As things continue to change for me and begin to affect The Zebra Pit and my regular posting schedule, I wanted to provide an update about what’s been going on with me, my current goals for the blog and where I see the future headed.
First, I’m thrilled and oh so grateful to report that my health continues to improve. I’ve been enjoying an increasing amount of energy, fewer symptoms with much less severity and significantly less brain fog for some time now. After writing about acytl-l carnitine a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take my dose back up to 2g per day and this increased my energy even more. I also added PQQ just two weeks ago and I can feel myself making greater strides mentally and physically with this combination of changes.
A New Life for Capricious
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been purposely pushing myself just to see how much I can withstand, going from dawn until 9 or 10 at night on creative projects, blog posts, exercise and blasting, shopping, housekeeping, the occasional bit of fun and *drumroll, please* organizing a job search. That’s right. This zebra’s going back to work.
It’s a wonderfully exciting thing to contemplate. Like most people, I had a lot of goals and dreams when I fell ill. My career was completely derailed, my writing career put on hold. I lost my home and my chance to bear children. I can never have some of those things back, but with my newfound health and vitality, I’m beginning to think that my professional goals need not be one of them. We take a lot of pride in our accomplishments and I’m no exception to that.
It’s also no secret that what you earn on disability insurance isn’t nearly enough to live on, so it will make my life easier, from being able to afford a better place to live to making some of the alternative treatments I’ve been missing out on more possible, as well as the possible surgeries I may yet have to undergo.
It’s a scary thing to contemplate, as well. I’ve been on SSDI since February of 2013 and I haven’t worked aside from a couple of work from home opportunities since 2008, one of which turned out to be incredibly challenging due to my fatigue, the amount of brain fog and the relentless nature of my migraines. Every time I have attempted to even begin searching for a job since then, I have suffered post-extertional malaise for my efforts and I end up sicker than I was before.
This time I really took my time before making this decision. Actually, I wanted to wait even longer, but our financial situation is such that it motivated me to pull the trigger a little sooner. I don’t think that’s turning out to be a bad thing. My trial period is going quite well. Today is the first “day off” I’ve really taken in weeks due to health issues and it was more of a precaution than a demand. Still, it’s possible I will begin working and the toll on my body will add up quickly. There’s no way to know until I try. Luckily Social Security has some great programs that allow me to take those chances. Failure won’t be catastrophic. It’ll just be damned disappointing. Even if it makes a significant impact on my health and where it stands today, I know I’ve built the tools I need to succeed if that happens, along with a long list of doctors I can now call on for help.
Recently, I’ve managed to write some pretty darn good poetry and that really feels great. I’d like to try my hand at some complex creative work, as well. Naturally, now that I’m writing again and have recovered enough of my self-esteem to have my imposter syndrome down to a simmer, I would also like to begin submitting some of that work for publication. It too is a task that is equal parts excitement and fear, but certainly the emotional coaster ride. I haven’t had anything published since 2012. It would be great to get my name back out there. Unfortunately, unless you’re a Stephen King type person, it’s nearly impossible to make a living off of creative writing though, so find a job I must and I feel like I will enjoy doing so if I can find something in any way related to writing.
It’s all a lot to manage, but if I pace myself and use my energy wisely, it can be done. It may take me a while to find a job, though I’m getting a great response to my resume. I’ll be using that time to my advantage as much as possible.
What’s Next for The Zebra Pit
As I go through all this wonderful scariness, I will be sharing it all with you here in the Zebra Pit, just in case you too find yourself ready to embrace working after developing your own protocol and find you too are in the position of going back to work after long term disability. I plan on discussing SSIs Ticket to Work program, the Trial Work Period (TWP), Work Incentive Planning Assistance (WIPA) programs, and things like Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), so you have some idea of what to expect. Expect some of this information to begin showing up as early as next week.
I also plan on talking about practical things like what to put on your resume, how to handle awkward questions during interviews and how to handle special accommodation requests as I go about navigating these things myself.
I also plan on continuing the discussion on health and wellness, which will always be a top priority for me. How can I work and function well without all of the things that keep me healthy? As I begin working some of these things will likely need to be adapted or modified, as well. I will no longer have the luxury of time, but I will have more money to pay for services, so hopefully that balances out and I will have more advice to offer on a wide variety of available treatments.
Some of the upcoming topics I have planned for the Pit are to finish comprehensive articles on each substance I use to maintain a healthier, relatively pain-free life. I also want to write a comprehensive guide to FasciaBlasting for EDSers and Spoonies. The more I get to learn about the broad populations finding relief with this tool, the more I want to get the word out about the product and its benefits.
Finally, I also plan to begin sinking a little money into The Zebra Pit to make it a higher quality blog with better content and to start driving more traffic here. I think we offer some quality advice and would like to see it help more people while also having the opportunity to make a little money through advertising while keeping my content free to subscribers. I’d like to add additional contributors with their own ideas and content, so if anyone is interested in sharing their wisdom, shoot me an email on the contact page.