Working with mental illness and disability is, to put it lightly, extremely difficult for the best of people. During my time working at a well-known fast food chain (DcMonald’s…), I would have breakdowns on shift, panic attacks, paranoia episodes, dissociative episodes, etc. I have been yelled at by colleagues and customers, and most shockingly my managers. I’ve since been too scared to work in retail again – which is probably the only place I will be able to work at the moment – and so I have money struggles at the moment.
The only thing I can stand doing is self-employed ad hoc work that is completely up to me whether I can handle it or not. I’ve done some of that now – but given that I have to wait for work from them, it’s still leaving me struggling. It’s far far better than no work or working in retail, and I’m so grateful I can do it.
A lot of disabled people may struggle to even get a job due to biases and prejudice about what we are capable of doing. For example, for DcMonald’s, holding good eye contact is a job pre-requisite, but if you’re autistic or struggle with anxiety, that can be near impossible.
I think being disabled is more expensive than being abled. I struggle with impulse control for spending, or cooking so I buy takeaways, or I do shopping therapy to help myself feel better and less low mood. For example, I bought a Nintendo 64 in the last couple of days simply because I could! Not good for my bank. But look at what my new baby looks like!
What do you think about working with a disability? I think I am going to write more about this, as it’s really interesting to me what we expect from disabled people.