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The #SoCS challenge this week is to begin and end an extemporaneous bit of writing with the word ‘how’. How now, brown cow? Here goes:
How can I be simultaneously miserable and enjoying myself? Living with this ludicrous illness is like that for me – constant low-grade discomfort with occasional storms of true misery. Meanwhile, I go on about my business and pleasure, taking what comes, treasuring what joys life brings me, and it is not infrequently that I find myself generally pleased, despite the relentless symptoms of schizophrenia and the reduced circumstances to which the disease has led me.
How can I express to the Social Security committee deciding on my claim for disability that my case warrants disability, even though I have been working full-time lo these long ten years since the onset of my condition? They see an educated, capable man with no visible handicaps. On my application and in my medical records, they read about near-constant, contentious, distracting ‘voices’ and how coping with this symptom distracts me from tasks at hand and sends me into fits of extreme mental fatigue during which I cannot lift a finger and am prone to sleep days at a time. They also read my reports of major depression, lack of willpower to tend to the chores of maintaining myself and my household. But does this mean to them that I am deserving of assistance so that I can reduce my working hours? I guess not, since they have denied my claim. I am appealing…
How will I muster the wherewithal to stand before the federal judge in a few months and give account of why I should be granted Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It’s not like I went on some lavish spending spree… I charged a hundred dollars a month of food to credit cards. It’s just that I did that for eight years, and now cannot manage to pay all the creditors their monthly due. Did you know, by the way, that bankruptcy lawyer’s fees, filing fees, and mandatory budgeting training sum up to about fifteen hundred dollars? Yeah. It costs $1,500 to go broke. So many people who need financial help cannot put together that chunk of money. Too poor to make it back to zero. It’s heart-wrenching.
How, this very week, will I manage to jump through all the red tape hoops necessary to secure health insurance for myself? I need insurance badly. Paying out-of-pocket for antipsychotic medication is out of the question, but I receive patient assistance from the drug company which markets Abilify. Still, I must pay for both therapy and sessions with an actual prescribing authority (i.e. psychiatrist), and there’s no money for that. So I must, must, must force myself through the process of applying for my state’s low-income health insurance policy. Nothing to it but to do it. But how? It is daunting. It is almost beyond me.
How does one end a sentence with how?
Thank you for reading. Comments very welcome. And thanks to Linda for the inspiration.
ps. joining up also with #ThatFridayLinky