Bipolar Disorder Disabled Man With Broken Spine Seeks Government Grant
by Keith Jones
(Greensboro, NC, USA)
I am 38 years old and disabled physically as a result of bipolar disorder. I was born August 27, 1974 to John and Dorathy Jones.
My mother passed away from a heart attack when I was eight years old. I have never been married and have no children.
My younger brother and I were raised by our father, a single parent. I think that's were I got my work ethic from seeing my father go to work every weekday at a plumbing supply company.
I have a younger brother who is a writer but I have not heard from him since they had the tsunami in Japan. His job was to go to hotels and write reviews for them. He worked freelance.
My first job was at McDonald's when I was 16. I remember some of the guys who were at my school who were selling drugs would laugh at me in school but then want free food when they came into the restaurant.
The laughing stopped when I would show up in a fresh pair of Jordan's. Those were the days when I would spend money on stupid stuff but it was mine to spend and I was proud of myself.
After I graduated High School I got a Job at Pitney Bowes in the archives division at day and I worked security at night. It became too much.
After six months I quit both to work in a animal shelter part-time. At this time I was living with my father and my little brother was staying with our godmother.
My uncle had owned the house we were living in but he had gone bankrupt and lost everything. Till this day I still don't know the whole story, but I had to move in with my grandmother, and since she was elderly, help take care of her.
I stayed there until I had a opportunity to enter a program called Covenant House in Manhattan. They had a program were I could live there, pay rent and train in a building maintenance program.
This meant leaving my grandmother, but I would still come to see her and help with her bills. At he end of the program all the rent I paid at Covenant House would be returned to me and I could put it toward an apartment.
It was a great opportunity. Out of a class of four men and four women only one of each would be chosen to work for the company and join the union.
I was very fortunate. Soon after getting the job I found a roommate and we got a two-bedroom apartment. Living in Brooklyn I needed a roommate to afford the rent. But I considered this my first place.
Everything seemed to be going great for me. I was 25 years old and a wanna be player. I was juggling eight different girls at one time, playing the field.
Then one day everything changed and it would take me nine years to find out why.
In 1998 I attempted suicide by jumping from a three-story building. I felt like I was being followed and people were after me, I heard voices and thought the only way to stop it was in death.
Not experiencing anything like that before in my life I panicked. When I woke up in the hospital, my aunt asked me what happened and honestly I didn't know.
I had shattered my spinal cord and could not walk. I was devastated. I stayed in a rehab facility for months until it was time to go back to my apartment.
My little brother was taking care of the rent and staying there. Luckily my apartment was wheelchair accessible.
I have been in and out of mental institutions seven times. The last time I lost my apartment and moved to north Carolina with my uncle and to be closer to my aunt who lives four hours away.
Just before I moved out to north Carolina I was in an institution in Queens but this time they put me on new drugs called Abilify and Zoloft.
I have been taking these two together for the past four years and they work fantastic. Every morning I wake up feeling as I did when I was in my early 20s.
I see everything positively and have nothing but good thoughts. Now this is where things get problematic for me.
My income is too much to receive Medicaid but I do get Medicare, although they only pay 80% and the Abilify jumped from $6 a month to $90 a month.
I no longer live with my uncle and now have a place of my own for the very first time in my life. I have to pay utilities, rent, food, travel and someone to take me food shopping two times a month.
The last time I went alone I lost my rent money and now I am a month behind. My wheelchair is falling apart and the company North Carolina Mobility says I have a $688.11 copay for a new wheelchair.
I have entered a program called Sanctuary House where I was diagnosed as bipolar 2.
In my spare time I am working on a comic book but the only problem is I cannot draw. So I have been working on story lines and developing the characters. Other than that I have only my monthly income of $1,204.
If I could get a grant of $3,000 to $5,000, this would help me pay rent, buy the Abilify, pay for a new wheelchair and perhaps pay for an artist to draw my characters so I can finish my book.