February 26, 2010
Approach/Avoidance or rubber-banding and MS
Having MS requires a certain amount of elasticity. And ricocheting. And it must be very hard on those around us.
Recently I applied for a job. I just did the interview, and in doing the interview I realized the following:
1. I am very qualified for the position
2. I have pertinent experience, knowledge and wisdom to bring to the position.
3. I have done a lot in the years I've been in the workforce, after starting off the kids and attempting to support my ex (didn't do that so well, but there you go...).
4. Despite all this, my MS riddled body won't let me do the job. A job I otherwise could be good at.
So once again, I am brought up short, at the fullest tension of the elastic, and then sent snapping back into my MS box at high speed. I did the interview, but collapsed on the way home from fatigue. Today I'm toast. As they used to say back in the day when I was functional.
I feel for my friends, I do. They don't know how to support me. I try doing things, and they are supportive. They know the pre-MS me and hope like crazy I can get back there. When I try stuff, they sometimes tell me that that's good, it's good not to let my disability rule my life. I laugh rather quietly at that one. I'd give good money to tell my MS not to rule my life. UNFORTUNATELY, it still does, whether or not I give it permission.
Then there are the other friends, perhaps wiser, perhaps less optimistic, who tell me gently to enjoy the life I have now and stop trying to get back into the old one. They know about the elastic lure of the familiar, the fear of the slap back. My wonderful drug company nurse, Bonnie, bless her heart, told me gently that "many MS patients find that they are just all around better off letting that old life go, and are healthier and happier..." (I paraphrase, and she was much better at saying it than I). Sometimes I listen to them, and I decide to throw myself into my new, non-nursing, non-management, non-health care advocate life. I stop reading about health news, I go to ground and wallow in writing stuff. I try for joy.
But then an opportunity comes up, like this job I applied for. I have a look over my past accomplishments, and by jove, I've had a few. I stretched my career elastic pretty far, but there should be room for more. The lure of earning a salary again is big.
Being on paid vacation, like napping, becomes less of a joy when it is mandated. And tight on the money side...
So I stretch. And I fail. And it hurts again, to realize all that I've lost. To realize that this IS my life.
What is left of it.
Oh, and bonus, I can look forward to years of it, gradually getting more limited.
Is there any better reason to fly into fancy and visualize getting back into the pertinent workforce? Or alternatively, buying a motorhome, and running away from everything? While I can still drive?
Oh, escapism. How I love it. Especially in February.
Despite the gloom over my interview, the sun came out today, and shone brightly and warmly. It is a good thing some things don't depend on me.