Becoming burned out
That saying, everything happens for a reason, seems to be rolling off the tip of my tongue a lot lately. This past year was, no doubt, a rough year. My health, relationships, and job all suffered dramatically. My mental and emotional well-being needed work and change. However, I could not jumpstart myself to make that alteration. Fear, discouragement, and a cloud of what-if’s lingered over my head for months.
I became burned out with my job. Waking up in the morning just to sit in an hour of traffic took its toll on me. Working in a loud, nonstop environment also took its toll on me. I realized the profession I once loved no longer met my needs.
I kept holding onto something unhealthy
Holding on was my only choice at the time. It became uncomfortable to explain to others that I was burned out. Not a single person understood how being in the profession I was in for only four years could have already taken its toll on me. Between the eye rolls and critical stares, it was difficult to describe how my chronic illness required me to make changes that may not be acceptable to others in my life.
I’ve always dreamed of being self-employed. When my endometriosis diagnosis was confirmed and I began to talk openly about it, I fully knew that self-employment was no longer just a dream. It was something I had to make a reality. Constant exhaustion, never knowing if a flare-up was about to happen, and the constant anxiety of being fired became too much for me to handle.
Unfortunately, my employer ended up letting me go because I could not work the exact number of hours she was looking for. Letting me go was sudden and required me to learn how to fly. Instead of becoming upset, I looked at what exactly I needed to do. I was working on a few of my own things on the side, so I already knew I was capable of keeping income flowing. I also knew that holding onto this job was no longer healthy for me.
Taking a leap of faith
I sat down and figured out exactly how much money I needed to make each month to replace my previous job’s income and keep paying bills. I began to apply for freelance jobs, emailed previous college counselors to get ideas, and even became the neighbor’s cat nanny.
My next few steps were figuring out my skills and strengths, and reaching out to others to see where I can expand my services. I researched and found free courses to improve areas of my life needed to make this all work. I worked out my worst-case scenario and realized that even in such a situation, I would be okay.
Moments of doubt and fear pop up, but I know I can resolve whatever is thrown my way. This leap of faith has been the riskiest thing I have ever done by far, but it has also been the best decision I have ever made. It helps to have such a supportive husband who believes in me. I know good things take time but my confidence in myself has grown so much that I know I can do whatever I set my heart to.
Decreased anxiety while at home
My anxiety decreased since I began working from home and I am finding the joy in life again. I am able to focus on myself and my health without feeling guilty. The ability to work from the comfort of my own office or bed and take the day off if I need it — without worrying about what my employer is thinking — is a great feeling. Having this freedom is what I need at this point in my life. Will I want this freedom forever? I do not know. But for right now, this is what my life needs.
Of course, the lifestyle choice I made is not for everyone. Self-employment does not offer benefits and securities that working for an employer can provide. Some people enjoy the interaction with other employees and may find being home every day to be boring. You may go weeks without a paycheck. It is not a decision to take lightly and it requires a lot of research and understanding. But with the proper tools and knowledge, it may be the best decision you can ever make.
Follow my story at www.myendojourney.org.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.