I am now on a DSP after running my own businesses for near 30 years. Each business closed due a severe decline in my health, often with a year or more in between being able to work. Self employed, I could work the days I felt possible. Working for someone else, I was never reliable enough.
After my last serious, ill call it an episode, I literally could not work. As a builder I lost all my skills. My body was no longer connected to my head as in no coordination, shakes, nerves, anxiety was paralysing to the point of sitting on the ground balling my eyes out unable to even pack up my things to drive. My ability to recall next steps totally gone, and where I had to methodically work out the night before each step I needed to take (and if anything went wrong, even flat tyre, that was end of coping for that day) I lost that ability to visualize in my mind.
I continued to shrink my business prior to this episode until one day, I broke. Something snapped in my mind. Since that day, I cannot hang a door, cannot confidently hang a picture. It is literally beyond me.
With bipolar Ive learned there is a huge difference between my capabilities and abilities.
Now on a DSP, I miss working. But realistically, that's nostalgia talking. What I truly miss is that feeling of self worth. The feeling of standing back and saying I built that, or I did that, great job, can do. I miss feeling a part of life. Now, I am for the most part a spectator. Accepting that is hard and something I fight, trying to contribute where I can. So where I built houses, now I once a week clean public toilets. Was I happier working, it came at a very high cost. The repercussions on my family were huge, having expended all energy at work. That's one example.
Am I happy now, no. Was I happy then, maybe. Did I have a purpose, yes. Having lost everything, including my family, do I have a purpose now, no. Maybe I will find that purpose. But I worked for as long as I could. Then, ultimately, that decision, to work or not work, my mind took that away from me.