I am one to speak openly about having mental health issues. Good and bad. 😉 Some of it is fun. LOL When I was 25 and had my first major bout with bipolar d/o, my psychiatrist and therapist jointly put me on SSDI without really talking to me about it. In retrospect, it saved my bacon for a while. I was young and determined that I was going to be able to make it on my own. Not only was I as able as others without mental health issues, I was determined that I wouldn’t need anyone’s help. As we all know, none of us can do this life thing without some help. Some of us need more than others.
I went back to work and did the whole forcing myself through it no matter-what-thing. Eventually, I cracked and couldn’t do it anymore. This is the cause for this post tonight.
I left my job in October, 2013 with PTSD that was making my life unliveable. My mood disorder was amplified. Followed by marrying an abusive man, having my mother die shortly thereafter, being impoverished, nearly losing my house and losing a pregnancy along the way, too. Needless to say, none of these things on their own are the makings for helping me be stable and self-supporting.
I bit the bullet and re-applied for SSDI knowing that at this point in my life, I need the help. I no longer had the safety net of my mom when things got rough. I have to be independent.
After 5 years of financial struggle, living with roommates crazier than I am to survive, struggling to work and failing and ultimately meeting Daddy and getting married where I have a support system…. today… my case was settled. I have been granted benefits once again with 5 years of backpay. For the first time in years, I feel like I can breathe and really know that things will be OK… that I will be OK.
Now that the excitement has worn off, I’m near tears. They’re a bit sad that I need the help, but mostly… I’m so very grateful that I no longer need to worry about being OK. The years of stress and anxiety are over.
There are so many like me who fall into this middle ground of being very functional at times and totally not at others or requiring a backup system that provides for us when we’re not able to do things on our own. It’s hard to accept that that level of help is needed at times when you look back and see that you’ve done x,y and z for so long. Others look at you and see stability and normality. Unfortunately, it’s people like me who need the help the most.
I celebrate having a backup system that helps me whether I’m ok or not, whether I have Daddy or not. And I celebrate not living in that constant fear of survival based on having a mental illness. My gratitude abounds tonight.