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How Grief And Health Challenges Have Pushed Me To Become My Own Hero

Friday 27 July 2018


From The Mighty:



How Grief and Health Challenges Have Pushed Me to Become My Own Hero

By Paige Jordan
Monday July 23, 2018
© 2018 Mighty Proud Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

It’s 5 a.m. and I have had the cumulative sleep of close to three hours. I was in the middle of my ritual of taking my meds, stretching and skimming through The Mighty for articles I hadn’t read before, when I came across a few articles about fibro and work. I’m fortunate that I can still work, even though it is part-time.

While I didn’t disclose my illness at the time I was hired, my coworkers have been understanding since they found out. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to work for the company I do. I run on the physics law that “an object in motion tends to stay in motion.”

I still get asked why I’m always tired, if my lack of sleep is self-imposed or if my kids are keeping me up, or I get asked why I come to work feeling like crap and if I’m sick. Occasionally, I get teased about them staying away from me because they don’t want what I have. But all I really have to do is tell them it’s a fibro thing, and we move on.

The company has been a blessing in my life beyond my limitations and illness. Until recently I had a partner in life. When he passed away unexpectedly my supervisor and coworkers jumped in and covered for me without being asked, and everyone was concerned when I went back to work “so quickly.” If I can’t make it through the day, or even one of my stores on my route, someone is happy to step up and help out. They don’t care if it’s grief- or fibro-related. While there isn’t usually more than one of us at a time in any one place, my company has been amazing about having someone there if I flare-up mid-shift.

A week ago, however, I was in an extra low place emotionally. I was back to sad and angry on the grief cycle when one of my kids walked past the coffee table and knocked a book mark onto the floor. “Be the hero of your own story.” It got me thinking, was I being my own hero? Was I being my kids’ hero? Of course, it set off a fresh rush of tears – How could I be my own hero? If I lost my ability to work, what would I do? Fibromyalgia is notoriously difficult to get disability for, and I would still have to wait for years to be accepted if I did manage to get it.


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