If you can work and enjoy your job then this will help you enormously. It is very important to be stimulated and even a little part time job can work miracles in reversing negative patterns of thinking. Self worth, socialising are all vital and sadly I spent far too many years cocooned and my condition worsened.
With hindsight it is now clear that bipolar symptoms were showing themselves during my second year at university. While my friends were pretty certain of their own career pathways, I was not. I concede that this it is not pathologically unusual to not know what direction to take after one’s studies but my lack of direction, I believe, was disproportionate. I did not have one clue and it was only through the guidance of a nice Professor that I got a place to read Criminology at Cambridge. Why am I not now working in this arena with 10 papers and books under my name? Or why am I not lecturing bright young things at college? Or why am I not in the police force? (I applied but funnily enough they don’t accept people with drink driving offences). Why am I not an eminent Criminal Psychologist who is contacted for high profile cases? !! I do know that my character would not have been suited to this type of work and I was horrified after one afternoon shadowing a Barrister. I think it was just a simple lack of confidence.
So the list of jobs started and NOT finished throughout my 20’s is long. A classic lack of closure and follow through…………A director of a well-known company actually said something along the lines of ‘’it would be suicide or genius hiring you’’! I set up lots of little businesses which I liked, but again there was no commitment. Big ideas but no real structure or persistence. I am not a ‘’get rich quick’’ kind of girl so I can’t really understand it, except to acknowledge that things were not right in my head. My idea of work and career was distorted and unrealistic, with expectations way beyond my reach and capabilities. Again it is the grandiose thinking that is so common in bipolar.
Fortunately after time and after 2 decades of aimlessness, I find myself in a happier, more stable situation on the job front and of course it is n’t conventional!…