For some time, I've sensed that the circumstances of my life have been forcing me -- funneling me, if you will -- to a choice between retirement and suicide. When I first became ill six years ago with mal de debarquement syndrome (MdDS), I couldn't have imagined continuing to work for that long in the state I was in; however, things have in fact become steadily worse in the interim. Consequently, I'm convinced that there is no job I can do well enough now at Sandia National Labs that is worth the salary I draw; and, frankly, I'm tired of making the pretense that the opposite is the case. Whereas my native intelligence is more or less intact, my MdDS has essentially destroyed my ability to juggle complex tasks, and no job change is going to hide that fact. I don't really want to leave a legacy of suicide for my children and grandchildren, so retirement is the only viable option left open to me. The question is whether it will leave me with enough to live on. I'm not sure I can get by without taking a menial job, perhaps in retail, to supplement my pension payments; however, perhaps I can assert multiple disability-based claims against pension, long-term disability insurance, and/or social security. Make no mistake -- I am disabled -- but the overwhelming effects of persistent MdDS, while documented in my case, are not outwardly apparent, which is the biggest obstacle I face in trying to supplement my retirement income. The profound depression that I've felt recently, however, has drawn me further into the funnel, and I must take action soon.
[Update 7/20/16: It wasn't long after I posted this article that I found out that Sandia National Labs no longer offers a pension "kicker" for people who have to retire early due to disabilities. Rather, long-term disability insurance is all Sandia offers in that regard; effectively, Sandia has washed its hands of having to make any kind of determination of disability, which unfortunately is typical of Sandia corporate behavior these days.]