By Myra Sue St. Clair Baldwin
Wanna know the reason I didn’t take the part-time job at Big Lots a few years ago? First of all, I didn’t know what a grocery “recovery” person did, so I went with Sean Stoudt, staff member from The Evergreen Club, to check the job out. After seeing the amount of physical labor I’d have to put into kneeling, bending, and reaching, I was afraid of having a fibromyalgia flare-up if I worked there. That’s for starters. The reason I didn’t tell people this was because I had been mostly pain-free for a long time, and wasn’t even sure it was Fibromyalgia, as I’d also been diagnosed with Somatoform disorder. But since I wasn’t super anxious about my health at the time (as I was trying to keep my mind off my physical health as much as possible), I didn’t want to have to explain that reason to others. Besides, people are ignorant about both Fibromyalgia AND Somatoform Disorder.
Another reason I didn’t want the job was because I was afraid of not making friends and being treated by other workers as being “special” for having a schizophrenia diagnosis, that or being met with disbelief, since I wasn’t obviously schizophrenic so long as I kept my mouth shut about the alleged spy-op. On a side note, I question the schizophrenia diagnosis myself and believe their WAS a real spy-op.
A third reason was that I was afraid of who I might run into while working there, including my ex-husband or his ex-wife. My ex-husband used to threaten me when we were married, and once he threatened to throw me out in the middle of the street outside the bookstore I owned (this was about three years after our divorce). Both my ex-husband and his ex-wife used to bully me, causing me severe anxiety whenever the phone rang.
As if that weren’t enough, I didn’t think the job would keep me distracted from my painful memories of the alleged spy-op, and I’d be on the bus for two hours both ways in addition to a 30-minute car ride with my dad each way (as my parents live out in the country). That’s a two ½ hr. trip each way to work at a four-hour job! And what would I spend my time thinking about while I was on the bus? But of course, the alleged spy-op. No thanks! I was much happier spending my time volunteering at The Evergreen Club doing a variety of mentally engaging activities in a safe and comfortable workplace, around super nice people.