Just Joined - Nice to Meet You

Discussion in 'Welcome' started by DreamerGal, Sep 10, 2016.

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  1. DreamerGal

    DreamerGal Member


    What brought me here is that I am at my wits end. I think of death often. I worry I might say the wrong thing here, so at first I will be listening and reading the rules until it's drilled into my head. With that said, I hope my intro doesn't break any rules. After this, I will just listen.

    I'm on SSDI and I can't afford where I live. On an SSDI budget, who can afford living at all? I inherited some money after my dad died, but my money is running out so I don't know what I will do when it runs out. We all know where our minds are led to when we have no options. Is this just a perception on my part? I don't think so. My reality is quite real.

    I've also avoided watching the news for a very long time and haven't really known what's been going on. Until recently. It's a scary world and I fear where our country is headed, where our world is headed. This is adding to my extreme anxiety.

    I am 56, single and never married, no children, no family... It's really scary to be as alone as I am. My dx's are Bipolar Disorder Type I and PTSD. Meds are not working. So I'm either extremely manic and awake for days, or I am severely depressed, sleeping all the time. Often I experience mixed episodes.

    So that's me. I look forward to getting to know you all.

    Ellicul-Nelle likes this.
  2. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Hi @DreamerGal and welcome to SF. There are many people here with bipolar & ptsd, I hope you benefit from using this website. Thanks for opening up and letting us know you need support. We're a very friendly community so just join right in :)
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  3. DreamerGal

    DreamerGal Member

    Thanks, Petal. :)
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  4. Rockclimbinggirl

    Rockclimbinggirl SF climber Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Welcome to the forum :)
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  5. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Welcome to SF.

    So far as is this perception or reality? Our perception is out reality for all practical purposes=- if you can't see a way to do something then you cannot do it- so it is real for us in that moment. That doesn't mean it is not possible for us to learn of something else or another way- at which time both perception and reality change. SSDI is not really enough to live on in most places for most people by themselves- yet, this does not mean most peopel on ssdi are either homeless or see suicide as the only answer- you do not in your current situation see another way to survive - so it is real for you- but I do think it may be possible for you to explore others avenues of assistance by calling 211 (social services) , and telling them you are on ssdi and can't afford food/housing so to please put you in touch with people/services to help with those things. Odds are very good there are other programs to help, and if they cannot find other programs then the 27,000 members here might have some ideas from out experiences to make it possible and certainly worth the time to try (if it is a state program it will be sssssllloooooowwwwwww........- but once again- even if slow and frustrating it is something you deserve to benefit from and is possible some peopel might have ideas that can make it less difficult to navigate through socia

    I hope ou keep talking to us and we can finsd some ways to allieviate the immediate real issues so that the issues caused by depression can be dealt with as well.

    Take Care and Be Safe

    - Ben
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  6. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    Hi Dreamer Gal :)

    I feel for you. I'm on disability and with my problems, I can't work. I had to downgrade my lifestyle many years ago, which actually worked to my advantage. I live a very simple, frugal and quiet life now. I hope you can find some other kind of financial assistance to help you out! I can't really suggest much about that, but wanted to say welcome and offer my support. And to tell you that when I joined this forum, I felt as low as I could and really, participating here has helped me a great deal. I still struggle with the issues, but I find comfort here, it gives me strength to face what's going on in "real life".
    DreamerGal likes this.
  7. SillyOldBear

    SillyOldBear Teddy Bear Fanatic Staff Alumni

    Hi Dreamergal and welcome to SF. As noted above, there are a lot of good people here ready to listen to and support you and offer suggestions when they can. I am older then you, never married, no kids, never had a good union job with a pension and don't have much money. Spent part of today getting depressed trying to figure out Medicare. They sure make life confusing for old people! I am currently hanging on to a $15 an hour job so I will still have insurance through my employer. Paying for it any other way, even with Medicare, would leave me in the not eating situation too.

    Frances certainly has the right idea when she talks about simplifying. I am working on that right now. I also have heard about people who are able to rent a room in a large home to reduce expenses. They share the kitchen and other community resources. Don't know if you have looked into that. Like Ben said, there are other options. They may not be ideal, but they are there. Hope you will keep posting and sharing with us.
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  8. DreamerGal

    DreamerGal Member

    Thank you, folks. I don't know where to start. I'm hearing you, it's just so very difficult to believe there's a way out.

    I've looked at other assistance, but I get too much in benefits to qualify. I live in an old retirement community where most live on social security. They do have family so I suppose they help them financially. Two of my friends have trust funds. I live here because I wasn't able to take care of myself when I was on my own. So wherever I go, I'd need help. I'm severely disabled. I suppose it's possible to cut out a few expenses. I've cut out cable TV already. I have no electric or utility bills. When my father was living (he died three years ago), I was financially dependent on him. Now he is gone.

    My pdoc of 20 years is dying of cancer and he looks very thin, frail, and like death. I'm not handling it very well. My therapist of 20 years will be retiring in 2 years. I'm estranged from my two siblings and I fear for my life if they find out where I live. My family of origin is/was very toxic. They have been very mean, hostile, and jealous of me. I have no other family or support. I do have cousins but we don't know each other very well and have been rejected by them. IMO, family is overrated.

    I just don't have the strength to function. I probably need to go to the hospital, but in-patient does no good. The last time I went, I was there for 2-3 days. The therapist was not available and there was no one to talk to. If someone approached me and said just a few words, they'd give me a form to sign. I wasn't in any shape to sign anything so I didn't. And if there were changes to meds, how can they know it is working in 2-3 days? In-patient is useless. Anything worth going to, you have to be rich to afford it.

    I can find no doctor who takes Medicare. Many psychiatrists don't even take insurance anymore. Meds are expensive. My support system is almost nonexistent. I do have a therapist for at least 2 years. I see her often at $35 co-pay which I can't afford. $35/week adds up.

    I'm sorry I'm so negative. But I need to get it out. I will re-read your posts and maybe take notes of what y'all have said. I suppose I need to journal. I haven't written in a week.

    Thanks for listening.

    Frances M likes this.
  9. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    I know the feeling of helplessness and it's easy for me to say that you can find a way out, but I truly don't know all the facts of your circumstance, so I hope my suggestions don't sound cliché or flippant! I gave up cable television years ago, I don't even own a tv. If you have internet access, you can find a lot of television shows, movies and even documentaries on You Tube or other websites like Daily Motion. I watched most of the Andy Griffith episodes for free there. It's just an option. The internet is a big source of my entertainment during the winter months when I can't be outside, so I've found sites that offer free stuff.

    I COMPLETELY AGREE with you that family is overrated!!! Mine was horribly toxic and to be honest, after disowning them 13 years ago, I've never looked back and feel more safe and comfortable. For a few years they harassed me, tried to turn my landlord at the time against me by telling him lies (I'd legally changed my first and last names, they found out and told the landlord I was living under a false name and to 'watch out', can you believe them???) I finally scraped together money to send them a Cease And Desist order and haven't heard a peep since. I don't advertise where I live, I don't have a phone, just a cell phone and I live a private life. I don't know why they continued to bother me, to save face for them I suppose. I think that leaving the toxic family behind is always a wise idea.

    I don't have any traditional support system myself. I stopped therapy years ago because it cost too much. Where I live it's impossible to see a p-doc. I stopped meds too. I recently tried Prozac again, just because I was having difficulties with my relationship and it affected me badly, but they gave me migraines, so I use natural methods to manage depression and anxiety. I don't know what your disabilities are, but that's what I do.

    I hope you can find a way to stay where you are. I only have 15 years or so on my disability then I'm cut off, I'll have to either find a job in my 60's or go on welfare so I'm doing my best to try to put money away now for later, but even that is a challenge. I hope you can find the strength in you to find some kind of solution and help! Sending courage. xx
  10. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    Oh, I just wanted to say about therapy...I do self-therapy. I read a lot of articles, I post a lot here, I journal, paint and write in a blog (private one) daily about anything I want, and I do things like prayer/meditation and being outside in nature as often as possible. I also have pets that put perspective in my life for me. This was something I had no choice about because I can't afford $90 sessions in therapy, honestly I can't even afford the $35 that you pay! It takes some getting used to, but I've always preferred to do things on my own so that worked for me.
  11. DreamerGal

    DreamerGal Member

    Thanks, Frances. Your suggestions were great! No worries.

    When I gave up cable, I gave up the $10 cost for the set-top box. I bought an Apple TV (ATV) for a one-time fee of $149 and now I can connect my mac to my tv. The ATV has apps like Netflix, Hulu, CBS, YouTube, Podcasts, Music, iHeartRadio, Pandora, etc. I can watch what I want, when I want! I’m trying not to sign up for too many subscriptions. I have CBS @ $5.99/month, Netflix @ $7.99/month, Hulu for about the same, and that is it. CBSNews (I think) has live broadcasting for free. There are many (free) apps that require a cable subscription. Now why would a person have an ATV when they have cable? I don’t know. I switched my Internet from AT&T to Xfinity which is saving me boatloads of money. I don’t have electric or utility bills. I really do have a good deal here since the rent, food, housekeeping, maintenance, etc. is all lumped together. I don’t know of a cheaper place to live. Maybe if I lessened how often I see my T, that would be great.

    Sounds like you come from the same kind of family as myself. I can see my estranged sibs embarrassing me in social media. Right now I am blocking them on FB but I have a website and a FB page that they can see.

    Great ideas for therapy & meds replacement. I don’t feel comfortable not having someone to vouch for me with the Social Security Administration after all these years if I didn't have a pdoc or T. I had a dream of authoring a book and becoming independent again. I was calling myself a writer there for a while, but don’t feel creative anymore. I've become so unstable. I don't know how I can work what with my sleep schedule as it is. And I don’t know how I could make enough money to live now that I don’t have a career. I had an IT career but now, after 16 years, technology has all changed. Authoring a book is just a dream. Everybody’s doing it.

    That’s a shame they can cut off your disability just like that. Prozac gave me headaches as well. I hope you find something you like to do when the time comes.

    I need to be taking notes! You and others have great advice! Right at the moment, I am feeling better. The sun is out, I invited a friend to come over on Tuesday, and I’m going to lunch for some salmon at noon.

    Thanks a bunch. :)
    Frances M likes this.
  12. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    Oh I LOVE hearing that you're feeling better! :) I'm jealous of your lunch, I love fish. It's so darn expensive though, which makes no sense at all...I actually fish, but I don't have a boat so my bf and I fish from the shores of lakes and rivers. We mostly catch bass but not big enough to keep legally. Once in a while, an acquaintance will bring us out in his motor boat for trout fishing, but the season is over now. I'd love to be able to catch my dinner every night!

    I canceled Netflix a few months back, it was $7.99 and they wanted to increase it to $9.99...in Canada, the selection isn't very good so I gave it up. We used to be able to use this little app called a VPN to access other country's Netflix data bases for better movies, but the companies are getting really smart at those little fixes, oh well! Honestly though there is so much online that cable is irrelevant to me. Though one day I'd love to have a tv to watch movies on a bigger screen. I think it's a great idea to switch companies for anything if you can get a cheaper price, but as long as the service is good. My bf and I recently switched our cell phones to another company and we get better prices since there are two of us. There are lots of ways to save a little here and there and it all adds up.

    Other things I do is cook from scratch. I make my own yogurt and ricotta cheese, bread and pasta. I don't buy processed or frozen food because it costs so much and tastes like cardboard! This summer, I was able to start a small garden from seeds and I got a lot of tomatoes, strawberries and herbs. The herbs are great, I have chives, rosemary, cilantro and parsley for the entire winter. I just have to bring them inside. I also took advantage of a farmer's market in August and got 80 pounds of tomatoes for $40 that I preserved using a water bath canner and now I have 36 jars of tomatoes that will last us the winter and spring too. I try to stock the freezer when chicken is on sale...just all these frugal things when I have a little spare money help in the long run.

    I'm on workman's comp disability which is different from the government one. I have it from a burnout and it's only until age 67. I'm grateful that I have it though, it's a bit higher than govt disability. Apparently I was very lucky because workman's comp doesn't usually give long term benefits to burnout victims, but my doctors at the time fought for me.

    I hope you continue to feel better!!! :)
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  13. DreamerGal

    DreamerGal Member

    Hi Frances, I'm sorry to getting back to you after all this time. Eighty pounds of tomatoes? Wow! We have a dining room here so I don't have to worry about shopping. The food here isn't all that bad, with some foods being healthy while others not so much.

    I had been feeling better as of that last writing, but, alas, not so much today. I'm surviving. I am diabetic and haven't been taking very good care of myself. I know I should be checking my sugars, but however hard I try, I apparently try too hard for a while and then I get burnt out on it and give up. Bipolar and diabetes isn't a good mix. There is much about the mood disorder, not to mention some of the meds offered, that can raise sugars. In recently months, my old primary care physician told me "mental illness isn't an excuse for everything" and "leave the mental health to Dr F and the diabetes to me". I couldn't believe it! For one, I hadn't been talking about mental illness. I had been excited about an app I was using and was proud of myself for keeping up with documenting my diabetes care and had mentioned something about dopamine had to do with accomplishing something, much like mania does. So I fired the guy after decades of knowing him. He was never very clinical, more administrative and had no business treating patients. He NEVER examined my feet! This new doctor takes it more seriously and examines my feet and legs, and he sees me every 3 months rather then the 6 my old doctor did.

    So if diabetes can effect mental health and vice versa, who is responsible for what?? How can one separate the two? This world is so screwed up. I do think that medical professionals ought to have training in the mental health area. I don't know what the big deal is.

    I hope to get out of this funk I'm stuck in. But you sound good as of your last writing! I hope you are still doing as well.
  14. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    Hi DG :)

    Oh, I'm doing okay. I'm at a point where I'm managing very well. I joined this forum for some emotional support when things weren't going well at home, but all that has passed and my life is better now. I do have my moments though. I find coming here is self-therapeutic. Your last doctor sounds very arrogant, and I find most are. Around here, we call the general practitioners "dispatchers" because all they seem to do is refer and prescribe. I remember going to a doctor back in 2010 and was told I had to see a gastroenterologist because he suspected that good old general "excuse" IBS. Do you know how long the waiting list was to see a specialist???? TWO YEARS. There was no way I was living with that pain for 2 years so I ended up curing myself by going on an elimination diet then vegan for a year...I am not a fan of the medical profession. I agree though about doctors needing training with mental health illness.

    It's not surprising that diabetes can affect mental health when you think about it...When I had "IBS", my depression was so much worse, it was so hard to deal with, plus the stress of it all produces cortisol which is not good for the body in high doses...it's all linked I believe. I hope you can find a balance between the diabetes and bi-polar. Is your financial situation looking up?
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  15. DreamerGal

    DreamerGal Member

    I'm in denial with my financial situation. I'm trying not to spend. Since meds really don't help, buying something makes me feel better. So if I eliminate the spending, it makes me feel worse. But I can't imagine living somewhere else where it would be cheaper, except the last 3 years my rent has gone up $40 each year. That is a lot.

    I'm glad your life is better, Frances. You give me hope that it can be better for me eventually. Thanks for that. :)
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  16. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    Oh you're very welcome! :)
    I learned to stop spending this year, out of sheer necessity. All of my bills went up and after trouble with neighbours, my bf and I decided that's it. Either we're moving to another rental when our lease is up, a cottage deep in the woods where there are no people, which might be hard to find...or we're saving every penny to buy our dream property in 2 and a half years. I gave up lots of stuff and so did he and we got used to saving instead of spending. But I was very much a "shopping therapy" type of gal before! It's just so fleeting though because I always have buyers remorse after. It was hard, but now that I'm seeing the credit card balances go down a little more each month, it's encouraging me. I'm keeping my eye on my dream and that's helping me a lot.
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  17. Brian777

    Brian777 Safety and Support SF Artist SF Supporter

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  18. Frances M

    Frances M Mountain Woman

    That's a great link @Brian777 , there is also documentaryaddict.com.
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  19. Brian777

    Brian777 Safety and Support SF Artist SF Supporter

    Thanks Frances :)
  20. DreamerGal

    DreamerGal Member

    Wow that's just great, Brian. Thanks! :)

    Wonderful! I've bookmarked both sites. (I'm having trouble with Google bookmarks so hopefully I won't lose these.)
    Frances M likes this.
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