Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Can Do vs. Can't Do

I focus a lot on what I can do, and try to stretch that every day. Interacting with officialdom, like trying to fill out a Social Security application for disability insurance makes me pay attention to the ways I can't do stuff that is ordinary. It's a disheartening process to acknowledge that, sure, I can lift a 50lb dumbbell the couple of yards it takes to get it to a bench and back, but I couldn't carry it downstairs for love or money. Nor stand for six hours. Nor can I read long detailed text with ease. That last is the hardest admission to make at the moment.

I suspect there's a missed opportunity in the way the social security net is structured here. To be clear, I only pass the first hurdle because I paid a lot of tax when I was working. But the insurance incentivizes staying disabled, instead of rewarding recovery. This seems medically and economically dumb.

Whatever. The conflict between thinking optimistically about my capabilities and thinking realistically about my capacities is raw today.