How do people with lupus explain their mood swings at work without using it as "an excuse"? I'm 28, have had lupus 14 years, and would like to know how I can get people to know that I'm not "*****y" but that I sometimes don't feel like being so "chipper" around everyone. And has anyone ever gotten "in trouble" because of the way their "attitude" was at work? ANy input would be helpful. Thanks.
I've had had some trouble with that. Actually, my lack of being constantly thrilled in the end caused me to be fired. (Being thrilled was part of the companies belief of what an employee should be) In the end, the way that I've reacted to that is often extreme, somewhat sarcastic niceness, even when I don't feel like it. I think in some ways it confuses people, so in the end They stay away from you. Clearly this isn't the most mature thing to do. Have you tried just saying that you've been having a difficult/painful time recently? Is it a secret that you have lupus?
No- everyone knows that I have lupus and that I sometimes feel achy or miserable due to the rain and chemo... things like that. I just feel like I'd be giving them an "excuse" if I told them that mood swings are a part of my having lupus. I don't think they'd either understand me or believe me because everyone has mood swings from time to time. I guess I think that it just doesn't sound like a legitimate reason even though I know it is, and I don't know how to get them to understand that.
Read your post and let me tell you, on one understands the idea of mood swings. I too, have been fired because of my not being so perky and sweet. People have no idea of the amount of pain you are in and more or less, they think you are joking about it. Try to tell them that it is a constant pain that does not go away, no matter how many pain killers you are on. Luckily, now anyway, I won't have to worry about jobs, because yeh....I just got approved for my disability. That is after losing everything I worked for over 40 years worth....oh well, life isn't always fun, but you survive. And to tell you that is the only thing when you have this, that you can do. Work every day just to survive.
Well, where I work their favorite saying is "Perception is reality". So no matter how cheerful I may act, or even if I choose to keep to myself when feeling icky, if someone "perceives" that I'm being moody I get in trouble for it. I am generally a very happy and outgoing person but this disease can and does take it's toll on me from time to time. It just doesn't seem fair to be judged for something I can't always control.
Does anyone one if there is a legal basis for maybe discrimination if an employer fires you for a mood swing which is part of a disease?
You should check with lawyers in your state. I think a lot depends on whether you live in a right-to-Work state or not. Have you thought about trying to find work somewhere where you aren't judged on others' perception of what you may be thinking? I know the job market isn't a joy to leap into right now, and takes a lot of energy, but it might be a consideration to work in a more accepting environment.