Epic Fail = Lesson Learned

So for the last couple of weeks I have been very excited about a 5 day job opportunity to work at a local event. The hours were going to be long but I knew it was temporary and that I could push through, show my strength, make a chunk of cash, and have a reference and know I was strong enough to get a real big girl job when it was all done.
Well, that didn't work.

I worked one day, it was a 12 hour day on my feet serving cake and coffee, and I felt mostly fine while doing it even though I only got a 20 minute break. I was so proud of myself, feeling like I could really do this!! Then quitting time came and I walked home, and the pain started. Every muscle fiber in my body caught on fire and I felt like my tendons were ripping from the bones. I sat down every few feet because I felt I might herniate.  I cried in the park knowing there was no way I would be going back to the job tomorrow.  My boyfriend had been so proud that I had taken this job on and now I knew I had to let him down, as well as the people I was working with.  I got home and couldn't move. I have never been in so much pain in my entire life.  I went to bed and slept for 20 hours.

My bladder burned, my head was so foggy I could not think, and I could not keep my eyes open.  I've had a fever since I left the show grounds. Two days later I am less sore, thank goodness, but dizzy, having stomach problems, a lower fever, and without any strength.  I'll manage to stay awake longer today and will see the doctor either today or Monday to get a sick note.
My employers were of course very unsupportive. When I told them I couldn't come back they shamed and guilted me in every way they knew how and I stuck to my guns and knew there was no way I could give them what they wanted.  They have threatened even to charge me, but they can't because I literally spent my last few pounds purchasing uniform for the job.
I was so proud and excited to work this job I had Matt take photos of me like a first day of school photo in my uniform.

I prepped for two weeks getting up early and staying awake all day.
It wasn't meant to be.  Even though I'm in the reintegration period, working 50 hours in 5 days was not bouncing the boundaries, it was signing up for failure and relapse.

Reintegration means getting back into things slowly.  (I've been in reintegration for a little more than a year now, having worked a part time job and being more physically active this year). My biggest blind spot was that I was (am) desperate for money and desperate to get back into the real world.  The company was extremely vague and not very communicative about the nature of the work so I literally did not know what I would be doing until I arrived. I also had to stand all day without any of my belongings, without my water, pills, almonds, nothing to support me at all.    I needed much more information about the job before I started, but I was going too much on blind faith. I have been praying for the right job for a couple months now and thought this would be perfect, being part of a community event and getting a good chunk of money for a short time.
Oh well, we live and we learn. Hopefully I'll recover from this set back soon and know how to move on. I've been reviewing the different kinds of financial support from the Secrets to Recovery site and might try to get a supplement while I find a part time job.  I just know I'll find the right thing eventually but this year has been exactly the opposite of how I envisioned it.  I thought I would find my perfect job quickly and suddenly everything would all fall into place. I guess it all has to break apart first.
In between sleeping I would wake up sobbing. I felt like such a failure. I felt like I'd let the entire universe down. I felt so worthless. I was certain Matt was envisioning our future crumble before his very eyes. None of this was true. I listened to some Secrets calls and remembered I am not insane and I am not crazy and I will find a way to wind through this wild and crazy world.  I just have to be patient. And I have to be realistic. And I have to ask questions and stick up for myself.

 People can be real ass holes. There will be people who don't have an ounce of compassion in them. Then there are beautiful souls who look at you and say "oh yes, hello there, fellow traveler." Don't waste any time on the assholes. I was surrounded by people who made my existence feel miserable and tried to convince myself I just had to buck up and get through it. NO. Surround yourself with the people who light up your life. If you interview for a job or sit in front of a doctor who makes you feel like a piece of crap, move on honey, there is a brilliant soul out there waiting to meet you. If you, my fellow warrior, ever come across an asshole who is trying to pressure you into being or doing something you can't or don't want to do, PLEASE say to yourself, well that Jenny girl who blogs loves me and would totally stick up for me right now!!! Because I would.  And you are loved.


  1. I really feel for you as I've been there myself several times. I worked in the film industry when I got the flu that never left. Every time I tried to resume work, I just got worse & worse until got severe M.E. ironically after trying GET & CBT I was so ill I couldn't manage anything. Now I'm focussing on health & most importantly wellbeing. If my health returned tomorrow I would be straight back in the job I love. At the moment I'm focussing on wellbeing and screenwriting. Though physically I struggle to sit long enough to make writing practical at the moment and my brainfog is still too difficult to write much, it is a more doable goal for me. I'm not trying to think too far ahead right now, Money is an issue - I think ahead and I feel terrified, so I bring my attention back to right now and wellbeing right now. It's so easy to fool ourselves that ME is somehow a mental thing, that we are somehow not positive enough and if we just ignore our symptoms and push through we'll be cured. :/ I catch myself thinking that from the CBT and feel blame ridden that I wasn't strong enough, or wasn't positive enough and in fact the opposite is true. It does not help that most of the mainstream advice on the NHS is incorrect. Stick with the OHC protocols, it takes forever, but I'm pretty convinced with my recovery from severe so far, it's the route to recovery. I see a councillor regularly that gets it and every time I see her she says "no pushing Jen" I'm sure it's really helped as it's all to easy to push for something we want and love. You're doing really well, this is a success not a failure as it will instill in you 'pushing though is bad for me' and that could possibly the most important part of your recovery strategy. Since I've catagorically stopped pushing, wellbeing gently floats ever more into my life as it will in yours. Be proud, you're well and truly on the path of recovery!

    1. Jen your words are heaven sent. It helps that we share our name, but "no pushing, Jen" was meant to be my new mantra. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. You are so spot on. My boyfriends father just doesn't get it and said to me once "how come your career in art hasn't taken off? do you lack self confidence?"... that haunts me from time to time. I know it isn't true but the fact that others cannot see my suffering that for me feels so loud is a test to my sanity and clarity. "No pushing, Jen.". Angels sing. Thank you.


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