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I’m ready to work. I am 1/3 of the way through my writing certificate at UCLA, and I think it is time to start earning a paycheck. I have to be careful, though. I don’t want to set myself up for failure. I can’t work full time anymore. I need to start with part time. I have applied for about twenty freelance writing jobs, but other people out-bid me (I am not going to write a blog post for $5. That is outrageous considering coming up with an idea, research, and then writing).

I have one interview with a company, and the job is to write two articles for them every week. If I could get two jobs like that, it would be perfect. I also applied to work at a thrift store part time. (Once when I was recovering from a psychotic episode, I went to work at a thrift store and loved it.) I recently went for an interview for the thrift store job. They called my references. I received a call back for a second interview. I’m not going to go to the second interview. I realized I can’t do it. I think I could handle it if it were two to three days a week, but the woman who interviewed me said it could be four to five hours a day five days a week. There is no way I can do that. I don’t think I would last a month.

It is going to take a lot of work on my part, but I need to work from home. My social anxiety, fatigue from medication and symptoms of paranoia are going to make it difficult, if not impossible, to work five days a week. It is painful to realize that I have gotten worse over the years. I used to be able to do more. I am far more aware of my limitations now, though. In the past, taking a job, and leaving it after six months didn’t bother me. Now, I don’t want to do that. I want to succeed.

There is a part of me that is sad that I am aware that I can’t work in a thrift store anymore, but there is a part of me that is amazed at my strength, and determination to find a profession where I can be successful. I could have just given up after my last job, but I have worked almost every day of the past year trying to become better at writing, going to school and workshops, and building up my portfolio. I am in school, blog almost every day on this site, blog bi-weekly at Psych Central, blog at-will on The Mighty (I have nine articles/essays up there) and I write at-will for a site called She Knows. I have also published three articles on Role Reboot and been a guest blogger on many sites.

Many vocational training programs take two years. I have been working toward a career in writing on a regular basis for one year. I think at the two-year mark I will be writing and making a paycheck.

When I started this blog, not only did I do it to practice my writing, I wanted people to know that people with schizophrenia aren’t all that different from anyone with a chronic illness.

I haven’t wanted very much in my life. I haven’t had too many hopes or dreams. I have two dreams now, though, and I want them more than anything I can remember. I want to be a writer with a paycheck, and I want everyone to know people with schizophrenia are capable of having a dream, and taking the steps to make it come true. I’m not all the way there yet, but I hope you see my dreams taking shape. I’m going to make it. I know I am going to make it.