Work is a Chronic Illness

My time as a sick spoonie closely resembled my experience as a full-time worker.

Devon Price

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I’ve been in the recording studio all week, narrating the audiobook for my forthcoming release, Unlearning Shame. And that’s meant I’ve been keeping dramatically different hours from the one my work-from-home, online-professor-slash-writer self has gotten used to.

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Instead of rolling out of bed around 9 or 9:30 am to lay out my yoga mat and languidly select a work-out video and a podcast to listen to while I complete it, I’ve been bolting upright in bed to the sound of my alarm at 7am, and dashing to complete my mourning routine. I’ve been throwing on clothing in a chaotic flash, gulping down water to relubricate my pipes before the recording session, and running to the train station to make it to the studio on time, often with an empty belly and bleary red streaks in my eyes.

Instead of carefully plodding my way through my email inbox and my writing tasks, taking the occasional pause for a meeting, my ass has been in the chair from 10am until 5pm without much of a break, my eyes fixed to the iPad with my new book loaded onto it, my posture as perfect as I can make it to allow air to flow from my diaphragm and up to my throat. I have to project, with perfect pronunciation and artful modulation of voice, really feeling the words as I perform them, taking my mind back to the years when I was closeted, detransitioned, and subsumed by shame.

At the end of my days, instead of pushing myself away from the computer and padding into the kitchen to daydream while I cook food, I’m cramming myself onto the red line and beating back nausea as it lumbers me back home, dropping all my clothes and personal affects on the floor, and tiredly staggering around, addressing what messes I can before I run out of energy: feeding and watering the chinchilla, mopping up a sauce stain on the floor, flossing, emailing a few students, and then collapsing on the couch with a headache and a sour stomach.

I have almost no energy to move or to think. My eyes hurt. My head hurts. I’m constantly on the verge of puking. The room is spinning. Normally bouncing off the walls with the desire to exercise, try new things, and socialize, all I want to do is sit silently in the dark. I…

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Devon Price

He/Him or It/Its. Social Psychologist & Author of LAZINESS DOES NOT EXIST and UNMASKING AUTISM. Links to buy: https://linktr.ee/drdevonprice