Sunday, February 21, 2010


Sorry it took so long to get this posted. Things have been more than a little strange in my household these past few weeks.

First of all, the new med levels have helped so very much that I am able to be up and around a lot more than I used to be. Instead of blogging because the pain has forced to me to stay put and I need something to keep my brain occupied, I now have to make time to sit and write in between all the other things that I am up and doing. Of all the changes that are happening around here, I like this one the best because it means I am getting healthier! I also regret it the most because I love writing so much, and I miss it when I am not able to spend a good amount of time with my laptop every day.

Second, all this moving about has gotten my brain thinking in new and strange directions. Last week while destroying some old papers from several years ago, WP (who was spearheading this particular de-cluttering mission) found a check that had not been cashed from several years ago. After doing a little research, I couldn't be sure if it had been canceled and re-issued or if it was just never cashed to begin with. So, I brought it back into the temp agency that I had been working for back then and they are in the process of researching it for me to see if I ever received the money from that check. Here is where the story gets weird - while I was there, I asked one of the recruiters if there were any positions available that I would qualify for. It turns out there is and after an impromptu interview, she has submitted my resume to the client for a potential interview. I will find out in the next day or two if I was accepted an if I will have an interview and potentially a temp-to-perm full time job.

For most people this wouldn't be a very big deal. For me though, this marks a major change in my thought process. It would make sense for me to look for a full time job right now. We are financially on a hamster wheel, trying very hard to keep moving, but not able to get any further ahead. All of my girls are in school full time and there isn't any reason that I should be sitting at home by myself when I could be improving the life situation for all of us. All of these things make sense, but going back to work full time is just not that easy. I can figure out all the details like transportation, getting the kids home from school, making sure dinner gets done and all that. The real hurdle is getting ME in the mindset to be successful at work. That is no small hurdle, either.

Over the last six years, I have worked at least 10 jobs. They have been in almost as many fields and none of them have lasted more than a few months at a time. I have worked as an executive assistant, a customer service call taker, a cashier, a day care teacher, even a bus driver. Part of the reason my resume looks so schizophrenic is that I have been desperately looking for a position somewhere that fits into the life I have. From right around the time EG was born, I have been sick consistently and it has gotten progressively worse. I need to be able to do something that allows me to take care of my kids without getting fired for missing too much work. I also have to be able to physically do it without severe and debilitating pain. Even assuming I find a job that qualifies in those two areas, there is still my own job performance that has to be taken in to consideration. It is very hard to do an accurate, efficient, productive job when you are not even able to remember what you had for breakfast.

Getting fired from a job is one of the most painful and humiliating things ever to happen to me. It has happened a whole lot over the past few years, especially, and I can't really get angry about it. I am depressed, and sad, and miserable, but there is nothing to get mad at, other than myself.  I have gone through layoffs and staff reductions, and that is no fun, but at least I could blame the company or the economy or some vague outside force. When you a get fired for making too many typos - in client's names - there really isn't anyone to take the blame except yourself. Some days are better than others, but the not-so-good days are enough to lose a job for, easily.

Of course, when this happens over and over again, it really takes a toll on your self esteem and sense of worth. I have only been able to attribute these "failures" to something beyond my control for the past few months. The Fibromyalgia I am now fighting has apparently been the bugbear I have been dealing with all along. The migraines that landed me in bed for weeks at a time, the calling in sick because I was too depressed to get out of bed (let alone shower and be dressed for work), the muscle and joint pain that never seemed to go away completely, the short attention span and lousy memory - all of these were just little parts of a much bigger monster. I didn't know that before, though. All I knew was I kept being offered opportunity after opportunity and I kept failing miserably by not pulling my own weight or living up to the expectations that were required of me.

The last time I was fired, I was about to throw in the towel for good. This whole "working thing" just didn't seem to be something I was capable of. It might mean pinching pennies and driving old and beat-up cars the rest of my life, but at that time in my mind, that was preferable to being called into my boss's office and told to pack my things again. The mere thought of going through that whole process again, makes my stomach flip Apply, interview, start work, get trained, screw up, get more training, screw up again, work some more, call in sick, get fired, clean out my desk, repeat. I think a person can only do through this so many times before it will take its toll. I have begun wondering if I keep losing jobs because I am sick, or if I am sick because I keep losing jobs.

Over the past month, thanks to new meds and better lifestyle, I have had more energy and less pain that I have had in years, literally. I have been able (and willing) to get into a normal, daily, schedule. I sleep at night, I am awake during the day, I cook dinner for the family at night, and I am acting like a mom when my kids are around. I still work a few nights a week at my transcription job, and I have even been doing well there and I haven't called in once, since I started back in January. Working a full shift still causes me to hurt and feel stiff, but I am able to handle it and push through. These are apparently things that most people take for granted as things that they are capable of every day. For me, they are the goals and accomplishments that separate the good days from the bad.

So, with all these improvements in my life, is it time for me to take on something bigger, like a full time job? Even saying "Full Time Job" gives me butterflies the size of house cats in my stomach. The fear of failure is such a strong force that it is nearly paralyzing. In this case, it is so public. I think that makes it worse, for me. The three-ring-circus that is involved with me starting work always seems so inconvenient for everyone else and it takes weeks, and even months sometimes, to get into a comfortable routine. When I get fired, seemingly just when everyone was getting used to my new job, it feels like I have let so many people down - again. Everyone in my family knows I have lost my job again, my kids and my husband are upset for me (in spite of how often an occurrence this has become) my friends will find out, even my kids' teachers have to be updated on my whereabouts during the day.

Today, I think I am going to "Let go and Let God", as it is said. I will pray on this and try to leave my mind open to whatever opportunity comes my way. If I get an interview and I get offered the job, I will work my hardest and put my best effort into it. If I don't get this job, I will try not to take it as a personal failure. I will take it as a sign that it isn't the right time. I will have faith that I will see the right opportunity when it comes around.

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