Some of you may know and most of you may not know that I'm Bipolar and I suffer from PTSD. Because of this, I haven't ever held a job for longer than two years and the last time I "worked" was some ten years ago. I feel really guilty about this. Even when my therapist and my pdoc say it would be a BAD IDEA for me to try to get a job as of yet, I feel guilty. I feel like I don;t contribute anything to our household. I feel bad that my husband has to be the wage-earner eventhough he's told me repeatedly that he'd rather have less money and a sane wife than someone who's suicidal from going to a job she hates. It's not just a particular job. It's any job. The concept of JOB, to me, means pain, never earning enough, never having tiome to yourself, being exhausted all the time...you get the picture.
So Anyway, this summer I took the plunge and decided to apply for disability because I can't work.
It's hard for me to say "can't work." In my brain I believe I just WON'T work because I'm lazy. But I've been told I can't work and I try to believe that. It's hard.
Well, I just got a big package of MORE FORMS to fill out to verify the extent of my disability. The very first question was, "Give a detailed description of your day from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed at night." The problem with this is that they only allowed you about a third of a page to give this detailed description. I had to continue on the back of the page but it still wasn't enough. A real analysis would go something like this:
"I get up really late because I want to be asleep all the time because my bed is the only place I really feel safe. I pour myself a cup of coffee left over from the coffee my husband made in the morning. I feel bad that I don;t get up earlier and see him off to work or school, and that I don't have a job of my own. I spend a few moments thinking about how lazy I am. Then I spend about two hours in front of my computer perusing internet headlines and visiting various forums where I have the only friends in my life because I'm so afraid of real people that I don't have any real friends. After I've done this for a while, I begin to feel guilty because I'm spending time on something so unimportant, so I get up from my chair and make breakfast, which is always the same thing (yoghurt and granola with a sliced banana, if anyone cares). I take my numerous meds if I remember. Usually it takes me a while to remember and I have a moment of, "Oh, meds, right, I'm not normal." After this I clean up the kichen a little so at least last night's dishes aren't strewn all over the palce. I wash my face and wonder if I'm going to get dressed today. About this time, I start having an anxiety attack because I start thinking of all the things I should be doing, like cleaning the house and weeding in the garden and going downtown to check the post. My palms start sweating. Sometimes I manage to force myself to go out despite the panic and sometimes I don't. So I spend the rest of my day feeling bad because I didn't go out and do things. I berate myself constantly for the state of my yard and house. I tell myself I know people with far greater disabilities than I have who not only manage to do all these things but have jobs as well and kids too, and I wonder if I''m just a lazy piece of shit.
I try to read sometimes but I can't concentrate on anything more than about 30 minutes before I have to put it away and do something else. I stare at my flute case and think about practicing and don;t. Then I spend some time feeling bad about that. After which I probably play computer games and continue to cruise the internet for a while. I think about writing and don't. I feel guilty about that. I tell myself that a real writer would just get over all this, that it's the censor in me trying to make me not write and I should fight it but I don;t feel I have what it takes to fight--or is that just an excuse?
When my husband comes home we sit around for a while and stare at the walls, him because he's so tired from working or from school and me because I can;t think of anything to say. He asks me how my day has been and it's always the same. After a while we throw together some dinner and I think about all the elaborate Indian dinners I used to cook before I got so depressed, that I can't be bothered to deal with now. Sometimes I'm not even up to cooking and my husband does it.
After dinner, we sit around and drool some more before my husband starts on his homework. I try to read some more but usually end up playing computer games until bedtime and thinking about all the things I used to do.
And that's what MY day looks like. How's yours?