One of the things that really bothers me is when someone who has the same physical ability as me is on Social Security Disability. It shouldn’t be this way. It’s not that I’m jealous someone else gets a check for not working. It’s that I think they either underestimate themselves, have given up, or don’t realize that with a bit of learning you can get a job that’s much better than what SSDI has to offer.
There are many jobs someone with Becker muscular dystrophy can do that don’t involve hard physical labor. As I’ve said before, the brain is not a muscle. The brain does the thinking. When it comes to employment, the brain is what contributes to many, if not most of the jobs that are out there.
Look at CEOs of major companies. What sort of physical labor do they do that someone with Becker muscular dystrophy can’t do? Not much. They aren’t doing any heavy lifting. They aren’t delivering anything. They aren’t putting together food orders. They aren’t washing dishes. For the most part they are doing two things — thinking and communicating.
I have seen studies that suggest some people with Becker muscular dystrophy could see impairment with mental function but it’s not yet proven whether this is due to the muscular dystrophy or something else. So I say phooey on that. Even if there is limited mental function in SOME people with Becker muscular dystrophy odds are their brains still function better than their bodies and they can still learn a skill or two. After all, If you can play video games, you can work.
If you are on SSDI for Becker muscular dystrophy and want to work, I applaud you — but only if you are being proactive about this desire. If you are not actively learning a skill, going to school, or seeking employment then deep down you probably don’t really want to work and this is really disappointing. There are many places to learn things these days. The internet has vast resources about things that are entirely computer based — computer programming, web design, graphic design, writing, data entry, and more. There are also tons of online courses you can take through online and even local colleges. And of course let’s not forget about books! Even if you have Becker muscular dystrophy I know you can still read.
You can also work with vocational rehab to proceed towards getting employment. Whether they assist you with education prior to getting a job or can hook you up with things you need to do a job, I have found vocational rehab to be a very valuable resource.
If you doubt your ability to learn something new, you’re not trying hard enough. If you doubt your ability to find a job, then you’re not looking hard enough. If you doubt your ability to make more money than your SSDI check, then you aren’t dreaming big enough. There are many of us out there with Becker muscular dystrophy who are learning, working, and earning decent money. You can join the club if you are willing to put in the effort.
And putting in the effort will be worth it.