Monday, February 18, 2013

Tormented By Two Little Letters

It's been ever so long it seems, that I've been awaiting a determination from our dear Social Security Administration. Well I finally received word from them. On February 7, as a matter of fact. They were indeed, as they warn so frequently happens, denials. One each for SSI (social security income) and SSDI (disability).
The letters say " are not disabled or blind under our rules". They go on to say, after listing a diagnosis that's not mine as well as a provider that's not mine, "While your mental health may cause you some concern, you are able to think, reason and act on your behalf. The evidence indicates you are capable of doing work not requiring a great deal of training."

Let me give you some words here:

N O. Two letters that weren't even written but have managed to bring so much pain.
When I read the letters, even though I know it's not personal, which is the problem, I had a very hard time letting go. I instantly felt severe rejection. These letters weren't just telling me that I wasn't 'disabled under their rules', they were telling me that there was nothing wrong with me. All I 'heard' when I read them was; There's nothing wrong with you. Suck it up. Quit looking for attention.
There's nothing wrong with you.
My mental health may cause me some concern. Hm. Yeah. It causes me some concern. Spending the better part of a month in a mental institution due to my mental health caused me some concern. Not being able to make it through the day without wanting to kill myself without medication has caused some concern. Having to take medication (known to cause dependence) just to be able to pick up my phone without a full fledged anxiety attack has caused me some concern. Being able to take care of my kids illicits some not-so-mild concern.The complete and total lack of ability to walk into some place I don't know without a full on anxiety attack causes concern. Not being able to take care of errands or tasks, or letting things lapse because I can't go somewhere or use the phone to address them has caused some concern.
But I'm "able to think, reason and act" on my behalf. Right!
My meds have gotten me to a pretty functional place. For now. What if I accidentally miss a dose? What if I can't pay for them? What if, as is incredibly common, they need tweaking and I'm thrown off? What if .....?
For goodness' sake, I am almost completely incapable of getting up before 9:30 in the morning because of my medications and even that's a big stretch. And no, it doesn't matter what time I take them and go to bed. I've tried.
So now I have to go through the appeal process, which here in the state of Colorado, means you request a hearing. According to a lawyer's website, who I hope will take on my appeal, it can take up to 2 years to get a hearing date. 2 more + years potentially. 2 more years of not being able to contribute in any way to our financial situation. 2 more years of feeling like a complete and total effing loser. Of feeling like shit because there's all this stuff that I have to deal with but it doesn't merit recognition from the government. Because according to them, it's not significant enough... I'm not significant enough...

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