Friday, June 26, 2015

The Perils of Gainful Employment

A little over three months ago I started back to regular, part-time employment. While returning to retail cosmetics has certainly presented me with many challenges, I have to admit the experience is going overwhelmingly well. During the first month, my determination to be successful put me on my best behavior. In an effort to convince my boss hiring a double-stroke survivor with chronic illness and a four-year gap in work history was a wise move, I knew I had to show up every single day with a smile on my face and a fire lit under my bum. To coax such uncharacteristic behavior out of my moody little self, I set some strict parameters. 

First and foremost, I vowed to juice two days worth of fresh veggie juice every other day without fail, convinced it would keep my immune system boosted enough that I wouldn't descend into a devil-woman viral flare. Shock and awe, it worked. Although a good night's sleep and decent workout at the gym quickly became a distant memory, I felt good. So good, my mortal fear of winding up back on pain killers turned out to be completely unwarranted. The timing also coincided with lent. This year I decided to give up beer, hoping my ginormous sacrifice would serve double-duty to help keep my health stable. While I don't drink more than once a week, and certainly not the night before I work, I'm still a reformed party girl who likes to get a good buzz on. In hindsight, I can begrudgingly admit only imbibing in a couple Moscow Mules twice over a forty-day period helped my fragile well-being, a little. Even if by the time Good Friday hit I was an uptight freak-show who desperately needed to let her hair down. 

In the second month I fell out. I slacked off on juicing, had to do some major making up with Dos Equis to compensate for our forty day breakup, and the first month of not sleeping brutally caught up with me. That devil-woman mood not only reared its ugly head, I descended into what I call the "Mid-2015 Anger Phase." I got myself all bent out of shape about a variety of lame injustices corporate America delivers to its lowly store-level employees. Then my frustration with my demanding, overly-entitled customer base got the best of me. This led me to start fixating on my problems, not my blessings. In turn, I got really pissed off about even getting sick in the first place and how incredibly hard my journey has been. Of course, it didn't take long for my bitterness to take over. Although I know this complex web of my own devise well, I failed to recognize when it was happening. So much so, I threw a couple tantrums. Not with tears or anything, but more of a desperate outpouring of my insecurities and frustrations all over a few coworkers. And plenty of attitude shoved at some others who had gone out of their way to be unhelpful.

Luckily, in the third month I simultaneously got a grip and found my acceptance. I realized juicing only a couple times a week wasn't doing nearly enough to keep me from ping-ponging from flare to flare. While I couldn't do much about my insomnia, short of working mainly closing shifts, I knew juicing was 34% of the reason my health was stable enough to allow me to return to work in the first place. So I upped the frequency, and vowed to shell out wads of cash for the store-made stuff when I didn't have time to do it myself. I also refocused on ignoring any and all negativity at every cost. Squashing my own distorted perceptions until I could sort out my errant emotions from objective reality was the only way I'd moved my life forward, and I wasn't about to backslide now!   

Of course, good intentions and an attitude adjustment don't magically erase the perpetual flare cycle I'm desperate to vacate. In fact, I literally have six huge boils erupting all over my face right now, which is especially helpful when trying to convince Mrs. Beverly Hills with too much Botox she needs my $380 face cream, not the one from the next counter over. I've also totally backslid at the gym, which is desperately depressing after all my hard work. But I'm as determined as ever to reclaim my progress and continue moving my life forward, knowing full-well getting this beast back to managed will take months. 

Thanks for joining,

#chronicillness #fibromyalgia #fibro #work        

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