I’m in the middle of working 10 days in a row. It’s grueling even for the new folks I work with; the healthy folks who don’t have a busted brain.

For me, it’s extra hard. The neuro fatigue is here. I’m getting close to my next Botox appointment, so the headaches are here, too. There isn’t enough sleep, meditation, or medications to fix how worn down I feel.

I try to find gratitude in everything. But it feels forced. Yes, I survived. Yes, I can work. Yes, we have an income. Yes, we have a roof over our heads. Yes, we have medical insurance.

Did I mention this feels forced?

Work is difficult for me. I can hear the slur sometimes when I speak. When I hear it, I wonder how long it will be before someone else notices it too. Do they think I’m inebriated?

I’d love to look for a new job. Somewhere with a better schedule. Better insurance. Less holidays (none at all would be great). Somewhere that doesn’t require me to plan my vacation time a year in advance just for a CHANCE of getting the day off. Somewhere that values my contribution and doesn’t just keep demanding more.

A month ago, our company president received our department’s annual survey results. I assume these results are tied to his bonus. He scheduled multiple meetings with the staff to hash out issues. Some people spoke up.

I was one of them.

I talked about how burnt out I am with the current workload and the string of 10 days in a row once per month. I used the word “burnout” multiple times. He hurled excuse after excuse at me, and nothing changed.

They do not care about my wellbeing. They do not care about my mental health. They care about their bottom line only.

My coworkers are leaving in droves. A majority of the ones that are left, are job hunting and interviewing. We’ve lost good people. I’m hoping they’ve moved on to something better.

I’d love to look around. But, see, I have this slur sometimes. And I have trouble with word finding more than just sometimes. I’ll sit in front of my screen frantically trying to Google a combination of words so I can figure out the one I want. It’s embarrassing. It kills my confidence and sense of self-worth.

But what would kill those things with more ferocity would be if they happened in a job interview. It would crush me.

I could preemptively tell them about my stroke. But, no one is going to hire someone so high risk, or so expensive to their medical plan. No one is going to hire the brain damaged chick.

Because of the fear, I stay put. Stuck at a place that isn’t great, but could be worse.

My stroke is keeping me from my full potential. As someone who once was full of confidence and potential, it’s an uncomfortable place to be.

Stuck really fucking sucks.