At a crossroads....fell down on my knees.

In all the 21 years of being ill, I have never really had a job. I became ill at 18. I was never able to finish college. I have a 2 year degree, but unlike many, that isn't good enough for this type A personality female that I am.

Six years ago, by accident, I started making jewelry and it took off. In one month I made $800 dollars. That was when I first started. I couldn't believe it....I may be on to something here! So, I put my energy into being a jewelry designer, had a website built, made some amazing contacts and amazing sales. To have a show and walk away with a couple thousand dollars was so surreal. I always made minimum wage, and maybe a $100 a week.

But with anything, when something takes off, you have to keep up with the demand. The problem with that is, how can you when you are ill? So here I have this great product, I am looked at for once as being a productive human being, but I am sick.

As the years roll on, my business is still in the works even though the economy has taken a toll on it. But, my health is declining. And not even due to the job. I am able to work from home. I am able to set my own hours. In fact, the job is a light in my never ending darkness known as CFIDS. I was able to take a vacation that was quite expensive due to this job. I have nicer things because of this job. I am grateful.

But as many know with being ill, we only have so many "dollars" to spend in a day. I have 5 "dollars" a day. One dollar may go to taking a shower. The next dollar goes to getting dressed. I have 3 "dollars" left. So, do I go on a date (which is clearly SO much energy) or do I work? Or, do I concentrate on taking care of my health that is deteriorating.

Be careful what you wish for! I got what I always wanted. I got a job. I am now looked at as being special because I have this talent...I am an artist. Woo-hoo! And yes, I am happy about this, but this is not all that I am.

Last year I had a boyfriend for 8 months. An exhausting boyfriend. He would have been exhausting for me had I been well. Had I been well, I probably would have jumped ship earlier. I wanted to work but with him in the picture, I couldn't. He required too much time and energy. He was extremely insecure and wanted my full attention all of the time. My health started slipping so far down. Work ceased. He would hit the buttons that he knew would get me. "How do you ever expect to be in a relationship if you don't make compromises? Why can't you make that necklace tomorrow?" Because tomorrow, I might not be able to! It was awful and it ruined my self esteem. Wanting love and a job. So, I dumped him because I knew I could never fill the missing void within him. Am I happy about that? I am better off, but I am miserable realizing that I even if he had been "stable" I might not have been able to keep it going.

To me, a job is almost more important than a relationship. Perhaps the reason for that is because I have yet to meet a man who could handle my limitations. I have had horrible things said to me. My job doesn't do that! My job doesn't say horrible things to me. In fact, it keeps clothes on my back. It gives me a purpose. I used to be such a romantic. Not so much anymore.

Even if he hadn't been a needy person, I still would have a hard time having a business and having a relationship. Should I spend this dollar on working or having sex with this person? Actually, that physical activity might require 2 "dollars", but I only have 5! And sex in itself is almost traumatizing because I have interstitial cystitis, so sex causes such anxiety. Will I have a flare? Will I get an infection? All of these questions...it's exhausting.

If I do this, this might happen, if I do that, what will happen?

It's a juggling act. One I am sick of.

The crossroads comes into play because now I am quite ill. That relationship and the disappointment of it not working in spite of all efforts and the fact that my hormones are wreaking so much havoc on me, are causing me to now choose between work and trying to get better.

I am choosing both. I am choosing to try and get better most importantly. But what sadness comes in. I want to get married. I want a partner. I want to be able to juggle all of these gifts. But I can't.

I have learned a valuable lessen. I am glad that I have a job and that I have a talent. But that is not who I am. I have had to wrap my head around that; that I am not defined by my job. I realize why I did that because for years I was defined by this illness alone. To be looked at like I am some celebrity due to my job has been....well, for someone who failed to launch, a wonderful thing.

And now I am back to being sick, really sick again. So, now I have to look at myself as that. A sick girl. Or, am I that talent? You get what I am saying. I am at a crossroads.

Comments

it is very cool that you have success with making jewelry. i hope you feel better soon ...
 
I think it's great you were able to find something to make money at that did work. I had alot of failed things I tried over the years.

I so understand with boyfriends and sex. I'm allergic to spermicide, all the foam contraceptives and if a condom has spermicide on it, I literally feel like my insides are burning and it ruins any sex at all. So then there's the added stress of wondering if a plain condom is enough to help protect against diseases and a possible ectopic pregnancy. I've been told I'm either sterile or have a small chance of ectopic pregnancy. So I have to be even more careful. And most of the time, I'm in too much pain all over to really be in the mood for sex. My last boyfriend left me because I couldn't travel and he wanted someone who could and he was into alot of kink sex and I just wasn't up for it. He also had some issues of his own.

I really understand what you mean with rationing your energy and time. I always have to do that. With even the smallest things. Like, if I wash this dish, will it eat up my energy to get my mail or take out the garbage. And if I take out the garbage, I might not be able to do something else. Everything has to be rationed. It's really hard.

I'd love to see something you made, can you post a screenshot, if possible?
 
You are not your job. You are not your talent. You are not your illness. This is all true for all of us. You do not need a partner/husband to be someone and you'd better be pretty sure who you are before/if you go down that road.

So who are you? Whooooo are you..who who

Who are you inside, Spitfire? who is in there?

(where's the music)​
 
I am a bit like you. I got sick before I entered the work force. But I had to force myself to work because I could never get any other means of support. It's been stupid minimum wage job after stupid minimum wage job. I can last for a few months at a job before I crash, then live on saved money.

I tried doing my own business several times, but it's always been abject failure. Way too hard to stay organised and motivated.

I really feel for ya! I have no words of wisdom to offer. Just understanding.
 
Spitfire, thank you for opening up and sharing a piece of yourself. This piece is highly reflective, introspective and meaningful. Thank you for making me reflect on my own existence and the meaning of this illness in the context of my life. One could argue that there is no meaning to it, I disagree. It shapes us. Makes us stronger. Makes us decide important things, or maybe not. Maybe it leaves us complacent. Unfortunately we can't change history. We can only change how we react to it and we can take new directions in the future. So, Spitfire, how will you live your life today, tomorrow, and when you are better?

Big hugs to you. You are not alone. Kati :hug:
 
The choices we have to make all the time are just unreal. I hope you can find a way to stave off the declining health.
Love your bio - 'smart, vivacious and sick"! Where is your website?
 
Thank you everyone and I love the honesty and questions! I will have to think about who I am. I am fun, I am smart, I am talented, I love a good laugh, I love music and sometimes...yes sometimes...I can have all of these emotions on a good day. My website is www.spitfire-designs.com. Ironically, I help to raise money for cancer with my business. Both my father and sister passed away due to the disease. I honestly would like to help CFIDS folks.
 
I know how you feel. One thing we can't tolerate is needy people. I used to hide out from one of my old boyfriends and my best friend and my CFS was totally mild then. It's crazy.

Your jewelery is beautiful.

Hope things turn around for you for the better soon.

tee
 
Exquisite jewellery.

You're a very talented Lady.

Hope you can find some balance in your life & one day, perhaps a Future with that Someone Special. Someone who understands & cherishes you for Who you are (not What you are, or What you Have).
 
Amazing jewellery. I hope you find what you are looking for. Balance is all, as others have commented here. And when life changes through illness, divorce, bereavement trying to recpture equillibrium can be damn difficult.
 
It used to seem that lovers were only attracted to me when I was at my strongest and most vital ---- when I needed someone least, there they were. Now I have an amazing suitor who loves me though I'm at a very low ebb. He's not able to be with me and take care of me just yet, but that's what he says he wants to do. I have actually tried to discourage him: to tell him he should be with someone healthy and solvent and energetic. He's stubborn, and insists that I'm who he loves. So, we'll see...

Maybe the next time you find love, it will be your turn to be the weaker partner, though in an emotionally healthy way. Maybe it will be your turn to be loved by someone who accepts your limitations and supports your efforts.

For now it sounds like your priorities are great. You can only do your job if you have some "dollars" to spend, so you build up your energy bank account by taking care of your health, and then you are able to work and that in turn feeds both your health and your wealth.

Your jewelry is indeed lovely, and beautifully displayed on your website. Great spirit, to tap into such talent and to share it to benefit yourself and others.

~ Creek
 
That is really nice to know Creek. I wish for that one day. A nice normal man who wants to be with a woman who is unwell. Not because I am unwell, but because of what I have to offer!
 

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