Paying the Bills in This Bipolar Life

Mental illness and paying the Bills

I was asked to talk about something that I thought would be a perfect blog post subject, how do you pay the bills when your mental health affects your everyday life? I think that is a great question, and a complicated one.

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Paying bill no matter what is a major part of being an adult even with a mental illness. Mental health suffers can struggle to either maintain their current jobs or to find one that will fit your mental illness. In my own journey, I have spent a good part of the last ten years unable to hold down a job or even work.

For years, my mental health kept me from working. There were days, weeks, months, and yes, even years where I was doing nothing. At times in mental illness life, we have no control over ourselves, and it is not that we want to do nothing, it is that mental illness can be debilitating and in many ways, it can be impossible to work. It can be tough to work when depression is controlling you, or your anxiety keeps you from leaving the house.

Take my social anxiety. At times when it is at its worse, it is impossible to leave my house for days or weeks at a time. It can be so scary when I am inside for weeks. When depression and my social anxiety take over all at once it is even harder to function, it is why I chose to go to school and focus on creative writing, first with my bachelor’s degree and now with my master’s degree.

Writing has become my career (I have a publisher for my book, and together we are working towards publication) but I was asked what I have done throughout the last few years to pay bills. This is hard to answer because everyone is different. For me, the last four years of freelance writing, editing, and proofreading have been what pays my bills, but it has always been feast or famine.

I am always writing. It is my life, and I believe that I will make money in the next year with my writing, but this post comes at a good time because I am looking at ways to tutor and teach using my bachelor’s degree. I would like to eventually transition to online teaching, but I have gained some experience, and so there are online options to tutor or teach in California with certain certifications or options to teach online. Right now I am working through my school for help on figuring out other avenues of revenue until my writing takes off.

It is impossible for me to say that this is the right path for you, but if writing is what you love, then do the necessary research. You could go back to school like I do, or find work in a field that you can work online. There is no perfect path because there will always be a mental illness in your life, there is no cure. But it comes down to if you are willing to work on succeeding at something if your willing to work, and if you’re not ready–then give it time. Even The Bipolar Writer has struggled in their life. It is not forever.

Always Keep Fighting

James

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