Perhaps you are one of the rarest of breeds; the “rugged individual” who cares not what others think, how you are viewed, what people consider, etc. Most who claim such a stance use it merely as an implacable facade; how many tears are shed and frustrations are voiced in the privacy of one’s home, we will never know.
“Self-image” is a running movie within one’s head, constantly updated by the feedback generated through daily discourse. What we think of ourselves; the image of the individual in the mirror in front of you; the morning picture reflected back as you brush your teeth, comb your hair, etc. Who is that person. He/She is: Profession X; Gender Y; Relationship Status Z; Known within the community as A & B, etc.
For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who suffer from a medical condition such that the medical condition prevents the Federal or Postal employee from continuing in his or her career, “How you are viewed” will change. No longer are you the competent worker, the one who has dedicated him or herself to a career; no longer that Supervisor, Co-worker or colleague; now, to be deemed as a Federal Disability Retiree.
It is a transition that is often difficult, because it alters the self-image you have held for so many years. But “difficult” was derived from “necessity”, and the reality is that the essence of the “real you” will not change despite filing for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire