Firsts…….and lasts or losts

Well I took the plunge today back into the world of work. Since coming back to the UK from Dubai for medical treatment at the end of 2014, I haven't really worked. I carried on working remotely for a bit, but it soon became clear that with all 
the medical appointments, my declining health and increasing pain and the 3000 od miles telecommute, I was better off giving up work. 
Everyone thinks about giving up work and thinks how great it would be, but for me giving up work was just one of the losts that Ehlers Danlos bought about last 
year. I didn't really have any choice at the time and it wasn't the right thing 
for me or for the company I was working for, to carry on trying; I wasn't
helping anyone. I realized later though that what other people had been teling me for ages - I probably had a fairly unhealthy work/life balance. I really loved my job, I loved the buzz of the events that I used to organize, I missed office life, I missed problem-solving and I even loved when things went wrong and I managed to
figure out how we could fix the problem or overcome the issues. Suddenly I was 
freed from being tied to my phone and rushing to answer every email, freed from 
what at the time seemed like intrusions into my weekends, as I dealt with the
international market on a Friday or just the need to sit with my laptop glued to 
my knees, catching up on work. All of these things were lost to me. At first I 
didn't miss them; the search for a diagnosis and actually just feeling too 
rubbish was too much for me to have time to worry about anything else, but over
time, I felt the loss greatly. I missed feeling like a proper person with a 
purpose and let's face it a proper person with an independent income. I am 
extraodinarily lucky to have a wonderful husband who supported me fiscaly and 
emotionally through what became a really awful situation, but feeling weird 
about buying him a Christmas present because I was using his money is not a 
situation I want to repeat this year. 
Finally August of last year bought a diagnosis and at first I was really pleased
to have an answer, but gradually I realized that so many things were lost to me 
forever. I realized that the last event I'd organized had taken place over 6 
months previously, I'd lost the ability to move around independently as I became 
dependent firt on a wheelchair and then second on another person to push that 
wheelchair as my wrists got worse and my shoulders started subluxing and more
painful and I slowly realized that EDS was a life-long illness and went through 
some dark days as i started to realize what that really meant. 
Well today I'm pleased to say that I had a day of firsts; this is my first blog 
post and it's been easier to write than i thought it woould be; and secondly I 
took the plunge and became an Avon representative for the first time. This was the first time I'd been involved in a direct selling company and whilst it wasn't quite the first time of being self-employed, I realized as I sat talking with the 
super-friendly and welcoming Area Manager that so many of the skills that I could engage to promote my Avon business were the same skills that I used in my career 
previously. I also realized that yesterday was my last day without some kind of 
independent, positive activity to get on with. Ok, I'm not going to be doing this full-time and I'm certainly not going to be going to an office; in fact that was 
the draw really, tied to my wheelchair and pretty housebound because of my health at the moment, I needed an occupation that I could do from my laptop, from the 
sofa, or even like now,from my bed, but as I sat there talking, I felt a rise of 
excitement as I thought about all the things that, I could do to try and promote 
my business. My health isn't very good at the moment; I don't seem to be able to 
shake the persistent infections that landed me back in hospital for a month at the end of the year with a central line for medication, but I'm not in hospital right now and all the time I keep within my limits, some days are better than others, 
or even some times of the day are better than others and it's those times that I'm going to take advantage of now to get back if not quite into regular work, into 
the world of meaningful occupation. 
As I continue to figure out how I'm going to live with this diagnosis - well 
diagnses realy but that needs a blog post all of its own - I'm going to use this 
blog to chart my progress. Sometimes I'll use it to talk about EDS and sometimes 
I'll use it to talk about the great products that I'm going to get to sell and 
sometimes I might just blog about some interesting sales and marketing tools that 
I'm trying out, or just something completely random. Sometimes the posts will be 
short and sometimes, like this one, long and rambling, but one things for sure, 
I'm sure I'll be blogging about more firsts and lasts and losses too, as I 
continue to navigate the workd of illness and disability and hopefully also, the 
world of self employment and maybe best of all, the ever-growing world of beuaty 
products :) xx ps. visit my facebook - page https://www.facebook.com/joanna.edwards.96 - and take look at the latest campaign brochure or pm me if you have any 
issues viewing it and you'd like to see it and order something and i'll help you 
out x
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