Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Career vs Fatigue

I recently came back to the working world after a lengthy break, with my fatigue I've found it very difficult to do anything other than attend uni without needing to sleep for extended periods. That was until this job came up. My current role is Social Media Manager at a tech company, basically I tweet, post and write about the company and also liaise with others who do the same. To others this still sounds like a big job and it is but luckily I have some flexibility. When I first met with my now bosses about the job I was very upfront about my illnesses, I told them that I have bouts of fatigue and can't work full time I also informed them about my mobility issues. They were very understanding and told me that I could decide my own hours and work from home, this was such a surprise to me as I've never had my experience taken into account despite my illnesses and unreliability because of this.

So I now work around 3 hours a day 5 days a week and I can do these all in one go or split up, such is the nature of social media. I can also do it from bed, on the sofa or on the bus into uni, it gives me so much flexibility. If it wasn't for the understanding nature of my bosses I wouldn't be able to do my job and I am truly thankful for that. To be honest though its still hard, I try to rest where I can but am still hit with exhaustion like a sledgehammer. So some days I will be working from bed, the next I will be able to do everything then the next I will be in bed again. This doesn't make me unreliable as work is still a priority (after my health obviously).

I wanted to remind others in my situation that hopefully you will find a job that you love, if not make your own.When first got really sick I had to give up the career I thought I'd have forever, but really teaching and childcare wasn't the smartest choice for someone with a minuscule immune system. I had to completely start my life over, I blogged about anything I could, took chances, made some unwise decisions and went back into education. It's only in the last year or so that I have refined what I do, I realised that I have accumulated enough knowledge and passion for social media so why not make a career out of it? When a career is almost classed as a luxury, as it sometimes is in the Chronic Illness community, it has to be something you love or you wont have the desire to push your body that necessary bit extra (I'm not suggesting you push yourself and make yourself ill) and you'll actually want to adapt your life around what you do. 

At the minute that's something I'm getting to grips with, having a set schedule that I have created myself and keeping life going instead of just working and sleeping. Seeing friends and family makes it a lot tougher, but its worth the tiredness. It just means resting when you can and making every second count. Holding down a job with fatigue is possible, its just harder and takes longer, but if its something you love then its worth it.

Images credit: Sioin Queenie Liao via Viral Forest

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