I've done some odd jobs during my life to fill in time - been a pub chef, wiped arses in a nursing home, and been a theatre support worker in a hospital. I've also practised as a psychotherapist, done most of a psychology and computing degree and been a housewife. The last didn't suit me, although I did it to the best of my ability. I'm not cut out to cook and clean for someone else, I don't think - I need a proper career/job for my self esteem.
I started working for the NHS as a support worker on a dementia ward. I enjoyed it, but knew I waned to work with functional illnesses. (Dementia = organic; bipolar disorder, schizophrenia et al = functional) I went to work on the bank on the acute ward and eventually got a proper contract. I loved it from day one. I loved working with really mad people - unpredictable, sometimes violent and always rewarding. People with functional illness get better and go home - people with organic illnesses get worse. On the ward I was able to use my therapeutic skills - the bosses were kind enough to let me - but I avoided making beds and doing tasks as much as I could. I loved one to one work; apart from the time I fell asleep talking to a woman whose issue was self esteem. Whoops.
I worked there for 6 years, which is how I met Kate and Jacqui, my other nursing friend. I loved it. However, eventually the stress of constant exposure to mental illness took its toll, and I went into hospital for what I thought would be a weekend, and which turned into 8 months. I haven't worked since.
I spent 16 years in the RAF defending the Free World , then got bunged out unceremoniously for being bipolar. I and was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Funny old world, isn't it?