Have you ever felt like you’re stuck in the mud? While some animals revel in romping through the muck, I am not one of those creatures. When I feel stuck, there’s a total loss of momentum. And a feeling of lost time. A case in point, for the last 3 months, it’s been very difficult to keep up with my blog because nothing seems good enough for you, the readers. I’ve spent hours writing posts but haven’t had the courage to share. I’m sure this anxiety is a direct result of my withdrawal symptoms that I’m still recovering from. But you should know, I haven’t been neglecting you. I’ve been stuck and hesitant to bring you into that uncomfortable space with me.
One of my favorite books is Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”, which talks about The Waiting Place.
“Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come,
or a plane to go or the mail to come,
or the rain to go or the phone to ring,
or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.”
The Waiting Place is where I’ve been for the past 3 1/2 years. Before I weaned off of Klonopin, I didn’t have the energy to think about it. I was tired and sleepy all the time and unable to retain information, due to the zombie-like state I was constantly in. Now that I have the opposite problem of being alert all the time, I am frustrated about being in The Waiting Place. What is it that keeps me here?
Some of you may know about the process of being on long-term disability. It isn’t easy. One of the terms of being on LTD, at least in my case, is to apply for Social Security Disability. So I began that journey in 2013, and I’ve been stuck there ever since. When you are applying for SSD, you can’t go to a vocational rehabilitation expert to find out what jobs you MIGHT be able to work because that will make it look like you are capable of working. For the same reason, you also can’t volunteer. Yet, when you are denied over and over again with only a five-year window for getting approved, you are essentially running on borrowed time. The collection of long-term disability isn’t guaranteed as those companies are always trying to get out of paying the monthly allowance that employees have spent years contributing to.
If I start working, then the problems arise if I discover that I truly can’t do it. LTD and SSD will question that inability since I was obviously “able” to go back to work. And now, when I’m not able to consult with an expert to find out if I’m able to work at all, I’m stuck at home, where the hours pass by very slowly. Yes, there’s chronic pain, muscle spasms, and the pulling of my neck. But I also worry about financial stability and personal fulfillment. I long to make a difference in people’s lives once again, which is very difficult to do from my living room. Thus, I’m stuck in that waiting place.
Have you ever been in a waiting place? How would you cope with this kind of situation? I don’t have any answers. I’m constantly looking for them. Perhaps, the mere fact that I’m now aware of being in the Waiting Place is a step forward. So much of what I’ve been experiencing is unexplored territory, and I’d like to think this is a topic we can explore together.
My Hopes: For me, I certainly hope I can find my way out of the Waiting Place. I want to think that I’d be nonjudgmental when communicating with others who are stuck on a similar path. However, it’s not as easy to suspend that judgment when looking at my own life.
My hope for all of us is that we can create a space to explore all these issues, to provide answers for others who are seeking advice about these unbeaten paths. What keeps you in The Waiting Place? I hope you feel comfortable enough to share because it really helps to know we’re not alone.