Xmas Morning

So, it has finally happened.

Remember that Closed Period that I was awarded from Social Security back in September of 2017? I finally got my first payment today! yep, it has finally fucking happened.

Why did it take so long?

Great question.

It seems that back in February, when they tried paying the money to my old bank account, The check wasn’t returned until 5 days after we had updated our payment info. So, the payment center was under the impression that the corrected info was the old info, since it was corrected before the check was returned. After that I re-filed a claim to get my monthly checks.  So, the calls I have made to the dozens of people since February have been confirming my payment info on the new claim, and not the old one that I had yet to be paid on. Until last week, when I called and got someone that actually figured things out instead of just getting me off the damn phone. So, the payment was re-issued, and it took a whole 2 days for me to see my money. So, I got my first payment today and I have 2 more to go.

Hopefully, I will get approved for my monthly payment and things will be smooth sailing from here.

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Atypical

I officially turned 41 about 18 days ago.

Yep, I am now IN my 40s instead of being just 40. So, to kick this off I started having chest pains about 2 weeks after my birthday. At first, I just thought that I had an air bubble or something and it would just go away. It bothered me all week, so that Saturday I made a doctor’s appointment.

That Monday I got a call from the doctor’s nurse and she tells me that she would talk to the doctor and call me back. She told me that she guarantees that he will tell me to go to the ER; however no one ever called me back. When I got to the appointment the next morning, I got an ear full from my doctor. Apparently, if you are having chest pains then you get your ass to the emergency room.

Who knew?

So, we go to the ER.  I get blood work done, an EKG, chest X-rays and the like. After 5 hours I was told that everything checks out & I just have “Atypical Chest Pains”.  After pondering what could have caused these, I come to the conclusion of stress. We had a big thing hit us the week that all of this started.

Let me tell you that story now.

On one particular Monday ,on which all of this started, my friend that lives with us got a call from CPS (Child Protective Services) about his daughter, who also lives with us, and that they were going to be at my house that Friday morning to investigate the claims made about his daughter.

Of course I go into full panic mode and start cleaning the house, with my down time spent on who the hell made the call. I was seething with rage because all the claims were out in out lies. So that entire week was spent in a panic to get the house cleaned up and enraged about the entire ordeal.

Friday comes and the investigator goes into details about the complaint. We provide evidence to the contrary and the investigator leaves satisfied that the claims were false. We all breathed a sigh of relief and got on with our lives. Now in an immaculately clean house, I might add.

So ,basically, someone overheard a conversation and took everything out of context and called CPS. This caused me a week long panic attack and lead to me thinking that my heart was giving out. Which is now a thing because I am in my 40s.

People are idiots.

FINALLY!

Remember that hearing that I had back in September of 2017?

Well, I have FINALLY got a check!

Yep, I got PAID!

Now, I get to re-file for disability all over with a judgment on file saying that I was previously disabled. So, hopefully, this go around will not take as long. If it does; then I will dig in and fight it out.

Now I get to go and research tankless water heaters.

 

If You Are the Smartest Guy in the Room…

Hope your Thanksgiving was great. We went on a trip to Louisiana to see family the day after Thanks giving.  It was filled with family, and the best food on the planet.

It was also filled with an uncomfortable conversation.

While hanging out with some family members drinking some Jameson and having a good time.When it was just me and one particular family member, I was asked if I was working. Of course I said no and that I was still going for my disability. When pressed, I explained my anxiety, and bipolar disorder and how they affect me.  Then I was pressed further for more of an explanation. I was asked how I could be around people at family gatherings and such, but have anxiety. Then more family came over to talk and the conversation changed.

It puzzles me that people treat mental health issues with such doubt. If I had cancer; then no one would say “But, you had that one good day” and then doubt that I had cancer. Why people do this with mental illness is beyond me.

As the conversation went on it was directed back to the subject of work and how people should pull themselves up and not ask for help. The same family member piped in with a bunch of “If this; Then that” statements on how people should get themselves back to on their feet. Some were valid; however one of these statements was “If it’s mental health; then go get your pills”.  This just proved to me that this particular person was ignorant on the subject of mental health issues.

Pills do not cure mental health issues. They can help manage the symptoms. Pills alone do not help with mental illness. It’s pills and therapy that are the course of action to make mental illness manageable.  Just like some treatments usually don’t work well by themselves, there are tandem treatments that go along with them (Like radiation & chemotherapy).

“Go get your pills” is not a solution for mental health issues.

Especially when you take in the fact that there is a severe lack of mental health services in this country.  In my state alone, there is such a shortage of psychiatrists that there is only 1 Shrink to every 10,000 patients. Yes, this number is offset by the use of Physician’s Assistants; however that is still a large deficit between people who need help and the people that provide help. Then you have to be qualified to receive any form of county, state, or federal assistance. The other option is to have insurance, which most people cannot afford through the Health.gov site, and if they work part-time they are generally disqualified from any form of assistance. So, you would have to work full-time at a job that supplies insurance. Which if everyone could do that; then this entire conversation would be a moot point.

In short, sometimes you simply cannot “go get your pills” to begin with.

I am not even going to go into the fact that sometimes it takes Y E A R S to find a medicinal regiment that will actually work for your symptoms. Sometimes it takes awhile to find out what pills to go get.

I guess the point is this: If you have little or no understanding on a subject; then don’t speak on that subject. It’s really that simple. You are doing nothing but spreading ignorance and perpetuating a stigma.

 

 

 

Battle Royal

Yesterday was terrible.

I had plans to go to the store and run a few other errands; however those plans hit the skids. Apparently, my anxiety has made a new best friend out of my diabetes and yesterday was their first tag team match vs. my normal day activities.

If you have never read any of my posts (or have no idea who I am) then I should tell you that I have severe general anxiety disorder, along with bipolar disorder and OCD.

Yep, you are reading the blog of a crazy person.

So, my anxiety does it’s usual number and it was the typical battle of myself vs. the front door. Usually, I can calm myself and beat the door, but that day Anxiety brought it’s A Game. For almost 3 hours I stared at the front door of my house trying to gather the will to get up and go outside. To get shit done. Finally, I had summoned the will to go get groceries and run my errands and…

My sugar tanked.

So now the will was there, but my body was not able to get up and move. My sugar was low and I had to stop and eat a snack to get it back up. About 30 – 45 minutes later I had that under control and felt like I could move forward; however a new player had entered the tournament…

Depression.

4 hours of my day had been stolen and now, I sat there feeling worthless, feeling broken, and feeling angry with myself. I called no joy and crawled into bed. I talked with my wife, and chanted my mantra “Depression Lies” (Thanks Wil Wheaton) and moved forward. I cooked dinner, and my day returned to as normal as it could be at that moment.

That night I came to terms with something. I will always have to fight. This is a war, not a battle. I have to fight not only my mental health issues, but now my physical health issues as well. It’s a war on many fronts, but one that can be won. I just have to fight. It sucks, but I have to do it. I have the tools, I have the support structure, and I have the drive to persevere. Because if I don’t fight; then like in a real combat situation I will die.

It’s brutal, but it’s the truth.

So today I got up, fixed a healthy breakfast, and ran my errands. I lost yesterday, but today I struck back and I won. I will lose again, but I always have to keep fighting,  celebrate my victories and learn from my loses.

That’s how wars are won.

 

 

Still Waiting.

This blows.

I know that the Federal Government moves at the speed of narcoleptic snails, but this is ridiculous. My disability hearing was almost a month ago, and I have yet to receive a letter stating how much that I am getting. Much less a check. I am about to refile for disability here in about a week and I still haven’t received anything from my first filing.

I hate waiting, BTW.

I am also waiting to be able to see a psychiatrist. I had my assessment the other day (and yes, I am still crazy). Apparently, despite the fact that I am seeing and hearing shit that isn’t there, I am rated on the lowest level of care with the county mental health facility; however a therapist will be coming to my house once every couple of weeks or so. That’s pretty damn cool; however I do not get to see an actual doctor for my meds for almost another month. That’s not very cool.

I am also waiting on my unemployment claim to be reviewed. Hopefully, I won’t be rejected and will get some cash coming in until my other checks drop. Again, just more waiting.

So, that’s what is going on with me at the moment. Just sitting here waiting for things to happen.

Maybe I should go clean up my house a bit.

 

 

Repetitive.

It seems like I have covered this topic before, but I fear that I will be covering it again and again and again.

Because ‘Murica.

The mass shooting that happened in Las Vegas was horrific. 50 people lost their lives and hundreds were injured. Why? We don’t know because the coward offed himself.

Now we have talked about political vehicles that launch whenever one of these things occur. We have talked about motivation of these things. We have talked about the details of mass shootings to the point that I have forgotten what we have covered. So, my apologies if this is repetitive.

When the shooter was first identified, the media started asking what they always do (when the shooter is a white guy) and that was question his mental health. I am sure that they were shocked and amazed when the family stated that he had no issues with mental illness. Now, does that mean that he really didn’t? Of course not. There are members of my family that don’t know I struggle with mental health issues, but that’s not the issue here. The issue is that mental illness gets the blame as the cause for the incident and the idea that all mentally ill people are just sitting around waiting for their moment to snap and take out a pre-school is perpetuated further.

Say this with me now:

“The Mentally Ill are not mass murderers in waiting”.

As a mentally ill person, I have N E V E R thought about, or planned a mass shooting, bombing, or anything. I am horrified by these things and I am terrified that people with a history of mental illness are always looked at when these horrific events happen. I am not stockpiling ammo, or weapons, or anything. Matter of fact there is only one gun in our house.

Nerf Maverick

That’s right, I am a mentally ill white guy living in Texas that doesn’t own a gun and is not planning a mass shooting. I am like a fucking unicorn.

So what is the root cause to all of the mass shootings? If it isn’t mental health issues; then what is it?

In my opinion, there is not a root cause for mass shootings; there are several.  One is the current gun laws that we have in this country. In Texas, it is harder to get a fucking drivers license than to get a gun in Texas. I could literally go to [Insert Name of Sporting Goods Store Here] and shell out the cash for an AR – Whatever and be out the door in a matter of minutes.  That’s right, minutes. My wife and I have been helping my niece get her drivers licence and it has literally taken months and we still haven’t gotten it, yet.

So, we make people have licenses to show that they can safely operate a vehicle, but we do not do the same for a firearm. We make people have insurance to cover their liability in case of an accident, and we make them register their vehicles with the state; however we do not do jack shit for guns. Until we have comprehensive and logical gun laws in this country, we will continue to have mass shootings.

What else do we need to fix?

We need some common sense laws regarding the modification of firearms.  The media has been reporting about the “bump-stock” that the Las Vegas shooter was using. I know that these increase the rate of fire for a semi-automatic rifle; however I didn’t realize by how much. Then I saw this video.  It shows that the semi-auto basically becomes a fully automatic weapon with the flick of a switch. These are legal because you are not altering the actual firing system, but just the stock. We need to regulate this shit and quick. Sorry, but I am not sorry, there is not a legitimate use for this type of accessory. This isn’t used for hunting, this isn’t used for home defense, and not one gun-owner is going out to stop any tyrants. This type of thing isn’t needed, period.

We have to change the way we view gun laws. No one…REPEAT…NO ONE is coming for your guns. We just want to make sure that responsible people own guns, just the way we do with automobiles, and make sure these weapons do not actually become assault weapons. Yes, you will have to go to an actual gun dealer and not a convention center to buy a gun. Yes, you will have to wait, and go through some hoops; however this will lead to less dead kids, less dead concert goers, and just less death all around.

But… but… criminals will still buy guns illegally.

Yes, they will; however most criminals have stolen their weapons, or have purchased them illegally anyway. This will still happen. My thoughts on this are that if we stiffen the penalty for gun theft, and illegal sales; then we will see less of this, too. If guns are harder to get for the bad-guys; then we should see a reduction in crime. Other countries have done this, why can’t we. Of course, until the GOP stops sucking the NRA’s dick for their campaign money shots, none of this will probably happen.

Look, I don’t have the solution (even though the gun & cheese plan I had was pretty solid), but I have ideas. Ideas lead to solutions. Hopefully, one day, I won’t have to post about this shit anymore.

Sadly, that day isn’t today.

Victory-Ish (With a bit of Catch-Up)

Yeah, yeah… I know I haven’t posted in a few months. I have been busy.

However, I thought that I would come back to you all with some good news.

My SSI hearing was on Wednesday Sept. 27th. I had planned to let go of all of the constant mental and cognitive acrobatics that  I perform to keep the resemblance of stability that probably everyone sees right through; however that wasn’t necessary. I was a W R E C K when I got to the Federal Building. My anxiety peaked, thoughts were racing through my head and I could only look at the ground the whole time.

We arrived REALLY early and sat in the lobby. Waiting for our lawyer to arrive. Once he arrived he had some fairly good news. The judge had already made the judgment of a “Closed period”. Because one of the doctors or therapists had made the note that I was improving, he said that I could take the closed period, but not the residual monthly check. Basically,  I would receive payment from the date that I filed in 2015 to the date that I got out of my last IOP (BTW, I went into another IOP during the time that I was away from here) which was around September 15th, 2017.  So, Y x 25.5 months = Closed Period Check (Y is the unnamed amount that I would have been paid monthly during the closed period). I was told that I could re-file at anytime and that I would have a stronger case this next go around and that it probably would not take as long. So, I will be refiling later this month.

I feel that this is a win. Simply because, now I am not worried about back pay. I already have that out of the way and I just have to focus on getting a monthly check. I was working a job at the time and that also hurt me a bit. I was working for a company called Teletech troubleshooting a very popular brand of computer peripherals venture into cloud-based security cameras. I quit just a few days ago because the management there was horrific. I mean, these people couldn’t have run a fast-food joint much less a help desk. I was asked to work off the clock, threatened with termination if their software didn’t perform correctly, told that they would make any extra time disappear if I went over my 20 hours of availability and just treated horribly. It was just ran terribly. So, now I won’t have that weighing me down during my next filing and I already have a SSI Judge stating that I was previously disabled. So, I am fairly optimistic about this next go around.

I also plan on keeping up with this more. Maybe not posting every day, but at least once a week.

See you soon!

 

A Small Decorative Box.

It’s been a shitty few days.

Yesterday, I feel that I took the first steps away fro the shit show that is depression.  I asked my wife to call the MHMR crisis line for my county. I spoke with a counselor over the phone, and they dispatched a “mobile crisis team” to my house. I met with two of their team and I am taking steps to get help. I am looking to enter into a PHP/IOP here in a few weeks.

They are also setting me up with a therapist and hopefully I will get along with them.

I started to perk up yesterday. I made it out of bed and actually cooked some food. I also went out into public to pick up some smokes and did OK. I felt like things were getting better…

Then today happened.

We received Boo’s ashes back and now we have a physical reminder of her loss. It’s sitting in our bedroom, staring us in the face. All of the pain that had started to wane came flooding back into me. It knocked me down, but not out. I am fighting today. I am fighting the urge to curl up in bed and watch “The Office” all day. I am fighting to actually eat real food and not just pop-tarts. I am fighting to stay active and not just shut down. I am fighting. I am making my way through this grief and trying to make it to shore; however it isn’t an easy task.

I miss her so much and it hurts.

Despite that she is gone, I know that I have to keep on living. I have to keep on fighting. I will make it to that shore, and I am going to be OK.

I may need some more coffee, though. This shit is rough.

Princess of the Universe (and Surrounding Galaxies).

Yesterday was a hard day. My wife and I had to say goodbye to our first dog.

We had Boo since before we were married. We actually stole her from my mother-in-law. She asked us to pet-sit her , and we just never returned her. She was our pride and joy for 15 years. She developed pancreatitis and this complicated an existing heart murmur. Fluid filled her lungs and enveloped her heart. She had trouble breathing, even on oxygen, and it was just better to let her go vs. watch her suffer.

It was the right thing to do, but it still sucked.

Boo was with us in the beginning of our marriage, when we lost our pregnancy, and all of our other adventures. There are countless stories about her and her eccentricities; however I am not going to share those today. I mainly just want to get my thoughts out because I have been a wreck since she passed. I have had thoughts of self harm, thoughts of harming others, and then feelings of complete depression and apathy. Too the point where I didn’t trust myself to drive up the road a bit to Taco Bell. I was either going to wreck the car or hurt someone, possibly both.

Like I said, it’s been a hard day.

Because my wife and I cannot have children, our pets are our kids. With that being said, I feel like I lost a child today. I am lost in depression and fighting to keep my head above water. I may need to enter into a PHP or IOP; however I don’t think I can because I would probably end up losing my job. Even if I went out on FMLA, our income would be greatly reduced. I am not sure that we can afford for me to do that; however I am not sure if we can afford for me not to get into a program. Right now all I can do is watch “The Office” and lay in bed.

Sorry, but right now Netflix therapy is all I have.

It’s actually all I can afford.