Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Polar Disorder

For about ten months, I've been looking for some "meaningful" work. Meaningful as I use the term, means helping folks improve their lives. Cooking a piece of shoe leather for a hungry customer does not fit within my definition of "meaningful" although it certainly might be meaningful to a cook or a to a hungry customer.

I stumbled into this blurb while scanning my usual informational sources.

Mental health: What's normal, what's not

Mental health vs. mental illness — Find out how mental illnesses are diagnosed and defined.


What's the difference between mental health and mental illness? Sometimes the answer is pretty clear. People who hear voices in their heads may have schizophrenia, for instance. And those with such grandiose ideas as becoming the secretary-general of the United Nations without any experience may be having a manic episode caused by bipolar disorder.

I focused on the last line. Clearly, as I seek work, I realize now that I suffer from polar disorder.

You see, I don't have any delusions about becoming the secretary general of anything. In fact, I have reduced my expectations to something just a shade over minimum wage. And while 'm not sure exactly what a secretary general of the United Nations accomplishes, I'd settle for helping a drunk guy get sober, or an angry kid being a little less angry. For about 10 bucks an hr. That's how much I made in 1980. Give or take a buck.

That's how it is for those of us in this economy with Polar Disorder. We've reduced our expectations to just a shade over minimum wage. But then again, maybe I should not fear some manic episode that leads to my applying for some lofty U.N. or government gig or cabinet position. The results of my job seeking, lofty or lowly-however you view it- are just about the same.

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