The Last Nine Years

In May of 2000 I quit my job because I couldn't function at work anymore. I was taking Haldol and another medication for my Bipolar and it was making me very sleepy. I thought I could get on disability after a year. In 2001 I applied for disability but was denied. I tried to look for work but couldn't find anything.

In 2002 I went to school at CU Denver. I thought I could try to finish my degree. I went to school for a year. I remember being on medication and going to a mental health center that was down the street from where we lived. My husband got laid off and tried looking for work. He was out of work for 18 months. We couldn't afford medication so I wasn't on anything during 2003. I went to a therapist during 2002-2003. In July of 2004 I had a manic episode. I was in the hospital for 2 weeks. I got out of the hospital and was on meds for a while. Then in November of 2004 I went to the hospital for a week. I was put on Lithium and Haldol. We had no insurance so I was seeing a psychiatrist out of pocket. I saw Dr. Bell for about six months and then she referred me to a program out of Porter Hospital that was cheap. We lost our house in 2003. Howard worked for RTD and then he worked driving airport shuttles at night. Howard got a job working in appliance repair. We lived in a friend's apartment for a year and half then moved out of there to a cheaper apartment in Glendale. That was September 2005. Howard quit his job at Action Appliance in 2006 and got a job at the Curtis Hotel in January 2007. In February 2007 Howard and I left our church that we'd been attending for 20 years.

In 2002 I applied for disability again but was denied again. I tried working at home but I couldn't do it. It was too hard. I only worked for a week then I had to quit. In 2003 to 2006 I was extremely depressed. After my manic episode I couldn't sleep at night. I still can't sleep at night. I don't remember much of 2006 through 2008. I don't recall how I spent my days. In 2005 I remember sleeping at night. In 2006 through 2008 I think I slept during the day mostly if at all. This past year I have been sleeping during the early morning hours or in the afternoon. I only sleep for 2 to 4 hours a day but I don't feel sleep deprived. I've been on lithium and Haldol since 2005. In 2006 I applied for disability again and got denied again. In 2008 I tried looking for work but couldn't find anything. In 2008 my mood improved and I tried to write.

The past nine years have been a struggle to stay out of the hospital and alive. Howard has not dealt very well with the stress of been the sole bread winner. It's hard living on one income because we can't keep a savings and we don't have a car. I'm am worried about Howard losing his job in a bad economy. If he died I would end up on the street. We can't afford to maintain a life-insurance policy. My weird sleeping habits prohibits me from finding work. I could probably work part-time but full time work would be impossible. I have tried to change my sleeping habits so that I could work full time but it's impossible. Sleep aids don't work on me. I can't afford to see the proper doctors to figure out what's wrong with me. I could sleep fine before my manic episode. It seems that my brain has been re-wired or something.

I have spent half of the last nine years depressed and barely functional. I feel extremely guilty because I haven't been able to work. I feel better lately and I could probably work a part time job. I need to do something to help our financial situation. I feel helpless sometimes because my sleep habits are crazy. I don't know how I could handle it if I tried to work a job even part-time. I wish I could write professionaly but I don't know if I have enough talent. I also feel as if I am being forced to write for a living. I think that's why I put it off so much. I feel like I have to come up with an Oscar winning screenplay or a bestselling book or something.

I just need to put the last nine years into some kind of perspective. I feel that I have spent it dealing with and recovering from my illness. I need to get rid of the guilt I feel for not being able to finish school or work a full time job. It's really hard to feel good about myself when I haven't been very productive. I have to stop punishing myself for having a disability that keeps me from doing the things that I want to do.