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Disabled Bipolar Female Wants To Give Back To Community With Education

by Jody Smith
(Burleson, TX, USA)

This is me, Jody Smith

This is me, Jody Smith

My name is Jody Smith. I am a 44-year-old separated woman who is living with her sister and her three children.

I do not have any children but I have been assisting my sister raise her children for the past seven years.

My father was in the military as I grew up and we lived in 15 different places before I was 15 years old. I had to learn how to adjust to new situations quickly.

I started my college experience in 1985. My plan was to go for four years and get my psychology degree.

My bipolar symptoms started to appear during my sophomore year when I was 19 years old. At first, I was misdiagnosed with depression.

I lost all interest in school and my grades began to suffer and I felt completely removed from my environment at the University I was attending.

I would pull all-nighters to work on assignments. Little did I know those were the manic episodes.

Things got so bad that I dropped out at the end of my sophomore year.

I then started to work in the travel industry. I continued to have ups and downs. I began to see a different psychiatrist who diagnosed me with Bipolar 1 at the age of 21.

I have had the disease for 23 years. It took about 15 years to get my medications working properly. I still have to get them adjusted periodically.

I still have my challenges, but for the most part, I am stabilized, except when Spring arrives. I seem to have a meltdown every year in the Spring.

I carefully watch for my triggers, to no avail. It just becomes a very difficult time for me at that time of the year. I put my family through a lot during this time.

I finished two years of a four-year university program majoring in psychology, and now I am a returning student, 25 years later.

I want to finish that degree, because I would like to help others who suffer from bipolar disorder or anxiety and perhaps family issues.

Currently, I cannot afford the last two years of school without some sort of assistance.

I share a car with my sister, and I monitor my medications religiously. Ultimately, I would like to move into my own home as well.

These things could happen if I get my undergraduate degree then a master's in social work so I can become a licensed counselor.

I am currently on disability, and although it is very helpful for the day-to-day expenses, it does not affect my tuition for my education.

I have not been able to get a job, as our economy is pretty bad here in Burleson, TX, which is a rural area.

I have been making jewelry and trying to sell some of that at art fairs. It does not bring in very much money.

Specifically, I am looking for grants for school. They would be so helpful to go toward my education and would just be a Godsend to get me through my last two years of school.

I cannot express how wonderful it would be to receive a grant to help me out.

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May 03, 2012
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In response to Ken
by: Jody

Thanks Ken!

May 02, 2012
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Time to Cut Loose
by: Ken

Hi Jody,

There are a couple of options for you out there, you can try this address:

http://www.collegeforalltexans.com/

I think you should have a chance here as you have some credits for this course. Here are some more addresses that may be of help:

http://www.txddc.state.tx.us

http://www.tea.state.tx.us

It's really unfortunate that the medical system can't diagnose bipolar easier. Most are diagnosed as depression. It is very common. But you seem to have it under control now. Think that spring is a good thing, life comes back, start anew. Try being positive; you'll make it! Give those addresses a whirl. See what can happen. It may take awhile, as funds are pretty tight, but make your story known to get in faster!

Good luck,
Ken

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