Sunday, March 28, 2010

Chronic Illness and Work

THE ChronicBabe herself, Editrix Jenni, asks about our thoughts on chronic illness and work, ("bringing home the bacon" as they say), this time around for our blog carnival.

(Image from WeHeartIt)

This is a touchy subject on my part.  I am currently unemployed, as well as being completely unable to hold down a job as a result of my current state of health.  I do not have disability support.  I bring in absolutely NO income and manage to be a reasonable financial burden, carried by both my parents and my boyfriend/common-law.  I have also never held a job longer than 3 months in my entire life.

As a result, I place a serious amount of guilt upon myself (even though I know I should be kind and forgiving!).  I feel like I SHOULD be able to find something to bring in money, or at least try and stay healthy enough to work part-time hours.  So it goes...mental battle ensues.

I set one goal for myself in the last six months and that was to get this blog in shape and attract 100 unique visitors a day.  I wanted to treat it like a job, my one connection to the kind of lives so-called "normal" people live.  I am happy to say that I have only missed posting one day on this blog in the last few months.  In my opinion, that's a pretty good track record.  I do this to remind myself that I actually am just sick and not somehow lazy without my knowledge.

I daydream every single day about the possibility of making money from my writing.  It's something I can do at any time, and I surely seem to have something to say about every subject.

But when it comes right down to it...I cannot currently keep myself alive.  I am dependent on others.  I often worry that maybe it's because I'm not clever enough to come up with a brilliant 'make money at home' strategy.  Or maybe I just don't have the energy.  Who knows?

Either way, it's not a nice feeling.



Anonymous said...

Annie, I know how it feels to think you're useless because you can't "bring home the bacon" I supported myself "barely" when I was single, and I get pissed when I think about leaving my job because of illness. I am glad that I discovered your blog and all my other "friends". It keeps me busy too. You make me feel something everyday.

Vladimir Levin said...

For anyone who is currently working, I think it's important to let your boss and coworkers know what's going on. Otherwise they might misinterpret you as being lazy or unmotivated if you're having trouble getting things done.

For anyone not working, health is the most important thing. So if you have some means of basic support - the essentials like food and shelter - then that is what matters most right now. Once you start feeling better, then you can worry about making money and the rest!

Forgetful Girl said...

Oh Annie. I'm sorry you feel that way. I think you are a very clever girl and one day you will think of a fantastic money making idea!

I, too, rely on my parents a lot. I'm no longer independant but I hope that one day I will lead my own life.

Toni said...

I'm so sorry that you feel bad about not being able to work and about being dependent on others for money. I can sure relate to that. But what you do with this blog proves what you were trying to prove -- that you are sick and not just lazy.

Your physical condition may very well change, but even if it doesn't, I'm convinced you'll find a way to live a rich and full life within your limitations.

Sonja said...

I'm currently taking yet ANOTHER break from working. Thankfully my boss has been a friend of mine for almost 15 yrs so he totally understands, but yeah, I'm with you on the guilt and feelings of just uselessness. It's really tough to deal with, esp with people complaining about this or that about their jobs, and I point out that I just want to freakin get back to work!

Hang in there girl, thinking about you *hugs*

Alison said...

Aw, I know it's hard, but don't be hard on yourself. I also have had thoughts, and felt pressure, that I should be able to figure out some way to get income despite my CFS, but logically I know I'm not healthy enough for that kind of thing. The people who actually come up with brilliant "make money at home" strategies are few and far between.

I haven't had a job in years, and the ones I did have, I did my best, but I certainly didn't stand out or anything, I was so tired all the time, and I was late a lot and missed days because of sleep. So no advice on working from here, except.

Heather said...

I've thought about taking an FMLA break from work or changing jobs to something less stressful because of my constant headaches. I agree with Vladimir's comment on telling your boss and co-workers about your pain. I have trouble with this because I don't want to seem like I'm complaining, and plus they don't understand. But it's still important for them to know that I am hardworking, I just have trouble working through the pain all the time.

Annie, I don't know if you've heard about but you can sign up and choose the projects you want to submit a proposal for, so you would pretty much work at your own pace. If you wanted to choose only one-time projects, you could do that. I've signed up for the writing section but I haven't done any projects yet.

Sue Jackson said...

I could really relate to everything you said here. I work part-time at home as a freelance writer, but CFS limits how much I can do. Worst of all is the unpredictability. I could never hold down a regular job either, and my meager income from writing has been steadily decreasing. I also feel guilty for not contributing more to our household income, especially with medical expenses growing every year.

We should be thankful for the people who love us and support us...I don't think they think of us as burdens.