Thursday July 31 2014 11:00 AM
Three years ago, my computer died a sudden, premature and grizzly death. No warning! Just gave up the ghost during a Google search. I lost EVERYTHING! Apart from teaching me the hard way to make regular backups, I had to embark on a treasure hunt to recover any paper copies of important documents I had lying about.
This Tuesday, somebody asked me for a copy of my C.V. Holy Smoke!!!! That hadn’t happened in a long, long time. I racked my brains to think where on earth I could find a recent-ish copy of my working life’s achievements. I cursed the dearly departed laptop and eventually remembered a memory stick I used to always keep with me back in the days when I worked In I.T.
I dusted off the memory stick- located in the pocket of an old business suit (shoulder pads were in then!). The green light flashed when I stuck into the USB port of my new laptop. Bingo!! There was my resume in all its glory. All three pages of it. I scanned through my life’s achievements - all the feathers I had in my cap. “Hang on a minute! This document is over five years old….. I haven’t added a single thing to it since I got diagnosed with MS”.
My Career took a complete nosedive - cartoon style when I got ill. Picture the scene: “Wile E. Coyote (aka my career) is running, a thousand miles an hour. He looks down - realises he is in fact running on thin air. Perplexed, he gazes at the camera and then plummets to a grizzly death. A puff of dust confirms his fate as he disappears into the abyss.”
Ouch! It made me feel sad to read all about my pre-MS life. The statement of my worth. What I used to be capable of. MS had taken so much: my confidence, my career, my financial stability and my hopes.
I had blamed the untimely demise of my computer for my ancient CV but truth be told; I hadn’t touched it in half a decade. I couldn’t bear to think about how hard I had worked on my career and how it had been taken away from me - without warning! I had committed that I was going to update my resume though - so I decided to bite the bullet. Sooooooooooo, what HAD I achieved since I was diagnosed with a chronic illness?
In 2012, I didn’t leave the house for 6 months. That must show persistence and determination. I have travelled extensively - visiting the many hospitals Ireland has to offer. That must demonstrate a will to travel. I get by on half of what I used to. How is that for excellent budgeting skills? I manage difficult flu-like symptoms with a can-do attitude and I am a whizz with a syringe. It’s still me. Overachiever and proud of it! I need to dust off the CV (and me) and get back to chasing that pesky Roadrunner.
I’m not capable of doing the things I used to but I’m sure that there is something useful I can do - with a little support. I don’t want to hide the fact that I have a chronic illness - even though I have been warned that I won’t make it past the interview stage if I don’t. I am optimistic that I will find the right employment to suit my disability. I believe that the right employer is out there. But then again - I also believe in “True loves kiss”. We will see! Simon Harris gives me hope in his Irish Times Article when he says that “we cannot continue to sideline people with disabilities. Instead, we must enable them to fulfil their potential and make their contribution to society by putting structures in place to help them access the workforce and pursue the careers of their choice.”
Wish me luck! I will let you know how it goes!