Lately, for some reason, a whole lot of people have felt the need to point out to me that I need a new job. I understand why they say that, because I DO need a new job, but it’s rather frustrating to hear over and over again. It’s as if people don’t think I would get a new job if I could.
I have a bachelors degree in psychology (aka, a BS degree in “get ready for graduate school”) so that’s not very helpful, and no meaningful work experience (aside from fast food, babysitting, and one job in an assisted living facility that I got fired from :/). I’m screwed. Then add to that the fact that I am chronically ill…
I spend countless hours per month in doctors offices, chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture treatments, sometimes in physical therapy…and when I’m not doing all of that, I’m usually feeling like crap. Where is a girl supposed to fit any work into that schedule!?
It is a very real possibility that I could wake up one day and not be able to walk, it’s happened before. Half of the time my brain is so foggy I have to reread the same paragraph 4 times to have any idea of what it is saying. My social anxiety gets so debilitating at times that talking to people outside of my circle of closest friends/family is next to impossible. I go through long periods where I barely sleep at all, and then much longer periods where I need no less that 15 hours of sleep a day to be able to function and generally can only be awake for a few hours at a time. Getting through school was next to impossible, I can’t fathom dealing with the pressures of a work environment every day for the rest of my life, knowing that my ability to pay my bills and eat depended on my ability to get out of bed and function well enough to perform to the standards required of me in order to KEEP my job. I’ve done it before, but my health was in a better place then, and it was still hard as #@$% (and that job was REALLY laid back).
So tonight I am angry. I’m angry that my illness is holding me back from the life I want to have, even though I swore many many years ago that I would never let that happen. I’m angry that everyone feels the need to point that out to me, as if I don’t already know it. I’m angry that my body fails me, every single freaking day. I’m angry that this illness has robbed me of a lot of what used to make me ME…my athleticism, my sense of humor, my appearance, my dreams, my intellect (which I used to be so proud of). I used to define myself as so many things; a black belt, a student/lover of learning, a musician, someone who was going to change people’s lives someday…now I am just SICK. I am no longer healthy enough to train in martial arts, and haven’t tied my belt around my waist in several years, even though I miss it every single day. I hate my brain for how dumb this disease has made me; I used to read college textbooks for fun (in middle/elementary school!), in fact I used to read every thing I could get my hands on (ie. Tolstoy, just because!), now it takes me hours just to read 1 chapter in a cheap romance novel because I have to reread the same paragraph over and over again, that’s really exhausting (and by the time I’m done I have NO idea what I just read). I used to love music, and loved being a part of an orchestra…now there is no way I could make my brain or my fingers move that fast, and definitely no way I could find enough air in my lungs to play anymore. The biggest goal in my life has always been to change people’s lives, for as long as I can remember. In my semi-adult life I have gone through a list of possible careers that includes, doctor, nurse, (and all forms of such, including nurse practitioner and physicians assistant), as well as neuroscientist/professor, child psychotherapist, and behavioral therapist for special needs children. Can you see the trend? Regardless of which career I picked, it just wouldn’t be possible right now…and even if I could go back to school right now, all of those careers require quite a bit more schooling before I could actually start working. And then when I did start working, then what? I’d still be SICK.
When it comes right down to it…that’s who I am, the SICK girl; and I hate my body for keeping me stuck as just that.
* Disclaimer: I really do not have this bad of an attitude all the time. I am very appreciative of the job I have; it pays my bills (even if just barely), allows me to work very minimal hours, and involves playing with children whom I love. I know I am blessed to have not one but two jobs that I enjoy, and won’t forget it.