Viable, not useless

9Before my body turned against me, I was a viable member of the workforce. I mean, I didn’t invent anything great or write the Great American Novel, but I was a working cog in the machine that makes the everyday business world hum along smoothly, and I was okay with that. We can’t all be inventors, or nothing would get done.  Cogs (or cogwheels if we’re gonna get technical) are important. Don’t believe me? Find a machine with cogs and pull one out and then see how long it works without one.  The only difference between everyday workers and great inventors is that there are more of the former than the latter.  So they’re more easily replaced (until they’re not).  Put a wrong sized cog in the wrong place and your machine doesn’t run as smoothly and/or breaks down altogether.  That’s why we’re important. Anyway, until my body started to seriously rebel on me, I was a small cog in a big machine.  A roaming cog to be sure, but viable nonetheless. I did something in the world and felt like I was a contributing member of society.

worn gearsNow? Well there are days when it’s a triumph to get out of bed and get dressed.  Don’t get me wrong, I always get out of bed, but getting dressed is a different matter altogether. And there are days when I make it to the couch and that’s it. Day done. I spend the day surfing the internet because I don’t have the energy to do anything else. I feel like I’m not even a cog in the machine anymore.  I’m like a stripped screw, useless for the most part, but still there.  I think that if I even tried to get back into the business world I’d be like a cogwheel with worn spokes (also called a cog FYI) and missing one or two .  I’d do the job for the most part, but inefficiently.  And if there was one thing I was good at when I was a viable member of the workforce, it was being efficient. I was damned efficient — to be honest, it’s because I am, at my very core, a lazy person with a solid work ethic. I’ll get the job done, but in the timeliest manner possible. ^_^  I know that about myself and accepted it a long time ago.  Having said that, I honestly and truly despise sitting around with nothing to do all day. I think it’s because we here in the States have been trained from a very young age that we have to “make something” of ourselves. That we have to be productive members of society or we are nothing in society’s eyes. Vampires sucking up resources that are better left to people who deserve it more than we.

seriouslyTo be clear, I don’t get disability or any other form of government assistance. My husband supports me.  I don’t qualify for disability because my government, in its infinite wisdom, has deemed (many times) that I am able to work.  I’m not sure how they came to that conclusion because none of their doctors ever examined me. But what can you do?  My meds make it so I can hardly string together a coherent thought without really concentrating, I can’t breathe, and sometimes I have difficulties making it from my bed to my couch, but I am — somehow — able to hold down a full time job (according to the government). Huzzah! Whatever. But I digress. For years I tried to find work that I could do — maybe from home. Maybe sell things that I make. Maybe… maybe…

nihist dogThis past year — after the Cymbalta wore off — I came to the conclusion that even though I’m not a viable member of the business bureaucracy anymore, I am still a viable member of overall society.  I may not keep the money machine chugging along, but I still matter.  I’m not taking up space that can be better used by someone else. There is plenty of air here for everyone. A long time ago when I was a teenager, I realized that we don’t have to have a purpose in life. We just are. Only humans (as far as I know) wonder what their purpose is. Almost every other animal just… lives. I wanted to just “be” as a teenager but life happens when you’re human and you’re forced into the rat race whether you want to race or not. I kinda lost that vision I had as a teenager to just “be” — I say kind of because while almost always had a roof over my head (almost), I never got into the mentality that I had to be the best of the best, rise to the highest level or get the most toys or money. Even in the rat race I was in it enough to try and keep a roof over my head and pay the bills. Though to be honest, sometimes I had to run frantically around just to do that. Because the race is rigged, but that’s a different topic altogether. I guess what I’m saying is that even though I’m not a “productive member” of society anymore — I don’t produce anything of any real value… monetarily anyway… I’m still viable. I still matter. Everyone does. We don’t have to have a purpose. We just are, because we are.

Having said that, everything has a purpose, because if we remove even one thing from this great machine we call the Earth, then that removal is felt throughout the ecosystem. Oh, sure it will be replaced, eventually — maybe — but we all have a job to do, even if it seems that our job as humans appears to be to speed along the next cycle of destruction and change. ^_^ Who’s to say it isn’t?

selfcentered human

via Daily Prompt: Viable

4 thoughts on “Viable, not useless

  1. Embeecee

    LOL (at the pertinent and danged funny cartoons)…you know I ‘get’ it. And I’m sorry, since you’ve worked hard all your days, that you haven’t attempted to get Uncle Sam to toss some of your contributions back to you. That is the biggest reason I don’t feel ashamed nor sorry for taking ‘early retirement’ and insisting on disability benefits. I worked and paid for them. But I really do ‘get’ it. You’re luckier in some respects, living mostly off grid as you do I suspect the possible failure of the system will be less shocking than it will to those of us who depend on it. Take care sweetie and I’m waving to you from my seat on my couch….it’s been ‘one of those’ type of days..


    1. Willow Post author

      Oh, I attempted to get disability. Six times I filed. Six freaking times! and they shot me down every time. I even got a lawyer once (tried three times, but was turned down by two of them because my case is “complicated”) and the freaking lawyer was incompetent and never filed the appeal. Now, it’s been so long since I’ve had a job, I no longer qualify for SSI. If I were still dirt poor, I’d qualify for SSDI, but yeah, the hubs makes too much. Not that I’m complaining, it’s just the way life works out. You know?


  2. Marilyn Armstrong

    You know, they turned me down twice for disability. I knew if I hired a lawyer, I would get it eventually because I really AM disable, but being a writer, I put in another application and I really WROTE them.

    I got it along with five years of back payments. It saved our lives. You ARE disabled. You are entitled to SS disability. If you don’t feel up to the writing assignment, there are lawyers that will do this for you and they take a fee from the money you get for all the years of back payments. I know quite a few people who have gotten disability with a lawyer’s help. One of them (now deceased, unfortunately) was a former co-worker of Garry’s who was dying of brain cancer. They refused him disability multiple times.

    He got a lawyer so at least his final couple of years were not spent in abject poverty. It ALSO got him on Medicare, which is just as important as the disability payments.


    1. Willow Post author

      I had a lawyer in Albuquerque. They screwed my case up big time. Never filed the appeal — they *told* me they filed the appeal. Every month when I called to check on my case they said, “these things take time.” After 18 months I called Social Security and was informed that my case had been closed because, no appeal. I read my lawyer the riot act but they claimed the fault was in the SS office, not theirs. And so on. We moved shortly after that and I tried to get another lawyer. The last time I applied I was turned down with the notice that I no longer qualified because I had not worked in over 7 years. I don’t think even a lawyer can argue that one.



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