Contribution: Is it Possible without Consistency?

I read something recently that said that to be a meaningful contributor you have to be consistent. This is certainly true to a point. But I think it is important to realize that if you try your best, and make it clear up front that you have a disability that keeps you from being consistent and that therefore you want to know how to be involved in a way that plays to that… I think that if you do that then it is possible to contribute without being consistent. Just don’t sign up for roles that require consistency.

Don’t forget: you are always a contribution, just by existing – you matter. God created us all equal and we are all fully human, no matter how broken we may feel.

Don’t forget: sharing your story, when it is safe to, and when it is not traumatic to do so, is a contribution that will allow for others to feel like they can share theirs. I have made myself ill with worry after sharing – so go easy on yourself. But once you think you have the right balance, share. It brings hope, and it heals.

Don’t forget: if you can’t share, you can be a listener and support others in prayer when you hear of their needs. You are a contributor and you matter, every time you pray for and think of others.

Getting Over Myself

I didn’t realize how much depth was possible in a human being until I became ill. And I didn’t realize the flatness and shallowness of others until I tried to interact with them while I was suffering. After a while, being superficial was no longer an option. I had to be honest.

“You’re really shallow,” I said.

And like that, our relationship was over. But I had found myself.

Therapy Outcomes with Psychosis

I was reading a book recently about career counseling and one of the reasons mentioned for poor outcomes is that the person has psychosis. I didn’t even know what psychosis was when I was in therapy, or that I was experiencing it, and I also don’t think that my doctor knew this either. It took a long time to figure that out. And reading this section about the mental health outcomes due to psychosis would have depressed me if I was just getting diagnosed, but now that I am on the right medicine and am not experiencing it I feel affirmed that maybe it wasn’t just me and my own self that had struggled but rather was a sign of the illness.

In thinking back about this experience of therapy with psychosis, it was very damaging to me while experiencing psychosis to be told that I had been mistreated, abused, or otherwise victimized. And I think that this is because we cannot perceive if something is happening now or if it had happened in the past. Telling people that have PTSD, for example, that what happened to them was wrong, might lead to poorer daily functioning. I don’t know what should be done about this, but that was my experience. And thus, in this way, I wonder to what extent the traumatizing legal process in the case of abuse that causes psychosis is placing a double burden on victims who have to relive the abuse and assert that they are not recovered.

Great program for management of relationships and responsibilities

I joined 17hats last year and am just now starting to use it. And no – I’m not getting paid for this post. As a person with a mental health condition that disturbs my sense of purpose and direction as well as my relationships, it is amazing how helpful it is to have an interface for emails and friendship tracking and professional commitments all backed up. This is because it gives you consistency even when your mood or plans change. Maybe you fall off the bandwagon for a couple days or longer. At least you have a record of what stability looks like and where to pick up the pieces as you go along your way.

I am also using it to put on contracts that I get and other things and am realizing how busy I actually am, which also feels nice since I don’t have a full-time hectic teaching schedule anymore. It is amazing how much our devotion to work schema in the US makes me feel like I’m not contributing just because I don’t have a 40-hour workweek. When you don’t have that validation of working for a full organization it is easy to feel like you aren’t a full person, but it means a lot when you realize that, indeed, you’re getting paid, and you’re keeping in contact with people, and that even if I wasn’t able to do even that, I would still be an equally worthy human being and individual.

People who work for themselves usually rejoice at not having a boss, but when you really struggle if you do have a boss, then it seems less like a choice and more like a weakness. But here I am in a cafe after having just written up some reports and man does it feel good to be able to check things off!