I guess I should be thrilled. I just got my judges' decision notice from SSDI. It was in my favor. I filed at the urging of my psychiatrist and therapist better than three years ago. I got a lawyer after I got turned down for the second time. I just needed a lot of help getting all the documentation together, especially as much of it was from overseas. They did the judge's hearing via video hookup to CA. They had the judge, a vocational expert and a psychiatrist. It was me and my attorney. I'm bipolar and on the AS spectrum. I worked for thirty years in the IT field, most of it in network operations. Between the mental health issues and the medications, I simply cannot work in my field anymore. I don't know how to do anything else. I was in my teens the first time I set foot in a computer room. I haven't been able to work for better than three years, and I sure as heck tried. I have an awful lot of money coming in as back pay and I will be drawing a decent SSDI pension. I already draw a pension from the VA related to my husband's illness and death. Between the two of them; I will be able to live comfortably. Nothing fancy, but I won't be sweating the bills and expenses each month. I should be thrilled to death but instead I am finding myself grieving what I used to be able to do. I read through the MH and vocational findings attached to the judge's decision and I feel sort of like a waste of skin. I'm going to be 49 in a month and this is IT? I feel in some ways like this is sort of "entitlement" thinking but I don't really think that is the case. If there were some pills I could take each night that would give me back what I had fifteen years ago from an intellectual and mental health standpoint; I would be back in a network ops center in a heartbeat. I HATE not being able to work! I don't know what to do. There is a community college up here and I get GI Bill benefits. I am thinking about taking a "fun" class. I can't really do anything where other's safety is involved so that rules out anything medical which would be my first choice. My short term memory is so bad from the BiPolar (BP) and the damned medications that I couldn't safely work as a phlebotomist or medication tech. I can't do CNA due to a really bad back, which is part of my disability. I fractured vertebrae in a horse riding accident years back and I have gotten bad arthritis in it as time has gone on. One thing that did play a role in my getting approved for SSDI is that I had a repeat neuropsychologist exam done. It was only 8 hours over two days and I had to drive all the way to Madison, WI (UWM) to get it done, but it really showed the various deficits I am now dealing with, especially when compared to an exam done many years ago. So...I guess I am entitled...why in heck do I feel like such a waste of skin and air? I think I will look into some volunteer stuff once I know for certain that this won't be appealed. It's highly unlikely but it could happen. My lawyer says one every several years. The local SS office says they've seen a couple for every few thousand claims approved. I guess I'll check into seeing if I can volunteer at the food pantry or similar.