My life in a few words…

This the “truth”, as I see and feel it. I put brackets around truth because there are many truths describing one event depending on one’s perception.

I will try to do my very best to be as organized and coherent as possible. I am bipolar 2 rapid cycles with an affective disorder and a severe anxiety disorder. I have been followed by a psychiatrist since 1992. Having said that I feel stable for now as my treatment seems to be adequate. Recently I have felt strong signs of improvement in my general disposition by pushing myself to look for the positive even out of a negative situation and to constantly remind myself that things will be okay. It seems to be working well so far and I keep my fingers crossed.

My background:

I graduated from the Superior School of Commerce in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1984. I further extended my education throughout my 30-year career both in finance and education.

My first occupation after graduating was an arbitrageur on equities, covering European and Asian Stock Markets. I also spent a considerable amount of time on the floor of the NYSE and the AMEX.

Then I went on to take an “administrative responsibilities” position (in today’s term, COO) in an offshore Genevan Private Swiss bank. I became the youngest First Vice President to have ever undertaken such responsibilities in that country. I had made the front page of the local newspaper

After completing my 4 years assignment, I joined an independent brokerage firm in the New York area. I became a fully licensed trader and eventually a partner. I spent slightly less than 10 years of my life: brokering Eurobonds, US Treasuries and US equities for institutions.

While I was in New York, I joined the best backgammon club in New York City. I got heavily involved with the game and ended up being ranked internationally after winning a few tournaments and made it to the world championships, where I didn’t last very long! At one stage of my life, I was seriously thinking about turning “pro”.

Instead, I decided that it was time to change courses and I then joined another well-established Private Bank in Geneva. My initial mission was to create from the ground up a full operating trading desk (Foreign exchange, commodity, bond, stock) for their largest offshore office.

Once this task was completed, I went on to Portfolio and Relationship Management. This turned out to be my last assignment. After 7 years in this field and ended up Head of Private Banking for the Group’s largest offshore office.

I was also involved in an International Film Festival as a Director. The experience was tremendous and eventually took me to the Cannes Film Festival. This was one of the best experiences of my life. I met incredible people and I can say that for many years I shared a very close relationship, maybe even a friendship with a Hollywood legend.

The result of losing both my parents a year apart combined with my responsibilities at work became too much to handle. I ended up having a massive breakdown or a “burnout” (I was told that “burnouts” do not exist in psychiatry; they are simply called depressions). I was put on a 6 months leave, but I managed to bounce back and was ready to go back to work. Despite all the achievements and success that I had accomplished for the bank, the “sharks” and “weasels” that I worked with, managed to stab me in the back and got me fired.

After this unexpected and traumatic event, I decided to take care of my family; in particular, my family affairs. Throughout this time I managed to achieve all the personal goals that I had set out; to fully renovate the family home, learn how to play the guitar, pass my black belt in mixed martial arts, to name a few.

I had a nice financial cushion when I left the bank but after living off it for close to 6 years, it eventually disappeared. I had no desire to go back to thet rat race after being away from finance for so long.

Then for about three years, I tried to get involved in other fields, investing money and losing it. In retrospect, I believe that I was in a manic phase as my poorly made decisions were based solely on “feelings”; invincible, fearless, believing I could not fail.

It was only after the help of my family and doctors who prescribed the right treatments that I was able to face reality.

It was then that I decided to become a certified English teacher. I have two certifications; one for regular English and the other for business English.

And now I have created this blog. We have to fight to end mental health prejudices and abuses. The stigmas have to stop. It is believed that bipolars are smarter than the norm then, let’s use our brains (when they want to cooperate) and let’s put an end to this.

Peace and serenity

Lawrence Illoc

 

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15 thoughts on “My life in a few words…

  1. It’s always good to look with your background what kind of new combination you could make. And what suits with how you feel at the moment. Think about it. Maybe something pop up. Always be proud of who you are, was and will be.
    You got a lot to offer. Stay on track. And indeed you have to believe, so stay positive. Creativity is a game you have to step in.
    Thanks for your sharing,

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a wonderful story and very inspiring. It is amazing how much you accomplished in your life. I found it fascinating. You are incredible and now you are accomplishing even more as a mental illness survivor, blogger and advocate. You are helping many. Thank you for being so wonderful. I will be sharing and posting your story on my blog tomorrow. Thank you again for helping fight stigma and helping our campaign. I appreciate it beyond words. Much love and big hugs, Sue

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kinds words and compliments. I am blushing 🙂
      I really want to make an impact in raising the mentally ill legal status as we are nowhere to be seen unless the write about incarceration. And these stigmas have to be fought one by one because if we don’t it implies that we condone them. Thank you very for your message which definitely made my day. Much love and peace and serenity.

      Liked by 1 person

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