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I’ve decided to apply for new jobs, professional ones in the field I worked in during my military service and in-line with my latest graduate degree. This hasn’t been a decision that I’ve taken lightly. Working despite schizophrenia has been a challenge and now I’m looking at moving to a more demanding job.

I feel unfulfilled at the cemetery – that job turns its back on my 14 years of military experience and my education. I’m not challenged there, I feel like I’m not making a larger contribution and I am not interested in the work. It doesn’t help that I’m not religious and the idea of extravagant funerals feels like a waste to me.

But this may be the limit of my capability now that I’m schizophrenic. In the last three weeks I’ve missed three days of work due to schizophrenia and it was okay. I’ve had issues with hallucinations and delusions there and have been able to, with some success, work through it. I don’t have to concentrate there.

I still have bad days there though. And I still am bored and unfulfilled. I feel no connection to my coworkers.

So I’ve decided to take a risk. If I feel these things at my current job and my fear is that I’ll feel them at the new job, then there’s really no reason to not move to a more challenging and professional position. It really isn’t like I could be moving to a job that I look forward to less.

The biggest issue is my ability to work. What if I go to the new job (when I get one) and I discover that it is too much for me. I would be out both jobs.

I know that there is one thing about my condition and that is change. In the next few years there is one certainty, it won’t be the same as it is now. I’ll either be better or worse than I am now. If I’m better, then great, I’ve made a good decision. If I’ve grown worse then this could be a terrible decision.

I’m really on the edge of employability right now, I have missed those three days at work and I have a lot of trouble when I’m there. My big fear is that I’ll become unemployable. Taking a new job with higher compensation would mean that we could better prepare for my time as a house-husband drawing no income other than my military retirement.

Maybe my next job won’t be so tolerant of me calling in. I’m basically home today because I had a bad dream about a dog I recently gave to a shelter and have been listening to the Dragon chastise me about it. I didn’t give that full explanation, I simply called in and said that I was having a bad brain day and needed to take extra medication.

I’m trying to use my day wisely. Once my meds made me tired I snook in a nap. I’m writing a blog post and I plan on doing a little more job searching (although that is, obviously from this post, a little bit of a trigger for me). I called and left a message for my psychiatrist that my meds just aren’t keeping up with the symptoms lately and asked about increasing my dosage a little.

It’s frustrating that just two days after I decide that I’m doing good enough to change from job aspirations back to career aspirations that I’m back away, holed-up in my home.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic – have you made any career changes as a schizophrenic or with some other mental illness? What considerations did you have that I’m missing on? Please post your comments below.

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