'K, I'm bipolar and it started to get bad about 5 months ago and I had to stop working even though I had a very good job that I'm good at and great benefits. Granted, I'm not working in some creative field where I'd be happiest, but I was working and making money.
Now I'm stoned nearly all the time b/c the doctor and I can't keep me down from mania which is an altered state for me that comes on hard and fast within 30-40 minutes. It's just like a bad acid trip where all my senses are on overload and I can't take in all the colors, textures, sounds and smells. I become irrational and angry. No, check that. I want to hurt people, push them down for no reason whatsoever. This first time this happened to me I was on my way to see the doc and I knew he'd have meds to settle me down and I thought it would be best for him to see me like this. But my mind was racing so fast, just hundreds of words and images and things I couldn't concentrate on, I stood up against a pole and tried to keep myself together and recite something, a song maybe...I settled on the alphabet b/c that was all I could come up with. And I couldn't remember it. I opened my eyes and my brain stopped for just a moment and told me that if I pushed someone in the way of an oncoming train, I would feel better. That scared me enough to run home as fast as I could and take the "downers", which kicked my ass and caused me to pass out until the next day. The point is: until I can get this under control, I can't go to work. The fear that I might start raging, maybe hurt someone, keeps me home. the internet keeps me connected.
My family thinks I just need to pull myself together or I'm screwing up or maybe I'm just lazy. Fun family.
so, if I don't go back to work on Sept 3rd, I've lost my job permanently. My work-comp disability checks have run out (I had to take off a month last fall for mania, which included 3 trips to the ER, which the union won't pay for. Mental illness isn't covered, tho 90 days in a drug treatment program is.)
My gross check is $300/wk, paying out $277.05. My therapist has been very clear that I need to apply for food stamps. My savings is gone, partly because I spent a chunk when I bought all new furniture back when I was working, fully expecting to recoup. So yesterday, I finally choked on my pride and went to apply.
I was completely stoned due to Seroquel but I got there. I sat there 3 hours, 2 and a half of which I sobbed. I am a complete liberal. I believe in social programs, I believe we must provide safety nets for people.
Everyone was really nice actually. Two of the security people helped me find the forms b/c I couldn't focus thru tears and meds and I find a place where I could sit and fill it out. One looked over my shoulder and pointed out questions I missed.
when I was finally called, the woman at the window was sweet, but pointed out that my gross income for the month ($1200) was just over the limit for obtaining food stamps. A household of one person's income cannot exceed$1,009. She told me that I had to come back on the first and I should point out That I received my last disability check this week. I asked her, as I dissolved into tears where I went to apply for SSI and she gave me the address (across the street), she also gave me a voucher for the food pantry right across the hall. I walked out but couldn't go into the pantry. Yes, I have at this moment $866.-- and want to pay the rent on thursday. Unless you can convince a case worker that you need expedited food stamps (which will arrive in 5 days) it takes a month to get your stamps. I don't know how long it takes to get SSRI.
I really always thought I'd be back to work in a couple weeks and then months, but I always expected to get back. In between the mania, I have severe depression with suicidal ideation. I was hospitalized 10 years ago for making very deep vertical cuts in my wrists. I don't know why I'm putting this here, it has no connection to feminism. I just needed to tell the story somewhere where I'm not known in person. I know I need to get over it, but I'm choking on my pride. I couldn't swallow food right now anyway.
Oh, I do have some food and some money is owed to me that I'm pushing for. It was just so hard.