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My Complicated Relationship With LinkedIn as Someone Who Can't Work

Every once in a while I check out what’s going on at LinkedIn. I usually end up regretting it. Not because of the content; I always find a few interesting articles. I regret it because I see a few job postings that sound interesting. I start thinking “I could be a good fit for that job.” Then I remember that I can’t work.

I haven’t been able to work for five years now. I live with a few disabling conditions. I have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). I have chronic migraine. I have a “benign” (meaning non-cancerous, not harmless) brain tumor. These conditions may all be related. Or I might just be unlucky.

I have spent hours thinking about what kind of job I could do. I always end up with the same conclusion: there is no job I can do with my limitations. I endure two or three migraines a week, each stealing hours of my day. I can’t work at all on migraine days. I don’t know when the migraines will strike, but I do know that I would miss multiple days of work every week if I had a job. And I would, of course, be fired. Additionally, because of POTS, I cannot stand too long and I cannot sit too long. If I do either, I end up light-headed with a racing heartbeat. Another thing I cannot do is look at a computer screen for more than 15-20 minutes at a time. I simply have too many limitations to get or keep a job.

I try to look at the positives in my life. I used to work long hours, but now I have much more time with my husband and children. I am blessed to get monthly disability insurance payments. My husband has a job that provides me with great health insurance. But I still miss work. I miss the challenges. I miss the sense of accomplishment. I miss working toward short and long-term career goals. I miss the friendships and the laughter. I let myself be sad about it sometimes. And then I stay away from LinkedIn for a while.

This story originally appeared on Neither Here Nor There.

Getty image by Lordn.

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