Dealing with Definitions

So I’m “officially” disabled. After going through state disability here in California, and then waiting on the interminable process of being approved for Federal disability, I’m finally official, according to the government. Heck, I even got one of those nifty blue placards for parking my car, which I intend only to use when my legs go all gimpity on me (although those disabled spots look pretty good during the holiday season).

And what’s the first thing I discovered upon being brought into the System? That I can’t afford to live on what the System allows. I have no idea how anyone with a family can. My monthly check is just a hair more than what my health insurance (which I must pay for myself) costs me.

This means that if I want to stay in Southern California (and that is by no means a given), I need to work. Despite what my doctors think, I need to return to the field that I have come from, which generally calls for 60+ hour work weeks. How I’ll do that, I don’t know, but I know that I have to for my family.

So I’ve begun the job search. And in over three months, I’ve had one interview, one rejection, and over three dozen applications that receive no response whatsoever. I don’t know whether to chalk it up to the fact that this is a truly rotten time to be begging for decent work, hat in hand, or if it’s a case where in many cases it’s better to hire two twenty-somethings with no experience (but a lot of moxy!) than a forty-year old who can get the same work done quicker and right the first time, but will ask for a little more money because of it.

So that’s a humdinger to deal with.

And then there’s the ongoing drama of realizing that I am disabled. Maybe not in the sense that first springs to most people’s minds, but the truth is that my life is not what it once was. So often I get frustrated because I can’t do it all. The truth of the matter is that some days I nearly can’t do much of anything, or that I shouldn’t do much of anything, but I push myself farther than I should.

I want to do the best for my family, for my wife and kids, and for myself. But the combination of health, family, financial, and economical circumstances have come together in that perfect storm that’s put my back against the proverbial wall.

I’ll keep fighting, because I know that I have to. I know that there’s a better situation if I continue to persevere and believe that God has a plan in all this. It doesn’t change my view right now, but it does help me hold on as I wait.


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