chronic illness and acceptance of work limitations

I look at my friends and their accomplishments and it gives me joy and happiness for them. I love to see them thrive in new jobs and ventures.

But it wasn’t always like that when it came to my thoughts on chronic illness and work.

There was a time when it gave me a sort of melancholy sadness.

You know when we did a sort of goal analysis of where we wanted to go with our career at work I always said I wanted to stay where I was. That I was content. But the fact was my Real goal was to ‘Maintain work’ straight up. Just maintain actually being able to physically work. No ambitions for greater things. No career goals. Just manage to function and stay in my job role. And I didn’t even manage that.

So when I saw people move on to bigger and better things it made me a little melancholy because I was limited and I couldn’t achieve the goals and ambitions my brain still had in it, but couldn’t pursue because of my health.

We can have resentment towards others or our own body because of what we can’t do. Or bitterness on life.

I chose that melancholy feeling and anger. I felt angry I could force myself to maintain. I would try to. Thinking if I could force myself to just maintain, in denial, then I could then pursue my ambitions after a time. But I would fail to succeed. And fail. And fail. And each failure would chip away at my self-worth. So seeing others so easily do what I couldn’t achieve hurt to see.

Until I acknowledged I was happy for them. I was happy they were achieving their goals, desires, and ambitions. Completely outside of whatever I was going through, I was happy for them. And it made me happy to see them thriving. And I liked to see it. No one likes to think their friends or people they know are struggling. And when they do, you really feel for them so when they get back on their feet after a lay off (which there were a lot around here due to the oil field) it makes you feel Good.

And until I got myself out of that denial and realized I had unattainable goals and ambitions for my realistic health concerns. I wasn’t going to have the life I wanted or thought or pushed for no matter how hard I tried. I couldn’t force it to work. And I had to find some sort of contentment in that. Despite what my insurance company believed I couldn’t maintain. I wasn’t reliable. I couldn’t perform up to standards. And yes, I suffered immensely in my efforts trying to. I had to cut back to part-time to an easier role. And even there I struggle immensely. Even there I try to just maintain. Even there I am on yet another leave. But I am not in denial. I just need some money to live on so options are slim. Right now I cannot function at all, but let’s hope that is temporary. Nevertheless, I accept my limits. I accept some goals and ambitions are utterly unrealistic for me. I accept I should have fought for them so long when I and they were completely incompatible and I suffered for it. I doubt my health would be as poor as it is if I hadn’t forced myself to try and function when I couldn’t.


Accepting that I cannot achieve the sort of career I desired has put some of my demons to rest. I can’t have it with the chronic illness I have. I just can’t have it. Maybe someday I will find a niche I am perfect for that works for me. But I cannot force myself into a position that doesn’t work for my health limitations. At first, it made me sad. And like a failure. But I realize it isn’t a failure on me. I tried my hardest. And I actually got weaker over time. Not stronger. All that pain crushes something in you. It is a fact of my body. A limitation I have. A health fact I cannot deny of no fault on my part. And, yeah, I can be sad. I can mourn it. I can even mourn the years I fought so hard for something that would never work, considering the harm it did to me. But I can’t do anything about it. So I have just accepted it, finally, as something that was never meant to be for me. Never meant to be a part of my life. Close that door.

Denial really impeded this progress when it came to work and pain.

But once you are through it you can look for another way to fulfill your life outside of work.

And you can look at friends, family, and acquaintances and be happy for their accomplishments. Without that lingering sadness that you are limited because you have finally accepted those limitations.

If something isn’t meant to be, it cannot be forced. It just was never meant to be. And I don’t believe in fate or destiny. I just mean that when you have limitations that cannot be surpassed you cannot force the issue. You can travel a completely different path, yes. You can change the path to accommodate you, yes, in some fields. You can find a niche in this world where you Do fit, limitations and all, yes. But banging your head against a wall doesn’t get you anywhere. And failure, hurts when it happens over and over again. You just blame yourself for something you have no control over. Self-blame gets us know where with our health.

Other posts on work and chronic illness:

Making life shine without work

Must be nice not to work stigma

Chronic illness and worry

2 thoughts on “Acceptance of work limitations

  1. So very well said. I think I’m reaching that point of realising I have unattainable, unrealistic goals and ambitions and thoughts of the future. I need to work on realising where I’m at and what I’m capable of, looking at thing going forward in a different light because I may need to take a different path now. Great post, Nikki!
    Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.