Recognize that many illnesses start from stress. (First image credit: The Holstee Manifesto)
While I’m not a complete, irresponsible layabout, I do wish many times a day that I could throw caution to the wind and just walk away from what’s not working. As I’m struggling to determine what happens next in my life, I’m juggling the loss of identity / status by being on disabiliy – retired way too young – and wondering if I’m playing mind games with myself vs. sucking it up to keep on showing up.
Work is so much of our self-identity for being able to be financially independent, that it’s hard to get a true reading on what’s happening between my ears as well as in my body.
Last weekend I had another bad day / scare on Friday, where I couldn’t get my eyes to focus, so I packed boxes all day vs. fighting the vision issues to work on the computer. Saturday continued to be a problem with no ability to see close up, and no diabetes reading indicating that a spike in my blood sugar was causing the problem.
I had a heck of a time shopping for beaded chain and other items, as I just couldn’t see clearly enough to know what I was purchasing in terms of color, cut and clarity. Driving was ok, because it was daylight. Couldn’t really see any sign clearly until I was right on top of them, but I made it work as I could see enough detail to know where I was in terms of landmarks. But, I got a few things I desired and headed back home for yet another nap before getting up in the early evening.
Sunday was a repeat of the same challenge. I stayed close to home and just puttered. I didn’t go to the eye doctor while all this was going on, as she wasn’t on duty until today. Today, however, I was fine. It’s hard to diagnose a problem with your eyes if they aren’t acting up when you’re actually seeing the doctor.
As I’m scrambling to educate myself about COPD and the latest breakthroughs, I’m really struggling with whether or not I’m “sick enough” to stop working. And make myself crazy with the “what ifs” for trying to understand how I’m going to be able to financially care for myself. I look at things like the Holstee Manifesto, and wonder if I’m kidding myself. Am I really ill, or am I just lazy and tired? Hard to stay strong against the self-doubts, but then I remind myself that the Doc wouldn’t back me if I was a goldbricker.
I wonder, though, if my tears while talking about this topic (because it’s much easier to write about than talk about) influenced him to do the typical guy vs. gal reaction where he would say anything to get me to stop. Who knows? But, these things are what I worry about as I prepare for my next series of form preparations and medical interviews. It’s maddening, how my thinking goes in circles without end. And without purpose or resolution. That’s kind of why I’m back to blogging. It let’s me vomit out all the poison, exhaust myself with writing to clear my thinking, and then move on.
So, I had a challenging conversation with my boss today. (These calls are very challenging when we’ve never met face to face and are just voices on a phone. The leader and the lead). She wanted to begin a series of meetings about new projects to add me to, as well as challenges about why I missed some work goals, and it was surreal to be reminding her that I’m likely to be out on disability at the end of the month, and gently question her wanting to put me on more projects.
It was very much an out of body experience to tell her that I was without functional vision for Friday and through the weekend (for doing computer work on the laptop), and to confide to her that 2 weeks ago I was dealing with heart issues from the medicines I’m on. It just seems very melodramatic to be telling another person about all this, and it makes me wonder if I’m being dramatic because I’m lazy. Seriously. I have to figure that this isn’t psychosomatic as it’s mostly happening on *my* time, on the weekends, but then I still wonder at whether or not I’m milking it as I’m fine today.
I think about how hard my Mom, Betty, worked to remain employed. I think about how she was denied benefits for this same disease, and was much worse than me, and wonder why I think I’ll qualify for stopping work. There are stories of crazy / easy wins, and stories of crazy / heartbreaking losses. Somewhere in the middle of that is where I fit, too. I just hope I’ll be one of the lucky ones to win the battle and see if removing the working stress from my life will improve my quality of life.
It’s too soon to tell, but I’m hoping that I’m not a great big whiner, and that this will work out.
Meanwhile, it’s 10:30pm.
Dishes need to be done, and I need to be up at 4am for a 6am mandatory call. The floor needs to be swept and washed in the kitchen, too. I sit here with swollen feet, a sore throat, and congestion. Perfectly fine, but not quite right. Trusting that this whole process will work out in whatever way it must.
Do you have your own manifesto?
Do you hold yourself accountable for true honesty within yourself?