interviewer began to outline the requirements for the job, which includes being on-call night and day for a full week every third week, and that’s when it struck me: There really are things I can’t do.

There are many things I shouldn’t do, and still more that I don’t WANT to do, but this is one thing that would be impossible for me to do if I want to remain mentally healthy. There would be times when I’d have to drive out to a client’s house in the middle of the night to deal with an emergency; how would I manage that when I’m so drugged I can barely even walk the fifteen feet to my bathroom in the middle of the night? Worse, it would screw up my sleep schedule and keep me from taking my nighttime meds during on-call week…..and we all know what a cluster-fuck THAT would be.

Plus, there’s the probability that my job would end up eating my life. Again. I’m sorry folks, but I just don’t have that kind of dedication anymore. I want to work to live, not live to work. So I’m going to just say No to this opportunity if I’m called for a second interview, even though I need a job like a week ago.

I could curse my limitations and continue to try to defy them, even in the face of mounting evidence that they actually do exist. However, doing so is a mistake, and I’m done making that one. Just the idea of having to get out of bed and drive someplace at 2 AM or so gives me the willies, but the thought of not taking my meds in anticipation of the above is far worse. I can’t do that to my family. I can’t do that to ME. It took too long for me to get to this place where I’ve been stable for a couple of months and have the right number and amount of medications to keep me that way; if I mess with any of the elements, the whole damn opera will fall apart and I know it.

Therefore, I shall continue to peruse the Help Wanted ads, comb through Internet jobs pages, and e-mail resumes to every employer that sounds even remotely suitable. And if you’ve a mind to, please send up some prayers and/or positive energies…..I need all the help I can get!

Published by bpnurse

I'm a retired registered nurse and writer who also happens to be street-rat crazy, if the DSM-IV.....oops, 5---is to be believed. I was diagnosed with bipolar I disorder at the age of 55, and am still sorting through the ashes of the flaming garbage pile that my life had become. Here, I'll share the lumps and bumps of a late-life journey toward sanity.... along with some rants, gripes, sour grapes and good old-fashioned whining from time to time. It's not easy being bipolar in a unipolar world; let's figure it out together.

10 thoughts on “Help Wanted

  1. Maybe a nurse at a doctor’s office, or a school nurse position? Just thinking. Don’t know alot about the nurse job market. Hugs, and hope you find something soon that works for you.


  2. I am a praying sort. Prayers and good wishes for you. I know you’ll receive exactly what you need. Sending hugs.


  3. Bradley over at Depression and Bipolar Disorder posted the following considerations that one with Bipolar should keep in mind when looking for a job:

    Consistent Hours

    I shared that with my BFFFFF, and he commented, ‘Oh, you mean that thing that ALL jobs are lacking now?’ And I thought he might have a point, though I’ve also not worked in a ‘normal’ job in 7 years; marrying into a family business gave me all of this. Had I needed to resort to working in my old field… not so much. :/

    Still, I certainly hope you find something you like that ticks all the marks! ❤


  4. re: “I could curse my limitations and continue to try to defy them, even in the face of mounting evidence that they actually do exist. However, doing so is a mistake, and I’m done making that one. Just the idea of having to get out of bed and drive someplace at 2 AM or so gives me the willies, but the thought of not taking my meds in anticipation of the above is far worse.” It’s funny that you went thru those mental gymnastics for me, bec. that is one job I was considering for myself, and had not processed the fact that I’d have to skip my meds when I was on call!!


  5. Many thanks to all of you! These comments are very helpful to me and give me new insight into what I need from my next job. I’d do better working straight nights than being on-call, and Lord knows night shift doesn’t serve me well. (I did nocs for years and loved it, but it didn’t love me back after about age 40.) I also need something that leaves room for those much-needed appointments with Dr. Awesomesauce, even though I’m not going in as often as I was. It’s not going to be easy to find; nursing jobs are not always flexible. But at least there’s a lot more available than there was a year ago…..the economy’s definitely picking up. 🙂


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