May 10, 2004

getting work again

Often for those of us with schizophrenia by the time we are in hospital we have held at least some work already in our lives. Getting back to the working world is also a better way of looking at employment for those of us with schizophrenia because this matches other disabled workers resources and approaches. Going back to school, changing jobs, volunteering, getting off unemployment insurance these are all regular happenings in our economy so we can jump right in with the rest.

Of course, it is not easy. My first job after my major hospitalisation was as a painter of houses. I basically was not very good at working and only painted one house but on my own. Then I worked in something I had done as a student club activity when in high school and later as a volunteer. I worked as a stage hand at a theatre I had helped my brother find work at years earlier. He no longer worked there. This became my job for five years but this job only employed me for approximately five days a year. I am not joking. There was a recession and times were tough. After this work I went back to school and also got on line.

It was not until mid nineties that I found some more regular work helping with the local newspaper route. This matched my night hours as the paper is delivered early in the morning. I did this mixed with playing in a rock 'n' roll band as I gave up my real life self help group. Then I started to tutor math as a volunteer at the psycho-social clubhouse. This later developed into a little work at the disabled students centre at school tutoring fellow and sister students in math. Just last year I was finally hired as a teaching assistant by the school's math department.

I find out at the end of this week on Friday, if I still have this job for the summer term. This morning I am reading the newspaper after having helped with that job again.

Posted by petert at May 10, 2004 05:43 AM


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