When I ended my tale yesterday, the roller coaster in my brain could no longer handle the ride. I was “smart” enough quit a good career; “intelligent” enough to move to a strange city; “brilliant” enough to live with a lover in a loveless relationship, and made alcohol and drugs my best friends. I was full of damn good decisions. I’m going to fast forward through much here because most of it can be found here: Most of it that doesn’t need to be rehashed.
The short version is the drugs and alcohol took me to the point that I was homeless, friendless, cold, hungry and craving more as I wandering the streets. I was completely without hope until I found alcoholics anonymous. AA literally saved my life.
This was the point of my life that, once again, I became a full-time crash test dummy. Get a job. BAM! Get a promotion. BAM! Get another promotion. BAM! Despite all the bams, the times in between were good enough to keep me coasting along. Here I was, deja vu all over again and exhausted.
Another fast forward to finally becoming a manager of a store because of my “outstanding” performance (Hardy Har Har). Running a store with a group of people is never an easy task, but it’s especially hard when bipolar. It’s even worse when your bipolar is undiagnosed. I coasted along as best as I could when finally the big one hit…BAM! BAM! BAMDITY-BAM! The depression took over completely and I could barely get to work. Some days I just didn’t. Some days I just didn’t and wouldn’t even bother to call in. Of course, as a manager, I always had some excuse.
When the seizures came back along with the vertigo, it became unbearable and I was put on medical leave. Many doctors still don’t make a connection between bipolar disorder and seizures but I say they are crazier than I am. I was on Medical Leave for three months and then God Bless the good ‘Ol U.S.A.
My three months were up and to continue my insurance would cost approx. $600/mo. My disability insurance pays me $1200/mo. Now, I don’t know where you live but it’s damn hard in Los Angeles to live on the $600 a month I’d have left (read damn hard as just plain impossible), so I wound up having to do what millions of Americans do every day, I went without health insurance. I did go to the county mental health clinic where I was interviewed and gave my history. They refused me service and I swear this quote is verbatim “we’ve determined you’re case isn’t bad enough. You are functioning and not homeless. We welcome you to return when your condition worsens.” Not if…WHEN!!!
When it became absolutely necessary I would go to an emergency room which was completely filled with people waiting. After usually a 24 hour wait I’d be seen and the state would have to foot the expensive bill. I’m not a sociologist or an economist, but it just really isn’t the most effective system as near as I can tell.
Once again I will leave you in suspense. You will have to stay tuned to the 3rd and final installment to see how my little fairy tale goes.
Yesterday really sucked. I was horribly depressed most of the day. I got out a bit for my morning walk, had breakfast, made the bed but that was it. In the evening I suddenly began to cry for no reason. That hasn’t happened in awhile. This too shall pass. In a bit I think I’ll go to the park to sketch and then head to my support group tonight.