The definition of disable is to (of a disease, injury, or accident) limit (someone) in their movements, senses, or activities. And it is also means to put out of action.
When I think of something being disabled, I think of the first definition for sure, but the more I dwell on the topic I can see how the second definition also fits.
Further, it has been brought to my attention that bipolar disorder is considered a disability.
Yup, that’s it. And I was like, whoa, hold my beer, and I sat down and put my seat buckle on (metaphorically speaking, because in real life I don’t even drink beer).
Per some of my reading, on the disability benefits help website, it states the following:
If an individual’s Bipolar Disorder is constant and impairs all ability to function in a work environment, that person may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits. Any individual with Bipolar Disorder can be eligible for disability benefits if he/she meets the evaluation criteria listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, and if he/she has received a medical vocational disability endorsement based on the person’s residual functional ability, education and age.
Over the last three years, through my treatment and trying to remain active and present in mainstream society, I never thought that Bipolar was a disability, not because it isn’t a disability but because personally I have not in the past treated it as one and therefore in my mind (in the past)it isn’t, until now, where I have been educated.
This topic had me thinking, what DO I consider a disability, if I do not consider something like Bipolar which I know so much about and I know how it has completely sabotaged my life, then what IS a disability. So I did a lot of thinking and made a list and added things and scratched off things and re-wrote things and then balled up the piece of paper and put it in the recycle bin. Because my dear readers, I have no fried fruit fly of an idea what should or shouldn’t be considered a disability.
I consider myself to be intelligent, but there is so much that I do not know, and this is an area that is outside of my expertise and it places me in a box of ignorance.
What I do know, is I know my life, and I took some time to think about my own life, the disorder that I manage and how it relates to the definition listed at the beginning of this blog: to put out of action. Below listed are a few points that I was able to come up with about disability:
1: there are days that I can’t get out of bed and call out sick to work due to severe depression.
2: there are days that I can’t make it to work due to severe mania, paranoia, anxiety and as result I take rescue meds that land me in bed and therefore, I’m unable to work.
3: there are days that I make it to work but I’m barely functioning due to fatigue related to depression and my brain is a mushy mush pile and I do minimal amounts of work.
4: there are days I make it to work but I’m so manic I cannot sit still nor am I able to concentrate more so than the equivalence to a kitten playing with yarn only I’m a middle aged executive assistant with a high powered laptop, good quality internet and a high credit limit credit card.
5: then there’s days that I’m totally on point and you’d never guess that I had a mental illness at all. I’m punctual, dressed well, able to speak in complete sentences and I successfully complete tasks with ease.
After the research I have done and time spent self-reflecting, I totally can see how bipolar is considered a disability. There are many a day that my life would be improved receiving the benefits should I file for and be granted disability.
At this point and time, I am able to work with a job that provides me with hours that cater to my schedule. This is an incredible blessing and a God send to me. At this time, I have a treatment team that I am working with who are able to provide support in a manner that is helping me to maintain enough stability that I am able to remain somewhat high functioning on most days. And on the days when I am not high functioning, my support network surrounds me and helps to aid me in the ways that is needed to make it through the day.
At this point in this blog, I would like to express gratitude for all. And to wish wellness for all those that are reading regardless of their situations. My heart is heavy today, I feel sadness for those in pain, for those who are suffering, for the people that are grieving. I want to let you know that there is hope, and do not give up. Be like a sunflower and turn your face towards the sun.