On Friday, I began the process of canceling my Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. While I’m obviously thrilled to be starting my new job tomorrow, I have to admit that I was a bit nervous to start the process that will result in my no longer collecting benefits.
Even though I know the thought is irrational, there is a small part of me that can’t forget the long struggle to obtain the benefits I currently have. I will never forget the fear I faced and the disappointment I felt when I was struggling without my SSDI payments.
While I can’t wait to get started at my new job, there is a part of me that never wants to feel the way I felt while I was applying for benefits. The fear, shame, and disappointment I lived through are feelings I never want to experience again.
In my head, I know I’m going to work hard and do a great job. In my heart, I know I’m exactly where I should be now and that the difficulties were an important part of my story. Still, there is a small piece of me that is going to have to face down the fear of abject poverty, fighting for benefits, and wondering how things would be all right.
Someday, I’ll look back at this post and laugh. There is no reason for the small amount of nagging doubt that sometimes crosses my mind. Until that day, a smallll piece of me will wonder if the past I fought so hard to leave behind and that I never want to relive will once again be my present.
People who believe most people receiving benefits are happy to be in the system have no idea what they are talking about. Being in our demeaning, humiliating system of benefits can leave a person with scars that don’t heel upon the beginning of a new job or leaving the system. Maybe my first paycheck will do the trick.