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If Social Security Says You Are Disabled, Is That "The End"?

May 10, 2008
In most of the 1980's, I was living in Washington, D.C., working in corporate America, waking up at 6 am, rushing with my coffee while I brushed my teeth and put on my pinstripe suit and yellow power tie, and drove to work, arriving before rush hour. Only to to experience panic and anxiety until daybreak.

Then came a myriad of health issues including, but not limited to, heart attack, a burst appendicitis, a dysfunctional vagus nerve (requiring an implant) and a myriad of other health problems, I was put on the corporate sidelines, and, doctors said I would not be working again and I had only been working less than 20 years.

I was now considered officially disabled. I did not buy the term. I bought an old used pc and learned all I could about the Internet. I learned how to be a cartoonist and writer. I learned how to outsource and license the manufacturing of my image products. I became a successful E-entrepreneur within a few years, and the government still treated me as if I was useless to society. After all, I was disabled which can carry a lifetime stigma.

A top-ranked offbeat cartoon site and twelve stores later in ten years of being disabled I called Social Security. They were kind but patronizing as if I were a child playing in a sandbox. "Still disabled."

At age 47. I went back to college and even received a scholarship, completed 3 years but had to drop due to health reasons. It was not an easy college, a small (known to be difficult) private school. I made good grades. Still, I was disabled. I was beginning to realize the scars a label like "disabled" can make. They are deep and they fester. I do not feel disabled. I am a hard and honest worker. I know many others who were also put on the corporate sidelines. That could be why there are now approximately 30 million home office workers in the U.S. and, ironically provide more jobs while major corporations are downsizing.

I will accept that I am disabled, but I will never quit trying. And I highly suggest to anyone who has been labeled so that it is far from an ending, but much closer to a wonderful beginning

Which brings me to the whole issue of labeling. What is so productive about labeling? I have been ten times more productive as a "disabled person" than when I was "fully functional" (pushing and signing papers mostly), in corporate America. It is truly something to think about.
About the Author
Rick London founded the most visited offbeat cartoon site on the Internet, Londons Times Cartoons and 12 web stores featuring his products. To visit one of Rick Londons unique cartoon gift shops, click here
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