I am so happy to be at a place called COVA. It is a place that help people with mental, emotional and other illnesses to get prepared to go back to work or to stay at work.
I used to think going back to work just meant doing a resume the way I used to, looking online for a job, sending out my resume to whatever seemed like a job I could do and wait for a call for an interview (like the old days when I used to work.). This worked years ago and I never had trouble getting a job, keeping it was the problem due to my illness (that I did not know I had at the time).
Attending groups at COVA has helped me understand that there is more to going back to work after a long absence due to mental illness than the above process I used to follow.
I need to do things differently now. There is a right way to do a resume that will get you a call for an interview and a wrong way that gets your resume in the trash can file immediately.
With a mental illness I also need to learn my triggers to mania, depression and PTSD and how to handle them before they happen. I need to develop a plan that will help me get over the hump of these things and allow me to keep working. I have to know when and how to set boundaries when working so that I continue to take care of myself. This plan will also include ways to keep me from responding to things that happen around me that may trigger a PTSD episode.
The groups at COVA teach me how to make a plan to maintain wellness not just for working but for every aspect of my life. This allows me to have control of my illness instead of it having control of me.
Learning my personality will allow me to select a job that I will be successful at keeping.
Leaning to do a resume the right way, gives me confidence that I have the ability to work and be even more productive than I was before my illness became full blown and took center stage.
Everyday I talk to someone here who encourages me without even realizing that that is what they are doing. I feel good about myself again. I am doing something productive by working toward my goal of finding work and keeping work. I am going to have a career that I like, not a job that I hate. Eventually I will even go back to school and get my degree in Social Work. Baby steps, but at least I’m moving forward.
I am going to use all the tools available to me and be successful at whatever I do.
Yes, there will be times that symptoms come to surface but I will handle them with support from everyone who has been an encouragement to me.
I feel alive. I am alive. I am living and it is wonderful. Whatever comes, I now that I will have the tools and the strength to make it through. So do you. Go after your goals. Don’t just dream a dream, live your dream.
Love to all
pb aka peanut butter