Last week, I posted some news that I recently received that I would consider to be pretty life-changing. For one, I will be receiving a pretty generous lump sum of backpay from the VA as well as a monthly compensation for my disability rating of 60%. Sounds very nice, but it came with an unexpected emotion: guilt.
Initially, I was ecstatic and incredibly grateful, until a couple days passed and I became overwhelmed with emotion and completely broke down in my car. I just felt like I didn’t deserve this. Turns out, I’m not alone in this feeling. I found tons of reddit threads of people saying the same things.
It’s guilt that someone is surely worse off than I am and could use it more than me. There’s probably hundreds or thousands of veterans out there struggling to get a disability rating from the VA and have been waiting many years and I got mine within 2 years. I just felt really bad for everyone else except myself.
After reading those reddit threads, I kind of came to a conclusion that it was the depression talking. Reality is, if I wasn’t some sort of messed up, the VA wouldn’t have granted the disability rating in the first place. So obviously they thought my condition was something that warranted a 60% rating. After some self-reflection, I kind of see why.
What normal person wakes up each day wishing they had passed away in their sleep? What normal person hopes that today will be their last just so that the pain will end?
I’m just waiting on the harsh judgment from friends or family that hear about this monthly compensation and think “nothings wrong with you” or “you’re faking it for the money” or something similar. Truth is, the money won’t be enough to bribe the demons to stay out.
So yes, I’m going to get a monthly payment for the bipolar disorder, but is it really undeserved? I’m starting to think of it as I’m just charging the demons rent for staying upstairs. They’re horrible tenants; they’re loud and they destroy the property and they refuse to move out but I’d be glad to give up that monthly income if they did move out. At least then I’d have ownership of the property again.
Those are just my thoughts on this whole situation. I am grateful for the VA finally approving my rating but I’m trying to remind myself that there’s a reason for that and that I shouldn’t feel guilty for it. Anyways, I hope you all have a great day. 🙏
Guilt is tricky thing, it almost never serves the purpose it should. And often, the people that should have that part of their conscience in action seem to not have a conscience at all.
I think what you experienced might be a sign of depression but also a sign of a good hearted human who recognizes the widespread needs of people.
I myself feel grateful that you were able to receive what you did. It allows people with hearts like yours to survive and be ❤️
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I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and I just wanted to say keep up the good work! Your authenticity is really comforting. I’m glad the VA is going to be compensating you, you do deserve it. Wishing you the best.
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…congratulations on getting the money you need and deserve. I’m on disability for bipolar as well. I get the same amount as someone who is physically disabled. I didn’t apply for Disability for a long time because I felt like my disability wasn’t a real disability. It took me years to figure out that chronic manic depression was as debilitating as any other disability. I still feel a little guilty that I got on while so many are suffering and living with their bipolar on Welfare alone. And I don’t know how to stop that.
If I had the ability to do it, I suppose I could volunteer, or advocate for greater access. But I think that guilt at being one of the few who the system worked for is just something we have to live with. I don’t know what “60% of a disability” means, or how much it is, but if I were you I’d use that first cheque to have a dinner somewhere nice, maybe buy a new shirt, and be mostly happy the system finally worked for you.
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I used to feel guilty for just everything I did, thought, or got as if I hadn’t been worthy of good things which made me feel even worse when something positive happened to me. Nobody around me could understand why I was feeling upset when I should’ve felt happy.
I don’t have bipolar even though I thought I did at the time. At some point I was breaking down a lot and it seemed like I was having manic episodes that were in part driven by anger and sadness, and the desire to save the world. I had that feeling of grandiose for a while but it’s gone, now that I realized what my problem was and what I need to do in life going forward.
We compare ourselves to others all the time and but only sometimes do we try to feel their pain. What we don’t think about is that what happens to them is their story and what happens to us is ours. It is great that we attempt to put ourselves in other’s shoes but if what we do is only judge ourselves or other people, it won’t help us find a solution to the problem or make that problem less impactful.
We judge others when we judge ourselves.
We feel guilty when we place guilt on others.
We are unable to forgive ourselves and because of that, we can’t forgive other people as well.
We don’t accept ourselves when we can’t accept others, because we are ourselves as much as we are others.
Learning to accept yourself for the way you feel, for the way you act, for the way you think is very hard but it is possible. It is the only thing that got me out of my severe depression and constant desire to commit suicide. I cried a lot when I realized I was love. I cried a lot when I realized I was light, and when I actually processed it, I smiled.
I released the guilt that haunted me for years and I managed to forgive myself for what I’ve done to myself and others. Just by saying those words to myself helped so much. I found my purpose and it’s to help people that have gone through similar experiences or are still going through them and need support. This is what makes me happy, knowing that all the pain I’ve felt can help someone feel loved unconditionally, because we are all love and we all deserve to be loved, accepted and forgiven no matter who we are or what we do. It is that beautiful lesson that I learned and I am extremely thankful for it.
If you received this compensation for bipolar, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It didn’t happen for you to feel guilty but to feel worthy, because you are. If your friends or family begin to judge you, ask them to accept it because you are who you are and there is nothing bad about it. You are learning to accept your emotions and to live with them because they are part of you just like everyone else. The fact that you are speaking up about these things is a huge deal and even though I don’t know much about you, I feel proud of you because it takes courage and self-awareness that we are all here to work on.
I am grateful to you for posting this. It helped me understand some things and it’s amazing! Thank you very much and I hope you have a great night!
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Thank you for the kind words. You seem very insightful. Keep spreading the love, my friend. 🙏
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