Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Take this job and love it

Soon after I returned to the northern Virginia area, I started looking for a therapist. For some crazy-ass reason, the new job, the switch to full-time wheelchair use, giving up driving and my return home had not solved all my problems. I was still lonely and unhappy.

I found a good and kind person to talk to and one of her ideas was to go on full-time disability. I guess she thought it would give me time to do more enjoyable things and things I should be doing to get the most out of my body (exercise). Plus, it would certainly be less tiring than working.

I wouldn't consider it, I told her, because it would not allow me to live in the manner to which I was accustomed. This was really sad because journalism is not the most lucrative of careers.

Even more than that, though, I worried that most of the things I'd do with my time off might be enjoyable and easier than work but they would not make me less lonely. I can see writing and reading and sleeping more, none of which are really activities you do with other people. Work is the only place I engage with people I am not related to. That was true then and is still true now.

So when my sister, who has been calling disability groups to find financing for our house, tells me that no one can believe that someone with Friedreich's ataxia is working full time, I don't even consider applying for disability. Even on days like today, after a night when I sat bolt up in bed at 1 a.m. sure the fire alarm was going off only to realize my ears were ringing, when the para-transit kept me on the bus for almost two hours, when all I wanted to do at work was sleep.

I could sleep on disability, but who wants to awake and alert if I am the only one around.


Anonymous said...

now do you belive us when we say you are amazing?

Anonymous said...

Em should tell them that we know two men with FA who work full-time (or at least until Sheri lets Tony quit to play video games full time).

Matt said...

I know I am amazing; I just wish that translated more into happiness, wealth, etc. Not just tiredness.

And while Tony will be 40 this year, I ain't a man. I'm a boy.

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