I get a little tongue-tied sometimes when people ask me what I do. Not that writing isn’t the first thing that pops into my head. But, I have to think too, of the other job, the other full-time job: managing life with chronic illness.
Of course, it can be a real conversation killer to start answering with, “Well, I juggle doctors’ appointments with tests with going back and forth from physical therapy to the pharmacist.” Or, “Let’s see…I get to the ‘office’ (my medicine cabinet) around 10 AM, if I’m lucky, and then move on to meetings (doc appointments) until around 3…”
Still, thinking of managing life with illness as a “job” can be a very helpful thing, especially if your life is full of other activities and responsibilities. Why?
It’s a lot harder to shirk our illness-related duties if we think of them as tasks that provide us with “live-lihood” – we don’t get paid, but we do reap benefits of, hopefully, better or at least as optimal health as we can have.
Managing illness as a “job” is also helpful when dealing with others, especially people who don’t acknowledge our health responsibilities or who try to take our precious time and energy in spite of the restrictions we might have. What I mean by this is, the “job” of illness allows us to set up “office hours,” and to build health-full boundaries. It also allows us to balance activies with health needs.
Yes, living with illness can be a full-time job. But if we take the “good” from looking upon it as such, we’ll be pros in no time – and stronger for it, too!
Blessings for the day,