Sharing my health challenges and my explorations of healing and wellness here has been very meaningful for me. I haven’t posted regularly here for a while because of the inner turmoil I have had over the direction I should go for my career. This is an issue for many but especially for those whose health challenges have impacted their ability to make a living. My husband and I continue to deal with the financial aftermath of lost income and increased health care costs. Although it is not necessarily logical, I have felt a strong sense of responsibility in restoring our financial situation.
My struggle has been between finding work that I am physically able to do and that brings adequate income for us to not be on shaky financial ground. Many times in my journey toward wellness I have taken steps backward recovery-wise as I tried to return to work. I was also often hiding my struggles with chronic pain in temp positions for fear of the employers not being willing to hire me permanently. When I was finally able to work full-time again, nearly 10 years after my initial injury, I was so very grateful. I have also been fortunate to be able to open about my health at my current position. As I recently began to search for a better paying position, I realized that my openness here about my health left me vulnerable to the new trend in employers researching applicants online.
I have tended to end up in positions that are stressful for me because they don’t use my strengths and they put physical stress on my body. So I have been considering career paths and looking at graduate school programs, trying to decide the best one for my health and for financial success. I’m happy to say that, while it may not be the most lucrative path, I have decided to follow my heart’s calling, and one month from today, I will be starting the Masters of Divinity program at Earlham School of Religion. I will specifically be focusing on preparing for positions in healthcare chaplaincy. Not only will I not have to hide my health history in this career path, but it will be a part of the life experiences that I bring to my work. I am truly excited to be able to draw on my own health challenges as I provide support to others. It will be a way to transform my darkest moments into a moments of hope and comfort for those in need of it.