Why I Gave Up

I gave up yesterday. I consider it a good thing.

For the last two years I’ve been in a case for disability benefits. I filed in Utah while still married. We moved to California and I continued the case, changing doctors to find one that might help my case. Looking for a lawyer after being rejected twice by the bureaucracy called the Social Security Administration.

During those two years, I went through a few different diagnoses. ADHD. Gender Dysphoria. Major Depressive Disorder. Social Anxiety. In California, I saw a psychiatrist that settled on Bipolar and Borderline Personality Disorder. I went on medications. New meds. Different meds. Those medications started helping in ways I’d never imagined were possible. I started feeling stability, something most neurotypical folks take for granted.

During this time, I also struggled with chronic migraines. Sometimes every day, sometimes only three or four times a week. Now I take a pill twice a day and follow a strict gluten-free diet, and I’m down to just a few a month.

While I discussed all of this with my doctors, I never stayed with one doctor long enough to get a full picture of my health struggles. I couldn’t. I moved too many times in my three year short former marriage. All this brings me to yesterday.

Yesterday, I sat across the desk from my lawyer, and told him we couldn’t win. I’ve made too much improvement. You see, in order to get any kind of disability for mental health challenges, you must prove you are disabled despite prescribed treatment. In other words, the fact that I’ve been able to get a promotion and raise at work, have been able to go back to the full 28 hours of work, and have been mostly stable with only one depressive bout since last July and very few migraines, means I had no case.

So I gave up. I had my lawyer write a letter withdrawing my request for a hearing. Now it’s time to look forward. It’s time to find a job I can do within my skill set and abilities, and keep moving.

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