I won’t be an invisible disability in the workplace anymore by Luna’s Little Library #DiversityMonth

This year did not go as I expected.

When 2017 started, I was in a very set place, for work and blogging and anticipated no changes.

In regards to my health I was rapidly spiralling downhill with something I had no name for. An illness that had started with nothing more than hiccups while eating, had over the course of 18 months reduced my diet to barely anything beyond liquids (and then only hot things like soup and teas – never cold!) and hospital trips because surely those chest pains must have some cause.

Now it’s nearly the end of 2017 and I am not the same person I was at the start.

The day this post is published is the first day I’m in London for a 4-week training course for my new job. I won’t bore you with the subject, let’s just say it involves data management and accounting. (There is a link, trust me. And massive big text books to go with.)

I’ve had major surgery for Achalasia. The THING that took so long to figure out. It’s been a huge relief to be able to do something as straightforward as drink a glass of water again. I can also swallow the painkillers for my chronic migraines which I started to struggle with pre-surgery.

I’m not cured. Achalasia is something that doesn’t go away. It’s managed. As is my chronic pain. But ok right now, I’m doing well. Which is why I accepted my new job.

What I want to share today is how I’ve decided not to hide myself in my new role.

For the last 10 years, I worked in one place, with a set group of people. I wouldn’t say I was untruthful about myself but I never shared who I was. The downfall of that was that as I went through various diagnosis I encountered the “you can’t see it” prejudice.

People couldn’t see my pain. I didn’t say every single day how much things were going wrong. I still thought I was annoying because I mentioned it and I never hid that I was going to the hospital/doctors/nurses/etc. To make myself un-invisible I should have talked about it all.the.time. because then I wouldn’t have been hidden. Maybe some of the commentary around me would have been different. I wouldn’t have felt so unwelcome.

I’m changing it this time around.

I will be annoying.

In a VISIBLE way.

This time the people I work with will know that I’m disabled. I refuse to let myself be hidden away because I’m fucking awesome the way I am. And they can just get on board with it.

 

Btw. I have met only 1 person on my team so far but she has been wonderful. I’ll keep you updated re the rest as I get to know them. I’ve talked to a couple on the phone and they’ve all been friendly so I’m hopeful.

Luna

 

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