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Work/life balance and BP

 

The biggest problem I find with the work/life balance is I blame everything on work/unemployment and ignore the warning signs that my mental health is slipping. I have also blamed my physical health in the past, and my shitty relationship with my ex. Its like I will focus on "when blah blah is better I won't feel so awful" rather than accepting its usually my mental health that makes everything else seem worse.

I KNOW I have a life long illness I need to manage, but I still live with a huge amount of stubborn denial.

I am very open about my mental health issues with my colleagues, but there is also the other side that because I'm so open about it I feel the pressure to be exemplary in my job. To help break the eleventy billion stigmas that surround people with mental illness, in my case bipolar type somethingbutnot1.

With work I get stuck in the big "I need to work to have money for my expensive hobbies, I never have time for my hobbies cos I'm always at work, but I need to work to have money for my hobbies..." ridiculous thought loop.

I think a lot of people get stuck in similar patterns? Replacing hobbies with family/travel/etc.

I have recently given myself permission to say no to extra shifts (although they're very good at guilting me into them in the last few weeks because we are super short staffed) and know I can quit at any time. I hate relying on my partner's income, but he understands I do as much as I can- to the point of making myself ill at times. I no longer feel quite so trapped, but I am still really struggling to find the work/life balance because while I'm still trying to climb out of the hole my downtime involves pyjama days and extra naps. 

 

I don't know what the answer is. Every single time I get to this point, I think it will never happen again. And this time is better. Can I stop a next time? Probably not, if history is a guide. Can next time be better? Possibly, because this time is.

 

Does anyone see a counselor/psychologist even when they are well to ensure they are STAYING well? I tend to see them only until everything is back on track, but have wondered in the last week whether it would be worth seeing one semi regularly? I see my osteo in the same way! 

In saying that, I haven't seen one this time so I should probably make an appointment...

 

5 REPLIES 5

Re: Work/life balance and BP

Hi @MackLouis Smiley Happy

 

Work/life balance is tricky to get right even when you're NOT managing mental health issues. I completely understand what you said about working lots to support expensive hobbies, but never having time for them because you're always working!

 

In terms of maintaining good mental health, many people keep seeing their supports when they are feeling well. This ensures they can talk about any small issues that come up before they turn into bigger issues. It also provides an opportunity to think about WHY things are going well at the moment so you have an idea of what might be helpful if you are struggling in the future.

 

Some people find that when things are going well that they stop their self-care routines because they don't need them anymore. However, it can be really important to keep these habits up even when you are feeling well because they can help you stay that way Smiley Happy

 

All the best MackLouis.

Re: Work/life balance and BP

@Jupiter that is exactly my problem! Except last time the self care thing I stopped was taking my medication properly, I lowered the dose thinking it was smart when I was soooooo careful with everything else... Whoops.... Never again! Everything else, all my important self care (diet, exercise, supplements, hobbies) slowly slipped away when I did that.

 

Right now work feels relentless, I almost cried earlier today when I found out one of my colleagues has broken her leg. She's been off work for a week for other reasons and we really notice her absence, she is a good friend of mine and I'm worried for her, but in my current state all I can think of is "oh crap that means I really CAN'T take time off." 

 

Today I'm starting 4 hours late, ostensibly to get some study done but so far I have managed to nap, do a load of washing and cook dinner HA! I'm still trying to get over the fatigue from a virus so I'm being kind to myself.

 

Most of my hobbies are outside hobbies, so winter and 3 feet of mud is making everything worse. Blergh! Bring on summer, please!!!

Re: Work/life balance and BP

As long as you learn from past experiences that didn't go so well, then that's okay! It sounds like you have a great deal of compassion for your work colleague and are very concerned for them, but I can see how it also adds pressure to you now that you can't take time off.

 

Although you didn't get study done, having a nap, doing some washing, and cooking dinner is still being productive - especially if you are recovering from being sick! Great to hear that you are being kind to yourself!

 

All the best @MackLouis Smiley Happy

Re: Work/life balance and BP

Hi MackLouis

“Does anyone see a counselor/psychologist even when they are well to ensure they are STAYING well?”

 

yes i do. If things are not going well I see my psych once a week or more. When the crisis or big issue is resolved I go back to seeing my psych less, sometimes once a month. 

 

That doesnt mean that nothing negative happens when I don’t see my psych as often, things do still happen and if they aren’t crisis level

things I still find it helpful to see my psych. Like car maintenance sort of - a regular check on how things are running to make sure the car engine isn’t going to blow up, if that makes sense.

Re: Work/life balance and BP

The loop you speak of @MackLouis is so familar to me. Also about money. While I am not in paid work. I do the housework and running around for two children and a husband. I think I can't buy this, I can't go out because I don't work. I think the reason we have money in the bank is becuase I deny myself so much. I know this is rare in cases of bipolar. Usually us BP people spend spend. I have Bipolar type two. 

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