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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Big News 
28th-Jun-2011 12:09 pm
Social Change
So one of the biggest things in my world lately, which has been pending for a long time:

I gave notice at BARCC yesterday. My last day will be July 8.

This is for so many reasons, and the fact that everything was pointing to "dude, it is time to leave" actually helped make the decision easier. In really brief:

* This is the wrong job in the right movement. Obviously fighting sexual violence is hugely important to me! But the work that I do as staff, as opposed to the work that I do as a volunteer, really does not use my skillset. I can have more energy to do better activism if I'm not, say, being a receptionist.

* My health has been suffering. This is partly due to the stress of an ongoing Thing at work that's hopefully nearing resolution, but not entirely. I spent over half of this winter sick, and I kept going back to work when I should've been home resting, and then I'd relapse...

Okay, I am going to expand on that because it's Important.

When I first applied for the job, when I first started, I'd just gone gluten-free and was feeling so much better than I had the last few years. I was like yay! So much better! I can has job and stuff!

Gradually I've had to confront, more and more, that being better doesn't mean I'm Better. Doing better than I was doesn't mean that I'm healthy. No matter what I do, I will never be well. I will never be fully able-bodied.

That's hard to come to terms with. It's hard to deal with. I have that Superwoman complex. I want to believe I can do anything. I want to shatter my limits. It is very hard to say "I can't". It is very emotionally difficult to accept that I can't count on my body to even do a part-time job reliably. It hurts.

But it is the reality.

I've been coming home and crashing out every afternoon, pretty much. No writing, no hanging with the kid, no reading, no making stuff. When I have a dayjob, the dayjob is all I have. And that hurts everything else.

I asked Adam a while ago if this would be an okay decision to make. He said "The tiny amount of money you make is not worth being miserable."

If that ongoing Thing gets resolved, I am going to continue to volunteer - this activism and this movement and this organization are all still hugely important to me, and I can't imagine that changing. I love this work. But I need to prioritize my health and my state of mind. Hey, I anticipate that my activism will be more effective this way - more time to write for the BARCC blog, and maybe even time to write that book about dismantling rape culture, after Shayara!

So that's where I am. It's not the only big change in my life - but when I've said "my life will be very different by the end of this summer", this is one of the biggest parts of that.
28th-Jun-2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
Good. I loved that you were working in the movement, but it was clear staff was not the best role and it was not helping you.

Activism to the point of burnout is not really healthy activism.
28th-Jun-2011 05:30 pm (UTC)
So much *this*
28th-Jun-2011 04:15 pm (UTC)
This is a big deal! I hope that the new role of activism in your life serves to bolster and support you as well as the movement.

I have no doubt that you will keep working until it does.
28th-Jun-2011 04:17 pm (UTC)
*nods* This sounds like a great move, honestly.
28th-Jun-2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
I'm glad to hear you found a good choice for you. I hope it works out.

And BOY do I relate to the coming to terms with better not equaling well, and I'm grateful for the fact that working for myself essentially means that I can work part time. With breaks for naps. (Seriously, that may be the best unexpected perk of being an acupuncturist: if I schedule things right, I can usually take a 10-30 minute lie down on one of the comfy massage tables.)

And besides, having more energy to work on the books will probably compensate for the loss of income in the future!
28th-Jun-2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
Proud of you and Adam both!
28th-Jun-2011 04:38 pm (UTC)
This makes a lot of sense to me and best wishes on everything new.
28th-Jun-2011 04:50 pm (UTC) - Color me surprised!
If you had made this post behind an LJ-cut saying "Guess what major change I'm making in my life," I never would have gotten within a thousand miles of this. I'm sorry you're having to deal with your limits, but I'm very impressed that you're handling them so well.

I struggle with the "doing better does not mean cured" thing myself. Just this morning I found myself thinking "I went to Pride over the weekend, was around people all afternoon, and even talked to strangers without freaking out and without being completely wiped out afterward. Maybe I don't need to be on my meds anymore." And I had to sit myself down and give myself a stern talking to "No, you were able to do all those things because you were on your meds. Don't forget that before you got on your meds you were paranoid about the people in the other cards when you drove, you panicked if someone spoke to you on the street, and you couldn't make a phone call without spending half an hour psyching yourself up."

Anyway, great job recognizing what you need to do to take care of yourself and then doing it.
29th-Jun-2011 03:35 pm (UTC) - Re: Color me surprised!
That all sounds so familiar...

I had to have my annual "do you still need these pills" chat with my Doctor a while back. The honest answer was "I think so, but the only way to be sure is to risk an experience I never want to have again, thankyou very much. Remember what happened last time I tried coming off them...?"

He just said "OK" and signed the renewal.
28th-Jun-2011 04:50 pm (UTC)
More "yay!" from the choir.

I get the "better but not well" thing. It's ALWAYS humming in the background, always part of your reality, and it blows crusty rancid goat balls. But it is, and you gotta work with it inasmuch as you can.

The good news is that we will get much more unadulterated, vibrant essence of 'song! Go get'em.
28th-Jun-2011 05:50 pm (UTC)
"crusty rancid goat balls"

I love you. I think I'm going to have to steal this and use it over and over, especially in the "this blows crusty rancid goat balls" context.
28th-Jun-2011 04:51 pm (UTC)
Congratulations on what I know was a difficult decision. I hope you enjoy your newfound freedom.
28th-Jun-2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
It's great that you've realized what you need to do, and that you have the financial freedom and emotional support you need to do it. Good luck!
28th-Jun-2011 05:16 pm (UTC)
I read this whole thing.

And I totally understand. When my husband was at his worst and considering applying for SSDI, I basically told him the same thing Adam told you. :)
28th-Jun-2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
*nod* Sounds like a good call. I understand the "I want to feel like I am contributing to the household income but the money isn't worth what it's doing to my health" issue.

Recognizing and respecting one's boundaries is a good thing, y0.
28th-Jun-2011 05:47 pm (UTC)
Ouch. That's a hard decision/admission to make. Good for you for having the courage and fortitude to do what is healthiest for you.

You have documented well just how badly even part time work wiped you out. Could get you a partial disability award, which would at least mean some money still coming in. (though the paperwork for income reporting might be more headache than its worth)

BARCC is going to miss you terribly. But ANYWHERE you worked would miss you terribly, given your degree of Awesomeness. You don't have to be an employee to continue the Fight.
28th-Jun-2011 06:03 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you had to make this decision, but I'm glad you had the courage to do what's best for you. Good luck going forward from here.
28th-Jun-2011 06:12 pm (UTC)
Congratulations for having the courage to make healthy choices. But then, I don't worry overmuch about your lack of courage :-)
28th-Jun-2011 06:11 pm (UTC)
I am sorry that it has come to this but it truly sounds like the right decision. Good luck in finding some way to continue to fight the good fight, because it's an important one.
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