Choices in Recovery

Robin Cunningham Health Guide

    Earlier blogs in this series on seeking employment can be found at Robin Cunningham's SharePosts.  A yet-to-be-completed series of SharePosts entitled "Choices in Recovery" [posted 23 September, 2007 through 20 January, 2008] and a completed series entitled "Coping Skills" [posted on 27 January, 2008 through 6 July 2008] are also available on this site.


    In my last several blogs, which have dealt with issues related to "Finding and Keeping a Good Job," I presented a simple form I created some years ago to help me figure out what my real employment objectives were and how these changed over time.  First, I presented a copy of this form filled with fictitious data to illustrate how information should be entered into the form.  I then proceeded with some examples of what one can learn about their own motivations in seeking employment by performing a simple analysis of this information.  In my last SharePost I included a blank copy of the form that could be printed out for use by anyone who might want to try this approach.  [If you would like a clean copy of this blank form, please e-mail your request to me at and I will return a form to you.].  The information and analysis used in these SharePosts dealt exclusively with the economic issues.  This same kind of analysis can be performed on a wide range of attitudes and perceptions related to employment, such as those dealing with, but not limited to, personal, recovery and career issues and goals.  The analysis of all these can then be combined to derive an overarching and highly personal perspective on how one feels about seeking employment.  In my experience, if the entire series is completed, this information and analyses can also provide some insights about whether or not we are ready to go to work, all in a unique and highly personal way.

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    The form I have been using in recent blogs was developed at a point well into my long and winding path toward recovery.  At that time the form was useful to me because I was in the enviable position of being able to choose one job from a number of opportunities.  But getting to the point in my recovery where I had even one job opportunity, let alone a choice of opportunities, was arduous.


    Prior to submitting the series of SharePosts about "Coping Skills" and beginning my most recent series about "Finding and Keeping a Good Job," my blogs had focused on some of the experiences that have been part of my continuing journey of recovery.  This series of SharePosts was entitled "Choices in Recovery," which I have not yet finished, and which was intended to include, among many other issues, SharePosts on coping skills and issues related to finding a job.


    I now have a simple question for you.  Would you prefer that I complete the series on "Finding and Keeping a Good Job" before I return to the "Choices in Recovery" series, or would you rather have me return to the "Choices in Recovery" series now (which series will include SharePosts on coping skills, as well as finding and keeping a good job?").  Please indicate your preference in a reply to this SharePost.  If you're undecided or don't care, please indicate this in a reply.

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    Now, I will share with you one of the reasons that I "keep-on keeping-on" despite the difficulties of dealing with schizophrenia and the many other painful and life threatening illnesses that I live with day after day.


    I believe we are all on this planet because there is something that each of us is supposed to do before our departure.  We don't know what that chore is and may not even know once we have completed it.  I believe this chore may range from serving as President of the United States of America (I'm confident that this is not my assigned chore.) to saying one word to one person at one specific point in time.


    Because I'm still here, I'm assuming that I haven't yet completed my chore.  So, until I do complete my assigned chore, I try to reach out to others and pass along the gifts I have received that have been so helpful in my ongoing journey of recovery.  I offer unconditional acceptance, encouragement, understanding and compassion.


    Who knows, maybe you are the one to whom I'm supposed to say that one word.


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    Please remember, this writing reflects my own experience and opinions.  If you, or a loved one, are experiencing the symptoms of schizophrenia, or any other mental illness, you should seek professional assistance.

Published On: September 03, 2008