I was at a support group for people with chronic pain. This group meets in the mid-morning on a weekday so, unsurprisingly, none of us are currently working. As we went around the room talking about recent frustrations, I kept hearing a theme: I want to work. One woman talked about the stress of having to declare bankruptcy. Another spoke about getting turned down for Social Security. I was having problems with a private long term disability insurance company. Many spoke about money troubles. A couple mentioned not being able to take care of their kids. Several didn’t like having to rely on their spouse for financial support, as well as help around the house.
What do these all have in common? We want to be well!
As I listened to everyone speak, I was thinking how much I’d love to have a transcript of that meeting to show all of the doubters. There are too many random people in society who think that we’re just trying to get “easy” money. There are the politicians and bureaucrats who seem to think we’re all trying to scam the system. There are the insurers who insist that we’re not really too sick to work. And yet over and over I heard people saying that they wish they could go back to work. Some said it indirectly and others used those words, but we were all saying the same thing.
I hated my last job. I won’t pretend otherwise. But I still want to go back to work. I want an income, I want independence, and I want control over my own life. Right now, I would love nothing more than having the choice of returning to work. Sadly, that is out of my control, just as it’s out of the control of the others in the support group. If only the doubters understood just how much we want it.