I have a lot of thoughts and questions about this topic, but I need to start with this one: Should I try to go back to work as soon as possible or should I focus on therapy while I still have disability pay?


My SSDI was recently renewed, to my surprise. I've come a long way in my recovery, but I'm not back to normal yet. Because I'm feeling better, the push and desire to go back to work is getting stronger. My contamination fears outside my home and certain locations is much better. BUT my home is still FULL of challenges that have long term consequences. There are soooo many things I won't touch that I could never move to a new house, get a dog (and I want to adopt one!), have friends over comfortably, just to list a few things.


I can now go about my day without constant anxiety because I've done enough ERP to carve out some 'safe' space for myself. I've adapted ways of doing things to get around fears I haven't beaten yet. It's not ideal, but it's a work in progress.


Long story short, I joined a community choir this past fall as a sort of test to see how I'd handle being back in the 'real world'. It's had rocky moments, and I've freaked out once or twice (in private), but overall it's gone really well. And it's a lot of fun!


So now do I take the plunge and try to find a job? 

I feel guilty getting disability now that I am doing better. But I am sooooo grateful for it because it allows me time to heal without worrying as much about money. But that guilt maybe clouds my judgement on whether I'm ready to go back to work. I feel a lot of pressure (from myself and from society in general) to get back to work ASAP. As tho working again = recovery.


A BIG concern is that if I got a job, it would REALLY limit my time for doing ERP. And I NEED more time and I NEED more ERP. 


So is it best to just continue focusing on my therapy and ERP while I can afford to? 

  1. Dent838 10 years ago

    I'll echo the sentiments here and say it's probably best to continue ERP, and max out the time while you have the chance.


    Sometimes I feel like it's best to break away from the routine and do something new before you kind of get trapped in a rut, but it sounds like you're doing that with your singing.  And maybe you don't want to try to do too much too fast.  It would be like trying to come back from an injury before it's fully healed, you might aggravate it and make it 10 times worse.  Best to let the ERP do its work and get totally right before you take on the challenge of a new job.  Well, maybe there is no such thing as "totally" right, but you know what I mean!


    And please don't feel guilty about being on disability.  Getting yourself healed before getting back to work is exactly what disability is for. 


    By the way, I know exactly what you mean about having to carve out "safe" space.  Seems like every part of my home is contaminated to some level, I just have to clean and/or avoid everything! 


    Good luck!

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  2. telknit23 10 years ago

    I think it's probably a good idea to continue on the disability for a while.  You are using the time productively, and the more progress you make before going back to work, the better off you'll be.  It seems more productive in the long run, as well as just plain better for your state of mind, to continue your therapy and keep the disability.  Cheers to you for doing so well!

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