I am able, somehow, to spend the vast majority of my days focusing on the good; on what I have rather than what I’ve lost. On what I can do, rather than what I can’t.
I’m not entirely sure how I do it. I think it’s just the way I’m wired.
But you cannot focus on the good when applying for disability benefits. You must analyse and dissect your very existence and lay it all out on paper. You must prove how dreadfully debilitated you are by illness or disability.
You must focus solely on the bad bits; the things your body can no longer do and things it will likely never do again.
You must bear all. Every grim and grotty detail of the life you have learned to cherish must be exposed. The good must be put aside. The bits you have come to champion then seem pathetic and inadequate. You wonder if you’ve somehow managed to kid yourself into thinking your life contains more goodness than it actually does.
And what that does to my mental health is beyond what I can explain to you. It is my black hole. And I must fall in it to complete the task in hand. I only hope that each time I must do this, that I will be able to come out the other side and see the light again.
In this moment, that seems impossible.