After 30+ years...

Today is a day of mixed feelings even though I knew it was coming. My status with my employer of over 30 years was changed to 'retired' today. I've been on a medical leave for the past year while I exhausted FMLA, short term disability benefits and got onto long term benefits. Despite my diagnosis I managed to continue to work full time in a demanding job all while raising my daughter as a single parent. (30+ years is my complete history with the company. The last 17 were with M.S.) So working fro this company has been a huge part of my life. Even though I knew it was coming to a close, its feels strange.

Two years ago they started a new management initiative that put everyone on edge about their jobs and assignments. It dragged on and on and on before we were told what it meant to us as individuals. In the meantime, we were all under terrible stress and pressure. I don't handle that well and it took a toll on me...causing my symptoms to flare up to the point that I couldn't be as productive as I needed to be. The last straw for me was when they abruptly laid off over 300+ from my department including long time friends of mine and my awesome manager.

Between this change in circumstance, my move into my new home next week and switching from Tysabri to Ocrevus in a few months, I think my plate is a little too full. Crazy, right? But...it all had to happen the way it did due to the situations outside of my control. Onward to new chapters!

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  • I'm sorry that you've had to deal with so many changes all at once.

    Your attitude is a great one. I'm trying to look at our upcoming move as an opportunity for new and possibly better things. Rather than spend much time mourning the lifestyle we are leaving behind, I'm trying to be grateful that we lived out our little dream for awhile and are passing the baton to a great family who adores the property. I'm trying to look forward to using my time differently.

    We will will try to help one another look forward, rather than back, and relish good things to come.

  • Thanks @greaterexp!

    My attitude is partly the result of a conversation I had with a great friend several years ago. She has severe RA. At one time she and her husband had this fun, quirky dream home on one of the smaller local islands. They loved that place. I did too! My friend worked from home but her husband worked on the mainland. After living there several years, there was a terrible storm that made them realize that as my friend's RA was getting worse, it was too risky for them to live there with the weird ferry that was the only real way on and off the island. So they sold the dream home and bought the single story condo that they live in today.

    I asked my friend how was she able to give up her dream home and not feel upset or angry or resentful about it. She said it was because she is grateful for having had the chance to live her dream there even if it was cut short. I don't get to see her much but she has never wavered from this feeling of gratitude for the years she did have in her dream home. This is a beautiful lesson for me and I tell myself, if they can do it, so can I.

  • Wonderful story!

  • You are right Raingrrl ! Onward to new, and hopefully exciting, chapters.

  • Raingrrl , aww you brought a tear to my eye, but you can relish the great memories you have made in the past and look forward to making many more in your new home 🏑. Wishing you all the best as you start your new treatment, I hope that you have the same good experience as cnichols has had. Blessings Jimeka πŸ¦‹ 🌈 πŸ™

  • Thanks @Jimeka! The hardest part of selling my prior home is that it is where I raised my daughter for most of her life. There were wonderful memories in every corner! But...living in a fresh place helps me not be so tied and wistful about those old memories. She is my biggest cheerleader and is very encouraging about the move.

  • Lots to look forward to, and especially with your daughter being so supportive. Blessings Jimeka πŸ¦‹ 🌈 πŸ€— 🍫

  • @Raingrrl sounds just like me! The last 2 years are exactly the same! As far as my employer situation goes. Those circumstances are what made me flair to a point that I had to go onto disability through work, FMLA and now federal disability. My only positive was my long term I paid for got me a legal firm to help me apply. I applied April 24 and was approved this week. The most sad part is not one person I have worked with or for has ever reached out to me to see how I am. Not even my boss of 11 years. I am so sorry that has happened to someone else! Remember, you are in my prayers as I am sure all of our prayers!

    Rob

  • Oh Rob I had the same experience when I had to finally stop working. Left work early on a Friday after falling in the bathroom and almost hitting my head against the toilet. I went home and called for a doctor appointment. They got me in the next Monday and my doctor finally convinced me after 3 years of nagging to file for disability. The company I worked for did not send me my personal items from my desk, would not let me in the building, and nobody ever called me to see what was happening. It motivated me to forget about my work life and focus on my spiritual life and family. Thank you for your prayers and know that I pray for all of you too.

  • Vbrown57, that's the part that kills me! It hurts! I have had to change careers 3 times due to injury. Some of which after retrospect turns out was partially MS. Every one of those I still keep in touch with many of the people. Boss' were caring. This one hurts the most. I know I shouldn't let it. However, it does! Thanks for the prayers and support! You're awesome!

    Rob

  • Hi Rob...I'm sorry that none of your prior co-workers has reached out to you to see how you are doing. One of the great blessings I have is some really awesome friends that were originally my co-workers. I don't get to see most of them face to face very often because we are all so spread out. However, they are all just a text message away! I would feel so much more isolated without these people in my life and I'm grateful for their presence.

  • @Raingrrl, Our jobs are such an important part of our lives that I had a hard time adjusting when I went on disability. Sometime soon you will be so busy that you will wonder how you ever had time to work!

  • SueAB thats so true!

  • I'm counting on it SueAB! After I get settled in from my move, it will be time to figure out what I want to do with myself. Its still a bit of a shock to not be working after having some kind of job since I was a young teen.

  • Raingrrl I am so sorry you have so much going on in your life right now. But I admire your attitude, it will help carry you through some of the changes ahead. I loved my job and it was so difficult to leave it, even though I couldn't walk or type or use the phone! I worked with drug addicts and they appreciate someone who can form a thought! 🀣 So i got disability and somehow made the adjustment, as you will. Hugs, Kelly

  • Raingrrl kudos to you for your perseverance πŸŽ–I know how awful it felt, even tho I knew it was inevitable, after I exhausted my FMLA and after 25 yrs. our HR sent me a letter informing they had to let me go...πŸ˜•

    Everyone at my clinic said wonderful words of praise but it still felt like somehow I was a broken quitter.

    Take some deep breaths and take one moment at a time raingrrl. Wishing you a calm road ahead 🌈

  • Thank you erash! This reinventing myself is a tough task. I can relate to what you said about people praising you but still you felt like a broken quitter. I feel the same.

  • Raingrrl

    For me, it was less about reinventing, and more about finding myself.

    Since I could no longer self-identify through my career, I had to figure out what truly made me a worthwhile person,.

    Ithought about people I admire and what qualities they had. Yes, many were accomplished in their careers but it was because they had integrity and we're kind and cared, and persevered and damn I had some of those qualities too!

    Hope this helps 🌈

  • Keep your great attitude and all will work itself out. My hat is off to you for being able to work, be a great mom and handle your MS.

  • raingrrl So many major life changes all at once, any one would be stressed! But your post shows so much strength, revealing a positive outlook that will carry you forward, allowing you to write the next chapters (Part II) as well as those in Part I. Brava...a standing ovation! I look forward to an encore.

  • Thank you for the kind words @goatgal! I've been through a lot of crazy things in my life that have helped build an inner strength that gets me through challenging times. Its not infallible but I also know how to allow myself to have a bit of a pity party and then get right back up and blaze forward.

  • @raingrrl

    I know that feeling. It's sad we are forced out. I retired in early June as well. It was not easy letting go but after 3 weeks now I've come to terms with it and I've let my anger go. It wasn't easy but I know I made the right decision and hoping to live and enjoy my time now. I won't have as much money to splurge on myself and my grandkids but I can adjust to that as well.

    Congratulations on your retirement!!!

  • Thank you KrittyKat60! Letting go of my salary is a work in progress. Its a little sad knowing I'll never earn that kind of money again. I've never been extravagant but I now find myself adjusting how I spend and going back to being more cautious like in my college days. Its actually kind of fun!

  • @Raingrrl

    Yes I agree, earning an income allows us to be independent financially for sure. I've always worked my entire life while being married, raising my 3 children. I could freely spend my earnings once the bills were paid on whatever I wanted. Now I'm newly retired and waiting for my state retirement checks to start coming. I'm not old enough to collect on SS yet but fortunate that my husband is still employed and we are debt free except for daily living expenses. Otherwise I would still have to work and be miserable. We also have been helping our 3 kids and the grandchildren financially as often as possible when needed. We will continue doing that until either we no longer are able to or they won't need our help. I don't miss the daily grind of getting up and dragging myself to work 5 days a week but it was definitely hard to let go of that part of my daily life. I still keep in contact with those I worked with that I choose to. It's still early in this transition to not having that daily work schedule, but I'm positive I did the right thing and I'm sure you will acclimate to your new chapter in your life and enjoy it soon.

    Give it some time, you will start to feel better and your health will improve. Time to enjoy what you worked all your life for. πŸ‘β€οΈ

  • Raingrrl I love New chapters!😊 (as long as I have time to adjustπŸ˜…) Sudden changes I'm not so good with!πŸ˜„

    J 🌠

  • Hi @Jesmcd2...this has been a slow process actually. I started planning my leave of absence when I saw the handwriting on the wall at work. I was very deliberate with everything I did and then just waited for the right time to pull the trigger and go on FMLA and short term disability.

  • Change can be hard, but also very rewarding. I pray that this new chapter brings you newfound adventures, the time to enjoy them, and friends-old and new-to share them with. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing about your new home, Raingrrl. And as mrsmike said above, congratulations on doing a great job--all the way around! πŸ’•

  • Thanks for the kind words @Tutu!

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