Mental Health At Work

Well happy mental health day! I hope everyone is up and running and enjoying the day set aside for us. What wait, no? Let me look at the 5 calandars I have, nope none of them have it listed. Odd. Well at least people are talking about it in the work place, wait what? No?

Normally I wouldn’t post daily, I don’t need everyone to get tired of me. But this years topic is a hot topic. Mental health at work. One of my favorite questions when filling out paperwork for a new job is, “do you have a disability”. I always say no. Number one if I’m healthy enough to be working again than nope I don’t feel I have a disability, that’s basically my positive thinking trying to take over. But the real reason I put down no, is the fear they will take back their offer of employment if they find out I have bipolar.

The sad part is I do not need serious accommodations. I don’t need extra sick days, or breaks. What I need is understanding. I have a decent IQ, but when I learn a new job it’s like I’m putting together a 700 piece jigsaw puzzle. Once the pieces start to fit I’m good to go and off I go. But until I get my pieces grouped together and my border in place I can appear to be a dumb blonde. It’s so frustrating, and all I need is for someone to explain to me why or how things are all connected. But try to explain that to someone without getting weird looks.

I need someone to introduce me to other people, unless I am forced too I am not able to just walk up to people and talk to them, eat lunch with them, go on break with them. Watch me walk into a bar all alone. I’m terrified, but my face says, “talk to me and I’ll punch you in the nose”, I literally shake. Work is the same way, I used to work in a call center and my boss would have to listen to my calls once a month sitting next to me. My heart rate would go up to 180. No joke. I’d nearly pass out. But otherwise I was great at the job.

Some days are just hard for me, I struggle to not go running home. A little positive attitude from a coworker or even better my boss goes a long way.

In general I need to feel safe in my work environment. I need to know that if I have a panic attack, everyone isn’t going to freak out and judge me.

I’ve had one boss in my life that made me feel safe at work and not like I needed to run. I never needed to tell him I struggled with a mood disorder, he knew. He was a Marine and seen it all. I knew I could depend on him. The joke on our end of the docks was that if I had a problem with one of the drivers, (I was a shipping and receiving clerk) that the guys on our end would handle it. But if a driver was really being a jerk, I was calling our logistics manager and I didn’t want to be on that drivers end.

But we don’t find that in every boss, I probably never will again. That’s partially why I work for myself.

The colors for mental illness awareness are; blue, gray, silver and green. From this Friday until May 2018 I will be wearing one of those colors. I also plan to take a walk every friday. I will spend some time thinking and praying and sending good energy to those who havent left their homes in a long time, those who can get out of bed, those in psychiatric units, and those leaving treatment facilities that are supposed to have follow-up care but never get a call or letter.

 

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