Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Reflections on My Trial Work Period

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.


  1. My heart goes out to you on this decision. You are considering all the sides but it is truly a decision that only you and your doctor should make. I have been on disability for some time now but honestly I still think about trying to go back to work. But then I realize how that ain't gonna happen. My body could never do that 9-5 again. Even after all this time, it still makes me sad at times. So...I really do get where you are coming from right now. I am not sure if you could consider applying for disability or not but that might be an option. No, you won't get rich from that by any stretch of the imagination and you probably won't even be able to cover your bills but perhaps that may be an option. Talk with your doctor to see what his/her thoughts might be on the work front thing.

    1. I'm already on disability. This is my Trial Work Period. I'm not at 100% healthy yet, by a long shot, but they've given me enough pain control where I can sort of fake being a real office worker. The problem is, that's *all* I have the energy to do, and everything else has to go to the wayside... so I'm right on that cusp of disabled/abled. I'm not able to afford my life on disability, that I already know. But I need extra support that I can't afford working either, because I don't have the energy to do anything around the house if I work (including important things like picking up my medication). It's a tough spot to be in... there are no clear options, and my doctor really doesn't know what to tell me. It would be nice if I could find part time work, or work from home, but this economy.... ugh.

  2. Oh boy, I'm in a very similar situation myself so I can sympathize. I'm about to graduate from college, and being a full time student and a part time worker is taking a huge toll on my body. I've been looking forward to graduating, because I'll have a full semester to continue working part time at the school while Hubby graduates. But after that? I'm looking at the possibility of working full time and thinking... I don't know if I can do that... Plus, we want to start working on a family asap not only because we want to, but also because pregnancy will really help my health issues. But if we do that, I'd want to be a stay at home mom. Like you, I did the math and it doesn't look good. And there's the looming question of if my body can even handle full time work/being a parent either way. Life! So many questions.

    At the moment, my only strategy is to let it steep in my mind a bit longer, and hopefully just wait it out and see what happens. Sleep on it, and see what happens. <3 I mean, what else can we do?

    1. Totally.

      I'll tell you this: working full time is easier than doing work part time and school full time. Work you don't have to take home with you. It stays there. It doesn't demand any of your off hours. It's lovely like that (as opposed to school).

      Good luck with the family! I envy you that choice ^_^