So, I am coming up on 6 months of working fulltime at my job as a content writer for dental websites. I have proven to myself after 23 years of not working outside of the home that I can work, even after having had chronic pain for the last 20 years. I have made huge strides, however, I realize that working fulltime is also kicking my butt as a middle-aged woman. I am up every morning at 5:30 for work and come home about 4:15 p.m., totally exhausted. I am in bed by 10:00 p.m., and rarely go out because I am so tired. My husband goes into work at 9:00 and is usually home by 6:00. We are empty-nesters, so it is just us. Anyway...a month or so ago, I began feeling rundown and the pain or nausea was coming back. (I even came here and talked about going through menopause and how it was affecting my work) I was getting stressed about constantly typing, talking with clients, responding to emails, dealing with other departments, and trying to meet my weekly goal or surpass it, which I have done repeatedly. On top of that, my daughter will be leaving for 1 1/2 years on a church mission; my oldest daughter is pregnant with her second child and sick; my son is struggling with his marriage and being a new dad, and my husband is hellbent on us getting COMPLETELY out of debt in 5 years - with my help by working. (no pressure, right?) I started realizing even though I could work fulltime, I didn’t want to, and I wanted less stress and responsibility. It was also around this time that the old pain in my right arm and shoulder came back, after having beat it a year or so ago. I talked to my therapist about this and she thought my brain was telling me, “See, I told you, you couldn’t do it,” and is now giving me a distraction to protect me from all these feelings I have about work. It was also around this time that I entertained the idea of just cutting back some hours, to about 30 hours a week, instead of 40, and moving to the blog team, where all I did was write blogs all day. (I have been doing that for the past 18 years off and on) When I told my husband this, of course, he was disappointed. He kept saying I could do it and I had already proven I could, so why QUIT now? To me, that spelled FAILURE. Those old feelings of doubt crept back in. It didn’t help that he continually told me that he wished he could reduce his hours and not have to work fulltime or work from home, which I do sometimes, when I just need to write and not be interrupted with everything, like I am at work. To me, that caused my old nemesis, guilt, to come flooding back. As if, I reduced my hours, somehow, I was proving to my brain that I couldn’t hack it. My #1 fear is failure. This stems clear back into early childhood and many traumas. (Was bullied= failure; couldn’t help my mentally ill mother= failure; couldn’t go to college=failure; ccouldn’t have normal childbirths=failure; the loss of fertitlity, due to hysterecctomy=failure; could not work outside of the home for years=failure) You can see the pattern and it has taken 3 years of therapy and TMS work to get past this. Back to work stuff. I have been approved to cut my hours and go to blog, however, our mananger moved to Oregon and moved to blog herself, so now my work has to hire two new writers. I was told I could move over in a few weeks, a few weeks ago, but now have no idea when, since no one has spoken with me about it. I feel like I am in limbo and it is stressing me out even more, since I am now doing part blog and part content. Thursday morning, my pain was so bad, I had to go home, which again = failure. I went to my therapy appointment and my therapist told me, the brain has gone back to failure mode and the best thing to do is go back to work and prove that I am OK and not a failure. (Easier said than done.) worked some from home yesterday, but stressed because I was not at work and would this show badly for my wanting to transition to blog. Sorry, this is a long post. I guess I am looking for validation that this is TMS rearing its ugly head - once again - and learning how to trick my brain into believing I am not a failure and it is OK to reduce my hours because I WANT to, not because I HAVE to, or that I can’t handle it. Also, I have a hard time with believing I DESERVE to be pain-free, especially when I see soooo many people who aren’t, including my own family. Plum, or anyone else who always gives great advice, I could use your wisdom about now. TIA and sorry for the long post.