Back To Work
“So, I’ll have to work next week.” “...” “If I have to work, I have to work. But I don’t want to get you sick.” “I don’t want to get sick either. I don’t want you to get sick.” “I don’t know what to do... Do you want me to stay with a friend for the time being?” “I... I didn’t even think about that.” “It’s just a thought,” I shrugged half-heartedly. “But it won’t matter if I can’t get insurance.”
I pissed my partner off with this suggestion. Like silent-treatment-level pissed off.
I prefer to talk out whatever is bothering me, and I want to do that candidly with anyone I upset. I understand things can get heated, and things may be said that are hurtful, but that’s the point of talking things out.
Now, I think I understand he didn’t want to attack my view on work, dedication, and sacrifice.
School was the centerpiece of my life until I graduated high school. After that, I had to find another centerpiece because schooling in the U.S. is expensive. So that became work when I moved out at 19. I sacrificed much of my sanity and wellbeing for the sake of being a good student. I can’t say I’ve changed much in that regard, except that I’m older and have a better understanding of what a healthy and sustainable life is.
I realize that he probably was hurt that I wanted to sacrifice my health for a paycheck. And I was willing to sacrifice our time together for me to make money without getting him sick.
I should probably care more about my wellbeing than I currently do. I should probably value my life more than I currently do. Such is the journey of a 20-something.
Until last month, I was insured through my family’s insurance plan. Because of Covid-19, my family does not have that insurance anymore.
Fortunately, my current supply of medication will last me through the first week of August. But if anything were to happen between now and then, I’d have to pay full price for medical services and medication. That’s not the kind of money a 21-year-old has to spend comfortably. I’m proud that I’ve put the majority of my stimulus money in my savings. Still, that money will quickly disappear when my medication runs out and when I feel the need to see a therapist.
I can’t live without my medication. I don’t ever want to revert back into that creature. That nervous, self-loathing mouse who struggled to conform with every breath they took. They’re still there, they’ll always be there. That’s the nature of medication, to make you the optimal version of yourself to survive in this world. I understand some people choose not to take medication for that very reason. I understand some people look down on others for taking medication and advocating for it. I don’t want to be me at my core. I’ve been that and I never want to again.
My first day back to work is tomorrow and I work for a nonessential store in a hotspot for disease. I have to talk with my boss about insurance. I have a feeling they will not provide insurance even though losing insurance through my parents is a qualifying event. I hope I’m wrong. But even if I am, I doubt my boss will let me shelter-in-place. I hope I’m wrong about that too. Luckily I have a job on the horizon I could be able to secure as a replacement for this one. I'm not 100% sure that I will get that job, but it’s better than no prospect.
Right now, it hurts to know that I’ll have to be assertive about my wellbeing. And that this assertiveness may conflict with what people, I’ve come to care for, want for themselves and their goals in life. It hurts that my boss might make an excuse or make it difficult for me to get coverage.
This whole situation gives me the same vibe as when I left home. It was so scary. I’m glad I did it in the end.
Maybe this will be the same.