With my mental health slipping away, and my fine motor skills leaving much to be desired, I’m left wondering how much longer I can continue to get through the day-to-day, all while pretending that I’m fully functioning.
There is an old saying that a person only has so many spoonfulls of energy. From this, the modern-day sufferers of invisible illnesses have coined the term “Spoonies”. The idea is that everything we do takes a certain number of spoons and every day we are only given so many spoons to get us through that day. Some days getting out of bed, showered, and dressed for the day might only take a single spoon. Other days it might take 3 or 4. I, personally, have both my BPD ( and its collection of friends) as well as fibro contributing to my spoon usage. On days where my fibro is bad and giving my feet issues, it might take an entire spoon just to get shoes on my feet. Another couple to keep them there.
For almost two years it took maybe 4 spoons to get through an 8 hour work day. Lately, it’s been taking more like 12-16. That’s more spoons than I have total. What it takes mentally to sound and appear chipper, when my insides are crumbling and horrific, takes all my energy. All my spoons. And some days, I can’t make it to the end of the day before it shows that I am all out spoons.
I finally had to stop and ask myself if maybe it wasn’t time to stop and look for a new line of work. My ability to perform at my best in my current job was compromised and I was becoming a liability. I finally decided that maybe I’d be better off leaving the work force altogether for a while and filing disability. It’s something I had hoped to never have to do, but at this point it will allow me to focus on my health.
It will also let me focus all my spoons, minus what I give to my family, on my education. I have lofty education goals. Even full-time everything I’m hoping to accomplish will take 10-15 years. It comes down to: How old do I want to be when I graduate? Do I want to have time to pay off my loans and use my degrees after graduation or do I wish to graduate as I retire?
You all have seen the back and forward of the school drama over the years. You (should) know by now I’m a straight A student accomplishing nearly perfect grades, but that I got off to a rocky start after dropping some classes. More than once. Young and dumb. I’ve since gotten my fresh start at Franklin University and am back at my straight A’s with a near perfect in most cases. This tells me that I really can do this. The only thing holding me back is, well, ME!
I’m currently working on my Bachelor’s in Business Administration, minoring in Business Economics because they go well enough together and can be finished within my electives. Besides, Business Economics sounds fascinating. Sorry, I’m one of those students. Remember when I almost majored in math? Yeah, still pissed Business doesn’t require calculus. After my Bachelor’s I’m going for my Master’s in Business Administration and then my Master’s in Business Psychology. Finally, because this is one I want more than the rest, I’m going for my Doctorate in Psychology.
What will I do with all that? So glad you asked! For starters, all of that is helpful in the business world, including banking. But it can also be amazingly helpful should I decide to open my own private practice.
Then someday, when my student loans are paid off, I have a 401K and pension built, and I’m ready to retire, I can spend my time volunteering my time. So many out there are disabled and in need of proper help. How many of them, with just a little affordable (greatly reduced or even free) help would be able to reenter the work force and really contribute to society and their own personal lives and self worth?
I’m about to spend 10-15 years on disability and probably welfare.
Then I’m going to spend the rest of my life paying all that back in actual money but most importantly, in my time. Because I can.
Or, at least, I’ll be able to.