There are three main things I learned with my trial work period: 1) I cannot work 9-5. I cannot be that strict. My body is to fragile and demanding (especially at inconvenient times). 2) The computer industry mostly doesn't care if you can't work 9-5, as long as you can get your work done. My job isn't shift-work. It's project-based work. 9-5 isn't even a realistic business model for my job. 3) I've still got what it takes to do a great job. The love my work. They want me to come back. They're trying to figure out how to bring me back even now, just a few days a week. But I'm torn.
My main concern is that I'm still very fragile. If I work, the rest of the time has to be spent managing symptoms and spoons. Yes, I can do it, but that's all that I'm able to do. I'm 100% work oriented, and that will make you go nuts really, really fast. We have to be able to "take off the uniform" and "leave work at work." But I don't have time for that. I have to sleep enough to have the energy I need to work. That means everything, including taking care of the house, doesn't happen until the weekends. There's not much time left over for rest and relaxation. I'm lucky that my brother is living here and taking care of most of the chores. I'm sure this place would be a wreck otherwise. I'm not sure I can survive full-time work yet.
I could try to work part-time, but then comes the issue of money. Can I afford my medical care, rent, food, medication, and all that, if I'm only working part time? What are my monthly expenditures, and can I afford only part-time work? The last time I did the math, it didn't add up well. Either I work full time and I'm just barely able to make ends meet (not accounting for debt), or I stay on welfare. There's no in-between. I'd lose my benefits and not make enough money to cover the short-fall.
Then there's everyone here, and everyone that I've helped through the years. If I do go back to work, it would mean I wouldn't have time for you or this. And I love doing this. I love shining a light in the darkness and letting people know: "Hey---you're not alone. Hang in there. Make this look awesome!" I don't want to abandon everyone, and I would have to, if I went back to full-time work.
I have much to think about... your thoughts are welcomed.