Tuesday, 3 June 2014

RESIGNING FROM A JOB I LOVE






Whether or not to resign from my job as a Speech and Language Therapist is one of the hardest decisions I've had to make to date. Last week I bit the bullet, met with my manager and did it.

A bit of background: I trained for four years to be become a Speech and Language Therapist and was very excited to start my first paediatric post in the Western Isles in September 2012. I absolutely loved the job from the off and found it incredibly rewarding. Unfortunately though I had to stop working after a year due to health difficulties.


Speech and Language Therapy is mentally, emotionally and, at times, physically demanding. Acting as a health professional comes with a great deal of responsibility and accountability. My job involved a lot of thinking (clinical reasoning, generating ideas for therapy activities), moving around (driving to schools/ meetings) and intense social interaction (talking to children, parents, health professionals, school staff, voluntary organisations etc). All of which became increasingly difficult as I became more ill.
My work colleagues and manager have been fantastically understanding and at no point have made me feel that I should attempt returning before I'm ready. Despite this however, getting back to work has constantly been in the back of my mind. I've struggled with not feeling 'useful' and have been very conscious of how my absence may have increased the workload of others'. Given that any kind of strain exacerbates ME / CFS, I don't think the (admittedly self-imposed) pressure of returning to work has been aiding my recovery.

After a great deal of consideration (and a long while of denial), I've decided that my priority for now has to be my health. This means that my career will have to take a backseat for a little while. Once I'm fighting fit again, I can throw myself into a challenging job but its just not the most important thing right now.
Although I'm incredibly sad to be leaving the very lovely Speech and Language Therapy Department, I'm extremely grateful for the things it has given me. I've gained brilliant hands-on experience in a field I love. I've learned (the basics of) a new language. I've experienced a very different culture in a beautiful part of the world. I've had the privilege of meeting and working with some amazing kids and their families. And most importantly of all, I've made some incredible, and I hope lifelong, friends.

Now that I've had a bit of time to think and it's sunk in that I won't be going back to work, I feel relieved and, in a way, liberated. There's nothing to say I won't get back to Speech and Language Therapy one day but who knows what exciting opportunity may be more manageable in the meantime?

I'm ready for a new adventure.


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21 comments

  1. This reminds me so much of what I went through when I had to give up school. All I've ever wanted was to leave home & do my degree at Oxford. It was right there All I had to do was finish my A-Levels & I pushed & pushed myself when I really wasn't healthy enough & all it did was make me ill-er.
    The M.E. gets so determined to make you give up on your 'real life' you know? And you have to do or you'll push yourself into a coma...

    I'm sorry you had to quit being a speech therapist, I bet you were really good.

    Sally
    http://www.wheelingalong24.com

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    1. I'm so sorry to hear your ME got in the way of doing a degree. It really is a cruel illness. Never say never though! I really hope that one day, if you still want to, you get to do that degree at Oxford.
      Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comment.

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  2. Good on you Faye. It would of been a big decision for you to make, but you must put your health first. I'm sure once you are well enough, you will have a lot of exciting options ahead. xxx

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    1. Thanks Lennae. It took me a while to realise that but now I'm there I am much more content :) x

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  3. I can totally relate to this post, I have Cystic Fibrosis and had to leave uni and then my job (which was only shop work, but I loved it.) It's a huge decision to make and a sad one too but it's so important to put your health first...no job is worth sacrificing it for! I feel a lot better in my body and mind after making that decision so I hope you will too. I'm glad you had the experience of working in a job you loved and like you said, you could maybe go back one day! In my experience whenever my illness has mucked things up for me better things have always ended up coming along anyway so I'm sure you'll find something perfect for you! Good luck :) x

    Josie’s Journal

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    1. I'm so sorry you had to make the decision twice over with uni and work but am very pleased to hear you felt better in yourself after doing it. A big wave of relief has hit me over the last few days so I do think it was the right decision. Health is definitely the greatest wealth! Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment x

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  4. This post really resonated with me. I recently made the decision to leave work for health reasons too - it's never an easy decision but health is a priority :) I'm sure that while one door has closed, another will open and there will be plenty of exciting opportunities for you! I'm glad I've discovered your blog, I've just started following you on Bloglovin :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Gemma. I'm sorry to hear you've had to make a similar decision recently- I hope you've felt good about it since. You're absolutely right that health is a priority- now I've got my head around that, I'm much more at peace with any decisions I have to make. So lovely to hear you are following on Bloglovin! Very exciting for me :)

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  5. "...but who knows what exciting opportunity may be more manageable in the meantime?" - Fabulous attitude regarding a tough situation. After a few weeks of rest, I'm sure your next adventure will be right around the corner.

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment! I am very much hoping that will be the case :)

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  6. aw I'm sorry that you had to resign from your job especially after working so hard to get there. However, I'm sure some exciting opportunities will come up soon and I wish you the best! I think as long as you have a positive attitude, like you do, everything will be fine!

    xo
    www.thisisfrancescarose.com

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    1. Thanks so much Francesca Rose, that's ever so sweet of you. I've been blown away by the kindness shown in response to this post and can't thank you enough! x

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  7. Must have been a tough decision Faye but you're so right- SLT jobs are massively demanding. I'm sure you will find something exciting and more manageable but as you've done all the hard work & got some experience SLT can always be an option in the future x

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    1. Thanks so much for your lovely comment Ally! So sweet of you to be reading my little old blog. I feel very lucky that I managed to get the experience in before I fell ill as, like you say, it leaves SLT as an option later. Really hope you're well and that you've been enjoying the sunshine :) x

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  8. Your words struck a chord with me and I'm sure they will ring true for many other fellow sufferers who have also had to give up something they love because of this illness.

    I've recently had to stop working as a teacher and translator - even though I was freelance and supposedly in charge of my work schedule, it's become far too demanding and brought me to a place of relapse.

    As well all know, the path of illness is hard one for us to tread. But I've always tried to remember that everybody's life and paths change, whether they are chronically ill or not. Sometimes our paths change slowly, sometimes rapidly. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.

    We have low times, and it is good to acknowledge them, as you have done here. Partly because it helps us cope personally and partly because it helps other people, like you have helped me through your words.

    But it is also wonderful when we can find some hope amidst our difficulties, a rainbow despite the clouds - just as you have done here.

    We cannot know what life will bring next, like you say what new adventure may be next.

    As I said before, I'm so very glad to have discovered your blog. I wish you "bon courage" with your own journey and I look forward to reading more here soon. Fran xx

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    1. Thank so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful response Fran.
      I'm sorry to hear that you've had to stop teaching and translating - both are very demanding and I imagine must have been very tricky to manage whilst being ill. If taking a step back allows your body the time it needs to bring you back out of that relapse, it definitely sounds like a positive decision.
      Thank you so much for your kind words Fran, they mean a lot to me. Sending you the warmest wishes and hoping your next adventure is a lovely one x

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  9. Wow - you have such an amazing outlook. And when it comes down to it - that's the most important thing we can have! Best of luck for wherever your new adventure takes you :)

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  10. It can't have been easy to give up on something that you worked bloomin' hard for, and loved. However, you made the right decision, health comes first and your degree will always be there. Once you are at a point where you feel stronger and ready to start getting back into work again you can get back into it, but for now having just yourself and your health to concentrate on will be much less stress physically, and mentally too. You'll have more time to blog too, and we love your blog!
    Xxx Hayley-Eszti
    www.hayleyeszti.blogspot.com

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  11. So sorry about this, it must've been so hard to give up a job that you loved and I really feel for you. Hope that your blog means you have something else to put your time and effort into - I had to leave my job too and most upsettingly my university degree, my days started feeling listless and pointless but now I feel like I'm doing something productive and worthwhile again. Sending lots of love your way and thinking of you!

    Meg | meg-says.com

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