It’s Official: I’m Crazy!

Yes, I know I’m writing on the Sabbath again.  It was a choice between that, or taking lethal doses of drugs that I have especially tucked away for the purpose, should the time come when I really can’t bear it anymore.

I went before a federal disability judge today.  He looked exactly the way I saw him in my dream last night: 40-ish, dark haired, looking beneficent in his dark robes.  If he were not so cherubic he might recall the Grim Reaper.

The hearing lasted all of fifteen minutes, quite the anticlimax for a two year span spent gathering a stack of paper charts and reports several feet thick, going to court-appointed mental health examiners, showing up at lawyer appointments, ad nauseam, and for all that not really knowing what the benefit to myself could possibly be.  I have a very nice (thank God) private disability policy that I paid for out of my pocket while I was working, and I had to fight tooth and nail to force the *&^% insurance company to pay up when I got sick, all the while so deep in depression that I could not get out of my chair, let alone fight a battle with an insurance company that would stop at nothing (including surveillance) to keep from parting with their money.  That was in the early years of the 2000’s, and I have been kept not nearly as comfortable as I was when I was working, yet certainly not starving.

And now comes my therapist and starts pushing me to apply for Social Security Disability, mostly because half of my present income goes to paying deductibles and co-payments, and she feels that the Medicare that comes with the SSD would provide substantial financial relief.

I suppose that is true.  I won’t receive more income really, because the private insurance might possibly decrease in proportion to the government payments, which won’t be much anyway because of the twelve years that I was a student becoming a doctor and did not earn enough to pay taxes.  Ironic, that.

But all of that financial stuff is not what has me writing on the Sabbath.

It is the judgement, the final judgement, and the finality of the judgement, that I am mentally disabled.  That I cannot go back to work in the profession I love, that I was so deeply in love with that I sacrificed almost everything.

I am Officially Crazy.

I feel like I should immediately take shopping bags and fill them with dirty clothes and go out on the street with my hair looking wild.

Maybe I should have a scarlet letter “C” tattooed on my forehead.

I’m glad I have an anti-suicide pact with my oldest friend (I wonder if he remembers).  It helps me to stay away from the lethal cocktail.

I wonder, will the news reach the State Medical Board, and will they take away my license?  Even though I haven’t practiced medicine since April 4, 2000, I have carefully maintained my license, religiously racking up the Continuing Medical Education points every year, even though I can no longer afford to go to the snazzy conferences that I used to go to, to learn about all kinds of tips and tricks and topics and shmooze with the colleagues, when they would speak to me: after word got around that I am mentally ill, I found myself shunned by my pediatrics chums so I took up going to surgery meetings instead, where nobody knew me and I could learn in peace.  Ah well, those were the days; they are no more.  I will never practice medicine again.  It has been too long, and the disease and the drugs have taken their toll on my cognition.

I think I’ll just keep on getting drunk tonight.  I have a pretty good start already.  I don’t like being drunk, generally speaking; but I need something to numb the pain, and I don’t dare open a pill bottle.

Crazy Person, good night.

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6 Comments

  1. Sending you a really big hug here. I am sorry to hear that this judgement has caused you so much distress when it was meant to do the opposite. Hopefully in time it will get easier for you to accept and in the long run to your benefit.

    Reply
  2. Shavua tov. Well it is here in the U.K. I am unfamiliar as to all the proccesses you refer to because they are American. But the significance of them is clear. I cannot imagine what it must be like to be faced with having to step away from a career like that. I am unclear as to wether this is a permenant and irrevocable step.

    I find the possibility of suicide a cruel comfort (I think about it most weeks. That and leaving my family). I have never heard the term anti – suicide pact before what does that mean exactly?

    Please keep posting (Shabbos or not).

    With love,
    Nicolas

    Reply
    • Shavua Tov, Nicolas. I managed to keep away from the computer until Motzaei, after my post. Sigh. The whole issue of being officially designated as “100% disabled” by a federal judge is just too big for me to go into here. Maybe I’ll tackle it in a future post. Sounds like it might be useful for others. For me, it’s a double edged sword. It gives me certain rights, but then I have to live with that albatross: “I am disabled.” OK, so I knew that; what’s different now? Guess it must be the albatross…

      Anti-suicide pact: it’s the opposite of a suicide pact, which is when two (or more) people commit to committing suicide, together or separately. My oldest friend and I both found ourselves in deep suicidal depression about ten years ago. We swore to one another that we would not commit suicide. So that was our anti-suicide pact. It has been helpful, as an external motivator: I can’t kill myself because I took a solemn oath to S_ that I wouldn’t.

      This is another place where I find having a service dog (or any dog, for that matter) helpful. If I killed myself, I would be abandoning my dog. One time I got so serious about it (many years ago) that I actually gave away my dog, and my horse too, in preparation for suicide. That time I had myself committed to the hospital until I got over it enough to trust myself. I know what you mean about “cruel comfort.” That is very well said.

      May we see better times soon….take care.

      Reply
  3. Sending you love and hugs xxx

    Reply
  4. Thanks, Ruth xoxo

    Reply

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