Putting yourself first!


So over the last few months I have had to make some big life decisions and finally I have begun to put myself first and left my full time job.

If you haven’t read my blog before I will give you a brief overview of the past few years. I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in my first year of teaching and it didn’t really have much of an impact on my work life as I was working part time and not far from home. The following year I worked full time and I was pretty much flare free, I managed to work and enjoy a reduced social life but most of all I was pretty happy. Me and my now husband bought and moved into our first home and started planning our wedding. The following academic year I reduced my hours down to part time again as my maternity cover had finished and I was offered a job share. This was great! I felt so much better and ended up increasing my hours from two and a half days to 4 days. It then started to go down hill. I developed severe anxiety and my doctor switched up my medication to help but it didn’t. It sent me into my first major flare in over 12 months and as well as this I was told my job wasn’t secure for the next academic year and the head was in full support of me moving if I found a permanent job. So whilst lay in bed I applied for a new job, it was perfect. Working with pupils with special educational needs and leading art. I went back to work and went for the interview and amazingly I got the job. I still don’t know why , as I had no experience of teaching in an SEN school but I was grateful for the fantastic opportunity to develop my career. The only downside was it was full time. After discussing it with my husband we decided that we would give it a go and any way after our wedding we were going to start trying for a baby so maybe I wouldn’t be in a full time position that long.

Fast forward two years to Christmas; a diagnosis of PCOS, a failed 6 rounds of clomid and I am exhausted and broken. I started thinking about resigning from my full time job at Christmas but I was so desperate to stay in my current position I kept on going. I ended up being ill again, not nine weeks like the previous major flare but I was off for around three to four week and at this point I knew I couldn’t go on. I requested to reduce my hours which was refused due to the nature of my work and I still mulled over the idea of leaving and finding a more flexible option. At this point I was even considering leaving teaching altogether. So after having my resignation letter in my bag multiple time I finally got up the courage to do the right thing and quit. It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make as I didn’t want to leave, but deep down I knew it was right for me and I finally gained some control back into my life.

So now it is the second week of the summer holidays and it feels so strange. I would normally have a list a mile long that needs to be completed before September to get ready for my new class but this year I don’t. Instead I have a list a mile long that is helping me regain control in my life. I am anxious about what my future holds, but excited to try my hand at supply teaching. It will be different and probably a challenge to start with but at least I will have more control over when and where I work, I wont have to feel guilt if I am too ill to work and I may finally be able to accomplish the challenge of pacing myself.

Making big decisions is hard, especially when they are decisions you feel you have been forced into because of your health. If I didn’t have fibro then I would probably still be happily working in a job the I had always dreamed of. But I have chosen to look at this in a positive way, I am putting myself first. I am happier and healthier because of it and although it was the hardest thing to say goodbye to the amazing colleagues I worked with it was the right thing to do.

Try not to look at what fibro is taking away from you but what it is giving you. It has given me the opportunity to talk to new people, developed my confidence as I raise awareness of the condition, allowed me to look at my life priorities and finally allowed me to put myself first and say no.

Let me know about the big life decisions you’ve had to make, whether related to fibro or not, how you came to those decisions and whether they had a positive or negative impact on your life. I will update you in the next few months on how going on supply helped or didn’t help my condition.

Gentle hugs,

Hannah

 

4 thoughts on “Putting yourself first!

  1. Stacey says:

    Between my Fibromyalgia/Polyarthralgia/Chronic Pain Disorder/IBS-D and the sudden, unexpected death of my “baby” Sis (almost two weeks before her 35th Birthday), I was completely at my breaking point. I was working full-time as an office manager (doing about 5 full-time jobs in one); and, I could feel my body and mind on the verge of a full melt down. I was also the sole income provider for my family. No choice, I had to quit.

    My Sis surprised us by leaving each sibling some money. I was able to use that to move our family to a dryer climate in hopes of helping my health. I was in a wheel chair most of the time and could not leave the house. I filed for SS Disability through an advocate.

    That was just over 2 1/2 years ago…fast forward to present…the dryer climate did help with my Polyarthralgia; however, I have been primarily homebound due to the overwhelming pain. There have only been a couple of medications that I could take do to an overly hypersensitive system.

    I will finally have a hearing before a Judge for my Disability in September…the financial stress has been horrific! It has drained all of our resources, overused credit cards, extremely strained our marriage…the hope is the Judge ruling in my favor.

    In the mean time, I have been blessed with a great medical team who was able to get a pain pump approved. I was able to have the surgery in May, so we are still dialing it in. It has been great to finally have true hope to curb the edge off the pain. I can move about the house a bit more. I still do not get out much; however, there is hope! I still have my wheel chair for when we do go out…and the walker to use about the house.

    • @myfibroanewbeginning says:

      Oh wow you have had a tough time. I am so lucky that my fibro doesn’t make me housebound and on a day to day basis I can function quite well. Thank you so much for replying to this post. I hope that the judge rules in your favour. My mum recently had to go through the new UK assessment and we were so worried she would not be granted it. I agree with how the financial stress can be difficult I have similar worries as supply work isn’t guaranteed. Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes in September! Gentle hugs and best wishes to you and your family. 💜

  2. Fibronacci says:

    I am kind of in the same boat as you. I am graduating this week with a Ph.D., and under normal circumstances, would have moved on to a postdoctoral research position. I mulled over it for a very long time whether or not to still go for it, despite fibro. But a few months ago, my fibro flare got so bad and stayed for so long, that I knew it wouldn’t be the right thing for me. I have decided to take at least a short break before starting something else (like some other job), and looking into other career tracks with better work-life balance. To take this break was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, so I can really connect with what you said in this post. Hang in there for now! I am glad you have a good outlook towards it all. I am sure everything will work out in the end. Take care! 🙂

    • @myfibroanewbeginning says:

      Oh wow. I decided not to go on to do my masters a few years ago as although I really wanted to do it I knew in my heart I couldn’t cope. Massive congratulations on your Ph.D. That is a huge achievement. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my post it helps to know others have been through the same thing. Please let me know what you decide to do! Gentle hugs Hannah

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