That dreaded question 'what do you do?' or 'have you got a job?'

i think my list is just a rough example of a ‘so called’ social ladder and it can be flexible,

my dad is the same really but i hate what alcohol has done to him. their are lots of variables when trying to work out a social ladder pecking order and it is so hard to fathom,

i think if you are a combination of a few things like say if you were a sz and an alcoholic or drug addict and then you clean up your act and ddrop the alcohol and the drugs that you are climbing that ladder just by doing that, like i believe that when i stopped smoking i did it as well,

i dont know what the actual pecking order is in this life but i do not want to believe what i have been told that people with sz are at the very bottom because that just makes me feel worthless.

Yes, you make sense.

How do you define a social ladder ,is it by upbringing( in which case i am solidly middle class) or occupation and wealth(in which case never having worked i’m on the lowest rung)or some other variable?
Is someone with schizophrenia/severe mental illness who doesn’t work due to disability really worse than someone who doesn’t have to work due to the good fortune of inheriting money?
I must admit i tend to self stigmatise myself a lot on this issue. Feeling less of a person because of my lack of a work record.

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A little off topic but I wanted to note that I think substance use (addiction) is now considered to be a disorder. While it may be a choice in the beginning, while suffering from it, it does not feel like there is a choice.


Is it a choice when there can be a genetic component to it/run in families.
My great aunt’s husband was an alcoholic and his father had dementia caused by being an alcoholic…

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I agree with you. Genetic predisposition can make it as much of a disorder as any other in my opinion. I sometimes think it is something my son will always have to fight against given the history of alcohol and drug abuse on both sides of his family.


Well sure. Picking up that first drug is a choice. And it is true that once you are an addict or alcoholic it is no longer a choice to drink or use. We have too. I gleaned this from reading the Big Book, and the CA and NA basic texts. I also learned this by personal experience and listening to a thousand addicts and alcoholics sharing. But we are short-sighted and often ignorant when we take that first hit because we are ignorant about the facts of addiction. No one has a goal to become an addict.It is a series of bad choices in the beginning of using or drinking that starts the ball of addiction rolling.


The addictive personality runs deep in our family. The casualty list due to alcohol and drugs in the family is sadly long.

Our parents had taken turns and fallen off the wagon as well… But they got help fast in getting back on. They never said they did it alone.

My 6 year old nephew scared me a lot the other day. My brother Jacob’s house is becoming unstable and he’s obviously been drinking more again. My nephew got a very happy glow to his eyes when he admitted to me that he drink some of the scotch that my brother left in a glass on his desk. He said it just smelled amazing. He just had to know what it tasted like.

It was very scary seeing this young kid relay the joy of discovering scotch at age 6. Of course I asked my sister-in-law if she knew. That is one of the reasons she had told my brother to get help or get out. But wow, that young and already brain wired for it. It’s amazing how subtle the genes can be.

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I hate it. Mostly when someone asks me how I make my income. Sometimes I’ll defer and say “student loans” or that I had a previous job, which I did, before I was a schiz. But at 21 years old, it’s pretty bad.
I came clean to my friend yesterday and told him about my illness. A few of my close friends know, but nobody else does. ( <5 friends know )
It’s not shameful to get disability.
I will try to find a job, because my schizophrenia consists mostly of paranoia, voices, and suicidal thoughts. i don’t hallucinate or become delusional, that was only in my psychosis.

Anyways, here I am, living with no purpose. This is the hardest part about the illness. But sometimes I really don’t care. Maybe in the summer time I’ll look for a job. We’ll see.

When asked that, I answered “I’m a writer.” When, actually, I never got paid for writing." I wrote letters, a journal, and catchy advertisements for my music lessons. Writing is my interest, not my income. I considered a partial truth. I don’t think I had the confidence to say I was a musician even if it was a partial income. I felt I wasn’t worth it a lot.

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that sounds really familiar.
did the man say that he had an appointment, and thus stopped the conversation?
because he was 2 late?

I do lots of things I don’t get paid for. Why does the question “what do you do?” have to mean making money? I am more than a paycheck.


that was the first person and we didtnt have much to say after that, or maybe i didnt, i think he was just looking for something to talk about and he was just trying to get to know me better, i told him the basics but it wasnt enough to keep the conversation going. i had more luck talking to the second person in that regard.

I had to deal with this today actually. I’m still telling people that I just haven’t found a job yet. I think I need to just start telling people that I have health problems that I don’t want to talk about, but I feel like that is even too much information and it makes me uncomfortable. Luckily, nobody in my immediate family is asking about my income and how I am helping with the bills, I think they may have figured it out for themselves.

When someone ask me, I tell them I’m a disable veteran. If they ask why I disable, I tell them I don’t like to talk about it. Then I let them think what they want.

Peace be with you Ridgerunner

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The dreaded question has come up with a few old friends and relatives, some i told the truth others i kind of alluded around it

When someone asks me, sometimes I say disabled or I say that I do freelance work which is’t a total lie. I do art and photography…i just don’t make any money doing it. Lol. I haven’t had a real job in years now. I get SSDI and am a service connected vet.

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