My Experience

Having a Job and Chronic Illness

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I recently got hired at a company. I am a receptionist for a senior living facility. It’s a great fit for me. I absolutely love it so far and so does Crush. This is my fifth job but my first time having a job while being chronically ill. It’s not what I expected in a lot of ways but my employers have made the transition seamless.

I knew that my work life would look different from the average person. Other than having Crush, I need various accommodations to ensure my health and safety. That ranges from simple things like eating at my desk to not lifting heavy objects. When requesting these accommodations a lot of companies won’t honor those needs. As a disabled person who appears healthy, it’s difficult to explain the necessity without sharing my personal information.

I don’t owe people my medical history nor do I feel the desire to share it. It’s something that’s incredibly personal. Like going out anywhere, I often get questions about Crush. “What kind of dog is he? How is he so well trained? Oh I know XYZ with a service dog.” I’m very accustomed to dealing with a wide range of situations with Crush in tow. Something I didn’t expect was my employers wanting to help me with those situations. They asked if it was okay if they sent out a flier about Crush and I.

The flier didn’t include any personal information. It simply stated my name and Crush’s. It said that we would be working and it asked residents not to approach or talk to Crush. Has that stopped anyone? Well, they’re working on it and that’s okay. We’re all learning together. It feels exciting and so normal to be working again. I can’t explain how much I missed it.

That doesn’t mean that I escape the reality of being chronically ill. I am prepared to deal with difficult and intense situations. Crush is part of that preparation and he actively works to prevent those situations. I haven’t endured a bad day while working (knock on wood). Knowing that my employer is in my corner makes me less fearful for when that day will come. Eventually, it will and I trust that everything will be okay.

I hope that you’re having a great day. I hope your day is filled with joy, positivity, and laughter. I hope you find peace, love, and happiness.


  • Lori k Clyburn

    i was curious if you have battled social anxiety along with ocd. my daughter has both and struggles to get through her job in a grocery store, i was thinking a job like yours would be a better fit.

    • Girl

      Anxiety is tricky. Personally, I would feel more comfortable in the position I have now but it requires a lot of making phone calls and answering the phones. There are also a lot of prolonged interactions that can be challenging if you are dealing with social anxiety. Hope that helps!!

Share Your Thoughts