Just a quick post during my little break at work, since I’ve seemed more and more reluctant to get on the computer at night once I’m home. W was approved for disability last week…this is a HUGE deal for us! No rejection, no appeals, no re-applying…just an approval letter 4.5 months after the initial application.
The back pay has been very helpful in catching up with the small pile of medical bills we’ve collected. W will get a monthly check, and the kids will get a smaller check, and it will all help very much as we climb out of the financial hole this illness has created in that last 2 years.
It’s funny, a freind of mine asked how I felt about the disability approval, and, of course, called me out when I expressed my positivity at the financial help it will be. She wanted to know how the fact that he is now officially considered ‘disabled’ made me feel. It’s a thought I’ve been avoiding as I’ve tried to get through the paperwork and the waiting and the overall running of the household….but it was a good question.
After the initial relief it brought financially, I’ve found myself struggling a lot with depression this week. It’s a very odd depression…It’s an odd place in my thoughts that long for some sort of feeling I can’t find. I find myself lost in thought, thinking back to our time in Florida, and feeling this ache in my chest. And not just Florida…it’s a roledex of memories that swirl in my head and stop at some memory that makes me long for a pre-bipolar time. It’s the sudden mulling over a tragedy in the news, or the loss of friends through one of our many moves, or just a brief thought of a walk I took or some flowers I picked…it’s so random. I think of WJ and all he’s lost, and the questions of ‘when can we see so-an-so again’ or ‘can we go back to that beach’. It’s C asking me when we can go back to our ‘old house’….and the very firm ‘no’ I have been given from God that we will not be heading back there, even as the house is being given back to the bank.
I can feel spring so close now, just ready to burst forth, and I keep telling myself that this sadness, this mourning, is once again part of a cycle, and that soon it will fade with the winter and bare trees and cold wind. And as we settle here and make new memories, it will get better. But this week has just been so damn hard.
One of the great benefits at my current job is the ability to work while listening to various internet broadcasts that I normally would not have access to. There has been a very good series on suffering and trial this last week which I have clung to by a pastor called Chip Ingram. In the past my depressed thought would lead me to surround myself with music that would bring out my dark feelings more poignantly; I would wallow in them and allow myself to sink into a dark place. This time I am struggling to keep myself from that. It’s no help to me. I realized I mourn what my children have lost, but that I’m mourning in the present and it keeps me from them now, right now, when I could be helping them and helping myself move forward.
W continues to struggle with the anger he has over the diagnosis. It frustrates me to see him stuck, but I can just as easily become stuck too. Perhaps by really deliberately taking these steps forward to move away from the depression and dwelling on all we’ve lost, I can at least pull the kids along with me, and we can finally move forward and start living life again.