When You Can't Work

Last updated: November 2019

I thought I would share a little today. I find sharing things that are causing me trouble with others is very therapeutic. You should try it if you haven’t already. Currently, I am questioning whether or not I am going to be able to keep my job as a social worker. Stress has a lot to do with it but is not the primary reason. IBS is.

Jobs are difficult with IBS

I’m guessing at least one person out there can relate. All jobs are difficult with IBS, but being part of a mobile staff, where you are required to be out in the community, moving from one place to another, from one person to another can become impossible when you are struggling with IBS and everything that involves. I’ve spent three years basically pretending there is nothing wrong.

Lately, though, I’ve realized how tired I am of forcing it to work. Previously, when I worked in an office all the time, it sucked having IBS, but managing it at work really wasn’t so bad. If I was having a bad day, I was just having 'stomach problems.' I could hide in my cube, get caught up on work that did not require much (or any) movement and all was manageable. The problem is I love my job. I don’t want IBS to win and to take it from me. But, I also can’t let living this way, day in and day out, destroy my mental or physical health.

It's more than just having to cancel appointments, or finding bathrooms out in public. It’s the stress of having to do this. Helping people with illness is very helpful for me, as it puts things in perspective and helps me to not feel so alone, but as you can imagine, it is difficult to support someone who is sick on a day when you are so sick yourself.

Reflecting on my job and IBS

I have worked very hard to manage my IBS. I’ve learned not to ever expect that I’m cured. I’ve learned to bend when what was helping the IBS has stopped working. I try something else; I adapt. But, taking a hard look at my life lately, has me questioning whether this is the best job for me and my health.

Our wellness should always take precedence. You cannot give more than your body and mind will allow, even if you really want to. The responsible thing to do is adapt. And I know in my heart that it is time to adapt…again. Not being angry with illness is a difficult thing. But, as I said in an article a while ago, IBS does not care about your life. It is also not very helpful to blame an illness. It is not personal. :-)

Well, glass half full, I can continue to help people through social service, but I might need a change of scenery. Like the aging detective on TV that needs to get off the street and take a desk job. This has been helpful. Thank you.

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