So.. I have a work related dilemma

I’m always trying to do what’s best for my recovery… so I’m asking for what you guys think.

I’ve been into web development and design the past 4 years, went to university for a certificate and then mostly did freelance work on projects for clients. I did a few months full time but I couldn’t handle it because of the social environment and anxiety related to that. Also the fact that being on the job didn’t give me enough opportunity to focus on my feelings and mind, so I felt anxious and wasn’t in an environment where I’d be encouraged to work on resolving it, cuz I’m expected to focus mainly on code.

I can make money as a freelancer, that’s not a problem, but my therapist recommended once (he usually doesn’t ever tell me what I should do, so when he does, I listen, I respect him greatly and really look up to him) that I should find something more “free”. What I think he meant is that in web development my mind is usually focused on solving a problem related to the project and doesn’t give my feelings as much attention, and he comes from perspective that something more reflective and not focused on solving problems but instead exploring is better for recovery as a primary focus.

I do enjoy web dev still, but I see what he means. So … I will be working towards getting a certification in peer support, working with people with similar mental issues, and I think I would do well in it. But for now, I took a job as a courier, because it is a reflective thing and “free”, letting my mind reflect and go places while driving instead of being focused on solving logic based problems.

What I like about the courier/peer support path is I’m focusing mainly on my recovery, so I naturally give myself more mental space to heal and have more courage to face myself, where as when I’m in web dev mode, feelings goes on the back burner and my life revolves around my web projects.

So I’m not sure what my question is lol, but I wanted an opinion on what you think sounds more healthy for my recovery, do what is more fun and feels more rewarding and engaging mentally (web dev) even though therapist recommended something more artsy or get into artsy peer support, learn how to reflect back to people and put my recovery progress in the limelight even though I haven’t found the “fun” aspect of it yet?

I’m also considering the fact that as a freelance web dev I’ll be sitting in a coffee shop writing code not getting much socializing during my days (other than evening outings with friends) and as a peer supporter I’d be socializing with people a large part of the day.

TBH, I think it’s important to do what you enjoy and what you’re good at.

It seems odd that your therapist recommended you change to something “artsy”. I can see this as a good recommendation only if being artsy is something you enjoy and are good at.

Thx @Moonbeam

I’m actually good at both, the technical cerebral stuff but also emphasizing with and understanding people, they’re my top two strengths (did the strengths finder test which I found accurate and agreed with a lil while ago). I just haven’t found the “click” yet with making supporting people into an art form like my therapist has. I should also mention web dev is artsy as well, just in a different way, a logical more close-ended kind of artsy.

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I say give it a shot and keep freelancing on the side and see what you like better. If you like freelancing, why not just do that and join more support groups or use your skills to help out at a community organization’s office or church or club. Good way to meet people. I see no reason your job has to revolve around people, plus pay for peer support isn’t that high. For me I would like a balance of problem solving and human interaction in my day if I were high functioning. Unfortunately I am not too high functioning and can’t complete that many things in a day.

Thanks, yeah I am definitely going to keep trying on both hats and see which one fits better. Gotta admit my therapist made me a bit scared and reluctant to continue with web dev, but yeah there’s no reason to be. And yeah I go to a mental health drop in for first episode psychosis, lots of fun that place is.

Did you do something with that balance of problem solving and interaction before your illness onset?

Curious too, which symptoms stop you from doing what you find meaningful?

Find something that meets your values. I enjoy helping people, I left a very exciting industry to begin studying for new career in which i get to do what I love most… helping people

Same situation I’m finding myself in @Qwerty1

I like the challenge of having more than one strong interest, gives you more to choose from.

What field did you leave behind?

However, if coding is something that you love, do not give it up. You will soon regret t.

I would advise you to continue web development. You said it is rewarding and engaging for you. That alone is reason enough to continue it. Recovery from mental illness means being able to live and do things like every other normal person would. Having a full time job, studying, exercising, socializing. If you can have all those things, you have recovered. If you want to focus on your feelings and mind, do meditation. There are many good meditation apps out there like Headspace and Calm which will help you meditate. Additionally, look into Reflectly, it is a mindfulness journaling app.

Your therapist does not seem to understand what true recovery is.

Thanks, I think my therapist understands it very well though. I don’t think recovery ever ends, it’s not like we get to a certain point in our recovery and then we can just go on autopilot and stop being accountable to continue learning or improving. Well if we do do that, that’s not where I want to end my recovery.

Thanks for your input guys :heart:️ I decided I’ll continue with my courier job and studying to become a peer supporter, as I feel that it’s my calling and will continue with web stuff on my time off.

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