How do you know when to throw in the towel on something that you’ve been fighting to carry on with, despite finding it really tough?
There are two dimensions to my problems at work. They are interacting and making each other worse (reminds me of two impairments I know quite well, that I could use as a very appropriate metaphor). 1. Work is not accessible – on so many levels. Going in today would involve pain, exhaustion, stress and worsening of my condition – that could all be avoided if the institution was more willing to adapt to my needs. 2. I am not well enough to work three days a week. But I am stuck in the benefits trap, because going down to two days would lose me my tax credits. So isn’t it great that work just makes me more unwell…? And round we go again.
So, it was not without some relief that, when I fell, hit the side of my bed and subluxed my shoulder this morning, I realised that I’m really not up to working at the moment.
And then I e-mailed work, and got back the most curt response that I may ever have seen in my life. But it’s all right, because they’re “sorry” I’m not feeling well.
The Girl-Who-Is-Incredible-And-Brilliant got me an appointment at the doctor’s. It’s with Crappy Doctor, of ‘made me feel rubbish for bothering her last week’ fame (who is at least better than no doctor at all. I wanted Lovely Doctor, but we can’t have everything now can we children). And so it transpires that I am sitting here researching whether I can afford to go back onto Incapacity Benefit, still keep my job (but for so few hours that it’s barely worth it), still get support from Access to Work (thereby not having to give up the wonder that is Luna), and still bring in enough money to pay the bills. The answer is ‘possibly’. The question is whether work will like this idea. If I give them the choice between this and losing me altogether, they may put up with it. Or they might decide I’m not really worth all this fuss. At this point, that would be fine by me.
I await an actual acknowledgement from the Powers That Be that work is just not accessible enough for me, and that they are causing their own chaos. It will never be forthcoming, but I live in hope. The problem is with society, people – not with me.