What Do You Do?

As of late, I've been mixing up the way I introduce myself to new people. I don't mean "introduce" in the basic sense of the word, but when a new person asks me what I "do" (when "do" refers to employment) I don't know what to say. Should I disclose my disease? I usually do, but lately I've wondered if it makes other people uncomfortable.

My response as of late seems to be a result of being "stuck" in the moment, and not wanting to leave the other person at a loss for words. For example, for a recent group gathering, I prepared myself ahead of time...I knew what I wanted to say.  But when my turn came to introduce myself to the group, I found myself "stuck".  My response, after cocking my head and looking skyward, was ..."Nothing".

Um yeah. Nothing.

"Emily" Antoinette

In the moment, it was entertaining to the group, but I didn't have a chance to backtrack or explain that it isn't as it sounds. I had wanted to say something about indulging my hobbies (indulging wasn't the exact word I had planned, and in hindsight I'm very glad I didn't say "indulging" as it sounds almost as snotty as "nothing"). But it's the truth - I don't do anything in an official capacity, and I couldn't if I tried.

How can I tell someone that I am home everyday because my days (even hours) are unpredictable and therefore prevent me from working? My MS is invisible to most people, so saying that I am on disability seems just as awkward as "nothing".

So does my answer of  "nothing" make the asker uncomfortable?

If I respond,  "I'm on disability" does this make the asker uncomfortable?

Does the answer, "I have MS and am unable to work" make the asker uncomfortable?

Does it really matter?

Maybe I think too much.

I am especially glad that I'm not in a position of deciding if I should disclose to my employer (current or future). I already feel bad that I had to leave my job when all of this came down.


Vee said...
September 4, 2012 at 9:26 p.m.

In my two previous successful interviews, I didnt disclose MS -- the first instance, I wanted to see how far I could get without it affecting my work... in the second instance... I dont know. It felt like far too vulnerable of a thing to say in an interview where I could be rejected.

I had an interview last year, within the organization that I already work -- and I knew all the poeple on the committee interviewing me. I told them I had MS because 1. I wanted them to know. 2. Im tired with living with the secret burden of having to confess when it ultimately affects my work. (whether it be from high temperatures or fatigue).

in short. I am learning. I think I will be a full disclosure type from now on. It's kinda freeing. Maybe I'm giving tmi....

Emms said...
September 6, 2012 at 12:16 p.m.

That is a very true statement..."it is kind of freeing". I agree.

Little bits about my life with MS

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