I am sure I am not alone when I say one of the biggest parts of dealing with the effects of PTSD, Panic Disorder, Anxiety and Depression is the loss of one’s identity. It is multifaceted with so many levels of loss sometimes I lose count.
Being unable to work and provide for myself is a constant nagging and regurgitating loss that never stops giving negative feelings and emotions. I can’t work in my current condition. I was not a top earning, highly educated professional, but I had a career in automobile dealership management that provided a decent living. A highly stressful job with long hours, it had many drawbacks; yet many rewards. I haven’t worked in my former career for two years. In a vain effort to maintain control over myself I continued to suppress, deny, and distract from my conditions. I bounced from job to job attempting to find something I could sustain. My illnesses interfered with each and every one of the them until finally I became so agoraphobic and panic stricken that I would leave in the middle of the day and couldn’t return. I couldn’t hold a job. Finally, my doctors advised against working and had me file for disability and concentrate on healing myself.
I understand the logic of this approach and it is very slowly working. Each day is different. A good day gives me hope that I will be soon be ready to return to my former life. Conversely, a bad day simply reminds me that I have tons of work to do on myself.
I’ve yet to accept the reality of my situation. I cling to my desire to be a fully functioning member of working society, providing for myself and my partner. Instead I am reliant on others to provide for me. I have no income. My self worth ebbs and flows. I need money and don’t know what I can do to in my condition to get any.
Social Security Disability is a system with so many flaws I don’t have the time or patience to list them. It’s a long and arduous process that someone with a disability, any disability, should not have to endure. For someone with mental health issues its even harder because the disability is not cut and dry like blindness or loss of limb. The process is beyond frustrating.
I add the loss of my professional identity to the long list of losses I’ve endured over the past five years. Unfortunately this loss keeps repeating itself in a never ending loop every time I need a dollar to pay a bill, shop for food and every time I have to seek assistance and rely on someone else for my sustenance.