Yes, you read me correctly I asked my employer to dismiss me! Since May 2017 I have been on sick leave from my job. This is something I have really struggled with, not only do I dislike letting my colleagues and everyone I help down. As someone who has been career minded it was an enormous blow. So I thought I would take time to tell you all about why I did this and give you a glimpse of my future hopes.
When the struggle becomes too real
Employers understandably have sickness monitoring systems, the larger the organisation the less personal this can be. As someone who suffers from Fibromyalgia, they allowed me two extra days a year because of this but I did, however, still have a target to meet.
One of the big triggers of Fibro Flare-Ups (which I talk about in more detail here and here), for me, is stress. Every time I had a bad flare up it would cause having to ring in and I had got to the end of my allowed days. It very much became a case of if not now, at some point, I would have been facing disciplinary procedures. For some people, this would not be a problem they would just deal with being on a stage one or two etc and live with it. I found this impossible to live with. The thought I may have a disciplinary record and my only crime was developing a syndrome.
Looking at the bigger picture
Even if I hadn’t been on the brink of a disciplinary, my body’s reaction to my job was becoming unpredictable. I could have some wonderful days and then something stressful would happen and it would trigger a flare. There was absolutely nothing to predict when this might be the case. I can have a flare up just because there is a change in the air pressure and the simple act of commuting (the 15-minute drive) to work was getting harder.
In thinking how I might continue working, I concluded that the only possibility would be to work from home with flexible hours of work. Unsurprisingly this would be unfeasible where I worked and in fact, the only serious possibility would be to work for myself.
Just what the Doctor ordered
When I spoke to my GP about this idea, she was supportive and agreed it would be the most sensible thing to do. A few months ago I wrote about the Importance of Work with Fibromyalgia and I still stick by that. Although I am on sick leave now (August 2017) waiting for my employer to do the paperwork to dismiss me. I claim contributory sick benefit for a year whilst I try to get back on my feet after a major period of multiple Fibro flare-ups. I have no intention of letting this beat me completely. I need to contribute at whatever level I can still and hope to develop this blog and with time an Etsy store for my creations.
A scary, uncertain future
And learning to live within the contours of life that Fibro throws at me I also have skills to develop both as a crafter and as an entrepreneur. I am extremely blessed because I have Michael, my husband, who has a comfortable salary. We will not starve even if I make no money. Life will look very different though unless I make as much money as I do with my current job. We may not leave the top floor of my parent’s house for quite some time. This is far from the ideal place to live with Fibromyalgia. I could not imagine how frightening it must be to be a single person with a chronic health condition who really doesn’t know where the next meal is coming from. If that is you though please reach out and I will give you all the help and encouragement I can.