The difference between being limited and being disabled

The difference between being limited and being disabled

Trust me, there is a difference.  I have been both.  After my mother’s death, I was disabled and put on Social Security because there was no way I could take care of myself, let alone hold down a job.  It took everything I had to get out of bed in the morning.  I was on Social Security for about 15 years and then the government decided to review my case.  I jumped through their hoops and in the end, it was decided that I was no longer disabled.  I could have fought it, but I didn’t.  Want to know why?  I couldn’t argue with their findings.  I had improved to the point that I was running my house, maybe not as well as I could have, but I was doing it; paying the bills, cooking dinner, etc.  I just didn’t think I was disabled anymore and how can I argue something that in my heart I knew to be true.

So, although freaking out at the idea of what it all meant; I let it go and this was like late 2015 (I think!).  Anyway, I thought that maybe I could work now and work full-time at that.  I knew that my gap in work history was going to be a problem so I went to America’s Job Center and qualified for job training and went to the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation where I learned bookkeeping and updated my clerical skills.   Needless to say, I kicked butt while I was there.  So, I thought, heck yeah I can work full-time.  After I graduated, I still had trouble finding work because of the gap, but I went through temporary agencies and had two jobs; one lasting about a week and a half, the other a long term assignment.  The first few weeks at the long-term assignment went just fine, but as time progressed I started having trouble. I was having severe anxiety attacks every afternoon because I wanted to be home.  My doctor even put me on very strong anti-anxiety medication to get me through it. It had been about three months and I was coming home every night in tears because I missed home so bad.  My husband finally had enough of it and told me to tell the temp agency I was only available part-time and if I lost my job, so be it.  I was allowed to go part-time and I finished the assignment.  I am very proud that I at least completed the assignment.  I was talking to my dad about it and he simply said that although I may not be disabled anymore, I was still limited.  And, I had to agree.

There is a difference in being limited vs. disabled.  I have a bipolar condition and there is no escaping that reality, ever.  I also have this desperate need to be home that I have told you about that I simply can’t explain.  Can I work full-time?  Absolutely not.  Can I work part-time?  I think so.  I am not disabled, but I am limited.  There is only so much I can take in terms of stress before I start to be affected by it.  As of right now, I am home but looking for part-time work.  I tried to have a stay-at-home business and that failed magnificently!  So, I don’t know what I am going to do.  I’ve had a few interviews for part-time jobs; the temp agencies are of no help because they mostly deal with full-time assignments and I refuse to work full-time; I will not go through that again.  I have this blog, but don’t really know how to monetize it.  I also have my painting and could open an Etsy store with my artwork, which I am seriously considering doing.  It’s not that I don’t want to help with the household finances; it’s that I just want to be home.  I’m also researching work-at-home jobs to see if I could get one of those.  However, it is in God’s Hands, and I know He will provide me with something, what I’m not sure.  Anyway, if you are in the same boat as I am, limited but still able to contribute to society somehow, let me know how you are doing it.  I would really like to know.  And to those that are disabled due to mental illness, I’ve been there and I know how painful it can be, but it is possible to get better.  And as far as society is concerned, it is screwed up when it comes to employing the mentally ill, since I can’t tell any potential employer about it because I believe it will influence their decision; hopefully, someday soon it won’t be like that.

Blessings to you all,

Elizabeth

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One thought on “The difference between being limited and being disabled

  1. I am very excited for you. Josiah acquired paranoid schizophrenia right after graduating high school. It was awhile before a diagnosis could be gotten. Mostly because of his being 18 and his not understanding something was wrong. He has never been considered disabled by the government but stress exacerbates his symptoms. Anyway these days I can celebrate that he is renting a space in a homeless shelter (union gospel mission) in ft. Worth. He is working in a machine/paint shop full time. He gets to his doctor appointments on his own using the metro bus system that used to raise his anxiety where he couldn’t use it. He also has a case worker at UGM that is working on budgeting with him in hopes to get an apartment or home of his own one day. I know Uncle Nick is at least as excited for you as I am for Josiah. You are both wonderful creatures in God’s scheme of this universe. This is temporary. Love you!

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