Opportunity Knocks?

Old Door Knocker on Wood Door

Yesterday I was volunteering at my local mental health nonprofit, which shall remain unnamed for now (okay, it was NAMI Orange County). I learned that one of their staff members recently gave their resignation. When they do list the position to be filled, I very well may apply for it.

No doubt many others will apply as well. Many with recent nonprofit administrative experience. Others who are very involved with NAMI OC as volunteers. The competition will be fierce.

Yet, it intrigues me. My local NAMI knows me. They know that I have bipolar disorder. They know some of my skills. I like the office staff. We get along. Who knows? Maybe it will be a good fit for me.

Back in February 2014, I had considered returning to the workplace through the Social Security Ticket to Work program and was helped by YourEmploymentNetwork.com. Today I reestablished contact online, but I’m only interested in this one job. I do not know how that focus will work in terms of using Ticket to Work. I shall find out in due time.

If I do not get the job, then so be it. I just don’t want to throw myself into the job market whole hog. I want to wait for and apply only for those jobs that align with my passion for mental health advocacy.

Maybe reentering the workforce will even be good for my son. It is about time that he was more independent of me. The kid is 15, after all. He should be able to ride a bike to and from school, even if we live up a ridiculously steep hill where the alternative is to ride in the bike lane along a six – yes, SIX – lane thoroughfare with a 50 mph speed limit. We are even willing to purchase duplicate textbooks for him, though I should have had that included as part of his 504 accommodations.

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44 thoughts on “Opportunity Knocks?

  1. bipolarsojourner July 24, 2015 / 2:39 pm

    i am happy for your opportunity. make the most of it.

    you seem a little concerned that the fact you are bipolar is going to be used against you. this is nami. their number one goal is to advocate for people with mental illnesses. the fact you are bipolar and already proven yourself component around the office will likely work in your favor. someone from the outside may have more experience, but there still is some unknown. perhaps they are blowing smoke during during the interview process. you are a known quantity and that is a benefit.

    additionally, did you know the executive director of nami eastside (seattle) for the last 10 years faces bipolar each and every day? if some nami offices are willing to hire executive directors that face bipolar, surely that’s not going to be a detriment at an executive assistant position.

    do not let you bipolar hold you back. believe or not, it also gives you benefits that other candidates have, especially when it comes to nami.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jim Buchanan July 24, 2015 / 2:48 pm

      Yes, NAMI is pretty accepting of consumers. I was president of NAMI Kokomo for years and still run the facebook page for them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 3:06 pm

      Position is not executive assistant level. I’m not worried about NAMI discriminating against me. I’m worried about my own ability to work without triggering mood cycling. Or work and still take care of my son’s complicated health issues.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 3:06 pm

      Thank you, though, for your support and for giving such as great example.

      Like

  2. Keisha || The Girl Next Door is Black July 24, 2015 / 2:04 pm

    “I want to wait for and apply only for those jobs that align with my passion for mental health advocacy.”

    Seems like a good approach if you want to have passion and fulfillment for your work. Good luck to you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 2:51 pm

      Not only that, but working per se triggers mood cycling. So, if I did go back to work, I’d have to go somewhere where my vulnerability is understood and taken into consideration.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. kaleidegirl July 24, 2015 / 2:01 pm

    Good luck to you if you apply for that position.
    I miss working but the sad truth is, if I try, the issues that put me on disability will arise in full force along with my new physical limitations.
    I feel like a fraud, being so seemingly functional. I have to remind myself that this is only possible because I don’t have the pressures and stress that come with holding down a job. I can use my ample time to hide when I need to and focus on keeping that mask on when I cannot hide.
    May I ask if you are also on disability for mental health reasons if you ever feel this way?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim Buchanan July 24, 2015 / 2:05 pm

      I’m not Kitt, but I am on disability and feel so stable that I feel like a fraud too. I am planning on going back to work when I finish the degree I’m working on, but I’m scared to death that with the stress of working my bipolar and anxiety will hit hard.

      I know what you’re saying…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 2:55 pm

        Jim and Kaleidegirl, it’s terrible that we feel guilty. It is not our fault that we have a mental illness. Sometimes not working is in part what enables us to be stable. For some of us, working provides structure and helps. For others, work can trigger symptoms. We must do what is in our best interest for stability. Ours is an invisible disability. We are not frauds.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 2:50 pm

      I have been on disability for ten years ever since I was voluntarily psychiatrically hospitalized. I definitely have felt and still often do feel EXACTLY as you do. I have the same fear, as well. Honestly, I do the absolute minimum in order to maintain my mental health. So, I’m really not sure whether I should go back to work. I’m pretty busy now as a social media maven. It’s hard to have an “invisible” disability. We are not in wheelchairs, but that doesn’t mean that we are able to work. Some of us are. Some of us are NOT.

      Like

    • bpnurse July 24, 2015 / 4:19 pm

      You said it! I’m the very same way. The only reason I’m as functional as I am is because I’m on disability and don’t have to worry about working—if I did, I’d be just as insane as I was when I did work. Between medication and a low stress lifestyle, I’m great.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 4:25 pm

        That is a HUGE concern. Social stimulation triggers me.

        Like

  4. Amy July 24, 2015 / 1:54 pm

    Good luck. You certainly represent them well in all of your posts and your commitment to mental health issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 2:43 pm

      Thank you, Amy. I appreciate your support and encouragement.

      Like

  5. Jim Buchanan July 24, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    Go for it! My wife worked at NAMI Indiana for years (IOOV coordinator and Consumer something or another) and it was a great experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 2:39 pm

      Jim, I’m thrilled to hear that your wife worked for NAMI Indiana for years. Thank you for your vote of confidence.

      Like

  6. Anonymous July 24, 2015 / 12:20 pm

    Great opportunity. “Time and chance happens to us all”!–‘Strength and compassion are characteristics of a great leader’, Why not Miss kitt? :–).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 2:38 pm

      Thank you, someone. The “why not” is whether doing so would trigger mood cycling (social stimulation and demands tend to trigger hypomania in me) and whether my son given his health problems could manage on his own. I’d be competing with many others, as well. Why people want to work for nonprofits is beyond me. The pay is terrible. For me, the “why YES” is that they know that I have bipolar disorder and respect me and my needs and limitations.

      Like

  7. stockdalewolfe July 24, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    Good luck to you if you want the job, KItt. I think you’d be great. It is all a question of if you want to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 2:36 pm

      That and whether they’d hire me. There is always the chance they wouldn’t. But, yes, I do wonder whether I want to work and whether it is a good idea. Frankly, I’d like to be less burdened with caring for my son. He needs to start being more independent. Easier said than done given his health issues. But maybe if I wasn’t around and the onus fell on him, he’d buck up. Who knows? I may very well be enabling him.

      Like

  8. Surviving the Specter July 24, 2015 / 11:55 am

    “I learned that one of their staff members recently gave their resignation. When they do list the position to be filled, I very well may apply for it.” – Go for it Kitt! You would be an awesome (yes, I’m bringing that word back) administrator. X

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kitt O'Malley July 24, 2015 / 2:34 pm

      I LOVE the word “awesome.” I use it all the time. As a SoCal girl (matron), I think the word is like totally awesome. I spiffed up my resume in preparation… Thanks for your support.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Silver Threading July 24, 2015 / 11:54 am

    Good luck, Kitt. You just never know. I am happy for you and I hope it all works out for you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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