I find myself reflecting on work and career lately because I have neither due to being on disability. And I would love financial security and stability. And then when I have the slightest urge to try something my body reminds that is a very bad idea.
I love working. Because I love constant mental challenges and a job that changes all the time. I love the intellectual effort.
I didn’t enjoy the last company I worked for. Because I had a manager that loathed my existence while simultaneously praising me for meeting my targets. Why? Because chronic pain and illness are not predictable. I missed more days than I should have to be an ideal employee. When I was there even, I did have presenteeism. I was there but due to pain, I wasn’t There. How they hate you for that even though it is entirely out of your control. In fact, they go way out of their way to make your life miserable and thus making those health issues get so much worse. And mentally and emotionally you burn out and become severely depressed.
And yet you stay because you have obligations. And you want ambitions and goals and to progress. For way too long I put up with some truly nasty stuff because I just wanted to Hold On to having a career. I just wanted this one thing to not change. But you can’t keep pushing through pain beyond your limits- it really, really pushes back.
It is just not for me and by the time I got that into my thick skull I had severe and constant dizziness and vertigo. That is when I went on long term. Thinking it would settle down, like it does eventually. And it didn’t. So I am now on permanent disability. CPPD for the government and long term through work (long-term through work is never a given. Insurance companies can come up with any random excuse or whim to get you off of it.) Definitely it is not ideal to live on below the poverty line. I wouldn’t recommend it. Two thumbs down. But it is what it is when you have no other choice.
I ponder the possibility of work that works with my health issues. Like from home. But I have to remind myself I am not reliable or consistent or dependable when it comes to pain and other symptoms. They can lay you out for part of day, all day or even weeks. It just fluctuates. And that is fine for something insanely flexible like my freelance side income. Where I can do it when I Can– and as little or as much as I Can. Basically, I need to function on my own schedule which is erratic. Most companies do not dig that approach.
And so I say to myself rest, recuperate and see what the future brings. Things could get better. Or worse. It is very hard to predict. And I have to be content with that. Certainly, the hell I was in working full-time outside of the house was horrific. Truly horrific. The pain so severe and my mental health the lowest it Could go.
But that job never suited me
However, part of that might be such a job wasn’t suited for me in the first place. Being a highly sensitive person the stress of that place, well, I may have burned out anyway- even with perfect health. I did the job and I did it well but I wouldn’t expect anything less of myself. But sales is not an ideal position for someone with my personality. That I could do it didn’t mean it was suited for me. Very likely the toxic environment, the stress and the ill suited job would have burned me out eventually. As it is with unmanaged chronic pain and other health concerns, it was inevitable. My insurance company never considered chronic pain a disability despite how difficult it is to function. I really do with they could try it on for size and see how it fits for them. And my boss never considered it something worthy of accommodation because Pain is not being blind, or deaf, or in a wheelchair. Not Visible enough for her. Again, she should really try that kind of pain on for size for a decade and see how that feels to her.
But there are plenty of jobs that are suited for my personality. Now that I am keenly aware of what the wrong place and job do to me I’d pay a hell of a lot more attention to that. Focus more on my well-being and life satisfaction and fulfillment. My dream job would be one where I can use my creativity in it various manifestations and my intellect combined together. Because my creativity feeds me and that makes it ideal for a work environment.
Things to ponder anyway-This topic from A Year of Writing to Uncover the Authentic Self