Friday, July 30, 2004

Good news, kinda

I got some good news today for a change. My social security disability claim was approved. I was afraid to open the envelope because I had a feeling it contained the final determination. Of course I figured it would be denied so I'd been dreading its arrival. I've read it at least half a dozen times, making sure it really does say approved.

You'd think I'd feel some sense of relief. For at least the next three years I don't have to worry about working and I'll still have money coming in. But I'm full of anxiety, guilt and feeling even more defective. The anxiety is because I keep thinking they made a mistake and will send me another letter telling me I was really denied.

The guilt is from feeling like I'm collecting benefits I don't deserve to be. If I have a reasonable day and get out of the house, even if just to run to the store, I don't feel sick enough to be staying home. I feel like I'm just being lazy. That I should be out working like everyone else, supporting myself. Of course this is contradictory to a lot of my other thoughts. I know I'm not well enough to function outside the home. The stresses of every day life are far too overwhelming. The littlest problem arises and my emotions are off the chart.

Then there's the feeling of being even more defective. That stems from my not being able to accept what's wrong with me is real. That it is a legitimate illness. In order for the social security office to approve my application, they had to review all my medical records and work history. From those records they've determined that I'm too screwed in the head to work. They didn't even question it, I was approved on the first try...something I was told is rare in disability cases. I was told most cases are denied and then have to head into the appeal process. Even then it's hard to get approved. But that didn't happen. One look at my records and I was approved. Am I really that sick in the head??

Why can't I just accept things for what they are? Why do I have to question everything? Why can't I just accept that I am very sick? Everything is always at odds with everything else in my head. It's a constant battle. You'd think after all these years that one side would have ended up victorious, but the battle rages on. I won't let myself be happy, yet I don't want to be so sad all the time. I want to die, but there's a part of me fighting for life. It's like those cartoons where there's an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. Each side is telling me what to do and I don't know which way to turn. My own personal nightmare that I never get to wake up from.


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