Hopelessly Trapped

During my last inpatient stay I talked with the social worker about how to move out on my own.  She encouraged me to reapply for disability (I was rejected before because I didn’t have enough work credits, but I do now).  I submitted that application, and when I did my taxes I got a recommendation that I apply for SNAP so I did that too.  There was a phone interview about a week later and then I had to fax a bunch of paperwork about my finances.

Yesterday in therapy we were updating my treatment plan and added back the goal about improving my living situation, part of which involves creating a budget.  The ultimate aim is for me to be prepared to move out.  While talking about budgeting, Sadie brought up the fact that the CMHC billing department had contacted her about me, and said they were going to be sending me letters because my payments had been sporadic.  I had consistently paid $50 a month for almost two years, but the past couple of months I missed paying because I’ve been really short on money.  I wasn’t worried about it, because I’ve always been told that it was great that I was making payments since a lot of people never pay.  Panicked, I left my appointment and paid $25 that I didn’t really have to spare.

When I got home and got the mail, I had a pile of bad news.  I had a bill from the hospital, from when I went to the ER to get to inpatient.  It was only $8, but I was confused because my insurance has always paid everything 100% and I don’t know why it didn’t this time.  The next thing I opened was my approval for SNAP.  Good news, right?  Not so much.  I am approved for $23 a month, which won’t even buy me a cup of yogurt for breakfast every morning.

The last letter was also from the Family & Social Services Administration, regarding my insurance.  When I was originally approved my premium was the minimum of $1 per month.  After the first year, they reapproved me but raised my premium to $4.77 because I now had some income.  I paid the whole year’s premiums a couple of weeks ago.  Now they are raising the premium to $18.10, because they think I’m going to consistently make the amount that I’ve made in my busiest months at work.  Those months have been four days per week, but I’m only guaranteed one day per week.  Basically they gave me a paltry amount for SNAP but took it right back away.

I had to go to some unexpected hours at work because someone had called in, and on the way I started crying.  Not the safest way to drive.  I couldn’t think about anything but how I needed to follow through on one of my old suicide plans, because nothing about my life is ever going to get better.  I sent Sadie an e-mail saying that it was a waste of time to make that treatment plan because none of it will ever be accomplished and everything is too hard.  The response I got was “??” and I would not have been surprised if my work shift had been interrupted by a police visit.  It wasn’t, however.

I managed to hold it together for 4 hours at work, but when I got home I slipped back into my meltdown.  I knew I needed to use a DBT skill or two, but was struggling, so I fell back on the “easy” one – Crisis Survival Network.  I texted my best friend, and her responses back calmed me just a little.  Among other things, she was talking about her daughter’s massive meltdowns and said, “You worked your magic and got her to calm down when I couldn’t.  If you can do that you can do anything!  Including comforting and calming the negative voices in your own head.  The child in you is upset and hurting.  Help her like you helped Emily.”

I tried, really I did.  I couldn’t do anything to make myself feel better about the situation last night, but managed to e-mail Sadie a less cryptic explanation and get myself to sleep, and things look a little less dim this morning.


Intentional Applications

Last April I submitted an Accidental Application for disability.  I was promptly denied due to not having enough work credits, without them ever getting around to looking into the medical basis for my claim.  Ten months later, I should now have enough work credits thanks to my sub-part-time job at the hospital.

The social worker in inpatient encouraged me to reapply when I shared my concerns about being unable to afford moving out on my own.  She even made some calls for me to find out if there was a way to reopen the old application, but the information she got was that it’s best to just start fresh.  I proceeded to procrastinate for a month.

Last week Sadie assigned me a project to schedule my time each day until my next appointment (today) and then mark down what I actually did with each time block and how it felt.  When I made the schedule for today I included “disability application” and allotted one hour to do it.  She was hesitant to encourage me until she confirmed that it’s possible for me to get approved and still keep my job.

This time the application was a little easier in that I’d done it before, but a little harder in that more time has passed and there was more information to include.  I got 80% of it done in my allotted hour and saved it so I could take a break, but after supper I went back to complete and submit it.

I am scared of the rest of the process.  Of course I want to be approved and get onto more stable ground financially.  I’m not scared of the end result no matter which way it goes, but I’m very scared of what it is going to take to get there.

I also have a phone interview Thursday morning for possible SNAP benefits.  They may not approve me since I do live with someone who does pay for food, but she only provides meats and grains.  If I want fruits or vegetables or dairy products I’m on my own, which probably explains some of my current health problems.