Work, Health, Home, etc.
I’ve been having a tough time since I accepted a redundancy from the job I was doing when I first started this blog. I took the redundancy in January three years ago. I felt the Lord wanted me to move on so I took a leap of faith.
I knew I was stuck in a rut there. I stayed because the job was easy, the money was good, and I felt safe. I was working after hours so I made as much working 3 nights a week as I would have gotten working 9 to 5 in any other job for five days a week.
I was working as a supervisor of counsellors. I missed being the counsellor myself but I couldn’t find another job that was worth the upheaval of leaving or would pay as well.
Then they made my role redundant, created new roles, and asked us to apply for the new roles. I felt the time had come, this was the prod I needed to move on, so I took a redundancy and left.
My anxiety, which counselling and a settled life had cured, sprang back into life.
I took a job as a psychologist and it was a struggle at first. I had to learn how to accept referrals from other professionals, how to use the software they were using and so on but I worked hard and finally got the hang of things. At that point, almost three months after I started, the boss said she was going to take me off the staff payroll and pay me as a contractor.
I didn’t want to be a contractor and I had made that clear in the interview so I quit. My anxiety level increased and my dandruff started going out of control. I began to put on weight too. My doctor said the issue was stress and the stuff she prescribed for me seemed to only make things worse.
An ex-colleague heard I was out of work and she reached out to me asking me to apply for a job with her company. The job was the same kind of work as the job I had accepted a redundancy from so I hesitated but they were desperate for someone who would do night shift hours and they pushed me to accept the job offer. The job was familiar which meant there was no anxiety about being able to do the work. I liked the ex-colleague and was keen to work with her again so I took the job and I’ve been with them almost three years.
My health issues, meanwhile, continued to worsen. I was piling on weight, my scalp was shedding skin cells so rapidly you could see them fall whenever I moved my head, and I was getting severe hip, knee, and shoulder joint pain that often made it hard to function.
When my rent was increased my daughter suggested we move back in together as the only way to afford a nice place to rent was to combine finances so we found a nice place and moved in together.
Time passed and my health issues got worse. I saw doctor after doctor and tried multiple remedies but nothing cured any of it and, in fact, it all got worse. Then a new problem arose. I was so tired all the time I could hardly function.
It wasn’t too bad to start with. I coped by being careful to make sure I got as much sleep as I could before I had to do anything or go anywhere but, over time, it got worse.
People would come to me at work to debrief and it took a major effort to stay focused on them and not start to doze off.
The drive to or from work took 30 minutes if traffic was good. I could only get to work without falling asleep during the drive if I had slept for at least a few hours before heading off. On the way home, after being awake for more than 9 hours straight, it was different. I started to catch myself falling asleep repeatedly.
It got so bad that I was having as many as one micro-nap per minute which added up to about 30 micro-naps during my 30 minute drive home sometimes!
It was frightening. I would repeatedly wake to the sight of the car veering towards the edge of the bridge or into the other lanes on the freeway. Nothing I did could stop me from nodding off during the drive home. I coped by sleeping and sleeping and sleeping and then sleeping some more. I was too tired to go see a doctor!
My skin condition also worsened. The scalp condition was driving me insane but now I was flaking and itching all over the rest of my body too. Big angry red patches appeared all over my arms and legs and I developed itchy patches under my breasts, in my groin, and under my arms. Then the itchy patches started to appear on my back as well.
I felt like the devil was trying to drive me insane but I wouldn’t give in. I continued to read the bible every day and pray my long-winded prayers. It took me ages to get through the routine because I suffered worse from micro-napping during the prayer time than I did during the drive home from work! I’d read a few words then micro-nap for I don’t know how long then wake and continue for a few more words before another micro-nap. It was taking me hours to get through my prayer time but I wouldn’t quit and I didn’t even want to quit. I liked spending time with God’s word and praying for His will to be done in so many things. It seemed to strengthen me somehow.
One day it occurred to me that the last time I had struggled to stay awake like that was years ago when I went on holidays overseas and my thyroid replacement medication spent too long out of the refrigerator which caused it to become inactive and ineffective. I decided my thyroid replacement medication must not be working properly and I wondered if putting on so much weight had made my dosage too small so I upped my dose by one extra pill per week. It helped. I found the energy to make an appointment to see a doctor.
She sent me for blood tests and they showed that I did need to take more thyroid medication. I had to increase the dose even more but the micro naps stopped. Another blood test showed my levels were good but, as time has passed, the symptoms are returning.
In spite of being so tired all the time I was still missing the satisfaction of being the one to directly help people so I browsed job ads on and off. I kept seeing an ad for contract work with a Christian company. I was drawn to it every time I saw it because the other jobs I’ve had don’t allow you to speak about God or faith unless the client raises the issue. I was drawn to the idea of being able to be more up front about God’s ability to help people.
I was put off by the thought of having to find the energy to work extra time and I was fearful of the idea of being a contractor. It would mean starting my own business again and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. Where would I find the time and energy to do the paperwork associated with it?
One day the ad appeared yet again and, as always, I felt God prompting me to apply. I readied an application then stalled. Where would I find the energy? Was it really God’s will for me? My kids were sure it was a good idea. They knew I missed being able to help people so they encouraged me to go ahead with it and I decided to apply.
I wrote a cover letter and, on impulse, I added the url to this site. It was like a test. If this was not God’s will they would come to this site, label me crazy, and that would be the end of it. If this was God’s will they would accept me.
They accepted me and now I am finally able to help people the way I’ve always wanted to. It’s so good to be able to suggest people turn to God or ask them if they have prayed if that is what my gut is telling me they need.
Then more change struck. The owner of the house my daughter and I were renting decided to sell so we decided to move. At first my son, daughter and I were all going to move in together but then my son decided not to and my daughter started looking at properties in the city. When I said I did NOT want to live in the city and took a shot at her about how, since we moved in together, she had taken several holidays away from her fur baby while I had not had a single day cat free she came home one day and said she had been accepted for a place in the city. I was gobsmacked – didn’t even know she was looking for a place by herself! That’s what you get for taking cheap shots I suppose. She wasn’t mad – just figured it was time to try it alone again.
I panicked a little bit because a lot of time had been wasted looking for properties suitable for all three of us and I thought the time I had left to get out was fast running out. I looked at several properties and applied for one. My application was passed on to the owner for approval but I heard nothing so I kept looking.
I found a better place and got my heart set on having it. My daughter said I should have some back up options happening so I kept looking and found a couple of other ones that seemed OK so I applied for them too but my head was with the one I had my heart set on so I wasn’t paying serious attention to the other ones.
The Lord ensured that I didn’t know we were paid up to a date that would allow me to wait to see if I got the property I set my heart on so, when the place I’m in now accepted my application, I accepted it and withdrew my other applications.
Only then did I realise this place was surrounded by schools! There are about seven schools and a childcare centre near me and I have walked away from properties many times because they were too close to a school or a football oval! There is a school across the road from me and another up the road a block away!
My daughter said she pointed the schools out when we looked at the place but I didn’t listen. In my head at the time it didn’t matter because I was going to be living in the other place. Now my heart sank and I thought I had made an awful mistake and would have to move again in 12 months time.
I moved in and discovered the Lord actually knew best because I love it here. I’ve been here almost a month and the sound of children laughing and playing is not an awful sound! I don’t hear it much which surprises me but, when I do, it’s not at all unpleasant. There is a lot of traffic around at drop off and pick up times but those are not times I am trying to go anywhere or come home so it doesn’t bother me.
The house itself feels like home. I like the layout and the colours. I even got my jukebox loaded up with records and working. I’m listening to it as I type! It hasn’t worked for the past 17 years so I’m thrilled to be able to use it again at last.
I thought I was going to be able to settle down but, last week, I found out I’m going to be without a supervisor job at the end of the year as their contract to have paid staff has run out and won’t be renewed. All my shifts are after hours which are the hours they have to pay people to work so, when the paid staff finish up, there will be nobody for me to supervise so I’ll be out of a job.
Is it God trying to move me on? I spoke to the owner of the business I’m contracting to and he said they have clients waiting to get appointments so I am welcome to increase the number of days I work there which would cover the loss of income from the other job.
I’m just nervous about not having a fixed amount coming in. I’ve been contracting since October and December/January were lean months because of public holidays. Other months I’ve had low income because people didn’t turn up or cancelled their appointments. One month, however, I earned an amazing amount because I had a couple of weeks where I was fully booked and everyone turned up!
I’m not even positive I’ll be out of a job at the end of the year. It’s assumed but, unlike the paid staff, I have not been officially notified that my job is ending.
Meanwhile my health is still an issue. I’ve been praying for healing and the skin issues have almost cleared up but there are still problems with the skin on my ears and scalp. I still have times when I struggle to stay awake on my drives home from the supervisor job. I am so obese I struggle to get up from my couch and there is a lot of joint pain. I had X-rays and ultra-scans done on the most painful joints a few days ago. I won’t get the results until next week as I can’t get to the doctor until then. The lady who did the ultra-scans said there was nothing showing so it’s not tendons or ligaments etc. She said it was likely to be arthritis.
Just what I need!
I’m just so thankful God is providing me with the energy to keep going. It’s truly amazing to wake up exhausted and feeling like you can’t find the energy to get out of bed and have the Lord enable you to read the bible and say your prayers. I always find that, exactly half way through my prayer list, the Lord seems to recharge me and I feel ready to face the day after all!
I just realised – I should add my blog readers to my list of people I pray for every day – I’ll do that!