Believe it or not I love to work, always have done. Ever since I got my first job sweepin floors at a hairdressers when i was 13 I loved the independance and responsibility. I worked damn hard through uni (well reasonably hard!) and was so excited when I got offered a dream job in advertising just as I graduated. Moving to Manchester was mental, everything happened so quickly and I was soon on the old 9 to 5 slog but I loved it. I know people complain about work and yeah if you're in a pants job you probably do hate it and worship weekends. But, to me, work is part of your identity, its part of who you are and what you do as you spend most of your time there.
As my sausage fingers doubled in size and the aches and pains grew worse, it was clear I needed some time off. My meds were clearly not working (even though I was practically rattling with the amount of pills I was popping every day!) so I made the decision to take some time off while I got myself on the right track.
It was horrendous. I was terrified that I had admitted defeat but the longer I struggled to drag my sore bones out of the comfort of my bed every morning the harder it got. My colleagues were so supportive as it must have been extremely annoying watching the girl in the corner fall apart day by day.
I felt like the biggest part of my identity had been taken away from me. What was I actually going to do every day?! Feeling worthless and empty I tried to keep myself busy with housework, learning a language, reading and some charity work but the pain was awful. On the days where I could get out of bed I was so exhausted that I put all my energy into putting on nice clothes and a bit of make up! I started missing out on social events, nights out with my friends and didnt make any plans because I just didnt know when or how it was going to get better.
Feeling left behind is one of the hardest things about this disease. Constantly struggling to keep up with people and put on a brave face when you pretty much want to ball your eyes out all the time is exhausting. My relationships with people were affected as people were frustrated that they couldnt help but the honest truth is that nothing can help, only support from those you love and thats all I asked for. I dont want pity or sympathy, the fact is this is life and bad things happen all the time you just have to accept it and move on. (I may sound very realistic there but I didnt always feel like that!)
So with great regret I had to leave my dream job. I just wasnt able to do the job I was hired to do and needed more time whilst they needed someone asap. I was devastated but knew I couldnt kid myself anymore and I had tried my hardest. All I could think now was what am I going to do with my life and will this ever get better?