My Fears About Starting a New Job as Someone With Chronic Illness

It’s been a while since I’ve written here. I’ve struggled to find motivation. Personally, I can’t write unless I feel particularly led. I’ve been tired, sore, anxious, sick to my stomach and having pain in my abdomen. Pretty consistently. However, I’m starting a new job next week, and I haven’t had much else on my mind besides being incredibly nervous about my current health affecting my job, so I figured I’d share. I know I’m not alone, but sometimes it feels so.

So, like I said, I’m starting a new job next week. Finally. After struggling to even get an interview anywhere, I’ve gotten a job. Now the even harder part is managing my health while holding a job. I guess for someone who doesn’t struggle with chronic illness or mental illness, this might not seem very difficult. But that’s not me, is it? Is it you?

So many thoughts go through my head making me worry. What if my insomnia gets worse and it makes me feel worse in every other way? What if my (undiagnosed) GI problems flare and I can’t eat, making me tired and weak and nauseous constantly? What if the fibro fog is too persistent? What if my chronic pain flares up and it’s too hard staying on my feet for an entire shift? I could go on.

Then there’s always the anxiety that finds every other way to freak me out. What if I’m not good enough? Will they regret hiring me? What if I get fired? What if my coworkers don’t like me?

Then – yes, there’s more – I worry about the outcomes of all the possible things that could go wrong. I’d be letting myself down, my bosses down or my husband down (he’s had to do way more overtime than he should with me not working). If I lose my job, I won’t be able to start paying off my slew of medical bills. To sum it all up, my brain finds every possible way to make being inside my head a living hell.

It’s very possible that I’m overthinking and worrying more than I should. I know that. But that just doesn’t make it go away. My husband shows a lot of faith in me. He’s always telling me I shouldn’t be worrying like I am. He encourages me. I am extremely blessed and grateful. I just wish it was enough to make everything go away for good. I’d like to say it’s going to get easier. But I just can’t. It’s not impossible. But to me, it seems unlikely based on my history.

I know I sound like a very negative Nancy – I’m not enveloping my name very well. I can be honest, or I can fake it. I don’t know about you, but I’m sure tired of faking it.

Have you been in this situation before? Have any words of advice? If you can relate, feel free to comment. You’re not alone.

Getty Image by petrunjela

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Fibromyalgia

couple having a romantic dinner in a restaurant with a rose lying on the table

Dating With Fibromyalgia, the Unwanted Third Wheel

I think we all know that dating is hard. TV romanticizes the concept of dating, but the reality is a lot more brutal, and may often leave us feeling embarrassed or irritated – or maybe that’s just me and my awful taste. When you actually find someone you click with, that you want to be [...]
Doctor gaining in a syringe medication for injection.

FDA Approves Clinical Trial to Test Treating Fibromyalgia With TB Vaccine

With the recent approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a human clinical trial is set to begin on BCG, a vaccine typically used to prevent tuberculosis, to treat fibromyalgia. BCG, or Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, has been used since 1921 as a TB vaccine in countries with a high prevalence of TB. One particular [...]
illustration of a man holding a cage with floating star dust

Even With Chronic Illness, You Can Still Make a Difference

So, three years after being diagnosed with a handful of autoimmune diseases and a dash of fibromyalgia, I’ve decided to go back to work. Not just work, but teaching high school. It’s been eight class days since the first day of school, and three full weeks of a full-time work week, and I am thoroughly [...]
shadowy image of a woman wearing a green shirt and closing her eyes

My Chronic Pain Is So Much More Than 'Just' Pain

Try to imagine that you don’t already have a definition for the word “pain” in your mind. People often hear, or see, that word and will immediately think of pain they’ve experienced. This is where the problem begins with the average person trying to understand pain from a chronic condition. There are different types of [...]