I am a recovering reactor. Before I process, I go from zero to bitch in a matter of seconds, but I will say in the last few years, my reactions have gotten somewhat tamed…..unless it is about Bailey. Ever since Bailey was a baby, I have been fighting the world in regards to his needs and rights. Urging the world to see what I see……children with Down syndrome are just as important as any child and in the process, trying to make sure that he isn’t defined by his diagnosis. Many times, my reactions were a series of rants that did nothing but rob me of my emotional serenity. So, I am trying something different in 2017 and yesterday, I tried it out for a test run.
Going through the mail, there was a letter from social security regarding Bailey’s SSI amount. It seems, they are going to lower it. Keep in mind, Bailey makes $8.25 an hour working a little over 20 hours a week and was getting the highest amount of SSI which was $733. The letter yesterday informed me that his money would be going down to $432 because they estimate his December earnings to be $630. Now, let me clarify something….I report his wages at the first of the month, so I had just reported December’s on January 1. His wages were under $300, so there estimate was way off and furthermore, no one can live off of what they were proposing.
My initial instinct was to get pissed….really pissed, but something happened, I didn’t. I paused. I reread the letter because sometimes when my emotions take over, the words run together and I don’t have all the information I need to rectify the situation. Once I read the letter for the second time, I went to the website and filled out the form that was to be used to appeal their decision. Gathered all supporting documentation, stuffed it into an envelope and sent it on its way. Once in the mail, I paused again and praised myself for not losing my shit. This is progress.
Now, I am not perfect. This was just my first attempt, so I am sure that there will be stumbles along the way. But for that moment, I was calm and collected. Nothing interfered with my serenity. You see reactions are based solely on fear. Fear of what is lacking or what they might take away. Instead, my mindset was that there was a mistake and now I need to do the next right thing in rectifying it. The reality is no one suffers more than me when I fly off the handle (unless my family is around, then they suffer too). In the preservation of my inner peace, this first step was a success. I sent the letter and released the outcome. Once a decision is made, I can figure out what to do next. Baby steps in the road to be less reactive.