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Whether it is a back condition, heart condition, birth defect, or life-threatening disease that has caused your inability to work, you have to find a way to work through the physical pain as well as the psycological "pain".
You morethan likely will encounter people who feel that you are not ill enough to be disabled from work. Most folks don't articulate their feelings to you, but you notice the looks or you might overhear them talking behind your back. Only you know what you feel. Your doctors sometimes may not understand what you are going through becasue they have never actually felt it themselves.
The hardest part in making people understand why you are disabled is actually living your everyday life. Unless you have very understanding children or a very kind spouse, or can afford to hire someone to assist you with daily household chores, you are forced to take care of things yourself.
Your neighbors will see you out in the yard, doing gardening, or walking your dog, and may judge you.
I have found that even family members who know about all the treatments and doctor visits I have had over the years, they still act as though I am well enough to work.
These people are not around when you are lying on your bed in agony, or struggling to bend over to pick up a dropped item. We tend to hide our difficulties and keep them in the privacy of our own home, bedroom or bathroom, where we are alone.
Remember to keep your head up. Continue to strive to be happy, and do your best to ignore when you feel inadaquate or judged. Only you and maybe your physicians, know exactly what you can and should be doing. And only you know what you have to do to live your daily life.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|