I am afraid. I believe pretty strongly that I lost my disability hearing and since would be "Strike 3" then even if there were a reason to appeal the attorney begins to charge versus taking a % of the back pay. There is some question whether we could appeal since they have accepted all the diagnosis'. They agree with back/hip/borderline/depression so its really a matter of how much they perceive this affects my ability to work Full time.
Fear is often based on not understanding something. This weekend as I began to explore what it would mean to go back to work it scared me. So what is it that scares me? I like to work, I love being on a team. I like to help people. I am an introvert with the occasional extrovert streak, I like to be around people but only occasionally as it costs a lot to my physical and Mental health to constantly be around others.
What scares me is the fear of failure. Plain and simple. There is so much at stake when I do go back to work. The constant thought of "is this my disorder" running my thought process. The fear of people "knowing or finding out" about this. The extreme fear of simply being so overwhelmed I leave.
Please don't think for a moment I haven't told myself a whole bunch of times "Michael, this [job] is your last chance, don't do anything stupid or quit." Probably since 1996. Many times. Here is where the reader needs to understand the complexity and science of these disorders. My fear of abandonment predominates every thought, action and belief I have...and it has been that way for 44 years.
I don't offer that as an excuse but it is the way my brain works.That's the part that needs the time to heal and be trained. That's the reason MY recovery must examine my past and in a frank and honest way. There is a lot at stake. I have a wife and 2 girls at home.
We talked in therapy about my writing and my short term goals. I have four.
1- Secure enough money to get through the end of the year
2- Just breathe. Just wait till you get the notice on your case. I can't control it and maybe there is a lesson to be learned there
3- Write. Write a book, a memoir whatever. Publish it, don't publish it. But write.
4- Be there for others and for my wife and kids. Just let them know you care.
Another aspect of people with borderline is that when we are working our home life begins to slide. The amount of energy it takes to just get through a work day drains us (me) physically, mentally and emotionally. Not a healthy life.
We talked a lot about my writing. What it means to me and the potential it has to reach others. He suggested I write the governor of Kansas a letter and also mail it to the KC Star. That was an interesting thought. I have often stated that the very people that are automatically inclined to be against me would have a very different take after a cup of coffee with me. If I were going to write such a letter I think I would focus on
1- Penniless is powerless.
2- Somewhere the word "entitlement programs" was used as a talking point. The system is now designed to PRESUME you are trying to abuse it so EVERY case is met with a presumption of denial.
3- No one doubts I can't work on my feet any more. Why would I even be in an appeal process with an additional diagnosis that the state classifies as "SPMI" (Severely and persistently Mentally Ill)
4- I have a wife and kids like you do. I want the same things you do. To keep them safe, to provide the BEST I can and right now I feel abandoned by my state I proudly call home
I would end by talking about how hard it is to ask for help. How powerless the person is in the system. How what little dignity I had is gone. I would ask him to think about me, my family and thousands of other suffering Kansans' that are denied the help they need because of this presumption of abuse.
My disability would pay us about $24,000/year. This is well below the poverty line. I only point this out so people can honestly see that no one is getting rich here.
But I have to examine what life looks like denied. Not only is it prudent but man I can't believe I am going to win so its like a sucker bet. Basically I feel like whether I am ready or not I better get ready. There is honestly part of my narcissism that feels like I could be a great boss/employee...but that's the danger of feeling ready too soon or being pushed towards that too soon.
I talk a lot about my faith. This is when it is tested the most. I don't believe this is what my life becomes I only believe it is what it is...for now. When doubt begins creeping in I always go to this song.