Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself


Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Just got home from Day Two of the New Job. Aforementioned "fraud" was committed on Day One when I (for the first time) wrote "none" next to Medications on the medical history form. Didn't mention my low-dose SSRI. Didn't mention my lupus meds, cause let me tell ya, THAT disease is only slightly more socially/workplace acceptable than mentalness. I felt like I was crossing a threshold of some kind, becoming "one of the other people" of the people who understand that sometimes it's okay, maybe even imperative, to lie. There was no good reason for my new employer to know about my medical history, in the past I would have disclosed it for two reasons: 1) To garner sympathy or admiration; 2) Because I was afraid of getting in trouble. Those things are no longer motivators for me. Wow. Big step.

I don't even feel guilty, because I know that legally my employer can't not hire me based on my "disability". So why do they even get to ASK about it?

I have been having a lot of these internal conversations and monologues in the last 2 days. It's part of my new workplace persona, as dictated by Dr A -- aloof, passive, observing. Instead of doing my usual new workplace show-off/make friends dance, I have been remaining silent. A couple of people have said "You're really quiet", which is totally bizarre! I kind of like it, though, because there's a lot less pressure and tension attached to being the quiet, shy new girl. More times than I can count, or record in my journal for "processing" with Dr A, I have almost spoken or shared information, but instead have backed off and let the other person talk. It's the strangest's like I am seeing myself in a new light, or in the third person. I can see where I would in the past have forced myself to find bonds and commonalities with people. Now, I sit there, mute, and think "I have nothing in common with these people. They are different to me in age, background, experience...and that's OKAY."

Remains to be seen whether this continues. But generally I go into new situations pumped up and ready to impress -- and that is definitely not the case these days. I thought I would be nervous and feel worried about being mental, but now, post-breakdown, it's like the worst has happened and I know that I can survive it. I almost wish I would flip out, because then I can go home, get into bed, and apply for disability again. But financially, and for my own sense of purpose, I need to keep working while I am able. I'm lucky enough to be functioning and medicated, and am learning enough CBT to hopefully cope with a working life. Sure, I am in a job that is waaaaay beneath me in terms of experience, education, talent, but I am learning to deal with that loss of potential. I'm happy, just now, to potter along in an "ordinary" job, being the "mute girl in the corner". Reading my book at lunchtime. Drinking far too much coffee. Trying not to check if the sky is falling.


Anonymous Drifter said...

Congratulations for getting through your 2nd day of work. New jobs are always stressful. I agree with you 100% for not wanting to disclose what meds you are on. I did the same when applying for the part-time job I now do. My attitude is the same, they don't need to know these things.

Hannah said...

gosh, good for you, hope you can keep it up, and remember you can't stop the sky from falling anyway.

Hann x

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you have found what works for you for now. I think Hannah makes a great point: you can't stop the sky from falling anyway. Why can't I remember that?

Sometimes pottering along is the only way forward. You will reach the finish line a winner. It shows in every word you write.

Polar Bear said...

It's great that you are happy where you are. Coffee is always a perk though isn't it :) ?

Wandering Coyote said...

Uh, yeah, why are they asking you about medications? Sounds not so legal to me.

Sitting back and observing is a great thing to do and one of the DBT skills that I've found pretty useful. I'm glad it's working so well for you and that things are so far, so good in your new job!

preciousrock said...

"learning to deal with that loss of potential"

I can sure relate to that one. I'm just grateful to be able to put one foot in front of the other and go to work everyday.