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gandolfication last won the day on February 28 2019

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  1. I have been in these exact situations so many times. It is painful and scary. One thing I would share is that against all odds, the thing that a lot of people told me -- essentially that it can get better - that things will change, is true. And we have a lot of agency to do things to increase the odds that they do get better. I know that sounds simplistic. It is not easy. It is worth it. You can find something that works better for you, and feel good about yourself and your job again. It is possible and doable, even if it likely will take significant time and work. You have to hold and and keep getting back up the best you can in the mean time. Sending positive thoughts your way.
  2. God, how we all know this feeling. If the dull, pointless, or at least boring meetings themselves didn't wear us out, the pretending to be interested would. I guess I'm fortunate right now to be in a role and with a group of people where I am genuinely interested in providing the best professional service we can, so that even when things get tedious (often), I at least am intrinsically motivated to do my best at them. This hasn't always been the case.
  3. You're not a loser. You have a real illness. The good news is there is a lot you can do, and that others can do to help you. It's hard to generalize or reduce to a list. Personally I think a good therapist is essential. Mostly, good self care, including sleeping, eating, exercise, and a good support network in and outside of work (I recommend not disclosing the illness to people at work though). Medication if it helps. I have long thought that a critical resource we need in the U.S. and the world is an in-house professional who combines confidential psychotherapy and executive or job performance coaching. This would take out the problem of a therapist being unable to advise and help you with your particular job stresses, while a coach cannot do psychotherapy which is equally important. Some very large companies have such a person, but it is rare still. The modern work world is stressful and difficult for almost everyone, not just we the depressed. But with depression, you have to take a proactive approach to being kind of your own amature advocate, and learner, and reach out and grab onto whatever other help you can. Otherwise, it won't get better. This site can be a good resource actually.
  4. Yes, this. This is what I was trying to describe above, but this is well put. I identify with it a lot. thx.
  5. @missyyx, In the 11-12 years I've been reading and writing on this forum, my experience has been that this is the number 1 struggle that people with bipolar disorder have - finding and keeping a job. This has certainly been the case in my own life. I've lost job after job. It wasn't due to lack of intelligence, or work ethic, it wasn't really due to lack of social skills (though sometimes I get tired of putting on a happy face), or knowledge or ability. It is still hard for me to define exactly how my manic depressive illness contributed so heavily to not being able to keep all these jobs, but I do not question that it has. Here's what I believe I know or what I at least think it is for me: I go all or nothing. I don't like smalltalk if I can avoid it, and if I'm going to do something, I want it to be as close to perfect as possible, which is a recipe for inefficient, avoidance and disaster, especially in the modern work world. I crave novelty more than the average person and get bored easily. I have trouble staying engaged especially over any long period of time if things don't interest me. I enjoy abstract thinking, ideas, and crafting things (e.g. writing, projects, speeches, etc.) that are aesthetically pleasing rather than just functional to get the job done. I take risks that aren't ultimately prudent or worth while (like writing this note on my work computer right now). I have a tortured relationship to money and therefore don't really find it motivating. With the depressive cycle, I often rapidly and persistently come to view work as absolutely meaningless, that we're just "slaves to money then we die," to quote the Bittersweet Symphony. Conversely, in periods of hypomania, while I may have a blizzard of activity and even accomplish a lot, I can get carried away, overdo it, color outside the lines of what's expected and behavior that is considered appropriate enough for the modern (especially micro-managed) work environments, etc. I'm sure there's more, but these are the ones I seem most aware of at this point. Well, I'd better get back to work on some things that unfortunately are really boring in a lot of ways.
  6. It seems like you did the right thing. This is a difficult disease. It's hard to know if something like that may have been a financial decision or the obvious fear of the worst which is all too common among people with bi polar disorder. Other than checking obituary and probate court records (which can take time), it is difficult to think how else one could check records to see if someone is still with us, other than through a private investigator or another sophisticated 'public' records search database (maybe). I hope she calls you back or you find something indicating she's okay. our best, -g
  7. @JD4010, I signed up for my organization's EAP program, set an appointment, had it confirmed and was ready and waiting for the telehealth call. Provider never called. I called the health care company 3 times. Got cut off twice while on hold. Got through, then got transferred directly to their third (fourth?) party scheduling contractor. They tried but failed to contact the provider. I just asked that they follow up with me to let me know what happened, and so I could decide to try again with same provider or a different one. They never called back. That's anecdotal I realize, and if I thought it would be beneficial, I would pursue it again anyway. As it is, I found a good therapist who I knew before they were a therapist in a different context, which is kind of cool. So, I'll stick with that. How are you doing these days? I'm not here much, but will check back, and you know how to reach me live. Hope you and your daughter are well. Best, G
  8. Thanks for the feedback here. I've been doing a lot of work on my mental health with some good professionals the past few months. Among other experiences, I became essentially a jr. judge handling a mental illness docket. From that, and from re-reading the DSM criteria for bipolar disorder, I think I've given up on this particular idea. As much as I want to, I just don't think that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages even of well-treated and channeled bipolar II even in its mildest form. This seems especially in the context of the modern work world. It is true that a lot of very talented, high-performing people have the condition and always have, e.g. Kay Jamison's book Touched with Fire is all about the world-renown artists, musicians, writers, poets, etc. who we know had manic depressive illness, and in some ways it at least influenced if not fueled their artistic temperament. But she is careful not to say that it was by itself the driving force, or that it amounted to a net advantage for almost any of them. Some were able to harness their periods of mania/hypomania and produce fine works that of art. Others produced disorganized chaos. For almost all of them, in various ways or others, the condition caused their lives to fall apart, and most of them many times. As it has for me. I am very fortunate to live in a time where we better understand this, and I have been lucky enough to benefit from a wide variety of treatment, including a good bit of leading edge or exotic forms of treatment, which I have aggressively pursued. That, and a loving family and friends, are what have kept me alive, and resilient even if not what one could consider "stable."
  9. or shr ooms, as I'm going to explore.
  10. Thanks. Yah, maybe it's the wrong market. I will say that your points about elite people and companies only caring about results is true, something I ought to know from spending about half my career serving them. II'm planning to do more communications work than litigation going forward, but the principle probably still applies about the same. What I am confident about and committed to is the belief that people and employees need a single performance coach and therapist resource for their job stress. Job stress and problems make up about 75% of what people talk to therapists about, but there's still a big disconnect because frankly a therapist really can only help with general applications to what are very specific job problems. I think that if we have such a resource it would help so much that we would look back and wonder how we ever got on without it before. IIn my experience, and I think the data will back this up, wellness programs and EAP programs have helped very little with real.job stress let alone employees' behavioral illness - even in the rate cases when an employee is willing to take the risk to use them.
  11. You think you're used to it, and know how to respond to it but then the crash comes and you just want to die again, and it's like you've never been here before.
  12. I'm dealing with serious burnout right now. The last 5 months all I've done is worked constantly and long hours 6 or 7 days a week at the new court position while I'm trying to close my law practice. I managed to find and start with a new therapist who is a former law professor of mine turned LCSW. Fortunately she's good and is helpful. But depression, bad anxiety, and now compounding avoidance and procrastination have returned with their usual vengeance. Therapist (correctly) says the only real solution to burnout is rest and relaxation. I'm not going to get a lot of that anytime soon. I guess I just need to keep things as simple as they can be, work hard to be mindful and incorporate brakes and relaxation practices as frequently as possible, and keep doing the next right thing. Otherwise I'm way past ready to give up again.
  13. I'm brief: Hard work creativity exuberance Association of disparate ideas and things Writing and speaking ability Pubic relations / branding / marketing skills Digital and legacy media savvy Crisis management (probably some legal, though I have this and it's easy to recruit) Interpersonal effectiveness (even sales skills), customer relationship management Attention to detail (hyperfocus) And other functions This has to be refined and added to, and likely we'd need some (not bipolar, etc.) "normal" employees for balance
  14. Right. I'm generally aware. I am fortunate, even though one's experience and suffering is really all any of us knows.
  15. My dream some day, not incidentally, is eventually to create a consulting (and maybe legal) firm called something like Special Counsel & Wellness. If anyone reads this, I'll be appreciative. The firm would: a) serve (presumably elite) clients with PR and messaging, legal / crisis management, maybe marketing and branding, etc. (I am a complex litigation attorney); b) intentionally and publicly recruit individuals with mental health "conditions" (i.e. illnesses), especially bi-polar conditions because, we think differently about the world, make different associations, and can skip steps and communicate, interact with and move through world differently than others (kind of a play on Apple's old slogan "think different"); c) have an in-house specialist who is a combined psychotherapist & performance coach (and maybe psychiatrist too, one can dream), so that employees can go to this ombudsman in confidence and the specialist can help them simultaneously with both job/career coaching, strategies stress, etc.. This is based in part on a character, Dr. Wendy Rhoades, in the show billions who has exactly that job for an elite hedge fund in NYC. Her character is based a real such person in new York (who sued the show for copyright infringement as they overused her biography/self-help book). Earlier last year, I was pursuing ways to get my law practice more into mental health law, and I flew back to DC to interview with "the law firm of the future" - that's really the only way to put it. I both practiced at and worked as a legal sales consultant to some of the world's most sophisticated and largest law firms. But this firm was (is) remarkable in the way they are just doing so many things differently and using technology and different philosophical assumptions to do it. They'd started "incubated" really a domestic relations and criminal defense firm which they said they were trying to franchise into a unique firm handling mental health and civil commitment cases. They wanted to hire me to run such a franchise in Ohio. I couldn't make it work for various reasons, and anyway, they can apparently make money representing families of those needing civil commitments in America's richest county on the east coast, whereas that is not a possibility in midwestern Ohio. d) this removes the gap so many people have when trying to get cohesive, integrative help efficiently and simultaneously from one source for: 11) their greatest source of stress/anxiety and even depression - their jobs (from 12 years here, and meeting numerous people in support groups and other real life, job stress is easily the # 1 stressor of depressed and anxious people in my view, and in any case the one I want to cater to, and have some skills as a long-time employee and recruiter/HR consultant); while also 2) doing professional psychotherapy. e) the value proposition and the "ask" to clients is a modern one in that it asks of them not only to trust us with a bit of a high risk / high reward proposition (take a risk on mentally ill creative schizoid personalities in exchange for getting extraordinary results and solving problems creatively in a way you never thought you could), but also it will explicitly ask them to partner with the company in helping subsidize this in-house support program and in that way do good while getting good. The client gets to (and is expected to) tout its good work in helping support such a progressive and important cause. The employees of course benefit from the job support while self actualizing, while helping the company and clients. And the client had better get extraordinary results. It's a "virtuous cycle," which has a compelling sales hook all its own I think, and is real, and is much needed. While I was in DC, I surveyed, applied, and interviewed with a number of entities of a fairly recently new type - for-profit altruistic firms, (sometimes stupidly called "for profit non-profits" which of course is not a real thing). They can be every bit or more as cut-throat capitalist as the regular for-profit corporation (which legally speaking is psychopathic - there's a whole documentary no this that I think is compelling, but another story). Anyway, it made me aware that this new model (really mainly a marketing contrivance I think) does cater to society's new enormously strong desire that the companies, services, and products they use not only be good, but make them feel good about themselves. This is everywhere. But its not anywhere in mental health in this way. Plus, its' born of existential personal frustration that even the best therapists generally can't/won't/shouldn't, and really are not capable of being a true job/career coach; and certainly the best career coaches are legally precluded from doing true therapy. And so in my judgement and experience, these two never really meet or overlap adequately, and this represents an unmet need. And I am aware that most likely I am almost by definition not in the best position to apply objectivity and cold analysis regarding whether and how realistic this is, or if it is mostly just emotional and grandiose? Zig Ziglar used to talk about how "the little world laughed when Robert Fulton said he could build a steam engine, but it cheered when he sailed down the Hudson"...and then he goes through a short litany of just a few of these examples. People very frequently laugh and write off new ideas they can't relate to, until they come into reality. Think of Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk (I don't want to be like either one of them) - but both were laughed out of numerous boardrooms and investor meetings. They're getting the last laugh now. Is the only way to really know whether its' fantasy or worth pursuing, to pursue it and try for it? I don't know. I do know it is on a very short list of "callings" I've had about which I can comfortably say: I'd be okay with myself even if I tried that thing and failed and it cost me dearly. For me, something like this is the proverbial game of pitch-and-toss in which I could make one heap of all my winnings and risk it all on one turn, and lose and start again at my beginnings and never breath a word about my loss. -- IF, Rudyard Kipling (Or I'd bitch about it for a while, but could learn, and move forward anyway).
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