7:31pm - I am on a train and it is slowing to a stop in Oakville. This is my return from Toronto trip back and I won't be arriving in London, Ontario until 9:12 (if it is on schedule) after which I'll need to get a cab to take me the rest of the way home - St. Thomas. I feel worn out and I'm going to need some time to mentally process what happened today. I was sort of able to verbalize some thoughts about it to the worker advisor during the break and after the Appeals Tribunal but even though I could articulate some of what was going through my mind, I think the impact of it all has yet to fully hit me. I know that I had a few moments where I was in the moment to realize that yes, I had made it to the final appeal and fought the fight all the way through. I didn't give up (but again, I never thought I could) and I know that no matter what decision the panel makes, I will continue to try and make a life for myself.
365 Days (2013): Day 57
7:42pm - I'm feeling the headache press in while typing about today because I'm thinking about it and it's painful. I made it through testimony and questions - I have always been able to answer the best I can and to speak what I could recall but when it came time for the worker advisor to go over some details, refer to memos and such to represent my case, well, that is the part I found difficult to sit through - that's when the headache arrived. I was agitated and upset, a bit flustered and such during the other parts because it's upsetting to go over this again & again and to have in my mind how young I was when this began and how old I am now. During the end portion where the advisor representing me was doing her job,it hurt and was frankly embarrassing to think of all the years of suffering so much. The times I tried to kill myself. (I feel shame that it seemed to even be an option) The notes and recommendations in the claim by WSIB themselves stating that the secondary impairment should be recognized and yet their repeated denial of it. Then, with every year that went by and the amount of paperwork in front of everyone there (but me) I saw that it was my life - a lot of my time, my adulthood - most of it there. There were numerous opportunities for things to have turned out differently and for me to not have suffered or have fought for so long. Different things the company that I worked for and then WSIB could have done that would have prevented so much pain. But then again, I also see the times where I could have done differently too. So naive. Ignorant of what was ahead for me. The years it would cost me.
7:57pm - Yet, how else would I have arrived at where I am now if I hadn't taken the road I did? If I hadn't done this or had done that? I think of what I've learned and experienced that otherwise I never could have. The perspective. The knowledge of myself. That is worth something. I don't know. All I know is that today I followed through with a very stressful process. I survived the system and I survived myself.
If I regret the suffering, if I even think to take it all back along with all of the awful things that happened - then I would have to give back all of the good things, too. I wouldn't want to do that. I would never want to go through this again and if I could have made a choice with the insight of what might happen... well, I wouldn't be on this train right now, would I?
8:10pm - Blah. The point is, I didn't die. I learned a lot. I am alive. I am going to continue to keep trying. I have been working slowly but ever more intently on making my life mean something, if but only to myself.
I showed up today. I saw the entire process through. It remains, as it has been all along, out of my hands. If the Appeals Tribunal panel should reach a decision in my favour, wonderful! I would love to have a proper chance. If they decide against my claim, it will at least be done with.
Thankfully, it won't be the end of me.
(I had us all worried for awhile there, eh?)