The Report

I received an update letter in the mail that asked a short series of very simple questions. Or, most of them were simple except for two of them. They are:

1. Have you attended any school or work study program?

2. Have you discussed with your doctor whether you can work or not?

That’s it. Those two questions have terrified the shit out of me since I first read them. I wasn’t sure what to say. Here are answers:

1.Yes I have attended school

2. Yes, my doctor and I have discussed whether or not I can return to work (both of my doctors have said no.)

What had me freaked was how can I justify going back to school yet not be able to work? If I can do one, then I should be able to do te other…correct?

Wednesday my therapist pointed it out simply by saying “No, I don’t think you can return to work. I encouraged you to take classes and your number of withdrawals and poor grades have been a good gauge to determine that you are just not ready yet.” He told me to just fill out the form, send it in and don’t worry about it. He then continued with “The worse that can happen is they put you under review, which means they’ll talk with me and review your notes with me, which will show you aren’t ready yet.”

I’m going to take the form with me to my appointment with my pdoc today. I’ll bring up the same fears/questions. I already know from previous conversations that he’ll say the exact same thing as my therapist.

So, what am I so worked up about? Two things actually. First, that even though I’ll get assurances from both my doctors and both have told me they are not going to allow me to go back to work before my time, I still worry I’ll get cut from the program. Now, these are two very intelligent men who have dealt with this many, many times before, yet I’m still scared shitless by this letter.

Secondly, and this is the ridiculous one…what the hell do they mean that I’m not ready yet? Am I still too sick? Am I still crazy enough that I won’t be able to keep a job? Apparently so, according to them. Hrumph

Why do I do this to myself? Why the hell do I beat the crap out of myself over shit like this? Oh, I don’t know….maybe because I’m bipolar? Yeah, that’s probably it.

9 comments on The Report

  1. This battle goes on in my head on a daily basis. I know I’m not ready to go back to work but I get quite indignant when someone else tells me that. What…do I look that crazy? Be gentle with yourself…work just isn’t in the picture when we are struggling. (I wish I could tell myself that).

    1. You need to be kinder to yourself, Michele. I do too. It’s so easy to say but so hard to do. I did speak with my pdoc today and he told me he agrees that I am not ready yet. I gave a sigh of frustration and a sigh at relief at the same time.

  2. I hate those little report update things. I luckily give them to my mom, unopened, and she deals with them. Maybe enabling, maybe not. I don’t really care. I know, from being told by my therapist and by my pdoc, that I’m not ready to work a structured even part-time job. I work for fifteen hours a week for my parents at a very low stress job, where I am mostly filing and running a cash register. I have been able to maintain with this, although there have been some very tough times. Keep working on yourself, and be good to yourself. It will either come in time, or it won’t. I’m not in any rush to head back into the kind of work I did before I went on disability, nor do I think my therapist or doctors will ever condone it. Again, be nice to yourself!

    1. Good to see you have been able to do some work, but maintain some balance. I’m hoping that’s something I’ll be able t do as I get more settled in with school.

  3. Right now try to focus on school. It is your job for now. Those letters are scary. Just fill it out and trust the professionals. Hugs!

  4. Yes I can understand your fear about this. However I have gone through the same thing myself many times.. I assume you are talking about social securty disability? One thing I think they keep in mind is that we can’t handle a lot of stress. I worked part-time for awhile and I was able to keep my benefits, as long as I didn’t make more than $700 a month. That is with SSDI. SSI has stricter rules and when you make more than a certain amount then they take part of your earnings. When they take you off of your benefits then they give you a trial period to see if you can handle a job. If you can’t then you can get back on again. But despite the fact that I was working, they never took away my benefits.

    There is some info about this on their website, so I suggest you go there in order to verify what I am saying as the rules may have changed since I haven’t worked for awhile.

    Take care,


    1. Thank you Mary for your comments and your help. I am going to review their website.

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