Drop Out or Drop Back In?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by bpmwriter, Jul 7, 2006.

  1. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    hi all,

    i'm in the beginning stages of making some tough decisions regarding how to move on in life bearing this cross that we've all been saddled with. there is a side of me that wants to drop out and move somewhere rural where i know no one, live inexpensively and work part-time for whatever employer will have me, and another side of me that says, go back to school, find a job that makes you happy, get back in touch with friends and don't let the illness win. i'm trying not to look at things as black and white, all or nothing, but i can't help but feel that my future requires me to choose between these two radically different paths. i'm very conscious of the fact that the necessity for education and a career are to some extent a societal illusion, but i also have a constant need for intellectual stimulation.

    i'd like to hear from anyone who's been down either of these paths and what were the results. has anyone dropped out and felt good about their decision? anyone bought back in and regretted it??

    existential crisis - help! :)

  2. optimistic1

    optimistic1 New Member

    You said it yourself-----Please, "don't let the illness win."

    The object of this wonderful website is to support and gain support from others who are in the same boat. I too, am in a very bad way, and it takes effort everyday, but don't give up . Keep plugging along. Your post sounds like you have so much potential. Don't give it up.

    Some days are bound to be better than others, can't forget that.

    Much luck,

    [This Message was Edited on 07/07/2006]
  3. kjfms

    kjfms Member

    Oh gosh, do I remember being there. If you do no mind reading a bit of a long story I will share with you my journey back to school at the age of 39 with FMS and what a trip it was...I will try to do the condensed story...LOL

    I worked as a lab tech in the coal industry for over seven years running heavy metal analysis on water, coal, plant material etc...for several years (5) of that time I was hit with muscle pains, fatigue, IBS, and my migraines which I had been having since I was 14 increased in frequency. All of came on rather fast and intense to the point that I was calling off sick and so started the rounds of doctors the typical story and finally diagnosed in 1999.

    In 2000 I was given the "choice" of being taking a medical leave or quiting not much of a choice. Small company not much in the way of benefits. I did what only I could do I told them they could either fire me or lay me off.

    Well they couldn't just fire me so they laid me off. I insisted they write me a letter stating the reason for the lay off being "due to decline in the industry". This was so that I could at least collect unemployment benefits.

    Well I at least had comfort that I had a little money coming in. I did some research and decided to go back to school with the help of the UMWA, unemployment, and a school loan I made the jump. I went back to school and was scared to death and was one of the oldest in the class.

    I went into an accelerated program to get an associate degree in medical information/coding in one year instead of two. If that wasn't enough I had to drive 70 miles one way to school-5 days per week and spend 7 hours a day in classes.

    Looking back I don't if I was ignorant or right down stupid but I do know that I was determined...LOL

    I did have a hard time although I made excellent grades there was a problem with being absent but I did have doctor excuses for most. I was even put on probation for absenteeism one quarter.

    I did make it though and graduate I am proud and happy to say.

    I am sorry this was so long but I just want you to know it is possible to go back to school, hard, but possible.

    Looking back I probably could have planned it a little better but oh well. Now I would do online...LOL

    I am sure you will make the right decision for you and I do wish you the best with it.

    Take care,

    Karen :)

  4. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    I live in the country now, used to be right in the city and knew in my heart for years that the country was where I needed to be. I got much better out here in just one summer, pollen allergies went way down. You'd think the opposite maybe, but there aren't yard after yard of cultivated flowers here, which is the worst for me, and the lack of pollution and noise takes a huge burden off my total allergy load. I'm MCS and chemical and pollution allergies are worse than seasonal since they have to be dealt w/ all year.

    I've also taken some great correspondence courses that had credentials as good as in-class. They tend to call it Distance Education now. My first course for Medical Terminology boosted my earning potential immediate upon certification. I had a plum hospital job w/in days w/ my grades being so high.

    That was back when I could pull off the high grades. I lost my ability to focus for any length of time, I hope that doesn't happen to you. It's one of my biggest regrets about what this dd has done to me.

  5. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    There seem to be many threads basically in the same vein, different titles.

    How many times have we asked, do I push myself or "listen to my body and rest?"

    I have taken a hard look at myself...it is not all pretty... but something seems to be lying under my skin or in my soul that I cannot quite (or won't) put a finger on.

    A very quick background for those who don't know, I was diagnosed in the "dark ages" when the syndrome was called fibrositis and had done fairly well for 15 years, hit rock bottom after taking care of my MIL for five years in my home. When she died, I could barely move.

    Would drive to work (part-time at a hospital) cry in the parking lot I hurt so much, dry my face, go to work.

    So the question is, did I make the right choice to keep working????? We needed me to work for health insurance.....would I have quit if insurance was not needed?????

    Did I do my body permanent harm??????????? Will I die sooner because I kept pushing??????? Well we all know the benefits of having health insurance although doctors for the most part have NOT helped my FMS, but we need them for OTHER things.

    When I have two days free at home, I do not get done what needs to be done. I wake up with good intentions..... my mind races, I get a few things done, then lay down on the couch "just for a few minutes" turn the tv on...... something comes over me, physically and mentally.

    My job at the hospital as a medical transcriptionist would not be considered physical but profoundly affects the body working eight hours a day. I go to the pool after work and teach an hour water aerobics class which counters the effect of sitting at a computer all day.

    I also need something to counter the effects of sleeping all night, get rid of the stiffness.... lying on the couch on a down-day.... not good either.

    What am I getting at???????

    Do I have what it takes to be self-motivated to do the things that should be done to live an organized fulfilling life???? I used to..... or maybe not. When my children were young (remember I was diagnosed that long ago) my house was neat, they got nurtured and participated in activities needing parental involvement. Maybe "they" were pushing me?

    After my MIL passed away, I was a zombie... pain, tears, not be able to move is what I remember. With the help of physical therapists I crawled out of a lot of that.... would not have started if I did not have insurance... back to the job.

    I realized at that time that for about six years, I had no memories to look back on, prior to that, there were so many. The thought of a family vacation was terrifying, it would cause more pain/anxiety on my part. But if I did not go, I would still have no memories. I went. Family weddings, christenings, I get to them all, so I will have memories. Thinking back, I remember the good parts of the event, not the pain.

    So would I stay on the couch week after week if I did not work? I would like to think not.

    BMPwriter wrote "but i also have a constant need for intellectual stimulation."

    What does intellectual stimulation mean to you? If taking courses over the "net" is intellectual stimulation" that's good. If applying that information with an on-line job would work for you, good!

    I worked at home as a medical transcriptionist, part-time while working at the hospital part-time, both were fulfilling, but at home was isolating.

    Sorry for the rambling, disorganized thinking, we are individuals, but if I were honest with myself, if dropping out were an option, I do believe, I would be doing less, the less I do, the less I am able to do. Then if I were not able to do as much, the whole thing would snowball.

    Overcoming inertia takes more effort that keeping an object in motion. Yes?

    I want memories.

    Fondly June

  6. pam_d

    pam_d New Member

    Going back to work, after years off, was a good decision. It isn't for everyone. I felt the need to feel useful and productive again. It actually was the beginning of my feeling a lot better, gradually. And it's been 3 years. For me, and again, I realize this isn't everyone's best choice, a better attitude and mental health seemed to translate into better physical health.

    I'm fortunate to work a 30-hour week, not the 40-plus hours that some folks do. So that helps.

    Right now, I'm on a medical leave for cancer treatment, but going back to work in another few weeks---and I can't wait!

    For some folks, taking care of FM/CFS is a fulltime job in itself, so work isn't possible or desired. And that is a perfectly good choice to make. For me, having a job I love was the answer.

    You'll find the right decision for you!


  7. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    I live in a rural community with a population center large enought to support a junior college which offer a variety of two year degrees/vocational training, a couple four year degrees, and many elective courses. There are winter/summer sports, community theater, art, community orchestra, museum etc. You can be as active or laid back as you like. It's not as inexpensive as it used to be to live here, especially if you live right in town, but there are still areas which are pretty reasonable. This type of community has a lot to offer, but little industry. I'm not quite sure what people who earn a good living do for employment here.
  8. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member


    I did not 'drop out'. I was pushed out by this disease.

  9. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    The shop where I worked did a variety of print jobs, many commercial jobs from in and out of state -- brochures, calendars, magazines, posters, stapled booklets/calendars, paperback books. I worked in the assembly area (aka bindery, where binding books, folding, shipping etc. are done) as opposed to the design or press (actual printing) areas.

    Could no longer teach because of a severe hearing impairment, went back to school and programmed computers for several years. After being out of the workforce for several years this part time job in a bindery worked for some time.
    [This Message was Edited on 07/08/2006]
  10. onedaymagpie

    onedaymagpie New Member

    I have had the fantasy of dropping out - just as you have stated it. But at the end of the day, when I am at work there are times I am so fulfilled by what I do, that I just can't give it up. There are really hard days and times I would love to run from. So, I keep the thought in the back of my mind, that if things ever really boil over, I always will have the option of, "ropping out, if it comes to that - but for now, I am going to keep kicking . . .
  11. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    thanks for your thoughts and comments. i'm taking a little trip to new england on wednesday, hoping to do some light hiking and clear my head. i live near a college that offers continuing education classes in multimedia and desktop publishing, which both interest me. i'll be looking into this further when i get back.

    well wishes,
  12. Tigger57

    Tigger57 New Member

    If you do decide to drop out and find a nice quiet place where you know no one... want a roommate?
  13. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Hey!!!! You can hike and clear your head??????


  14. bpmwriter

    bpmwriter New Member

    yes, strangely enough, i can hike. has to be easy though, no elevation gain, and nice weather (low temp & humidity). perhaps calling it hiking is a little much. more like walking in nature, and stretching out on the first big rock i can find (i think i was a lizard in another life) :)

  15. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    My friend, I share your dilemma. Sometimes I want to lock the door and throw away the key. It seems as if it would be so much easier. And to some extent I was forced to "drop out", of the work force so I know what that's like too. I must say that, because I was used to the habits of work as well as to the socialization of it, I missed it a lot when I quit. Not only that but I realized that to some degree this illness seems to conform to what parameters I set for it.

    That doesn't mean I can start jogging and my body will adjust but mentally I think actually dropping out hurts us.

    I don't know your age or your financial circumstances but why does it have to be one extreme or the other. Why not consider a middleground? How about moving to a rural area where you have peace, quiet and hiking and going to school part-time instead of full time? Or take classes online. You can continue to do whatever you're doing to help your health, then add courses as you're able. That seems so much better than having to back off.

    I do know this: we cannot ignore this/these illnesses and hope they go away. We must accomodate them, yet at the same time we need to keep on keeping on. A tough task but most of seem to do it.

    I don't wonder why we all do so little; I wonder how we all do so well under the circumstances. I think we're all heroes.

    Good luck. I like the cabin in the woods idea, myself. Just don't lock yourself in.


    [This Message was Edited on 07/09/2006]
  16. IntuneJune

    IntuneJune New Member

    Lizard ?????

    I must have been a mermaid!


    If I come back, I want to be in water!