As I was speaking with my psychiatrist yesterday, I came to an awful realization about my situation and the future. I realized that the rest of my life may actually be just periods of time between psychiatric hospitalizations. I may have relatively short periods of semi-stability followed by a sharp, precipitous fall into relapse. Unfortunately, this was the entire life of my 2nd cousin, Mark Silverman. I was really close to him because he liked me. Mark was quite a bit older than me but took a shining to me. He and I suffer from very similar mental health afflictions. Unfortunately, Mark committed suicide. In some ways, I am not sad because he is no longer suffering. In other ways, I m very sad because he could have had a good life if mental healthcare mattered. As I know very well, mental healthcare is the red-headed stepchild of medicine.
Anyhow, after the slight digression, my psychiatrist asked a seemingly random question about my employment history and it is generally not good. The longest I have every stayed at a job was 5 years. Typically I last about 6-8 months before I am either fired or asked to resign. These days it is even shorter because my mental illness has been much worse in more recent years. In 2019 I tried to go back to work twice only to be overwhelmed and quit. I think she wanted to know that information to think about what medications to try. I was profoundly embarrassed because I am intelligent and capable; poor Mark was in the same boat as me.
At the very least, Mark Silverman had money from his parents. He had an inheritance that assured him a roof over his head and basic needs afforded. I don’t have this luxury because my father lost all of his money through bad investments, scams, and his utter narcissism preventing him from learning from his mistakes. My situation is ultimately more dire. If I do not get some stability, then I face homelessness because I have no safety net. My own pride would prevent me from asking my brother for help. This is why I really want to see guaranteed housing for all. I wouldn’t survive a day on the street. If life were so precious a thing like the conservatives make the claim, then how come we do not have a safety net in America?
I wonder what happens when I will no longer be able to afford the Medicare supplement that I have to carry. Does that mean I can get Medicaid? So I fear that the roof over my head may well become the behavioral health unit at the local hospital. Since life only matters during acute phases of mental illness …. Once those phases pass, I am just a boat anchor on society. I guess I can say that at least I own my mental illness and accept it. I am not ashamed of it and will willingly discuss it. I laugh at the trolls thinking that I will be upset or defensive if called out and accused of being mentally ill. I am not ashamed of who I am but I do wish there were a better prognosis for me. Right now the prognosis is bleak and there is little, if anything, anyone can do to really help. The treatments I could benefit from are out of reach of affordability.