A Day In My Life

The appointment yesterday with the disability consultant went well despite my anxieties. She managed to accomplish in less than an hour what took me a full 3 days to work out the first time around. This time around it was basically a matter explaining how my symptoms have worsened since the first denial. In another 3 – 6 months, I should hear something, whether it’s another denial (which in the state of TN is almost guaranteed) or it’s approved. For anyone who has never filled out a Function Report for Social Security, let me just say, it brings up all these doubts and insecurities that make me question pretty much everything about my life. Do I really deserve to receive SSD? Why can’t I just make myself work a job like everyone else? Am I simply being lazy, stubborn, or otherwise unjustified in filing my claim? So many people have much worse disabilities – lost limbs, lost eyesight or hearing, developmental problems, etc.; yet many of these people work. Why do I feel incapable of working? These questions always leave me feeling worthless and less than human – like I don’t even deserve to live, much less receive money for simply existing. These feelings, questions, doubts, and insecurities began during the review process in January 2012 after I had already received SSD for 5 years. Dealing with them for the last 2 years has worn me out, stolen my hope.

In order to cope yesterday, I cleaned my house, not just any cleaning, but a thorough cleaning, like the beginnings of spring cleaning. I’m obsessive about having a clean house. I hate clutter. I despise filth. But I also hate cleaning, and it’s been a couple of months since the house had a decent sterilization. I cleaned myself into sheer exhaustion. The pet hair was insane! I had to empty the vacuum cleaner twice. I laundered all the blankets, pet bedding, and separation curtains (we don’t have doors on any of the rooms in this house other than the computer room and bathroom). Unfortunately, it’s rather difficult to mop the floors in this trailer because all of the tiles are breaking up. The kitchen floor is horrendous! Daily sweeping takes forever, and I’ve ruined more pairs of socks than I can count due to the broken tiles slicing holes in them. It’s even worse without socks. I’ve actually cut my feet on this floor. Maybe, it’s the fact that this house is falling apart that I feel I can’t get it clean enough or the ants crawling all over everything that we can’t get under control. It’s depressing to live in something comparable to a shack. Enough about that, though. We should have moved when we had the money; and now that we don’t, I don’t see a move anytime soon. No sense in complaining about it.

Today, my case manager visited. Apparently, my therapist did receive my email that I spoke about in The Coin Toss; and he let my case manager read it. I was embarrassed. I told her that I wished I hadn’t sent it, really wished I had not sent it, that I felt stupid for the things I wrote. She tried to assure me that it was a good thing that I sent it because I needed to be honest about how I am feeling with them. Honesty is hard when I’m struggling to trust others and struggling to find purpose to hold onto. They’re concerned. Great, so am I. Now that we’ve gotten the concerned part out-of-the-way, what do I do about it? How do I cope with these feelings that wash over me in waves, causing me to feel like I’m drowning? She asked if I had given any more thought to the respite care thing. I said I would consider it, but that I was worried that they would force medication on me.

There has to be a better solution than medicating problems away. To me, psychiatric drugs are no better than street drugs or alcohol. Maybe, they help some people; but they never helped me, not in the entire 13 years I was on them. I don’t like the impulsiveness that they create in me. I don’t like the way they deaden my emotions. I want to feel my emotions, even if those emotions cause my life to feel threatened. I don’t like how they steal my creativity. I don’t like the way life feels foggy, like I’m seeing everything through a thick dense fog. Medication is not the answer; and my greatest fear, which was the fear that kept me out of therapy for so many years, is that I have to choose between having a creative life or a sane life. I really can’t stress my fear of medication and doctors, in general, enough. A small part of me knows that this is irrational; but I have to consider the possibility that even an irrational fear may have some truth to it.

I have an appointment with my therapist on Monday. At least, we’ll have the email I sent to talk about. I’m kind of dreading this appointment because I just remembered that I haven’t seen my therapist since before New Year’s Eve. He’ll probably want to discuss New Year’s Eve, too.

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2 thoughts on “A Day In My Life

  1. I don’t know much about disability benefits in Ontario, but I’m learning from my girlfriend in Ottawa who finally IS receiving them. But I know less about them in the States. As if I know anything – I say don’t compare your disability to anyone else’s. Yours are less visible, less tangible maybe, but just as debilitating. Just saying.

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