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Monday, July 6, 2015

Disability


My brain is barely working these days. I am so tired. My depression is kicking my ass. I am safe in my home. That is my cure for my anxiety and agoraphobia. My car is safe. I can go to the bank or the pharmacy or fast food. Anything with a drive thru is safe. I can't explain any of this. I feel safe at the little store at the end of the street. I think it is because I have always shopped there and I know all of the kids who work there. There are no other places that I feel safe. If I have to go anywhere else I have to mentally prepare myself for days. I visualize the place and where the doors are. I have to plan on parking in an aisle in front of the door so I can get to it quickly. When I get inside I have to be able to see the door.

I didn't realize my ability to see the door was even a problem until it was a problem. I was at Kroger. I go in the middle of the night because I know there will be very few people. I was in the frozen section and I turned my cart around to head back down the aisle and noticed that I could not see the door. My body started shaking and I had to calm myself down and steady my breathing. It was ridiculous. It pisses me off. I honestly cannot control it even though I realize it is irrational.

When my daughter picked out her wedding dress last month it was important that I go with her. I had been to that bridal shop before and I could visualize the outside and the floor plan of the inside. I could not go into the aisles with her. My breathing became short and I just shook my head to let her know I was going to have to stand at the end of the aisles and watch what she picked out. The section where people wait for the bride to come out and model the dresses was within eyeshot of the door so that went well. That was the last time I left the house until this weekend.

I have no money. Rent is due by the 5th. I own my home but not the lot. I had to have $385 to pay my rent. I have an amazing wardrobe, most of which still have the tags on them. Last year after my first panic attack and when I was starting to evaluate my depression and anxiety I realized that I had never, in my life, believed that I had any value. When I lost 175 pounds I didn't even buy clothes. I would get handed down clothes from friends or whatever fit at the thrift store. I literally had a pair of size 22 pants that I would wear when I had made it down to a 12 and I would use binder clips to fold and keep the pants up. It was ridiculous. I never thought I was worth spending money on. Ever. When my daughter went to college I really started to realize I had nothing. I had created my life around her. And then I found the man that I was going to spend the rest of my life with and I began taking care of he and his daughter. I had value again. When the disaster happened and I had to leave my new family, I had no value again. And for the first time, I realized it. My value has always been what I can give to others. Its sick, honestly. But its true. I believe today my value is $250K because that is the life insurance policy that would pay out if I die. Seriously. Thats it.

Last year I tried to force myself to care for myself. In my entire adult life I had never had a wardrobe that I had picked out full of things that I loved and I thought I was adorable in. So I went shopping and I bought a kick ass wardrobe. I felt pretty for the first time in a very long time. I was so excited to wear my new clothes. When I went back to work my girlfriends would take pictures of me every day to show off my new clothes. I was only able to work for three weeks before I had to go back on disability because my boss was still harassing me and I ended up having four more panic attacks. That was June 23 of 2014. I have since had no reason to wear anything other than old t-shirts from when I wore a 3x and a pair of panties. I don't leave my house. So I don't need that gorgeous wardrobe.

(The tutu was not part of my new wardrobe, my friend made it for the pride parade)

Yesterday I went to a resale shop to sell my wardrobe. It was easily valued at least $5k. Most of it still had tags on them. While at the store I had to stand by the door to feel comfortable. I didn't want the lady to think I was just keeping an eye on her or trying to get her to hurry up so I told her that I have agoraphobia and am very uncomfortable in public and I apologized if I was making her uncomfortable. When it was time to check out she told me that her friend used to have agoraphobia, too. I asked how she got over it. She said, "She ran out of money and had to get a job." I cannot let that go. I cannot stop being pissed at her ignorance and her arrogance. Agoraphobia comes from anxiety. Having no capacity to pay your bills adds to your anxiety. She made it sound like her friend was being ridiculous and she finally got over herself. I felt bad for her friend. I am sure that she either didn't have agoraphobia or she was also in treatment and/or receiving medications. Either way she completely dismissed my situation as if I could just 'get over it' if things just get a little bit worse.

I am disgusted by people who just make assumptions about people the second they hear that they are on disability. A lot of people just assume that they are taking advantage of the system. Our society has been conditioned to make that assumption. I finally applied for disability with Social Security in early April of this year (the disability I was on last year was from my job and I didn't feel bad taking it because they created the entire scenario and then made it worse by HR and upper management deciding to just ignore the whole thing entirely). I could have filed March 2014. I never filed because I always figured I would be better by now. I never thought I would still be here and even worse. I have overcome all of the shit life has handed me. I always find a way. I am (was) a bad ass. I don't care anymore. I don't even want to be alive. I cannot be well in this situation and expected to leave my house and go to a job when sometimes after mentally preparing myself to go to the grocery store in the middle of the night I still have panic attacks and have to just not go. I don't have it in me to heal on my own. And, again, I have been on a waiting list for care for a very long time. I finally have an appointment at the end of this month.

The next time you hear someone say that they are on disability assume they have something wrong with them. Don't automatically determine that they are one of the people who take advantage of the system. You can be doing a sincere harm to someone who really is pretty close to just saying 'fuck it' altogether. I told the lady at the rental office that I was waiting on my disability and she looked me up and down and I just knew what she was thinking.

I don't believe that most people aspire to land on disability. I certainly didn't. And I don't mean to be on it for the rest of my life. I hope that once I start having treatment and therapy I can get myself straightened out and get back to my life. Just remember, many issues people face are not seen as they stand before you. MANY. Give people care. And support. And respect. You don't know what other people are dealing with.

3 comments:

  1. You know what they say in life my dear friend...
    "Just wait untill it happens to them, then they will understand"
    (They will have to understand)
    If possible please try to slowly get into a form of exercise. .. anything... then after sometime... try to make a routine of it... writing is a good antidote as is drawing. .. writing poetry... fixing things... model making... etc...
    check out wordpress website... they have daily writing theme-tasks for their clients... (bloggers)

    http://khalilaliytheenlightenmentbomb.wordpress.com

    Thank you for sharing...

    Kindred spirit...

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  2. You have a right to be offended. It is a debilitating thing.... who would want this? who would pick agoraphobia of all things to fake?! Anyway, it is enough to suffer, but then to be mocked and disbelieved.... Krogers would be too much for anyone.

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  3. Thank you for sharing this, I am reminded of the adage of how everyone is going through something that no one else knows about. Be kind. Always.

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