Finding the Right Job as Someone With Fibromyalgia

Vanessa Smith
Workers collaborating in a meeting.

I got my first symptoms of fibromyalgia when I was 13 and was diagnosed at 17. I’ll be 30 this year. Through all that I loved going to school and I loved working. I held a part time job of 25 hours a week while going to school, with the exception of grade 12 when my fibro got so severe I could barely go to school. I had always wanted to go into the medical field and make a difference, but I realized I likely wouldn’t be able to make it through the schooling. So I looked for something else and found office work.

Over the last 10 years, I’ve gotten married, worked for a couple different companies and fought like hell to gain some sort of control of my life. I worked for a company for four years that destroyed my mental health and made my fibro worse than ever due to the workload, stress, and lack of understanding of my illness. But I’m stubborn and wouldn’t give up. It almost cost me my life. I overdid it, I was depressed, flared up all the time, and was working for a company that had no respect for me. So I left.

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That’s when I found it. I found a company that was practically built for me. My boss was amazing and entirely understood what it was like to have an invisible condition as he has one of his own. He let me take on whatever workload I wanted. He trained me in new areas and understood when I had to take a day off.

At that job I finally took the plunge and tried CBD oil. For me it was the missing link. Suddenly I had the energy to make it through the day and take on extra tasks. It was unbelievable. It helped me with getting back to the gym and I got on track with my eating. For me, this is what helps. But I never would have done it if I hadn’t wanted more from my job.

I took a huge pay cut to go to this job and I have never regretted it. I love the place I work. Unfortunately my job changed due to a financial reorganization at our head office, but I still love my company. I am planning to move to a different division and work towards getting my BBA and try to move up. I have been so lucky to have found this place.

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I love working and this job has helped me ground myself enough to be good to myself. I understand this definitely does not work for everyone, but to each their own. Do what you can and be proud of yourself for it.

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