Picture it- 10 am on a Thursday morning. Most people my age, somewhere between no longer young and senior citizen, are at work. Not me. I’m sitting on my back deck wrapped in a blanket and drinking coffee.
It probably looks relaxing, and it is. The sounds of nature on a cool morning are a great way to start a day, but there are things no one can see- the blinding pain in my right hip, or the waves of nausea and dizziness. The only thing visible about my many illnesses is the weird walk my hip has given me and the falls from the dizziness. There are many more symptoms. So many that it breaks my heart, but they just sit there silently torturing me. Invisible.
This makes working full time outside of the home a difficult task, so I’ve cut my schedule to three days a week. It’s hard, emotionally. I have a mind that wants to work full time and a body that doesn’t. It was a transition I fought until a hospital stay finalized the decision, so I’m the very definition of stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I have a mind that wants
to work full time
and a body that doesn’t.
(click to tweet)
My mind is still full of the other Ellie. The one who wasn’t sick all the time. The one who could work all day and even go out with friends some nights. The memory of her starting to fade. Now I’m working part-time and writing full time at home and replacing the memories of leaving home every day with rude comments from coworkers. The most recent being “ Why do you walk like that?” from more than one of them with smirks on their faces. They know. My MS is no secret.
How nice it must be to not understand illness and pain that doesn’t end. I could fill up page after page of mean and clueless things coworkers have said to me since my first diagnosis. Sometimes I get sad. Other times I get angry. Almost always I’m able to not show any reaction at all. I’m working on not internalizing any of it.
Really, what I want most is the old Ellie. She wasn’t always in pain and she worked 8-hour shifts fairly easily. The world seemed a whole lot nicer back then. Instead, what I have is a new Ellie who doesn’t look at the world through rose-colored glasses anymore.
I’m adjusting to her. I pack her up and take her everywhere I go. Some days that’s in too much pain to move, stuck in the bed. Other days it’s to the back deck with coffee, a blanket, and an internet connection to get some writing done. On the better days, New Ellie writes in the public library to connect with other living breathing humans. Then there are the days I take her to that crazy restaurant and work a shift. Sometimes even those days are good.
My wish is for balance between the old and new Ellie. Or to let the old me go, or to forget about the rest of the world and stop factoring it into any part of who I am. Help me on my journey toward balance, friends. Any ideas?
Ellie is a cashier, freelance writer, and blogger from South Carolina. Her favorite things are her family, friends, writing, cats and many other crafty pursuits. As a child, she was on a local TV kids show. She told the host that she wanted to be a butterfly or a writer when she grew up. As an adult, she is very glad she’s not a butterfly. Find more of Ellie on her blog, elliejeanb.wordpress.com.
Read more from this series:
Bridging Transitions – Part One by Andrea Stunz
Bridging Transitions – Part Two by Dana Herndon
Bridging Transitions – Part Three by Courtney Ellis