SSDI: The Elephant in the Room

So, there’s an elephant in my living room lately, one you’re probably not aware of or thought was a sofa or something because you’re new, but I assure you it’s an elephant.

Or maybe a giraffe?  Large, stinky, and hard to ignore, that’s what it is.

One Acronym.


Social Security Disability Insurance.

As in i have it.  Or rather had it.  My last payment was May 3rd, 2017, and I’ve got to admit I’m freaking out a little here.

SSDI saved my bacon when I was at my sickest.  It kept me from being homeless, but more importantly it got me health insurance so we could find out what was wrong with me and try to fix it.  Or improve it.  Mitigate it.

So, I got on meds, and I got a little better.  And I got a lot bored.  I’m not a TV watcher, and it galled me to sit at home and do nothing, especially when my husband was busting his tail to keep us afloat.

And then I got a little better, so I started actively practicing my writing again.

A little better, and I started helping out now and then at my husband’s work.

And then I stopped getting better.  Stopped improving.

I looked in the mirror and asked myself, “Is this as good as I’m going to get?”  I stayed at this level, all the while chafing at the idea that this was my life now, and I was stuck with it.  No future.  Boredom.  Poverty.

Unless I wasn’t.  Stuck that is.

If this was as healthy as I was going to get, shouldn’t I try working again and stop being a burden?

Frankly, I was terrified.  I had crashed and burned my bridges so badly before that just the thought set off an anxiety attack and weeks of midnight freak outs.   But the idea stuck.  It began to grow on me.

And then I found out about Ticket to Work.  Now, I’m not a poster child for the program, and I’m not going to endorse it as What You Should Do.  There are no politics involved in this post.  Only you know what you should do.  You.  Not me.

But for me, I thought I could work a few hours and try things out and test my boundaries.  Instead I ended up (through many steps that I won’t list in this post) in a project position with the state.  My 12 months of Ticket to Work have passed at a wonderful job.

And my benefit has ended.

All I can think is that I’m going to screw it up royally and ruin everything and be sicker than before and it will all be my fault and my fault alone.  A new and exciting failure to think about at three a.m. when I’m too manic to sleep or during long car rides with only me and my inner voice rehashing how horrid I am.

I still have the insurance for a few years, but now it’s all on me, and there are SO MANY ways this can detonate, and I assure you I’ve been wallowing in them all.

But I’m trying.  And that’s what matters, right?