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Would really appreciate some support


MaryJo
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Hi, I'd really appreciate some support at the moment, things have been tough, but the worst of it is I am really taking everything out on myself. I've been really bad with POTS and EDS since I was about 15 (I'm now 32). Everything has been a big struggle since then. Last year I finished my law degree and got the second highest grade that they give, but even this achievement was dented by the fact that I had to take 6 years out of the degree because of declining health. I had no support at all at this time, and when I did graduate I only had my Mum to support me. I did not even put anything on this forum, because I know others have achieved a lot more than me and in far less time, and I felt so embarassed.

At the moment I feel lost, because I do not know what to do any more. Before the road ahead seemed so clear, i wanted a career in law, but now I have really lost my way. To be honest, here it is difficult to get into law when you hit your thirties so I have to be practical too, but my confidence has been so shaken I do not know where to begin. I think that if I knew what I wanted this would help, but I think the dream has been shattered so many times, that I guess without realising it I am struggling to move forward. I desperately want to make the most of the situation I am in, but I have just lost my way for the time being. Apart from my Mum, I see no family, and I have two friends but I am unable to get out to see them because I am unable to drive at the moment, and there are a few difficulties.

Sorry to go on, I know we all have problems and difficulties and I do not mean to take the centre stage with mine. I think the people on this site are great and so supportive to everyone. I'd just appreciate some ideas, in particular does anyone feel guilty because they have lost their path, and they are not working. I really struggle with the guilt, and blame myself, but others around me blame me to for everything. I'm not saying nothing is ever my fault, but I don't think everything is. Sorry again for my long chat, I just needed to vent a little. Most of the time I do smile and get on with it, but I am just struggling at present.

Lots of love, MJ

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So sorry you are struggling so. Many people who are well go through a time of re-self evaluation in their early 30's. To be burdened with illness makes that process so much harder. Please try to be easy on yourself. You did not bring this condition on yourself. Look at all you have accomplished--many well people don't get to the point you have! Of course it is incredibly frustrating to not be able to use your gifts due to a debilitating condition--but this can change. Many people with POTS do get better! Please do not give up hope. It is so very important.

Are you getting the medical care you need--do you have a good physician and are you on a treatment regime?

You are fortunate that you are highly educated--that will give you a lot of work options, if you continue to be challenged with symptoms over time.

Writing can be help you evaluate challenges and frustrations --no need to apologize for a venting session!

Take care and let us know how you are doing.

Katherine

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Mar Jo, you have achieved a monumental accomplishment and should be proud of doing so well in law school, period. The fact you did so while sick makes it even more commendable. I think many of us struggle with the , "what to do now" question at some point in our illness. Having a law degree will be an excellent asset for you in any career path. You know, there is more than one way to be successful professionally.

Sixty hour work weeks may never be in your future but, at some point you may feel like working part-time or even full-time. It is highly likely that being ill has afforded you more compassion than the average person so this too can be an asset when and if you decide to work. I would recommend that if you feel physically able to work and need and/or want to work to utilize a career counselor.

In the US we have rehab counselors that help people with disabilities not only find work but to really evaluate themselves to see what interests they might have. There are wonderful computer "tests" that can evaluate your interests and see what type of careers you might be best suited for- not sure what resources are available to you.

But, as the post before stated, many people, many "well" people rethink their career paths in their thirties so you are not alone by any means. Hang in there, it sounds like you have a lot to offer.

Carmen

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Congratulaitons on the law degree. That is a major accomplishment for anyone and for a person with POTS it is just monumental.

You worked so long and hard for the degree that your struggle was perhaps your motivating force for a long time. Now that you have the degree, your focus must change. The goal has been reached and you are at a new beginning. It could be that coming to the end and now being again at a beginning is part of what is throwing you.

There are so many new decisions to be made. Whereas in the past years it was all about just getting the degree.

Anyone who managed to get a law degree with POTS can also manage to figure out what to do with it and then do it!

Michigan Jan

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WOW!

Anybody here accomplish more than that?

I dropped out of college the first semester, undiagnosed with POTS, just knew I couldn't keep up the pace. Here I am 30 years later, no degree, haven't worked in 22 years, my kid is grown (at 16 they fancy they don't need mothers anymore) and I'm sitting here wondering why I am burdening the earth with my presence?! Thirty years and all I've got to show for it is a Ph.D. in suffering!

You have so much to offer. (Somehow, I do, too. Preachin' to myself. <_<) You are just in a decompression time after all of that effort. It's normal, natural. I can see if there is financial pressure to get working, but you can ?feel your way.? You don't have to keep the first job you take.

Maybe a legal writing job from home, a nonprofit/charitable organization, or attachment to the legal department of some group that's close to your heart will work for you. Somebody, somewhere is going to be grateful for what you can contribute to their organization. :wacko:

Remember other people don't understand. (And *ouch* they don't want to!) You have to go with your convictions. If others blame you, that is their own issue. Many people project their own problems onto others because of a lack of ability to see them in themselves. When people know what is right for another or know what another should do: that's called codependency. No one but you knows what is right for you and you can trust yourself to figure it out.

Perhaps your dream is not so much shattered as evolving. Maybe, the uniquie niche that you are meant to fill is something that will sneak up on you. Every day is new, we can?t see around the bend.

Believe it or not, feeling 'lost' is part of the journey and will help you find your path. I?m ?lost? right now, too, have been for a year. I have ambitions for GREAT THINGS!!! I?m fortunate right now if I have clean clothes, meals and a shower. Oh, I-would-be-dangerous-if-I-had-energy!

I didn?t ask to ?occupy the place of the weak.? My heart and aspirations are as big as the universe! And, I?m sulky because all I can do is crossword puzzles :stamps foot and pouts:. Somehow, I?ll find my way. I am learning to just try to bring love and light to someone each day, and a smile can do that!

How about giving yourself a break? Do you do that for others? Treat yourself at least as well as you treat others.

So happy to hear your mum is on your side!

Come collapse on our centre stage anytime you want. We?ll sit here and fan you with encouragement and ply you with loving inspiration while you get revived enough to move on. Keep us updated!

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Guest Mary from OH

Mary Jo-

Congratulations on completing your degree!! What a phenomenol accomplishment!!

YOU ARE A WONDERFUL PERSON!!! BELIEVE IT!!!!

You need to first believe in yourself! It sounds to me like you need to talk with a counselor to deal with some depression issues. (yes, I'm a former Psychologist). You have accomplished a LOT! You need to sit down and think about WHAT you would like to DO with your law degree. Help children? Help the handicapped? Work in a corporate setting? Work in the courts? There are so many different avenues that lawyers can take. For example, in my husbands office , they employ lawyers and HR professionals and they work with clients in the public sector to assist with negotiations, sexual harassment, etc... Think of what you enjoy, are interested in or are good at and GO FOR IT!!

YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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Yes, I know how hard it is to feel that your physical limitations affect who you are as a contributing member of society, but your knowledge and skills can help so many people!!!! There are ways to use what you know and love -- you just need to figure them out or create them. If you have gotten this far with your illness, you have demonstrated your abilities to persevere. Opportunities will come.

You have such a support group behind you here. Go for it.

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Dear MaryJo,

I'm new to the forum but please feel free to contact me if you need someone to talk to. It's hard going to a new place and having few friends. I myself have lived in Arizona my whole life and still have few friends.

After all, being my friend is a liability, someone might have to pick my butt off the ground. lol.

Don't be to hard on yourself, it will all fall in place sooner or later. Even if you change your mind and do something different, finishing what you started is such a great acomplishment.

Good luck, and If anyone needs to talk I'm here anytime.

Amber

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Hi Mary Jo,

*HUGS!!!*

Ugh, sometimes being sick just plain stinks, and so does all of the emotional stuff that goes with it. You don't have to feel guilty for admitting that. We're are HERE for you to vent to. I think it is sort of our job ---to keep eachother sane. :P You will always find support here!!

I know that things are complicated right now, but don't forget the accomplishments you've made thus far. Not only did you make it through all of that schooling --- you did it while battling with your health. You are obviously intelligent and ambitious. As a college student battling through right now, you inspire me!!!

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Dear MJ,

I also commend you on your achievements--not just school, but on surviving POTS and all its requisite well, sludge, for lack of a better term. Having just passed age 32 a few years ago, I remember clearly that pressured, spinning feeling of what do I do now? I had just finished my master's degree that year in counseling and though i suppose i "should" have felt proud, I instead remember feeling rather ho-hum and overwhelmed by the whole thing. I was at complete odds with myself. I worked so hard to get there, but then it just seemed like a let-down, because I had imagined things in my life would be/should have been so much different when I actually arrived at my graduation. I had expected a stronger, more-decisive me. One with more friends and a more understanding family. A me that could work a full week. I *had* accomplished so much (it took me six years to get my degree, too) but it felt tarnished because I couldn't have "everything" I had thought i wanted and so then i didn't know what i wanted instead. (does this make sense? :P )

I can tell you that it will get better. You have strength and intelligence, and law has MANY opportunites, some of which may be unknown to you as yet. You are the captain of your own destiny, and you are absolutely allowed to change your mind at any time and to do what pleases you! Moreover, you are definitely allowed to vent, breakdown, re-evaluate, call for support and just BE.

Give yourself permission to figure it out at the pace it comes to you. And have faith. You've come this far for a reason.....again, maybe not known to you now, but be patient. Remember, too, that wherever you are in the Universe, doing whatever you are doing is EXACTLY where and what you are supposed to. :) As is said, things happen for a reason. It may be of no true assurance, but what you are going through is typical--for your age, for your disorder, for your intelligence level---and its frightening intensity will pass. And though you feel like you're cracking up, it's a sure sign of strength to ask for support and take time for yourself.

Congratulations on your degree and congratulations on your continued bravery as you approach this next crossroad. Best wishes and brightest blessings,

Peace and light,

Lulu :P

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Hi Everyone,

Firstly, can I give a real big group hug to every single one of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You've got no idea how touched I was by all your replies. I am normally ok, struggling like everyone else, but basically I get through with a smile on my face, and I am always ready for a laugh, but sometimes the depth of our situation really gets to you and it's frightening. I think that it is true as some of you have said that when it's taken a while to accomplish something and all our thoughts and efforts for a long time have been tuned to it that when it is over we are left wondering what to do. In my case I have had a lot of doors close in my face and sometimes I feel the pain of this. I hate the feeling of being so "in the air" a feeling I've had for a long time. | know that it is no good looking at what others are doing, and I know that it is easy to look into others lives without seeing the problems they face, but I struggled with the feeling that I seemed to be the only one who had not sorted herself out. I do not mean this as self-pity, but as genuine fear. I do not have much medical support. I have POTS through Ehlers - danlos. The only help I have is a once a year appointment for my joints, nothing for the POTS since being diagnosed. I was told to increase fluids and salt levels and that was it. I do suffer quite badly from POTS and would like to have had more medical support. Do any of you know where I am coming from about being left "in the air"? I've had this feeling for so many years now. I am trying to enjoy each day as much as possible so that I am not spending all my time searching and letting life pass me by.

I am also afraid that potential employers may be perturbed by the amount of time that I had to take out, and may view me as a problem case, and not bother with me particularly with so many good straightforward candidates applying. I don't know how best to find out the truth of my situation, but would appreciate any advice on this.

Thanks again for everything, I just needed a "pick me up". I really value you all.

Love you lots,

MJ

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