My Story – Part Three

DEPENDENCE – The Hard Truth that I had to Face

I started taking meds prescribed by my psychiatrist to get better.  I was very depressed.  It was even hard to get myself out of bed to get ready to go to a therapist appointment.  Driving had gotten hard for me too because I had had so many panic attacks on the road back East.  I felt dependent completely on others.  I felt so sad, and I felt like I would never get better.  I felt like I was going to have to live in a group home with others who couldn’t cope having their own job or apartment.  My family did also not quite understand what I was going through with panic disorder.  They even did not believe it either.  They wanted me to get back to work.

Living in the basement was awful.  It was not hopeful to me.  I went to sleep each night and prayed I wouldn’t wake up to the life I had.  I would get up in the morning and cry at my life.  It was so bleak.  I had hit a major low in my life.  How did this happen?  I had two Bachelor degrees, and I had had a career and my own home.  Now I was living in a room in my sister’s big home and just barely coping with life.

Walking every day helped me.  I tried applying for Maryland social programs for money support.  I did not get accepted as having a disability, so I did not get any financial help.  That was hard.

When I look back at this time, I don’t know how I got up every day to face the life I had in front of me.   I was doing all I could to take care of myself, and my sister’s place was supposed to be temporary.  How was I going to ever live on my own again?  How was I going to make money with this mental illness?

I tried going to meetings for people like me, but it didn’t help me.

Over time, with regular counseling from a therapist and meds, I was coping better, and I looked into part time work as a tutor.  I didn’t have to drive very far, and it was not working in an office setting with pressure on my back.  I looked into it.

This was now 2010.

I found a job as a tutor for one hour a week.  It was a math course, but it was high level, and so it was stressful still to me.  I would prepare for the lesson and somehow get the nerve up to go to the home and tutor the young man.  This was a challenge for me, even though it was an hour a week.  BUT it got me one step forward to getting paid to do work.

About a year and a half of living with my sister, I was feeling stronger and felt that maybe I could move out, rent out a room in someone’s home.  I was tired of the sadness of my bedroom being in the basement.  It was so depressing.  It affected me daily.  I needed an uplifting space to move into.  I was scared though.  Could I do it?  Could I cope?  Make meals?  Live with someone I didn’t know?  Be independent?

One day it came up that my sister and I were thinking the same thing.  She and her husband wanted me to move on.  I had a month to move out.

It was scary to think about it, but I eventually found a place.  It was ten minutes from my sister’s place, and the bedroom was very sunny.  Perfect.  I got the room and moved in.

The day I moved into this townhouse, I felt like I was a prisoner that had gotten his freedom back.

Now I had to see if I could cope on my own in a living situation.

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