06 October 2009

Why Am I Doing This?

After I set up this blog, it took me three years to come up with something I thought would be worth writing about.

I didn't want to collect educational information about MS. It's been done very well, by people who put a lot more effort and energy into it than I ever would.

I didn't want to scare people. Most people with MS are relapsing-remitting. They have to deal with a whole mess of scary stuff, but between relapses don't have significant residual disability. Three years ago I was already secondary progressive, with a somewhat different set of issues. Not everyone with MS will wind up where I am.

I don't have any enlightening insights into life with MS, or a particularly literate way of putting my experience into words, even if I were convinced it was worth putting into words, which I'm not.

Besides, after 20-some years of writing to pay the bills, I'm dogged by the Samuel Johnson quote, "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." Writing is work, kids, not something one does for fun. I gotta have a reason.

So, OK. I finally retire from my day job. I'm about to do whatever it takes to make the transition from being employed to being retired on disability. From everything I've read, applying for Social Security Disability benefits can be quite the adventure, and approval usually takes a long time. Friends who work for Social Security might be able to explain what's going on. If nothing else, documenting the process will help me keep track of what I did, and when I did it. Maybe by the time my claim is approved, I'll find a different reason to keep doing this.

So I apply for SSDI. Three weeks later, Social Security has approved my claim for benefits. Now, tell me again, why am I doing this? All the reasons I had for not blogging are still valid, and the reason to blog is gone.

Wait...that might be a good enough reason to keep writing, right there. Sheer perversity has always been a powerful motivator for me, and has probably been the force behind most of the pivotal decisions in my life.

Apparently, it still works.


  1. It is extremely ironic that you had anticipated blogging about the long and winding process which is gaining SSDI. But, poof, your case was a slamdunk.

    Perhaps your preparation made a difference, or the fact that you seem to have waited well past the point of no return to even apply (making it even more obvious the appropriateness of approval).

    I don't know the reason, but I've very glad that you received such a swift approval. Good for you!! Hope you keep blogging; you're a great addition to the community.

  2. Zoom - please do keep posting. I like your voice/perspective and you have good stories to tell.

  3. "sheer perversity", now there is a proper name for a journal. :)

    Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

  4. Lisa - Thanks for the nudge!

    Cranky - Good stories to tell... We all have them, don't we?

    Patrick - If I were to write an autobiography, I'm afraid "sheer perversity" would have to be the title. At least, that's what my mother would say.