Now that the dust has settled from the initial euphoria of receiving my first Social Security Disability Insurance check earlier this month, I’ve begun to reflect on all that brought me to this place of (relative) peace and quiet. I can’t get over how relieved I am knowing that Will and I are going to survive…..not that we aren’t still poor, but much less so than we were on his SS alone. I honestly didn’t know how we were going to make it—we were down to our last $200 in savings—without having to give up our car insurance and/or the storage shed, which holds almost everything we own.
We don’t have to worry about that anymore. My income alone pays all the bills plus enough for food (we’ll be getting kicked off food stamps next month), while Will’s check can go for savings so we can get our own place one day. It does seem weird to be on Social Security this early in life; it fits oddly, like a dress with an irregular hem and sleeves that are a bit too tight. I’ve already learned to say “I’m a retired nurse” when asked my occupation, because saying “I’m disabled” opens up too many cans of worms and people always want to know what’s wrong. I don’t necessarily want to share that with the entire world. I know what got me here, and so do my readers.
I am amazed at how relaxed I’ve become since all this fell into place. I sometimes even wake up smiling because I no longer have to worry about finding a job, with all the attending anxiety and frustration. I busted my chops for six long months last year trying to find something I could do and applying for many jobs I couldn’t do, and I spent most of those months severely depressed. The depression itself finally lifted after we got moved in here in January and has not returned, but this is more than just not being depressed anymore…..this is called being happy.
The fact that I am still bipolar doesn’t even bother me so much anymore. Yes, this is a wonderful time for me and I know I’ll eventually cycle out of it, just as I cycled into it. I experienced a mild hypomania a few weeks ago, and of course depression always lurks in the shadowy recesses of my brain. But being so much more at ease with my life situation is doing great things for me, as is the fact that my meds are right. Finally. That last uptick in my antidepressant was the straw that broke depression’s back. I can hardly wait to see Dr. Awesomesauce on Monday and share my good news. Hey Doc, you cured me!
Now, I know better than to believe there’s a cure for my illness; but at last I’m settling in for the long haul and I’m not constantly fighting with it anymore. The med change helped that along, but not having to worry about losing everything we’ve acquired over 35 years of marriage or getting the car impounded for lack of insurance is amazingly liberating. 🙂