Well, it has happened. Unexpected, but true. I am finding myself very quickly gainfully employed as an associate technical designer.
This change is, well, paramount in a lot of ways, and at this point I can only really speculate about how this will change things. The notion of my boyfriend and I suddenly having twice the income we were living on before is something of a baffling thought, and I think in the last week we’ve both spent all the money in the world twice over in our heads. Our dreams are well within the realm of noble, though, centered around ideas of a working motor vehicle, or a vacation for the first time in several years, or the idea of no longer being dependent periodically on food stamps, or actually being able to visit his family for Christmas.
Things we’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t had any way of doing them.
Another big change will be the re-introduction of insurance into my life. The company I’ve been hired on with boasts one of the best benefit packages in the state, so I will have access to medical benefits after only 30 days.
I am hoping that this will mean a better investment in my mental health. The possibility of trying medications that were out of my price range previously, seeing a therapist (since mine is leaving anyway) that is beyond the student level, and a series of paid sick days all contribute to what I am hoping will allow me to navigate the working world a little bit better than the last time around.
I am also a week or so away from when I was planning on starting that bipolar trial medication research study, but after being hired into a full time position I no longer consider the study an option. At this point, maintaining a relatively stable mood for the time being is essential and I am really concerned that getting pumped full of experimental drugs (though potentially helpful) could produce an effect similar to what I have seen with the last several medications I’ve tried. That effect (if you’re just joining us) would be pain, adverse mood reactions, and a very unstable Sarah.
I can just imagine, two weeks in, and I turn into the incredible hulk.
Lately, my goal has been to ride the waves that come to me, and practice an emergency evacuation if completely necessary. Avoiding a storm on the horizon seems smarter, at this point, than riding into it. At least until I have some kind of work sea-legs.
The other thing that I know will be a big adjustment is time. Maintaining a fairly regular mood with bipolar disorder means maintaing a regular sleep schedule, so the last year or so I have been planning my life around that. Now that 40 hours out of each week are going to be spent working, that means a lot less room for error, and a lot less relaxing time.
It never ceases to amaze me how life can take you in a direction and then suddenly pull you in a whole new one… I’m still trying to absorb, I think, the gravity of what this means, and any time it gets too big I am stepping back, trying to remind myself that I need to take things one day at a time, and I can deal with it when it gets here.