Tag Archives: Employment

MS: “Denial or Determination?”

I’ve shrouded myself in denial since I was first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1994.denial You know: I can do blah, blah, blah, because I’m really not that sick, and when that didn’t work, sheer determination was used. And I know I am not alone. So how are we MSers to know when this approach of denial or determination no longer works for us? Confession: my brain told me early on that this new job of school bus driver would be too much, but my heart said, “No”. My heart said, “Keep going, look at all of the ways that its been good for you. Everything will be fine. Give it more time, and whatever you do…don’t quit.” Well, at the end of the day, my brain won. My heart was a punk and simply gave in…literally.

Due to my heart “thing,” Takotsubo, described in my (click here) last post…I had to make the decision to resign from my new “almost job” effective immediately. I say “almost” because I was still in the training phase and was JUST about to move on. THEN, I would have been a school bus driver. Truth is, my Takotsubo was a gift. It took the decision regarding whether I could handle this level of stress out of my hands. I’d worked for the last 5 months changing every aspect of my life so that I could re-enter the work force. This, evidently, was not the best portal.

Listening to our bodies is the answer to the first question asked: How are we to know when the strategy of denial/determination is no longer working for us? If you’re not paying attention, or if you don’t trust yourself and your feelings, then maybe your body will yell at you like mine did.

It’s time to get back out there with a new sense of determination. determinationI’ve learned that not giving up means not settling for one or the other. It’s whatever works best at the time. As long as I’m listening to my body, I don’t ever have to decide.

COMMENTS: Have you found yourself reaching a goal due to either of these strategies? Have you found yourself attempting to reach a goal and ultimately having to give up? Did you start with something new? How did you do that?

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MS and my new job update

At least once a day I feel overwhelming excitement, love and connection.magic_schoolbus At least once every other day I feel fear, anxiety, and sadness. And then every three days, I wonder if I can do this. But NEVER have I felt like… I can’t.

The overwhelming love and connection comes from the kids. Some can’t wait to say “what’s YOUR name”. Like Thinn, the little Asian 5th grader who left her seat, going against the flow of kids entering the bus, to sit next to me. We talked only 10 minutes or so but, when she left the bus, she stood on the sidewalk after the others had left; staring at me. I was so happy that I saw this and could wave goodbye as the bus pulled off. Her face said that, that was what she was hoping for, as she bounced up and down to wave back.

The fear and anxiety come from having a hard time walking up the walkway, fearing that people must see me struggling; holding on to the hand rail constantly, even when it’s wet, cold and icy. Losing my balance when I get to the end of the rail, grabbing for the only thing there now…snow. Not very supportive, that stuff. Could have been a disaster but, I caught myself just in the nick of time.

The sadness comes from not being able to do the simple things that I used to take for granted: walking up a hill, in a straight line, or climbing up steps. It’s like losing a friend. Not a BEST friend, but still a friend.

The self talk creeps in now, with the doubt, that voice that wants me to give up. The voice in my head that feels sorry for me, has little faith, and doesn’t think I can do it.

I speak to NO one at work. It’s not safe, so I hear no other voices to shut this one up. I have made a couple of friends at work, and after close examination, do feel I can talk to them…a little. I go to Doc with my negative self talk, and he says, “Sounds to me like you’re trying to talk yourself out of this job.” The voice in my head screams, “No Doc! No! That’s not it at all!” but, I realize he’s right.  That’s the voice in my head… not the real me. The real me has a kind voice, is a cheerleader, and super supportive with 100% faith that this is the RIGHT thing to do. The real me focuses on all of the positive moments that support this idea, this kind voice; like Thinn, on the sidewalk. Every now and then, I talk to Doc for a reality check of what the other voice is trying to do, make me fail. Then, I turn it off.

KindrgrtnBsComments:

Have you gotten back into the workforce after having to be out of it for a while? Were you successful? What roadblocks did you encounter? What did you find helpful in sticking it out?

 

 

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