Monday, June 2, 2008

We Have To Talk/The Truth Takes Time

Something big happened on Friday. Something that I’ve needed to do for about, oh, eight months or so now.

Unfortunately, I was far too tired to write about it then. So I am writing about it now.

I told my boss about my health issues. I was worried that the story would be met with the same lack of understanding and skeptical glances that so many others have met it with. But I was pleasantly surprised.

I didn’t think it was fair, the way I’ve been feeling for the past few days, to not say something about it. When I applied for the internship, things were so crazy and all over the place that it didn’t make sense to mention anything about it. So, I prepared a script in my head so that I would know what I wanted to say. This is uncharted territory for me:

So, I’ve been having some health issues recently. And I never realized how much this job was going to take out of me. I don’t really want to cut back on hours, but I was wondering if I could come in earlier in the morning and leave earlier in the afternoon/evening, take a lunch somedays/somedays not, and take a bit of a longer break if I need to. I’m totally willing to make up any hours that I miss. I don’t want you to think that I’m trying to get out of doing work. That’s not it at all. I just want to make sure that when I am working, I’m as productive as possible.

This was met with a very sympathetic response. I was told that I could work my schedule as I needed to, work from home when I needed to, and do work either at the office or at home on the weekends to makeup for any time I miss during the week.

What I haven’t quite learned yet is that if someone is telling me that this is all okay, and I’m getting the work done, even if it isn’t exactly in the confines of a nine to five office job, I shouldn’t feel guilty about it.

But then, later in the afternoon on Friday, my boss came into my office and told me that I could leave. It was 3:30. You’re tired, my boss said. Now see, this is precisely what I didn’t want. My boss doesn’t know my body. I know my body. I don’t need to be told when I’m tired. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed, viewed as a “sick person.”

I think that compared to some others in my life, this person was, overall, incredibly responsive. I don’t want to be one of those people who are never satisfied. And I can’t fight “city hall.” But I guess this wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year, though, it’s that I have to take care of myself. Look what happened when I thought I was taking care of myself. Now there’s no excuse not to. That said, my body and sleep schedule still haven’t caught up with work and my body is still apparently stuck on the schedule that involved me sleeping for at least an hour every afternoon and then being awake until around 11 or 12, until I got tired again.

Now I’m just plain tired all the time, but can’t seem to sleep, even when that’s all I want to do. Before I couldn’t fight sleep off, now it can’t come quickly enough.

We have to talk…

I hate that phrase. It seems to me that whatever comes after that is never good.

But now that I’ve had that conversation with my boss, I think that was the first step to having conversations with others in my life that I’ve been putting off.

The truth takes time…

Clearly this is evidenced by how long it took me to finally make the commitment to really sitting someone down and making them aware of my illness. This wasn’t easy by any means, and there were times that I wanted to chicken out. I’m not sure I was 100% successful in this endeavor, but you have to start somewhere, right?

Every day I hear from one friend or another something that shows me that I am making strides in their understanding of my situation.

Some days it’s one step forward and two steps back, but that’s the way most, if not all things, in my life are working at the moment.

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