Anyone recently unable to work?or anyone who doesn't

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sop28, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. sop28

    sop28 New Member

    I'm recently unable to work due to these DD's. My job was basically my life; I pushed myself through everyday and have paid the price.

    I'm just wondering if anyone else feels like a piece of you has been ripped away?

    How do you cope with the feeling of worthlessness?

  2. katdancer

    katdancer New Member

    How do you cope with the feeling of worthlessness?

    Time will teach you how to cope. One almost has to confront this as a job - learn all you can about "it" and how to live with "it", keep you eye out for new things and be open to trying almost anything once - sometimes it hurts and you learn not to do that again and sometimes it doesn't and how thrilling to find the things that don't hurt!!!! Patience, patience, patience and lots of prayers! Good luck to you as you learn to adjust your life and find meaning in the new one.
  3. sop28

    sop28 New Member

    Thank you for your words of encouragement! I have had FM for years but was just dx with CFS. It is really hard at this point to see the light at the end of the tunnell, but I'm trying!

  4. pemaw54

    pemaw54 New Member

    I loved my job and was very good at what I did. I still miss it every day. I feel worthless and useless and some days I cant help thinking it would be better for everyone if I wasnt here.

    I have a wonderful supportive husband who loves me dearly, it scares me horribly when I talk like that. This message board was the 1st ray of hope I had and now I also do water arobics at the YMCA at least once a wk and I get to talk to people there too.

    We do understand what you are going through. The 1st yr, I thought I would go crazy. The pain never stops and then I lost all of my work friends and the students I loved at the highschool where I worked.

    Hang in there with me and the others fighting this DD and I will pray for you

  5. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    I, too, had a hard time when my job changd and then disappeared.

    I had been a teacher for 40 years. All of a sudden, programs where changed and I was made a curriculum person and lost my classroom and students. I wrote curriculum 1/2 day in a noisy lab (where I couldn't think) and was supposed to teach 15 minute art classes for the rest of the day. What a joke! It was then that I began to realize how much of myself image was wrapped up in my having a classroomm and teaching a class. This was a hard thing to handle. In fact, it was so hard and so stressful, that my DD's got worse, and I had to look to retiring early.

    I had to take early retirement because of these DD's. I felt as you do, for a long time. I wanted to be a contributing member of society and felt useless and like part of me was gone.

    Then I discovered that my purpose in life had just probably changed. I began to meditate and persue spiritual things as much as I could, and have come to realize that I can offer up this suffereing, uselsessnes and loneliness to help others. I also come to this message board, not only for support and information but to see if maybe I can share with someone, and maybe give them some hope.

    Please don't get too discouraged. I had to retire 13 years ago, and it's only recently that I have learned this lesson. Everything takes time, and everyone has a different purpose. I still haven't let go of wanting to be "normal", and I will always try to get well. I just am a bit more detatched , now. And, I might add, a whole lot happier.

    I send you a big, big, hug.
  6. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    Hi. I definitely know the feeling you are having and in time it does get better. I think it is natural to feel that way when your life changes in ways you don't expect.

    I have been sick since 1995 and I worked full time until 2001. I worked my way up the corporate ladder to become a VP of a company. I worked hard and was very satisfied with my job and my accomplishments, so I wasn't going to stop working without a fight!!

    As I got sicker through the years, I worked less hours or from home and then only worked PT (my company was very lenient with me) but even that became too much for me. Work was my life so when I had to quit due to my health I was devestated but I was convinced, with some rest I would be able to work again. Unfortunately, 5 years later I still haven't been able to work again.

    I have adjusted and LOVE being home now. It took a few years to find my domestic side but now I am happy with my new "role" at home. I have 3 kids and even though I am unable to go anywhere or do anything we still enjoy the little things, like watching movies, games, talking.
    They are in school during the day and during the summer I send them to camp so I can get the rest I need and they get the fun they need.

    It was a hard adjustment and one that didn't come immediately. I went through the feelings of worthlessness and felt like I had nothing to contribute to my family.
    We all adjusted and I think we are a better family for it. The time I am now able to spend with my family is so valuable even though I am limited physically. I gave up my job but I gained a family connection I had neglected because of time I put into my job.

    Give yourself time to grieve your "old self" and then give yourself time to adjust. Sometimes the things we think are the worst things in life and actually blessings in disguise. Take some time for yourself, rest, relaxation, discovering you separate from your career identity, I think you'll find with time you'll appreciate it all and most of those negative feelings will go away.

    Hang in there and don't be too hard on yourself!
  7. sop28

    sop28 New Member

    I just wanted to thank everyone for putting things into perspective for me! It does help.

    Thank you all,

  8. aquabugs

    aquabugs New Member

    I too am struggling to adjust to not working. I have been ill for several years, but worked and went to school while raising two teenaged sons alone.

    I struggled through and earned two biology degrees and finally got the job I loved - a field biologist for the state. What fun, I got to practice my science for the good of the environment. It was actually my dream job.

    Then I was diagnosed with an autoimmune illness, but I got that stabilized and continued to work. It wasn't too bad. But then, the fatigue and more pain hit....and never went away. I began to have to make changes in my work schedule and even that didn't help me rest up.

    A day in the field working began to cost me 3 or 4 days off from work afterward. Eventually that didn't help either. Last year I missed more and more work, until I finally had to ask for disability leave in September.

    I lost my job in November when the doctor extended my sick leave. I am still trying to adjust. I really miss my job and I thought my pain and fatigue would get better once I was off and able to rest as needed.

    We have a glass studio as well and I was looking forward to being able to work with glass "whenever I wanted." However, after being off for 7 months, I still don't have these DDs "under control." I manage to go out to the studio maybe once or twice a week, but usually I just don't have the energy to even sit at my worktable and design a piece.

    I'm very discouraged at this time, but remain hopeful that I will learn to adapt enough to make my life enjoyable again.

    Just know you are not alone and I suppose we will come to acceptance as many others here have before us.

  9. smiffy79

    smiffy79 New Member

    and was glad to leave it but i didnt leave until i just couldnt go on any more.
    that and along with the dx have been the best things to happen to me as now i can focus on what i really want to do.

    i am paying for my training myself but in the long run it will all be worth it AND i am building up a clientel working for free right now. i have a trip to london this w/e to try to rectify a stressful situation.

    i dont feel worthless and neither should anyone here, there is something out there for all of you that will bring back a buzz and the fire in your hearts. its just a case of standing back, re-evaluating and taking it slow.
  10. princessloulou

    princessloulou New Member

    waiting to hear if i have FM i find work a struggle so much so that i tried to hand my notice in had good talk with my boss and now i work four hours a wk. still find it hard have a lot of back pain when shift is over. don`t know how long i will last either.
  11. UnicornK

    UnicornK New Member

    I had to leave a job I loved and still have trouble working even though I am a "sub" now. I don't have children at home so I feel worthless. Some days I can't do anything. Other days I overdo it. I just can't seem to find a middle ground.
  12. MamaR

    MamaR New Member

    I am sorry that you are in this place. But, I too can relate. I have had MPS/Fibro since late 80's....or even earlier...but that was when doc told me that I had MPS.

    It has been long, hard road for me. I managed to work until a few years back. But, I fought it for years. I had to stop because I worked with children and I didn't feel like I was able to do my job. It wasn't fair to them, or me.
    But, I had really bad guilt feelings until just last year. I finally accepted that I couldn't even go from day to day without how could I work?

    Anyway, I try now to take it a day at a time. That is the best way to do it....because we never know what tomorrow will bring. I try to find happiness in the small things now. That is best.

    I was just told yesterday that I most likely have Lupus. I have to go to another doc for more tests.

    I just know that this board has been so helpful to me. The people here are always there. You are bound to find someone at anytime. We all need each other!

    I hope that I can be there for you in your need, but if not, then there is another person will.
    That is what is so nice....someone is always here!

  13. sop28

    sop28 New Member

    Thanks for your post. It does help to know that your not alone. I don't know what I would do without this site!

  14. lsmbrenz

    lsmbrenz New Member


    I lost my second job in the past 2 years because i was taking too much time off and not making good decisions. Up until this point I have steadily advanced in my work for the past 20+ yrs up to VP level. I decided to take a position lower on the corporate ladder, that i had mastered a decade ago, and still couldn't do it.

    I feel like my life has been stolen from me. I have always had goals and plans about what I was going to dso next and now I can't make any.

    So far I have not come up with any good coping strategies.
  15. musikmaker

    musikmaker New Member

    I retired early just 3 weeks ago because my illness kept getting worse. And yes a piece of me has been ripped away. The hard part about acceptng the loss for me is what it means. It means I am no longer the person I used to be. I can no longer perform or hope to perform at the levels I used to. This is a grieveing process and it is going to take awhile to get through.

    I'm still not sure how to cope with the worthlessness, Someone said time will help. I'm thinking the worthless feelings we both are experiencing are part of the grieving process.
  16. sop28

    sop28 New Member

    Thank you everyone for your replies! My job offered short term diability(you could pay into it)and everyone gets long term disability as a benefit.

    Stupid me didn't opt into short-term so that means no money! I was the main bread winner and health insurance was from my job. My husband works several part-time jobs as a pianist/organist/music teacher. His job is so unstable. He recently took a several hundred dollar a month cut because the university that he works for cut back on their music program.

    So, not only do I feel like a piece of myself has been ripped away but financially and health insurance is in limbo.

    It's a very scarey place to be in!

    Thank you all for your replies, I'll keep you posted.

  17. hartogold

    hartogold New Member

    I understand what you're going through. I'm 52 and raised my daughter by myself through her college days.

    I started working at age 12 and worked all my life (most of the time 2 jobs) until June 2002. I was an advertising consultant full time and my second job was usually cleaning houses, walmart, that didn't require much thinking.

    I was finally diagnosed in 1998 but kept working to the poing where I couldn't trust this dd. I never knew how I was going to feel from day to day. I kept plugging along until I had to unplug.

    I was approved for SSDI first try (thank God)in 2002. My doctors all supported this. I was the one who fought it. How could I be disabled by something they couldn't prove I had????? The blood tests didn't show much, but the exams did.

    I'm still disabled and not getting better. If anything it's worse.

    I was recently referred to a pain doctor and now we are working on the "right" pain cocktail to help me.

    I wish I could say something positive but really don't have anything to say except just know you're loved and supported here and hopefully with your family and friends.
  18. MamaR

    MamaR New Member

    I hope that you are feeling better today!

  19. oholland

    oholland New Member

    women and men whose lives are so crippled by these DD's.

    Yes, I too lost a great career and am now "retired" early. I fought having to go on disability like most who loved their jobs and had worked so hard to climb the corporate ladder.

    But at least we had the experience of achieving those goals. I was 50 when these DD's began to get so bad that my mind began to go along with my body and 53 when I went on SSDI.

    I hated it then emotionally. But it was so for the best. Now it's four years later and I have learned have to enjoy the life I have and my body and mind are so much better for reduced stress level.

    And I had the accomplishment of making my mark in my career. However guys, let me tell you from experience. That will never mean as much as family, your health, and friends.

    So, even though my heart is sad that you have to give that up I will pray that you have the support of family and friends and the gift of healing for your body.

  20. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    I took an early retirement (w/ LTD/CPP) from the workplace in 2000. I didn't want to retire at such a young age but the FMS/ME got the best of me.

    At first, it was much as you described, I felt like a piece of myself had been ripped away. I felt worthless, like my life had no meaning. To make matters worse my workplace friends disappeared one after the other and several long-term friendships became toxic and ended. My husband is a wonderful man but even with his love and support, I felt terribly alone and aimless.

    These feelings eased up bit by bit but it was a tumultuous journey from there to here, here being a place of relative peace.

    First of all, I considered my journey to health as a full-time job. My days became busy with research, doctor's appointments, physiotherapy exercises, daily walks, counseling, well-planned outings with accommodations, massage therapy, journaling and taking care of myself.

    I had to break through years of learning to 'put others before myself' and learn to look after my own needs first and foremost. For the first time in my life I began to truly care for and love myself.

    I took on the role of homemaker. I can't do much of the physical work but I can manage light housework and some cooking and I can coordinate the larger jobs by delegating to my hubby or a paid service. My home has never been so clean or run so smoothly. I've made it a haven of peace and comfort and on the days when I'm housebound, there's nowhere I'd rather be.

    I still struggle with life purpose from time to time but when I feel confused with this issue, I turn to the following prose for understanding:

    From " Nothing Left Unsaid," by Carol Orsborn:

    You have only one sacred duty:
    to make your spirit available to others.
    You do this by sharing what you already are
    in this and every moment.
    If you are loving, you share your loving.
    If you are suffering, you share your suffering.
    If you are healing, you share your healing.
    Why waste precious energy arguing with God about
    what it is that is yours to share right now,
    worrying how your broken bit could possibly be of use.
    Trust that however unlikely it may seem,
    without your piece,
    the universe would be incomplete

    God bless,
    Anne Theresa