Sunday, January 8, 2023

Swimming With Sharks: I'm Leaving the Pool

Beth sent me this lovely video.

Saturday was wet—very wet. All I did was read. But I took time to write to Dyan, the president of the Foundation board:

Hi Dyan,


I am increasingly uncomfortable working with the Foundation. My neurological condition has me buckling under the ever-expanding workload and increased responsibility.


I am not the person I used to be when I was well.  Since the onset of my condition, I’ve become a different person and I am still learning what it is to be who I am today, and about how best to function. I volunteered with the best of intentions, and I felt good at the start when I was responding to requests for straight-forward tasks such as writing articles or letters. However, things have changed significantly without you leading the CCRF committee. Carol has said, flat out, that she cannot be the chair of the CCRF committee. Don has not answered my question to him about being chair. I am feeling a lot of pressure to perform as the chair, but I am NOT the person for that role. I do myself a disservice trying to keep our committee going.


With increased responsibility has come increased anxiety. I cannot continue to act like the chair of our committee.  As much as I wish I could function as the chair, I cannot. If we could find someone who is willing to chair the CCRF committee, I can support that person, but I cannot be that person.


I was happiest as a committee member. I don’t think I’m emotionally strong enough to be a board member. FND (my condition) has radically changed my life and my ability to cope. 


I keep thinking of the phrase, “swimming with sharks.” That’s what my work with the clinic sometimes feels like. I recently wrote an email to all the other board members, and the responses I got prompted me to write my letter. I’m feeling forced into being the chair of the committee; Carol, a committee colleague, believes I’m being exploited.

The past few days have been painful. I’ve been extremely unhappy due to this sense that I am swimming with sharks. This morning I awoke knowing I had to get out. Hence the letter. I sent it this morning. My joy is gone. I wanted to quit altogether but stepping back—way back—might allow me to stay on but in a reduced role.

Dyan has responded. I am relieved. We will meet with Carol to chart a way forward that takes me out of the shark tank.

Soon, I have a Zoom meeting with my fellow stutterers from BC. I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends and chatting with them. The rest of the day will be calm and slow.

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