Well, phase one of my Social Security odyssey has begun; I just had a 20-minute conversation with my attorney’s legal assistant that’s going to get the ball rolling on my disability claim.
It felt so awkward, talking to a stranger on the phone about my health issues. I’m OK with writing about them in this space because the Internet is so anonymous, but reading off my medication list and giving intimate details about how bipolar has affected my life and my ability to work just feels weird. I don’t know why. I’m sure this fellow has dealt with far worse issues than mine. But I’m going to have to get used to it, because this is only the beginning.
We’re going for broke on this. ALL of my medical conditions will count towards my eligibility and with any luck, prove to the powers that be that I really do need to be on Social Security. And I have to admit, if I were to review a chart like mine, I’d say it’s pretty impressive. High blood pressure. Diabetes. Asthma. Arthritis. Metabolic syndrome. Bipolar. Not to mention bad knees, bad back, chronic obesity and alcoholism. I used to joke that I wouldn’t have been admitted as a resident to my own assisted-living facility with my medical record, but I don’t think it’s very funny anymore.
So why do I feel like such an asshole for doing this?
Because it still feels like I’ve given up, even though I continue to search for jobs I think I can handle both physically and mentally. I confess that I’ve looked at a couple recently that I know I can’t handle, simply because they are familiar and they pay well. How I wish I could do that kind of work again; at least I was able to support my family and have a few bucks left over to go to the coast or see a movie once in awhile. But after losing two jobs and quitting another within a year’s time, I know I can’t get around it anymore. All the evidence points to the fact that I really am doing the right thing.