Genuine advice needed. No flaming, no politics, no hating, no kicking a girl while she's down, please.
I (34F) have various non-visible disabilities. I have a compromised immune system (which has caused me to catch covid 3 times despite being triple-vaxxed and very careful with masks and social distancing… my savings got consumed by the ICU), fibromyalgia, severe rare gastric problems that cause me to be chronically underweight no matter what treatment I do or what doctor I see (no kidding, the Discovery Health Channel scouted me for a “Mystery Diagnosis” episode years ago, as my case is so rare and I'm one of few survivors), as well as depression/anxiety as a result of various childhood and relationship abuses prior to meeting my wonderul husband (35M).
Aside from actually neeting to USE my sick days unlike others in this workaholic country of the USA (using PTO seems to be deeply frowned upon by bosses around here, like it's a personal failing), it does not affect my performance and ability to meet deadlines. That's because I've always pushed through the (excruciating) pain and overachieved. But, doing so takes a severe toll on my body/mind that others don't realize or take seriously. So I never get empathy in serious emergencies (one boss used to call me in the ICU while I was on a respirator to demand I complete work tasks. No kidding).
I'm currently job-hunting after a second layoff in 4 months (covid budget cuts). I can't perform manual jobs for obvious reasons. I am physically weak but motivated and well educated (not trying to brag, but just giving some context since you all don't know me). Basically, I thrive in white-collar desk jobs, as my body can't handle physical ones. Moreover, my husband is a teacher, whose pay is a joke despite how very HARD he works, and we live in an expensive metropolitan area. So, it's always been up to me to bread-win.
Many applications ask if I have a disability. Their definition of a disability always encompasses what I actually do have.
I know employers like to call themselves “equal opportunity employers”… but is it true? Since my ailments aren't visually apparent (this messed up world likes to compliment me for my underweight appearance, not realizing that it's unhealthy, so people tend not to take my struggles seriously).
Do I check “yes” on the disability question? I know hiring managers aren't “supposed” to discriminate, but do they still quietly do so in their minds? Will disclosure secretly ruin my chances?
Thank you, Redditors ️
Edit 1: Typos / clarifying details.
Edit 2: WOW, it's amazing how many people are downvoting a chronically-ill woman whose mortgage is at stake and who has a genuine question. Reddit has been a loving environment to many… this is my second post ever. I may never post again.