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31 Year Old Bipolar Disabled Collin Seeks Help To Find True Meaning Of Life

by Collin
(Oak Ridge, Tennessee, USA)



My name is Collin and I am a 31 year old ... boy ... sometimes a man (at least I think so). I am divorced ... one of my most poignant failures.

My children were aborted, another very sharp reminder of loss in my life.

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I am an Army flunky. I regret my decision to leave the military, although my reasons were because I did not have faith that they would shape me into the man I needed to be at the time.

I've looked into rejoining multiple times. I have faith that I am more ready now than I was back then, which hindsight tells me I was also ready then. I just didn't know it. Another huge failure for me.

I'm not sure if my past is pertinent to the task at hand, although I would guess it is, so I will try and recount it as quick and painlessly as possible.

I was born. I never knew my father. I had a stepfather, whom I called dad until he committed suicide when I was 15.

Those first 15 years of my life were wrought with violence, near-death beatings, and tortures including having my face rubbed in my own excrement as a child and taking baths in ice filled water for undetermined amounts of time.

But believe it or not, I still miss him. He had a want to be a good man, he just didn't know how. His own persona horrified him.

Sometimes because I have made it this far, I consider myself a sort of warrior. Then I look around at the shambles of my life, and wonder why I think that.

When I was 6 my sister and I were sexually abused. I didn't know at the time how much this would affect my life in the future. It has, substantially.

For a long time, I thought a life of fear and pain was how it was supposed to be. Now I know better, yet hard as I try and break whatever chains are around me, the tighter they become.

Or perhaps I have made progress. It's hard to tell with nothing to compare it to but my own past experiences.

Either way I have a lot of anger within me. A lot of sadness. It is overwhelming most of the time.

I really think we're all "crazy" in the end.

At the age of 15, I first experienced love. It was another overwhelming emotion for me. Since then, it has brought me nothing but pain, sad memories and more feelings of loss than I can recount.

I've decided that I will most likely be single for the rest of my life. Which is alright. There are plenty of things out there that are beautiful. I know there are.

It's just hard to see them sometimes, at least for me.

As I said above, I am filled with a lot of anger, which I feel to be justified. Whether it is or not, well I guess that's not for me to truly decide.

Some days, I love everything and everyone to the point of tears. Others, well let's just say it's pretty much the "polar" opposite.

I snap at people a lot. I don't mean to. I feel bad about it later on, unless they deserved it. Which some do, at least in my opinion.

But people like my mother, do not deserve that side of me. As I sit here typing this out, it seems clear to me.

Everything I've said, but at the moment when it counts, I seem to not care anymore or I lose control.

I've tried working a job more than a few times. Needless to say it's never worked out. I don't last longer than a month or two tops. Mostly 1 or 2 days.

It's not the work. I don't mind working. It keeps my hands busy. It's the people. Or maybe it's me. I'm not sure.

My friends and family if they need my help, they have but to ask. If I'm not having one of my days I will gladly help them.

Even if I am having a bad day, most of the time I will still help them. For nothing if nothing is offered.

Of course if payment were offered I would take it. Who wouldn't? Probably some people. Either way I don't ask.

I have been to many psychotherapists (therapists? shrinks? I don't know what name they prefer these days) in my short life. Not as many as some, more than others.

Since I was about 11 or so, I've been diagnosed with bipolar being the most predominant, depression, major depression (I don't see the difference), seasonal depression, borderline personality disorder and oppositional defiance disorder among others.

I don't know which of these is the real diagnosis. I'm not a doctor. For all I know, I could have all of them. But I do know I need help. Something to anchor me.

I am on disability. I receive SSI and SSDI.

Even with these services rendered, life is nearly impossible to live, let alone enjoy.

I've been in this system since I was about 11 years old. I received SSI benefits at that age, which turned into survivor's benefits upon the death of my stepfather.

At the time I reached 18 years old, those benefits stopped coming. I tried unsuccessfully to find work suited to my lifestyle for a while after losing the aforementioned benefits.

These efforts then turned into me reapplying for disability, which took awhile and a few denials.

In the end I was supposed to receive a "retro-check" of about $12,000, which they then decided I didn't deserve because I had been married for 6 months.

I had planned on using it to start a life for myself. I never had the chance.

My time consists of... well, a lot of sitting and thinking. Life costs money to experience. I pretty much pay my bills and nothing else, and even these I'm falling behind on quickly.

I receive about $650 a month, and a little over $130 in Food Stamps.

I run out of food a little before halfway through the month, even with my disability leftover from bills going toward food, generally speaking.

I have a $400 a month rent, because the Section 8 benefit, decided to remove me from the list for whatever reason.

I've since reapplied. I've been told the process can take a few years, which I also know to be true because at one time I had been on Section 8 when I lived in Maine.

I had to leave Maine, to get away from someone from my past who kept inserting (I didn't help either, by letting them do so) themselves in my life just as I'd thought I'd gotten a handle on things.

That leaves me with about $250 give or take 5-10 bucks. My electric bill hasn't gone up past $125 yet, which I'm trying to keep a lid on, yet for some reason I've been disconnected once already.

I don't have a phone anymore. It became too expensive to own one, although recently it has come to my attention there are ways of getting discount phone services which I've been looking into.

Either way I found that a cheap high-speed Internet service, works not as well but close. I recently invested in one, which for the first 6 months shouldn't cost me more than 20 bucks (minus the first month for activation fees etc.).

After that I'm not sure how much it will cost, I'm assuming, hoping, somewhere in the vicinity of 40 dollars.

So all told in the end after paying bills, I am left with around 80 dollars, once again give or take 10 dollars or so, which immediately goes toward stocking more food.

I am left with nothing for gas to put in the vehicle I'm allowed to drive, which isn't even mine and I can no longer drive anyway.

I can't afford to register it or insure it, which I'm sure a lot of people know, only costs more money in the end if you attempt to drive an unregistered, uninsured vehicle. And that I also cannot afford.

It is summertime here now, and I have recently considered becoming homeless to save money. However, I've learned that if you're on disability and homeless, they will take part of your check from you because "You don't need it anymore."

As I stated above I receive the minimum of each SSI, SSDI and food stamp benefits. I've tried working at multiple job sites, including: the U.S. Army, Wal-Mart, construction jobs, a bait and tackle shop, a flagger for linemen in Connecticut.

I've tried to use job placement services such as Vocational Rehabilitation, with no result.

The only thing I'd like out of life is to be able to live. Whatever that entails, I'm not sure. I don't feel comfortable saying, "I'm asking for money."

I actually hate money. But it makes the world go round... can't live life without it the way we've got the system set up.

What would I really like to see happen? More compassion, less greed. The destruction of the system of currency we currently abide by.

Having been being used since the days of early man, you'd think it would be outdated and obsolete by now.

However, I've read here, that I should keep my expectations realistic. So I will say that, I would just like to experience life, perhaps receive a chance to get something positive, from something positive, instead of being left to find positives within negatives.

Well, I've had a lot of ideas in my life.

My business idea(s) revolve(s) mainly around restoring the importance of the customer, and not the financial stability of a business over said customers.

It could be anything, from stone ground mustard to medical research. The sky's the limit right?

The most important part of these thoughts for me, which I never thought would amount to anything, (I daydream like any other person does) was to bring back the "customer is always right" motto.

Perhaps we could throw the word nearly in there somewhere, to allow for those who... well, are wrong. e.g. "The Customer is Nearly Always Right."

I'm a huge believer in common sense. I just wish I was a follower of said sense as well. Mostly I am. Or try to be. Sometimes I'm lacking.

I believe in pride. If you do a good job at something, you have every right and almost a responsibility to be proud of it, within reason.

I have no realistic business ideas, in other words.

Comments for 31 Year Old Bipolar Disabled Collin Seeks Help To Find True Meaning Of Life

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Jun 10, 2012
From the fire
by: Anonymous

Jaime, I appreciate your sentiments, truly. It is however, in our best interests to take this pain as it may come, to harden ourselves for the unknown future, and to learn from it so that we may help others endure and find joy amidst the chaos of existence.

~ Collin

May 07, 2012
I care
by: Anonymous

Hello Collin. My Name is Jaime Hylton. I am not the same as you, but like you, I just want to live and be okay. I am a 34 year old woman. All I want to do is help others, but I can't help myself and I always feel empty and alone. I am so sorry for your pain, but I would take it away if I could, even though I don't even know you.

Apr 23, 2012
by: Collin

Thank you for the positive feedback, Anonymous and my friend Janet. =)

I love all of you (every single being in existence). I wish you all inner and outer peace.

Apr 23, 2012
by: Collin

I have found that there is more to this life than money can possibly buy. The answer is out there somewhere.

One plus one equals one.

Oct 12, 2011
by: Anonymous

I loved your story. Dude you are an excellent writer. Did you know that 80% of all great writers are bipolar? Its true. I am bipolar also.

i think you should go to your local college and take a creative writing class. Who knows what could happen? Dude if it wasn't for bipolar people there would be no great books and movies.

The apostle Paul asked God three times to remove the thorn from his flesh. And God told him, "No. My power is made perfect in your weakness."

Sep 11, 2011
by: Anonymous

Thanks. :)

Jul 28, 2011
Saw myself through you
by: Jenett

I was halfway through your letter, when it hit me. You're just like me! Gone through the same negative and positive experiences. Couldn't explain it better myself. I hope you were blessed with your grant and discovered that "we" too can offer more to life than just being bipolar.

Your Ohio friend Jenett

Jun 20, 2011
by: Collin

Not sure if someone sent me a phone, but I randomly got a safe-link one in the mail. Thanks if so.

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