As readers of my blog know, I frequently talk about having Chronic Migraine and living with chronic pain. This illness has been a significant part of my adult life. Because of it, I’ve been struggling with my career since I was diagnosed over 5 years ago. I have fought my body, trying to force it into my submission and have the career I want. Well, looks like my body has won for now. Over the last couple of years, I have seen a decline in my health. While I have a good health care team, there is no promise of the pain ever going away. On top of that, each new treatment takes time for us to see if it works, which means that each attempt at pain management is often arduous.
So with the encouragement of my husband and the chronic pain community, I made the decision to take a break from work and focus on my health. I’ve given myself a set amount of time to not only work on my health, but to carefully assess what my life is like with chronic pain and what I am capable of. In order to do that, I’ve set some guidelines up for myself:
- My physical and mental health is my top priority
- No job searching
- Do stuff I enjoy every day
I’ve left jobs because of chronic pain and have found the unemployment to be excruciatingly depressing, I think it was because I spent my days job searching instead of listening to my body and resting. This time I’m doing it different, this time is for me to rest. At the end of this, I don’t know what my health will be like. I can’t make a prediction. But so far, the depression has been manageable and I’m feeling less guilty and shame flare up days. I’m still assessing my physical health, but I’m taking my observations and bringing it to my health care team. I hope that I can get some relief, I hope that what I learn during this time will help me to have better quality of life. But I’m also becoming more comfortable with knowing I may never become better, that this illness is part of who I am and is part of my journey.
It’s hard to ask, but I do need help from my community at this time. The thing I need most is understanding and compassion. It’s hard for me to make plans because I often have to cancel. This is very upsetting and hard for me to do, but I appreciate every bit of support I get.
Also, to be absolutely frank, I need help with finances. I’m currently trying to get help with disability and I hope that will help enough with my student loans and monthly income so I won’t have to worry. If you feel inclined to give, I have a Paypal set up. If you can’t give or don’t want to, I encourage you to instead educate yourself on mental illness, disability, and invisible illnesses. I have some links below you can check out. My hope is that the more accurate information the public has, the more informed we are, we can become a culture that takes care of the disabled instead of vilifying them. I know this is a stretch and is asking a lot, but I remain cautiously optimistic.
Links to educate yourself: https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/
My paypal: PayPal.Me/MadelineCosta