A Shame Filled Entitlement

Social Security is a Federal program we pay for every day of our working lives. I started working when I was 15 and paying into Social Security. I looked at those steep payments being taken from my check every week as a savings plans for retirement. I also knew in case of injury, I was paying into Social Security so it would be available for me if the need ever should arise. Just like having insurance on your home, car, and your very own life, this was a safety net. In the end, I needed it, and I am on disability.

Is social security an ‘entitlement’? Hell no! I paid into the program!

Why am I still so embarrassed to tell people I am on disability? Are you on disability? Are you comfortable with that? Tell me if you are because that is one thing I can’t shake, the shame I feel for taking checks from the government for a monthly payment. The disability checks are not near enough to live on, let alone pay for the needed medical attention due to the injuries that put me on this very program! People making minimum wage make twice what I do in a month and that was before the $15.00 per hour minimum wage went into effect. I used to work at Mcdonalds, I’d have no qualms about going back to work there now and claim my $15.00 an hour … but I am not physically able. I am disabled!

It sucks being on disability. Calling it an entitlement only worsens the stigma. I am already filled with shame. I blog, I admin a facebook support page because it makes me feel that I am somehow earning that check, that disability payment. Does that even make sense? To me it does. I was ‘medically released’ from a job I loved. I enjoy helping people and answering their questions so blogging and admining a support group makes sense to me. Giving back and earning that government check …

I finally have an answer for the dreaded question, “What do you do for a living?”

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I am an advocate for fibromyalgia awareness, I published a book, I am a blogger, and I admin a support group. That is my identity. My reality is that I fight the fibromyalgia pain demons every day, take my medication as prescribed, and research every aspect of my health for answers. I fight the chronic fatigue and try to keep a clean house and a satisfied husband. I fight the sleepless nights and exhaustion every day to check in with my group and write a blog. I don’t always win, but I fight.

And, I forgot to mention, I receive a check from the Federal government from a program that I paid in to… there should be no shame in that.



  1. It’s been almost 5 years since I’ve been on disability and honestly, I’m not ashamed of it. I’m more ashamed that my country thinks I can honestly live on what they give me every month.

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    1. I just have not been able to tackle this! Good for you! And 100% agree with not being a viable living wage… I was making a very good salary at the time I became disabled, the amount I would have to live in without my husbands help??? A joke! Maybe there are too many like me, ashamed to admit it… maybe I should get good and mad and demand a living wage for disabled Americans! (now i’m tired.) ~Kim

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      1. We didn’t ask for this, Kim. That’s the way I’m starting to look at it. It helped me. Plus, I’ve worked hard for years, damn right we all have. We shouldn’t feel ashamed at all. I hope you’ll get past the feeling eventually. We all have our demons to fight.

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