Square One

I don’t really know where to begin or how to put into words how I have been feeling as of late. I have tried many times. Best I can summarize it is that I’ve been feeling really lost, stuck, and a little broken. I feel like I don’t really know who I am anymore. I lack direction, I lack purpose.

I suddenly find myself with all this time on my hands and I have no shortage of “good ideas” to fill that time, but it all just feels hollow. Like none of it really matters.

The past few years I’ve been struggling to find a balance between my health and work, and as this disease has progressed something had to give. After talking things through thoroughly with my partner over a period of months, I decided to apply for long-term disability, and haven’t been back to the office since the beginning of February. Coming to this decision was incredibly hard for me.

Most people dream of the day when they can finally stop working and have an extensive list of activities they want to pursue with their newfound freedom. I know I was one of those people.

However, when this choice to stop no longer feels like a choice, but rather a necessity to just get through the day, it quickly loses its novelty. My work, for better or worse, is a big part of who I am. I’m an Engineer. I am part of a team. I work for one of the most well-known tech companies in the world. I feel privileged to have made it here. Now, it feels like all of that is just slipping through my hands and there is little I can do about it.

I love what I do! (or should I say “did?”)

This disease continues to slowly strip me of pieces of myself, unraveling the person I once was. While I have glimmers of hope, I often don’t know if I have the strength to fight back. MS is unrelenting and often leaves me feeling powerless.

I am proud of my accomplishments and the life I’ve built, but just like that, I find myself back at square one. Who am I? Where do I go from here?

I still have that extensive list of things I want to experience in this world. I am still ambitious. I still love to learn new things (though it takes me significantly longer). My body just doesn’t allow me to move at the pace I was accustomed to. My memory is horrible, and I quickly run out of steam. I know everyone is tired, but chronic fatigue is a whole different beast.

I am seeking professional help to help me sort through things and hopefully find some clarity. It hasn’t been easy.

I will find my way. I always do. 🙂

As I am writing this, getting my feelings out and into words, I feel like I am on the precipice of something new, something exciting! While I certainly need to mourn the life I have lost, in this moment right here, right now, I feel hopeful and excited for the life I have yet to live.