A couple weeks ago I got a call from my lawyer. The government has scheduled a hearing date for my Social Security appeal.
This was a pretty big surprise. The waiting list for these things is insane. I was told that it was running 18-24 months here in the Indianapolis area, and that because I moved while on the waiting list, I'd be dropped to the back of the line again. No saving your place! No cutsies! I wasn't expecting this for another year to year and a half.
I've been working my way through the system for almost two years now, and every time I get to a new level it comes with a new surge of anxiety. Fear that I won't be approved, and my financial situation will continue to be dire. Fear that I will be approved, and I'll have final, incontrovertible proof that this is happening, and that I'm really this sick.
I think that second one is the greater fear. On many levels I think I've dealt with and accepted my illness, but there are always deeper levels of denial to discover. Getting Social Security after all this time of fighting for it will make it Official. I will be a government-recognized sick person, who isn't able to work and financially take care of herself. (The irony in all this is, the minute you are approved, after years of hassle in most cases, the government starts pushing back-to-work programs at you. If you were capable of getting back to work, they never would have approved you in the first place.)
Also, I'm scared about the hearing itself. In a very literal sense I will be sitting there, allowing some stranger to judge my health and how I've handled it so far. After my first couple of doctors, who simultaneously claimed that there was nothing wrong with me and that my illness was all my fault, the thought of having someone judge me in this way is scary. And it's not just someone who wants to judge me. Lord knows there are enough of those in the world, willing to judge anyone at any time for any reason. This is someone who will judge me and then decide if I deserve the help that I know I need.
Really, the whole thing is turning me into a big fucked up ball of stress and nerves and guilt. Which of course does wonderful things for my Crohn's and Fibro.
So if you would, please get those FGBV machines rolling. That I survive the next 6 weeks or so, and that on August 16th all the SSDI judges are in a sympathetic, accepting mood.