Last night I came across some of my old notebooks. One in particular was from several years ago when I was trying to apply for Social Security Disability. I wrote my answers to the application in my notebook first so I could edit as needed. What followed was a daily entry of how I felt. It brought tears to my eyes to see what a dark place I was in at the time. The daily writings were pure self loathing, and gut wrenching sadness.
"I walk around always alone. No one to talk to, no one to help, I don't want pity I just want to be happy with me, but I don't know how"
" when I die no one will come to my funeral. No stories will be told about how I made a difference in anyone's life. I have no friends, the people I thought were always gonna be there won't. I'm a wasted excuse for a life, waste, insignificant, hollow,nothing."
Those are just a couple entries, but there are many more just like them. Why?
Applying for SSDI is a rough process. Not just because of the fact that it's hard to get approved, but the amount of paperwork which is needed. The application is very long and involved. You need medical records, and letters from your Doctor. Employment dates and reasons for leaving. Just gathering all those items is enough to exhaust a person. Then comes the time to actually put it all together and fill out the application.
I think the process of filling out the SSDI application really drove home the fact that I was not able to work any longer. I tried so hard for so many years to be a "productive" member of society. To have it all there in writing, the jobs I lost, the independence I lost, the friends, the sense of safety, things that all slowly eroded from my life over the twenty years MS has been eating away at my brain.
I was actually approved very quickly without having to to use a lawyer on my initial application. I know it helped that my husband is in the military, and our local Congress Woman is very involved with our base. I appealed to her for help and she graciously took an interest in my case. I was lucky. Although I was thrilled to have had my benefits approved and money coming in, I still had that overwhelming sense of loss.
It has taken several years to overcome those feelings, I needed a therapist to help. I tell myself this just a new phase of life. I still get down sometimes like everyone, but I write it down and move on.
If you or anyone you know has these feelings please seek help. Talk to your doctor, his nurse, a local clergy member, a support group, anyone, but don't keep it inside.