Got long term disability work docs... remembering the horror of it all

Got my long term documentation in the mail for work today. It should be a simple thing. People keep saying that it should be just a fact that I should be on long term leave, given all the other lesser conditions on which people have gotten long term leave in the past, given my state of mind, given the nature of my medical condition, given the amount of pain I am in and even given other symptoms like the vertigo and such. But it is not a simple thing. It is a horrifically complex thing that has very little to do with me and more to do with how my doctor fills out the form and how insurance companies work. And yes that makes me feel very powerless and I suppose it is designed to. I have a lot of anxiety with the process because I have been declined in the past... and I must admit that each time I hoped that my doctors would have my back and save me from the very fact I could not survive in a full-time work environment and therefore save me from myself... that is from that inevitable future moment when I knew there was no hope and I could no longer handle such an existence. But they did not and that moment arrived. And when i survived my suicide by happenchance, well, then I got declined by long term again... and that... that was a brutal shot that shattered any small fraction of hope I had left in me. I thought no wonder they were not surprised by my suicide attempt... it must not be odd at all, they make it like they expect it... like they give you permission by the very fact they don't give a damn. I had not been disillusioned by my doctor or neuro until that point there. Enduring without hope I found out is a rather difficult thing... it isn't the same. It is like automatic pilot. You do the dance because you know the moves, but you can't hear the music. Even a made up hope that you create yourself, where you just fool yourself into believing it exists on which I had survived for years and years... likely because I intentionally put aside all the nasty things my employer put me through, worked for me for a very long time. Despite all evidence that my pain was going to be the same, that medication was not working... I made up hopes to get me through. Because we all have the will to survive. We can create lies and Believe them if we have to. But then i couldn't anymore. And that was really tricky.

You can't believe in the little lies that get you through the moment, the hour, the day, the week and the month... then how the hell are you going to want to survive? How are you going to be anything but numb or at best ambivalent to your own survival? And that is what I was for quite some time being thrust back to work... knowing they would not compromise to help me survive, damn, they just wanted to be rid of me but at least I no longer cared about all the criticisms because what did they matter anyway in the scheme of things? I was there and that is what they wanted, what more could they ask for? What more could they demand of me? Suffer more? Bleed more? Well, they demanded I miss less work, but I could not do that, no matter how much I tried. It made me so damn angry that they almost killed me and did not give a damn... likely did not even acknowledge their role in it... were likely too damn oblivious to it. My role was clear. It was simply to endure the suffering forever with no relief. And, yes, I was angry after a time but that was better than numb. Not that my anger mattered except it makes you want to survive to just spite others. But beyond the anger was this profound realization that within the core of my essence I was trembling... holding in this suffering that could never be expressed, that always had to be masked and was just barely hidden. Barely even concealed anymore. I used to be able to hide my pain so effectively, at least when it was not extremely acute or the symptoms were not obvious... but I could not do that anymore. It was like even facing the truth about my reality would just fill me with intense despair such that I could not even acknowledge it... but obviously it occurs. People even would ask me how I was doing and if they were sincere I would tear up and have problems answering... just too much pain in the fact that I was not doing well and had no hope of ever doing well and had no idea how I would be able to cope with that for the long term. I had some anxiety thinking about the future that I never had before because I knew I was not capable of coping with that level of pain at work for an extended period of time and I feared myself and how I would eventually respond to that knowledge... eventually. Who knew how long I would endure again. You want to fight the good fight but I had no fight left in me... so I was just coasting as it was. I knew the pain ruled every moment of my life. Working takes a lot of concentration, energy and effort and the pain rather gets aggravated by that... there is no life left after that. I was like a boat on extreme stormy seas preying the a rogue wave would not come along and swamp me... but knowing it was coming, just not knowing when. When would the pain consume all reason? A few sleepless nights. Some extra stress at work. One thought... one moment. So don't think... never think about it... just endure it... just survive and maybe that wave will never come. No, I knew I could not survive a long period of time and was desperate to think of alternative work environments... anything, everything.

So when I had a chat with my new manager who was a very nice lady and I acknowledged the fact I should apply for leave again... because even that casual conversation had me blinking back tears. So I did and here I am. This time I decided to see a therapist which made a lot of sense because when I had hope I could pretend to cope in numerous ways... some very effective ways, but yes, there were always emotional consequences to unmanaged pain like that, especially over such a long duration. Clearly though I need to deal with those emotional consequences, this new anxiety and find ways to deal with the suffering even if the pain remains unmanaged. Obviously. Acute pain makes my moods erratic in ways I'd rather wish they were not.

To say seeing this documentation is stressful is an understatement in the extreme. I was I'd say very anxious to see it. I have not started to fill it out yet, but I will tomorrow and then I will have to make a doctor appointment to have him to fill out his part... and 'hope' he fills his part out completely. I get that at least my therapist is on my side, but... I just have no faith in this system and am terrified of it all. I just really am not ready to face the consequences of being denied. I mean it seems so simple. So simple. I'd just return to work like I never left right? Except I'm not being treated for vertigo anymore in any way so would they even let me return to the branch I was transferred to? Part of me wants to return to work because I Should work... I should pull my weight and so forth. But part of me is knows how much worse the pain will be and it is bad enough as it is. And that part of me knows it does not matter what I think, or anyone thinks, it is impossible to accomplish in the long term. Or even the short term considering how much work I miss. But the long term is what I fear because I'm not as strong as I was, when I had my make belief hope and pretended one day the pain would be less than it is and that I could have at least some sort of a normal life... illusions. Forcing myself to keep those illusions will be the death of me and if I want to survive I need to find a different way... I just need to figure out that different way. Damned if they make it easy though.

I know all that sounds depressing and really I'm not that depressed most of the time... or even in the last couple of years. But I clearly am when I'm in a lot of pain which is an issue. And, yeah, clearly my confidence in my ability to cope is rather damaged. They should tell that to chronic pain patients who have survived suicide... 'never walk near cliffs... it is too tempting'... because we know what we are capable of rather than just the bad thoughts that occur in many of us when we are in such constant pain. When thoughts turn to actions... you fear yourself a bit. But I suppose that is a good thing in a sense to fear that. I fear work for that reason and I should not because eventually I will have to deal with the pain or the suffering it causes anyway... even if as I said, the pain never gets better, and if that is the case, I need to find a way to survive and I don't think that will ever be with my current employer or occupation, long term, but I wish it to be something. Anyway I loath these documents. I loath how they made me feel. How they make me remember what I used to feel. I wish I bloody well did not have to deal with it, but that clearly is not an option.
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