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Author Topic: Getting Back in the Saddle—Feel like I don’t belong in society any more  (Read 1704 times)

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Offline HeLookaLikaMan

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
I am struggling hard to get back into the swing of life.  I am poz since 1989, and I had a catastrophic loss of health through the 90’s.  Since about 1999 my physical health has been good, but mental health has been mostly poor.  I think my mental health may currently be the best it has been in 15 years, but I just haven’t been able to move back into normal life again in terms of employment and relationship.  Working concerns me more than relationship, but both are areas I’m unsatisfied with.

I stopped working in 1994 when I began getting sick.  In 1999 I went back to school and got a bachelor’s degree.  I have had a few short-term jobs in the area I studied, but mostly I have not worked and continued collecting disability insurance payments.

Sometimes, I feel like the difficulties of returning to work are insurmountable: what about healthcare?  Will I be able to continue Medicare?  How to deal with co-workers who ask personal questions? These are just a few of the worries that swirl around in my head whenever I think about going back to work. Overwhelming.

Are any other members having difficulty shaking the trauma and shame of catastrophic health loss followed by return to health?  Feel like you don’t belong in society any more?
 ???

Offline bear60

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,104
Hi
Welcome to long time survivors.
You seem to be in control of your life and your HIV. 
Onwards and upwards!

Joel
Poz Bear Type in Philadelphia

Offline Billy B

  • Member
  • Posts: 374
I am struggling hard to get back into the swing of life.  I am poz since 1989, and I had a catastrophic loss of health through the 90’s.  Since about 1999 my physical health has been good, but mental health has been mostly poor.  I think my mental health may currently be the best it has been in 15 years, but I just haven’t been able to move back into normal life again in terms of employment and relationship.  Working concerns me more than relationship, but both are areas I’m unsatisfied with.

I stopped working in 1994 when I began getting sick.  In 1999 I went back to school and got a bachelor’s degree.  I have had a few short-term jobs in the area I studied, but mostly I have not worked and continued collecting disability insurance payments.

Sometimes, I feel like the difficulties of returning to work are insurmountable: what about healthcare?  Will I be able to continue Medicare?  How to deal with co-workers who ask personal questions? These are just a few of the worries that swirl around in my head whenever I think about going back to work. Overwhelming.

Are any other members having difficulty shaking the trauma and shame of catastrophic health loss followed by return to health?  Feel like you don’t belong in society any more?
 ???

Hello HeLookaLikaMan....First of all I love Ms. Swan and your name LOL.
Second, I am glad you are doing better health wise and I would advise you to maybe help in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen to slowly reintroduce yourself into a work schedule. Eventhough I work full time and I still volunteer twice a week working at one of our local kitchens. It really puts things in perspective when you see people who are less fortunate than yourself.
Peace,
Billy
VL 4420 CD4 340 CD4% 24   3/15/10 Started I&T
VL  UD   CD4 340 CD4% 26.5 05/13/10
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.1 08/3/10
VL  UD   CD4 310 CD4% 28.4 11/22/10
VL  UD   CD4 420 CD4% 27.9 02/11/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 26.4 06/08/11
VL  UD   CD4 360 CD4% 27.7 09/23/11
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.3 01/20/12
VL  UD   CD4 430 CD4% 28.8 05/11/12
VL  UD   CD4 370 CD4% 28.1 09/07/12
VL  UD   CD4 390 CD4% 32.3 03/14/13

Offline HeLookaLikaMan

  • Member
  • Posts: 13
Thank you for the great suggestion, Billy!

Offline aztecan

  • Member
  • Posts: 5,399
  • 29 years positive, 57 years a pain in the butt
Hey He,

This can be a tough choice to make. I know you want to go back to work, but there are several things to consider.

First, as you mentioned, what about your health care? I presume you have Medicare A, B, and D at this point, and probably qualify for extra help through Social Security, right?

OK, now if you do return to work, you can make up to a certain amount of money and continue to work for nine months without immediately losing your disability.

However, and her is the fly in the ointment, after nine months, Social Security will reevaluate you and, if they think you can work, you lose your disability and your Medicare.

This is fine if you land a job with medical benefits. However, I would investigate what is available for those who don't qualify for disability in the state/area in which you live.

This would give you insight as to what you could expect depending on the choices you make.

In addition, you should be sure you can return to work. It may seem physically possible now, or you may not be sure.

You haven't worked full-time in close to 17 years.

Can you put in 40 hours a week, every week? Remember, this will entail leaving home regardless of the weather, etc., and putting in your 8, 10 or 12 hours a day. (I know people who work odd schedules.)

As for the personal questions, you shouldn't tell anything you don't want them to know. This is a work environment and, while coworkers may be curious, they don't have a need to know.

I am not trying to rain on your parade. I have known others who have faced this same dilemma. I have seen some do very well when they returned to work, but I have seen others run into problems because they weren't as able as they thought they were.

I think the idea Billy had was a great one. Try volunteering somewhere and see how your energy, health, etc., hold up.

At the moment, you don't know how you will respond to rejoining the work force, and this stint at volunteering might provide you more insight into how it might work for you.

These are just suggestions. I hope they help a bit. Let me know what you think.

HUGS,

Mark
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 11:53:05 PM by aztecan »
"May your life preach more loudly than your lips."
~ William Ellery Channing (Unitarian Minister)

 


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