Thursday, March 19, 2015

Small Milestone

            On March 17, 2015 I celebrated a milestone. I have been working in my current position as a customer service representative for one full year. Now I know that may sound trivial but for me it definitely is not. This is the longest I have been able to keep a job since I was deemed totally disabled in 2004. I have tried to work in the past but each time I had to resign due to my health issues.
            Writing has always been therapeutic for me so becoming an author was natural. What isn’t natural is having to deal with a debilitating disease every day. On top of that having an educational background that could’ve lead to a promising career has always haunted me in the back of my mind. I suffer from Bipolar Disorder. But I am a witness that one can be healed if one takes the necessary steps to take complete care of oneself.
            I studied to attain a degree in psychology from the Ohio State University. I earned my Bachelor’s in 1999 and then went on to graduate school to obtain a Master’s degree in Social Work from Howard University. I was on the path to be at the top of my graduating class in 2003 when I got into a life threatening car accident just 2 months before my graduation.
            In 2004 I was deemed totally disabled. I fought like hell to continue to be a social worker only to end up in and out of the hospital. So hesitantly taking my mother’s advice I applied for social security. After two denials it was awarded and I even got a settlement for the car accident. I lived at home still but decided to finally move out on my own in 2006. I got all the assistance I could get and for the most part life was good.
            Still though, I was in and out of the hospital yearly. I went through so many bad relationships and thousands of dollars. I finally tried to go back to work in 2009 at Time Warner Cable as a collections representative only to end up back in the hospital after only six months. I then decided to stop the madness and deal with my issues.
            Over the years I created a team of health care professionals who knew my potential and worked to get me to top health. Obesity has always been a health concern and I had other physical ailments that kept me from reaching so many goals. Finally I felt like I was healthy enough to go back to work in 2014 for Safelite as a telephone sales representative. I was doing well until I got into a tumultuous relationship and finally had to quit because I started getting sick again.      
            Then last year I stepped out on faith and interviewed for ContactUs. They gave me a chance, despite my shotty employment history. More importantly they allowed me to work for less than their mandatory part time hours in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act. This pass year my managers and supervisors have consistently worked with me to assist me in my goals to continue to be a working member of society. Still though, all of the praise and the glory go to almighty God for healing me and giving me the strength to press on.
            I have a Bible verse that is posted on my desktop that I read aloud every day before I start my day at ContactUs. It comes from Ephesians 6:6-7
                        “…but as servants of Christ doing the will of God from the heart; with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
            Verse 8 goes on to say that “knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free.”  I memorized verse 8 because I know what it means to be bond in the flesh by a disease that millions of people suffer from each day. Now I feel as though I am free and I count it all as joy.