Career Suicide

I’ve been unemployed now for 4 1/2 months, so I’ve had quite a bit of time to think about my late lamented nursing career and wonder what the hell my next act is supposed to be.  Still haven’t figured that one out, but then maybe I’m not meant to. I don’t know. I’ve been talking to God about this, but either He’s not answering the phone or I’m just not hearing Him through all the static.

As uncomfortable and humiliating as all this is, I remain firmly grounded in the fact that I am not a loser. Getting that State job proved that to me once and for all. I may be rocking the Morticia Addams look and I’m a lot overweight, but I’ve been successful before and I will be again somehow. I’m terrified that my unemployment benefits will run out before I get another chance at it, but at least I’m not running around feeling like the world’s biggest screw-up.

Not that I don’t have my moments of feeling guilty. I look at Will sometimes and want to weep because I’ve dragged him along through my catastrophes for 34 years, and too often he’s been the one to clean up after me. But those feelings are getting fewer and farther between as I come to grips with the fact that I really do have a problem that’s not fixable. Manageable, yes, but I can no more cure it than I can fly to the moon. And that’s not my fault.

This is a seismic shift in my thought processes. My first instinct is to put the blame for everything that’s gone wrong since 1959 squarely on my own shoulders. I can almost hear my mother saying, “What’s the matter with you, why didn’t you try harder?” But now I can shut that voice up because I know that I did try…..and kept trying until it almost killed me.

Yes, I did commit career suicide by getting sick at a crucial point in that career and “coming out” with my illness, and I’m probably going to be paying for it for the rest of my days. But I also know that if I could have done things differently, I would have.

No one chooses to have a dramatic breakdown at work. No one chooses to be summoned to her director’s office and told “It’s not your fault you’re being fired, it’s your brain chemistry.” No one chooses to lose the lifestyle she has worked so hard for to mental illness. But shit happens, and along with it comes the hard work of putting things together in a way that makes sense given my new reality. I haven’t received the instructions yet, and the kit looks like it’s missing a few pieces…..looks like I’m going to have to learn to improvise. Again. So what else is new?

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.

7 thoughts on “Career Suicide

  1. I can totally relate to your career issues. I was working at a large bank as a computer programmer and had to take both short and long term disability. They finally told me my job had been outsourced to a contract group. Fortunately, I was able to get SS disability and medicare, but it has been tough with the big change in income. I hope all goes better for you. Taking care of yourself is a top priority.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I’m trying to do—take care of myself. I’ve done a lousy job of it over the years and it finally got to the point where my mind and body just said “That’s it, enough is enough!” Thank you for your comments. 🙂


  2. It’s not your fault bpnurse. I can really sympathize with you and what you’re going through. The worst thing about looking for a job outside of your field is the job market is just flat.
    92 million Americans out of work. Try to get a job when you’re in your 50’s on top of that. It’s tough. Especially if you don’t live in a few select states. I’m not trying to discourage you, It’s just how I see the tea leaves.

    You may have to start your own business. Think of things you love to do and see if any of those things would work as a business. I spoke with you before on another site about looking for work, Remember?
    I Honestly think that you can still start and build your own business in you 50’s and be successful. If anyone can make a go of it I’m sure you can.

    We’re rooting for ya. Can you hear it? Hang in there bpnurse.

    May the lord continue to watch over you and your family.

    Be well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Joe. ❤ Believe me, I've thought about starting my own business but have absolutely no idea of what to do. I couldn't get the financial backing for one anyway because my credit stinks (thank you, bipolar). Nice thought, just not practical for me. But I *am* hanging in there…..I don't have a choice!


  3. I know you want to keep working, but don’t be too proud to go on SSDI. It may be a last resort for you but I have to believe you would qualify. The rules and bennies vary from state to state but at least it will pay your bills and put food on your table.

    Take Care.

    Liked by 1 person

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