Disabled Bipolar Female Wants To Give Back To Community With Education
by Jody Smith
(Burleson, TX, USA)
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.