Scrap that…

EMDR therapy blog post that is. Honestly, I have been finding it difficult to write about EMDR therapy so I am going to write about what’s happening in my life at the moment. I will get back to EMDR therapy at a later time. I wasn’t going to blog about anything work related but since one spends a good majority of their time at work, that is for me… 40 hours per week, 8AM until 5 PM, with a 1 hour lunch break in-between, I can’t avoid talking about it.

Who I was at work before I got sick was a lot different to who I am now and sometimes it’s really hard. Let me begin by explaining who I was and then I will explain what is happening now. I was a very motivated worker with career goals in mind, or thought I could at least work my way up the ladder. I still think that is possible for me but my motivation has lessened and this is part of my illness. I also think that I will have less opportunity, given my illness because of the stigma associated with mental illness, which is unfortunate because I believe that obstacles can be turned into opportunities.

I started out in local Government as a secretary to the Commissioner of Finance and did that for 4 years and then moved up, working as a Personnel Affairs assistant in the Human Resources department for Government. I was quickly given the responsibility of running the salary administration for the entire Government along with many other tasks after receiving training for this. I loved it because I was able to perform complex tasks and I love anything that gives me a challenge.

So, when I got sick the second time I was only on medication for 3 months, and it was easier to transition back to my old job which was salary administration with certain human resources responsibilities. Of course, first, I worked part-time, then eventually full time and then I was reintegrated through working at another job first.

This time around I still have not returned to my old job and it just hasn’t worked out the way I want it to, but I am still grateful that I do have a job because it could be a lot worse. This time I was sick from October 2014 until February 2015 when I started back to work part-time in the afternoon at the Government Archives. After having seen the occupational physician who approves whether or not you can start back to work, I started to work full-time on May 13th, 2015 in the Civil Registry Office but at a rate of 75% of my capacity. It has been a rough road because I could not get up on time so some days I came to work late at 10AM. This was due to the medication.

Now, even though, it is still hard to get up sometimes, I force myself to get up at 7AM and get to work on time because it’s important. Getting up on time has to do with motivation and I think my motivation has improved somewhat over time. Lacking motivation is a negative symptom of schizophrenia. My care team, that is my case worker and team of psychiatrists think I have no negative symptoms, however, I think differently; I feel that I am less motivated and I know how motivated I was before I got sick and what a hard worker I was. Today, I am half the worker I was but I can feel myself slowly recovering my motivation and that is good news.

You will see from my LinkedIn profile found here, AngelitaJanssens that my tasks at work have been reduced. This does not mean to say that I cannot do the tasks that I previously did before getting sick. I am sure that with training  I can reach the level I worked at before I got sick. It is just like starting my career over. It sucks to have to be able to start from scratch again but that’s just the reality of my situation now. Sometimes, I wonder if I am committing career suicide by putting myself out there on the world wide web but to those who stigmatize persons with mental illness, I say I am a shining example of what it’s like to be “sticking it to stigma” though it might be a slow process to recovery.

I think what is helping to recover my motivation is the fact that I take a nootropics supplement which is a natural supplement that enhances your cognitive abilities. The name of the product is Profrontal. It is Sarcosine combined with N-Acetyl Cysteine or NAC for short. In short  it is thought that NMDA receptor abnormalities contribute to cognitive and psychological deficits.”Greater understanding of NMDA function and dysfunction is raising the possibility that sarcosine and glycine, essential cofactor molecules for NMDA receptors, may improve the function of these receptors in the brains of schizophrenia patients”(Hawkes, n.d.,para 3).

I am just one class away from graduating with an Associate of Science in Business degree. This has been a long journey, while getting sick, not once, but twice on that journey, so if I may, I am tooting my own horn. I am proud of myself for how far I’ve come. Of course, the journey is not over but I’m more than halfway there and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Until next time. Peace.

References

Hawkes. E. (n.d.). Sarcosine Therapy – A New Complementary Direction for Schizophrenia Treatment? Retrieved from http://www.schizophrenia.com/glycinetreat.htm

 

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Angelita Janssens-Peterson

Who am I? This is a question that is constantly being redefined especially in the wake of my diagnosed mental illness. My name is Angelita Janssens-Peterson and I struggle with schizoaffective disorder. Now, you might ask what the hell is schizoaffective disorder? Well from my understanding, it’s a bit of both worlds -schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Where am I located? I live on a small island in the Caribbean named Saba which is close to St. Maarten. It is part of the Dutch Caribbean. This blog is about my personal story living with schizoaffective disorder. My goal is to publish one post per month. I hope to inspire others who may be affected with any type of mental illness, be it anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and just be a mental health advocate in general.

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