High Hopes

So I had my job interview yesterday, and let’s just say it was an interesting experience. The people I interviewed with were very nice and I felt reasonably comfortable with them; the room we were in was small and intimate; and I didn’t even make any wrong turns in the maze that was the inner sanctum. But the questions were harder and more complex than any I’ve ever been subjected to, and they made my interviews with the State look like a cakewalk.

Bottom line: I don’t think I did very well, although I thought the same after that second State interview, and we all know how that came out. I may be a bit of a bumbler sometimes, but I’m not stupid, and when they kept coming back to why that last job didn’t work out, I figured I was sunk. If I could’ve kicked myself under the table, I would have, because all I could think of to talk about was that damnable computer program I couldn’t learn to save my life. Not that I never felt like I belonged there or that the job involved more travel than I’d been led to believe, just the difficulty of learning the software and memorizing reams of information.

However, the tone of the interview remained upbeat and positive, and they were upfront and honest about what the job entails. They also mentioned that there was a full-time nursing position open, but I told them (gasp!) that I wasn’t interested. I’m kind of proud of myself for that, because even a few weeks ago I’d probably have gone for it in spite of knowing what I know about myself and my inability to deal with that sort of stress.

The problem is, this job is going to be equally stressful, and the interviewers were brutally honest about that. There’s the multi-tasking and constantly changing priorities, and I’d have to be very detail-oriented and deal with families going through extremely difficult circumstances. NONE of which I’m good at, except the latter…..my whole career was spent taking care of people in crisis, and I did it well. The two things this position has going for it are a) it has regular hours—no overtime, no nights, no weekends—and b) I don’t think I would EVER be bored. I also wouldn’t be holding anyone’s life in my hands. But…..


I’d had such high hopes for this job. I’ve decided that working in mental health just might be the right fit for me, but I can’t take the risk of losing my own marbles while I’m doing it. Even Will was adamant about my not accepting the job should it be offered: “No, you know you can’t do that, you’ll only end up getting sick again and this time it might be worse. Besides, you know what Dr. Awesomesauce would have to say about it.”

That’s true. I DO know what Dr. A would say about it, and I don’t want to hear it. Although I’m in a good recovery, it wouldn’t take much to upset the apple cart and I know that. My stomach is knotted up just contemplating what such an undertaking might do to me—I’ve been through it so many times already, why do I even THINK about butting my head against that wall again?

Because I’m desperate. Because I want to save my home and my way of life. Because I want to prove to myself that I’m stronger than my illness.

Is it so wrong to want to try again, even though I know what the outcome would probably be? Or am I still in denial about my limitations?

To be continued…..


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.

8 thoughts on “High Hopes

  1. I think understanding and accepting your limitations is a sign of wellness, but I also know the need to prove my wellness to myself. 🙂

    In this case though, I hope I would listen to what my gut, my family and Dr. A was telling me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve got to admit, I AM still having trouble accepting my limitations, even though on an intellectual level I know they are there and woe unto me if I push them too hard. You’d think I’d be tired of fighting with this disease, but I’m stubborn and I’m not going to give up easily. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. QUOTE:
    why do I even THINK about butting my head against that wall again?

    Because I’m desperate. Because I want to save my home and my way of life. Because I want to prove to myself that I’m stronger than my illness.

    Is it so wrong to want to try again, even though I know what the outcome would probably be? Or am I still in denial about my limitations?

    Um, it is more like, “Why do I even THINK about putting my head between the door and the doorway and slamming the door hard, over and over again, even though ow, it’s my ear, ow, that keeps, ow, getting slammed, ow, between the ow, door, and the OW! doorjamb …

    Yeah. And I totally understand that!!!!! that’s the scary part!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Its not wrong to want all those things.

    After my disaster with teaching I gave my partner veto on any job I may want to apply for. I chose the jobs but he gets a final say on whether I can apply. I promised myself that I would listen to him because when it comes to my illness and work he sees things much much more clearly than I do. So when I looked at a job working with the probation service he said no, when I looked at becoming a nursing axillary he said no. He told me I get too involved with peoples issues, so any job where people are suffering is a no no. Working with people who are inclined not to want to help themselves was a no no. I didn’t agree but I listened. I thought I would never find a job I enjoyed and loved if I couldn’t do the thing I was good at and enjoyed, which was working with people etc. I did, I now work in project management. Its exciting, sometimes stressful but its a different type of stress. It plays to my strengths, I get paid to organise and nag people 🙂 If you had told me a year ago I would be working in project management and loving it I wouldn’t have believed you, for starters I wouldn’t have known what it involved and I would have thought it sounded boring.

    Keep looking and consider jobs very different to those you have had previously. You may find a new passion you didn’t know existed. You may find something you excel at and can stay well at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s some very good advice. I’m like you—I get too involved in other people’s problems and try to fix everything, then get frustrated when I can’t, which is triggering. Maybe I need to be more careful about what I pray for, because I might get it and then not be able to handle it…..


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