Enduring the Backache Patiently

As a life coach, I make my living telling people I know where they can find their answers. I know the processes and the work that needs to be done to get a specific result. Bigger results required more time and work. As someone who makes a living teaching people how to do this work, I’m more aware of it than most.

Which is why I’m so frustrated with myself right now.

I still work a day job – or in my case, a night job. I hurt my back on the job last November. Since then, I have been alternating between working on restricted duty and taking medical leave to do physical and occupational therapy. I had gone back to work with no restrictions a few weeks ago, but the job is a physical one and I had multiple doctors warn me that I would need to be careful with how I moved and lifted.

Saturday morning, near the end of my shift, I reinjured myself.

The good news is that the muscles are stronger since I’ve done months of occupational and physical therapy. The bad news is that the vertebrae are out of alignment – again.

Now you may ask why an intuitive creative like me has a physically demanding overnight job, especially if you yourself are an intuitive creative and understand how difficult it is to create when you’re overtired. The reason is that the job is with a much larger company. This is one of those “foot in the door” type of jobs.

Now, I have talked about this before, and about how it really isn’t the best job for me. Understand though, that this goes back to what I was talking about in the very beginning: bigger results require more time and work. I had to work this job for a calendar year to be able to transfer, to be able to open the door the rest of the way, so to speak.

I’ve finally hit that mark, but along with it I’ve hit this emotional hole that I’m having a hard time prying myself out of. A lot of it has to do with my back. You would not belief the things you need help with when you can’t move more than five pounds and you’re not supposed to bend over because it hurts when you do. Even something as simple as showering is difficult – how do you wash your feet when you aren’t supposed to bend or stoop?

And then, of course, if I’m on medical leave then I’m not working and that means I’m not getting paid.

I earned my Bachelor’s degree so I didn’t have to work jobs like this. There is nothing wrong with jobs like this. It’s just that I’m not physically suited to them. I’m not physically big or strong. I have a heart issue. The only record I might set on an exercise bike is the one no one wants to set: highest recorded heart rate. If you want a little activity, such as walking briskly, I can go and go and go. But if you want me to work physically hard, hard enough that I can’t talk and breathe at the same time, it’s not happening for very long before I get dizzy due to lack of oxygen and either sit down or fall over.

Between the knowledge that I’m pushing my body beyond healthy limits and the knowledge that if I don’t do that, I don’t get paid, yeah, I’m in an emotional hole. I deserve a better job than this. That’s not hubris talking. Between education and work experience, I’m qualified for a better job than this. The company hires from within, so I got within. Bigger results, like a job with a company that I know provides good benefits, requires more work and time.

It’s only a part time job, though. I’m starting to feel the financial pinch. I just want to curl up in a little ball and wait for the good things to start happening. I have put in so much physical work and my body just isn’t capable of doing it long term anymore. It also doesn’t help that I’m an empath and both British Columbia and eastern Washington are burning down. I can pick up on people’s panic and fear. It’s like a heavy blanket over me, much like the blanket of smoke over much the western United States.

It’s smothering. It’s hard to be creative, intuitive, and do the things I love and want to do when I am physically hurt and emotionally beaten down. The life coach in me and my guides both cheer me on: Stay the course. Breathe. You’re nearly there.

In my head though, I know Shakespeare was right when he said in Act 5 Scene 1 of Much Ado About Nothing: “I will be flesh and blood, for there was never yet philosopher that could endure the toothache patiently.”

Translation: When you’re the one whose skin is on the line, it is so much harder to hang on for “just a little while longer.”

It’s been a year. I’m ready for a day job that’s actually a day job. I deserve it. I’ve put in the work. I’ve put in the time.

Now I just need the results.

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