Sunday, May 27, 2012

so now what?

Yesterday my official "notification of decision -- fully favorable" for my disability claim came in the mail.

It's really true. It's really going to happen. I'm really going to be forcibly retired before I'm out of my 40s.

Why, you are probably asking, did I file a claim if I wasn't interested in having it come through?

Well, there's the need thing. I haven't been able to hold a 40-hour job in years now. The only way I've survived is through the kindness of a very generous man who also happens to be a psychologist, so he understands mental health (or lack thereof) and what I can and can't do. He's let me work as I can for him. Someone else I met via that website has also employed me from time to time. I've written off and on for the weekly newspaper here, did a brief stint at the Bullseye (plenty of previous blog entries on that), one serving lunch to old folks at a senior center -- lots of things.

But as my mental health has deteriorated, so has my inability to do much that's meaningful. When you can't even get out of bed long enough to take a shower and get dressed because you feel so damn bad, much less clean your apartment or fix yourself lunch, work isn't really a priority.

My psychiatrist thinks I need this. My therapist thinks I need this. Everyone on earth thinks I need this, and I'll even grudgingly admit I do.

But you know? At the same time, I don't want it. I'd rather contribute than mooch. I earned it -- I worked for decades, paid into the system, am now getting my tax dollars back out -- but nevertheless, it's hard on the pride. Not to mention it's hard to figure out WTF I'm going to do with the rest of my life. I wasn't set to retire till I was 67. That's another 20 years. So now what do I do with my days, since I officially have nothing to do and nowhere to go? Should I take up an instrument? Learn to bungee jump? Play Words with Friends 8 hours a day? What is out there for me?

I can work a little bit and still receive benefits. I'm told that I can have a trial period to test it out if I ever decide I'm healthy enough for full-time again. I can't see that ever happening. Just over the last two years things have declined so badly that I can't see them getting better, just continuing to get worse.

WTH am I supposed to do with myself now?

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