I started working again last month. I have been anxious, but I have enjoyed everything about it. It’s a great situation for me and my illness and it’s working out very well. Let me tell you all the wonderful things about my new career.
I get to work in my PJ’s. Yes, that is awesome! When I’m having a tough day I can throw on my robe, park my bum on the couch and work. Ahh, that relieves a massive amount of stress for me. I can have a bad day and quickly come out of it because I can be free to be lazy and irritable at home and avoid any conflict with other people.
I get to set my own schedule! No playing hookie or trying to plan out the use of vacation and sick days. I can decide on my own which days I want to work and which days I don’t. It doesn’t typically work out too well but overall, it’s a great plus. If I need to be home by a certain time I can schedule around it. This means I can put my kids in sports and do other activities, again less stress for me.
I am my own boss! Granted there are people out there I have to answer to and rules I have to follow, but I don’t have a boss breathing down my neck. I have a mentor I can ask questions to and I can go to her if I need help with an issue, but she’s not my boss. I don’t have someone criticizing me all the time and pushing their weight onto me. The freedom feels incredible!
I get to meet new people. Yeah, I said it. As crazy as it sounds, I have been enjoying meeting new people and new clients. It has really gone a long way with my social anxiety. I don’t feel so overwhelmed and consumed by it either which I still cant figure out. I cant handle large crowds, clubs, or groups, but I love working with these clients. I get to build a relationship with each of them, and knowing I am helping them helps me a lot.
I get a break from being a “stay at home mom” if I need it. I no longer feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. I don’t have every household responsibility weighing on me. My husband helps out around the house and things have become more balanced and equal. Having something other than “home” has been good for me.
I have become an individal, a person. I have been a wife and mommy for so long, I feel I was losing my identity. That is dangerous when it comes to mental illness and I know it can prolong any sort of recovery. I am figuring out who I am again, and I like me a lot.
I can taste success. Everything I have ever done I have failed at. I could list a hundred attempts at some sort of career I have tried and I have always failed. It is usually because of many things combined, but regardless of the reasons I have always failed. It’s a very hard fact to face and the risk of failing is still huge but I am not giving up. I can see the success and I am excited for it.
I may be able to shed the label “disabled” next year. I would love to stop SSDI and have a career. I would love a plan, goals, and a steady salary. Being disabled is somewhat embarrassing. People look at you funny and say “well you look fine to me!” and it is really hard. It goes along with the sterotypes, that the only disabilities out there are the visible ones.
I am going to keep doing this. I love it, and I think I have a chance at success. I have not yet had an epidode severe enough to cripple me for any length of time though. I am taking my meds an I am working hard to remain stable. I am keeping regular contact with my p-doc and we are watching things closely. The depression has been tough, but I am doing what I can to overcome the obstacles without giving up.
Finally, I love a job. Tomorrow may be different, but for today I feel like I am oozing awesomeness.
Woman working in pajamas photo available from Shutterstock
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Last reviewed: 28 Jan 2013