Categories
alcoholism anxiety Co-occurring Dual diagnosis mental health mental illness peer support politics Recovery

What did I sign up for?

I volunteered to lead one day in my AA group. It is not very complicated. They have a format and I pick a passage from AA literature to read, talk about 5 minutes and then open for discussion. But, I have social anxiety. It is much better than in the past but I am still nervous. On top of that, I told my friend I would speak on her podcast in January. That I am a bit terrified about.

I picked a chapter from the Big Book, More about Alcoholism, and will talk about doubting we are alcoholics. I think it will be good for me to hear others experiences. I just finished step 1- We admitted we were powerless over alcohol and that our lives had become unmanageable.

In my youth my life truly was unmanageable. I had rules for myself about when and where I could drink, by the time I stopped, to keep my drinking from getting out of hand. It is hard for me to see my life as unmanageable. I made a list and will continue to add to it, about being powerless and my life being unmanageable. I will refer to it when I have doubts.

As far as the podcast, I am going to be talking about myself, my experience with mental illness. I had an older brother who has passed away, who had a psychotic break in the 1970s. I am going to talk about his story, too.

My friend called to discuss the podcast with me. I froze on the first question. She asked me about being a mental health advocate. I think of myself more as my job title, a peer support specialist, or someone with lived experience. I have written letters for certain bills but am not very politically involved. We are going to talk again and hopefully I can relax. She can talk enough for the both of us. I just want it to go well.

Categories
career job

I don’t have a career

I have a Job.

I work as a peer mentor in a mental health facility. About the only place you can work where having experienced mental illness is desirable. But, there is no room for advancement. And, there is no certification or required qualifications in my state and the pay is not great.

I like many things about my job. I work part time and have nice hours. My meds make me tired and I don’t have to be in until 9:30, which is doable. I work 4 days/week. I can make appointments on my day off. The people I work with are friendly.

In a former life I worked in the field I studied. I was a clinical laboratory scientist. Until. a psychotic break changed all that. I determined it would be too stressful for me to attempt to return and let my license expire years ago,

This is a better fit for me.

At the end of the day, it’s just a job.