Considering a New Job

Last updated: February 2020

I mentioned in an article recently that I was considering leaving my job and working from home full-time. While it has been difficult finding full-time work from home, I have received a couple of job offers in an office atmosphere. While a change of environment might be the best thing for me at the moment, I didn’t realize how much the IBS would be causing me to question the change, question myself and ultimately, scare the living hell out of me.

My career has been stressful

I have been very lucky with the flexibility of my current job. I don’t generally have to worry about bathroom breaks or telling my boss I’m going to be late because I’m 'having a rough’ morning. Which is, of course, code for "I’m stuck on the toilet."

The other side is that I am a social worker that has to work with all kinds of emotionally draining and stressful situations with my clients. Very often, you want so badly to help, but you can’t. This is not great for my mental health. Because I have IBS, gastritis, ulcers, and now gallstones apparently, I think it is important to put myself first and find a less stressful job to help take care of my overall wellness. Yes, sometimes we have to put ourselves first, hard as it might be.

Making peace with my plans

I was proud of myself for making the difficult decision to leave after 4 years. What I wasn’t expecting is how much I felt I needed to consider the IBS in making my job decision, and honestly, I became somewhat afraid. Afraid of a new boss (will they notice if I’m having a bad IBS day?), afraid of a new environment (where will the bathrooms be?!), afraid of what type of new stress the new job will cause. I had to stop myself. I was getting ahead of myself. We can only make the best decision with the situation in front of us and go from there.

So, for the time being, I am evaluating the jobs that might be best for me. I am taking into consideration the illness aspect of the whole thing, but not freaking out about it. Working with IBS sucks anyway, so whatever choice I make will never be perfect. The overall point I’m trying to make is that IBS has ruled my life on occasion since being diagnosed.

I have learned that this is something that I have control over. It will not rule my life or the path I decide to make. It is just about continuing to take care of ourselves holistically and making choices that will work for us at a given time. I will worry about the bathroom breaks, the new boss and the location of the toilets on another day. :-) I’ll keep you updated and promise to take this one day at a time.

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