I'VE ALWAYS WORKED!!! From the age of 15, I've been in the workforce. Even after I had my 2 girls I've worked. Not only did I work but I volunteered on various committees and fundraisers!
Until 6 years ago.
Until 6 years ago.
Until 6 years ago I had striven to be a productive member of society.
Until 6 years ago I could hold my own if need be.
Until 6 years ago I was very VERY happily employed, had a circle of friends, and had the ability to juggle everything that life threw at me. My life was well balanced.
6 years ago my life changed. I very suddenly and unexpectedly got sick. Reality check; I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder II then signed off on Short Term Disability.
6 months later, I did try and return to work, on modified duty, but due to my significant cognitive impairments, I had great difficulty performing my duties. Thus, the next process of being approved for Long Term Disability. I was approved but the process as to be be reviewed annually, which kind of depresses me, as my psychiatrist has to fill out the lengthy paperwork, reconfirming my diagnosis, symptoms, impairments, and treatments. To me, it's like slapping a label on my forehead each and every year, although I do know it just part of the process.
To this day, I still struggle with the fact that I can't work at the moment. I've considered volunteering, at our local Community Living Center, working with adults with Developmental Disabilities, as that was what I was initially trained to do, BUT...I NEVER know how I'm going to wake up every morning so I can't commit to a schedule.
I was resigned that I had to be content with being the best homemaker/mother/wife that I could be. Making sure everyone's needs were met, cooking, cleaning, baking, laundry, yard work, paying bills, etc. The first few years I was happy with that but over the past year, I no longer felt I had a "purpose" in life. I was going through the "what's-in-it-for-me" phase.
Don't get me wrong, I am EXTREMELY grateful that I have Long Term Disability benefits! Missing work however has become a major sore point for me. I just feel like it isn't fair, but, it is what it is, so I have to make lemonade with my lemons.
Again, as I mentioned in a previous post, it was my hubby's idea to become "engaged" in social media and to construct, write, and maintain my website as I had become very perturbed with the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. Not only would I get my voice heard but I was also rewiring my brain with the strenuous work of learning computer work and writing.
With this work however, comes periods where some days I just can't simply work. My brain just won't cooperate with my demands. I become infuriated with myself then depressed that I can't even function in the comfort of my own home.
Thankfully, I have an amazing support team, made up of my family, a handful of sincere friends, and my psychiatrist, who honestly believe that if I persist to push myself, I will continue with my slow but steady improvement. My psychiatrist has faith in me and has not "written me off" ever to return to work. He says I am a very strong person.
On an end note, having a support team that has continual faith in my progress, has made be believe more in myself. Yes, for now I will have to accept that I'm on Long Term Disability, but I will constantly shoot for the day when I CAN return to the workforce!
Thank you Mr. Walt Disney; the kick in the teeth may be the BEST thing for me!
Laura Marchildon will blog honest and true posts about her real life experiences.