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Bipolar Disorder Disabled Single Mom Seeks Grant Money To Make Ends Meets

by Deborah
(Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA)

My name is Deborah. I am 42, divorced and have a 17-year-old son with ADHD and bipolar disorder.

He is mentally challenged falling one point of being considered retarded but I love him so much.

I have a wonderful father and stepmother that are my rock at times when I need them.

My birth mother died in 1998 from a stroke. Life is so much different now since she's been gone.

I hope to succeed in my attempt to further my education so I can make it in this world.

Disability Issues

I have schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, chronic depression, fibromyalgia, diabetes and gastroparesis. Some days I can hardly walk.

I became ill in 2003 shortly after I had left behind an abusive marriage of 13 years.

I fell into the trap of self-medication due to the schizophrenia and depression. I am proud to say I no longer do that and have been clean and sober for nine years now.

Schizophrenia is a cruel progressive illness that takes away your ability to determine what is real and what is not. In my mind I am young and vital but my diseases say otherwise.

I want to go back to school and keep sharpening my mind so as not to fall victim to this cruel disease as it takes away my reality. Every year it progresses and little by little I begin to wither away in my mind.

Raising a child has not been easy for he has seen me at my best and at my worst. I have days where merely opening my eyes frightens me so much that I hide in my room under the cover to escape the horrors that I see before me.

I got my disability status in the year 2004 and had to quit my job of 15 years that I loved so much. That's when my life started spiraling out of control at the age of 34.

Since then I have accepted my weaknesses and have learned to deal with the psychotic episodes, the physical pain that I endure, the days when I can hardly walk and the depression that follows all too many times.

I've learned that this is not the end of the road for me and I am too proud to give up on life. God put me here to be a mother and a daughter and who knows some day a wife again.

So until the very last breath I take is gone I will keep fighting for my right to live and have a normal life. I will keep fighting for those of us who have the stigma of a mental illness that society looks down on with misunderstanding. I will just keep on keeping on!

Financial Hardship

I guess you could say I am one of the lucky ones. I have insurance. But you could also say that I am one of the unlucky ones cause I can't afford the medication even with the insurance.

My medication just for one of them is over $2200 a month. The co-pays are too high. I have moments when I have to decide whether I buy food or have my meds.

I'm still able to drive but I do have days when I can't. I can't work a regular job cause I'm not the reliable person I used to be.

I have my down days and I have my good days. It's a rollercoaster ride I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Right now my biggest problem is my insulin. My insurance won't pay for it. I can't get it on a free program. I am relying on samples from the doctor's office to make it through a few days at a time.

I don't know what I am going to do.

I take two different types of insulin and am struggling with my blood sugars to keep them normal. Without the insulin I'm sure I will be doomed.

I'm not sure what to do. The medication is almost $200, which is way more than I can afford. Food or meds… it's always a tough decision.

Earning Efforts

I get SSDI. I have for many years now but it's never enough. After all the bills are paid, such as rent, utilities, meds, gas, groceries, I just might have enough money left over to buy a pack of gum. Some months I don't even have that.

I go to food banks a lot to subsidize my food supply and I try to get as much as they will let me. I make too much on my disability to get any kind of aid.

More food stamps, TANF, anything, would be a godsend but I make too much. I make a few dollars too much to qualify for assistance. It's so frustrating!

I want to work but I'm afraid I'll lose my benefits if I make any money. The government figures if you can work a few hours then you don't need disability.

I keep looking and searching for a way to make money. I've pawned all that I can pawn.

The cost of living keeps going up and the payments remain the same.

Does the government not realize that it costs more to live nowadays than it did a year ago? Do they not realize that with the cost of living going up and not getting a cost of living raise is making the poor people of this country starve?

And what about forcing them to make choices of whether or not they eat that week? I wish I was in a better position than I am now.

Specific Needs

I am looking for a grant or scholarship that I can use to go back to school. I want to learn something I can do at home a few hours a week so I can add to my income and be able to provide for my son and myself.

I have my career picked out but I can't get the financial aid that I need to take my courses.

If I could get a grant or scholarship based on my needs and not have to worry about payments and financial woes that I cannot afford then I can be functional, a provider, independent and stress free.

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