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23 August 2014

Update from twiggy: it's always darkest before the daw... oh hai there dawn!!!! Thought you guys might like an update on super good news!!! [More:] Coming back to my senses after almost a year mostly manic, it was apparent that I'd trashed big swaths of my old life. Some of them needed trashing, but I'm not in the most stable position to start the descent from manic to mostly sane.

Regaining stability has a component of humbling oneself that's like anti-mania. My boyfriend today used the phrase "asking for help with something that's bigger than me."

I was always trained not to ask anyone for help and my folks used money to retain their access to abuse me after I grew up, so asking has been hard. But, I've made myself ask for services from a local mental health center, among other places. They offer a psychiatrist, a therapist, a case manager, and help with housing. They try to get people who are only a few months away from SSDI/SSI likely being approved (almost five months and counting on that bundle of red tape taped up with red tape), but who are struggling with massive instability. Kind of helping me climb out of these cracks I've slipped through.

I was accepted as a client today!!! This is huge, as they are full service and thus have funding for only a few people. They really made sure I was a good candidate, too. Picture the rigor of a Google-type job interview, but all about my challenges and how effort much I'm willing to put into addressing them.

Thanks for the warm welcome back. It's hard to keep holding on to the idea that people really do care if I'm around, so I hope the occasional update is ok, as it helps me keep the sense of connection with you guys.
That is very good news Twig and it's great to hear from you. Keep us posted!
posted by Kangaroo 23 August | 09:10
That is wonderful news, thank you so much for sharing it! I hope that life's road is smooth for you here on out.
posted by msali 23 August | 09:41
Fantastic news, Twiggy. And kudos to you for taking these steps. I'm sure you know it won't be an easy road ahead, but the journey will be worth it. Love and hugs to you.
posted by Senyar 23 August | 10:17
The occasional update (or however often you like) is more than OK - it's great to hear that maybe the light at the end of your tunnel isn't an oncoming train!
posted by dg 23 August | 20:24
Way to go!
posted by theora55 23 August | 21:18
It's good you reached out. Asking for help myself in the past has made a big difference for me. At various points, I've been divorced, unemployed, broke, clinically depressed, living with my parents. But things can turn around. If there's one thing that's made the biggest difference for me it's having a job. As hard as it is sometimes, I feel so much stronger and saner when I'm working. I've been a high school English teacher for the last twelve years, but I've had a lot of jobs in the past (I'm 48), like bank teller, bookseller, airline reservationist (over the phone), administrative assistant, you name it. Of course take the services and SSDI while you're getting back on your feet, but if it was me, I'd continue to try to find work, any work to start, as soon as you can (and your doctors/case manager recommend). A job just gets you back into the normalcy of life better than anything, I find. I've just seen so many people, including my own birth mother, end up dependent and living on the margins. I guess that's why I'm less celebratory about the SSDI -- it's great for short-term need, and, of course, if someone truly is disabled, and I'm not saying you're not, I don't know you, but I know enough of the circumstances to say just beware of that tarpit long-term. All the best to you, though--
posted by Pips 24 August | 01:37
Remarkable perseverance on your part! Good to hear!
posted by mightshould 24 August | 05:51
Thanks for sharing that, Pips. I agree, work can be such a wonderful stabilizing force.

Unfortunately, my emotions over my inability to work are so tied up in the illness. Many people might know I was a tech lawyer before the brain tumor and the crazy got this bad, and I miss lawyering, and even simply working. I have a million #dreamjobs, from hotel maid to CEO. I'm hoping to be able to use my law degree for something eventually, but these days, it's a struggle to be reliable enough to show up for a coffee date or catch a bus on time.

I'm really conflicted over taking the SSDI; part of why I'm in such a bad place now is that I decompensate from the stress of the internal conflict before most of the appointments to move my case along and don't show up. The thing that's convinced me to keep on that course is simple lawyer lizard brain: I meet the standards set out in the SSA listing for total disability due to bipolar with severe impairment. I'm not always unreliable and chaotic, but when I am, I'm enough of a force to completely destabilize a small to medium sized family owned business.
posted by Twiggy 24 August | 09:21
Don't feel conflicted -- that's what SSDI is for. If I needed it (and I may someday), I would take it, for sure. I wonder if the brain tumor/treatment is contributing to your other symptoms. In any case, I hope things continue to go better for you.
posted by Pips 24 August | 13:51
So glad for the good news! Thank you for updating - I haven't been around as long/don't know as many of the folks here as others but I always enjoy hearing updates!
posted by needlegrrl 25 August | 07:50