The time is edging closer and closer to one a.m. and I should be asleep. Unfortunately, my mind is too busy constantly analyzing every facet of my life to even concern itself with sleep. There are so many things I need to do, things that I feel must be done as swiftly as possible.
Over the past three years, I have been fighting the bureaucratic nightmare that is the Social Security Administration in hopes of earning disability. It was a fight I did not take on lightly. After several failed attempts at college, as well as multiple failed attempts at gainful employment, my family and I decided that my bipolar disorder, as well as my social anxiety, was too debilitating not to warrant government assistance.
I could include every step in the almost epic battle to secure disability but I fear that this blog post would be incredibly long and a bit trying. So instead, I’ll just lay out where I’m at now.
My mother, sister and I live with my grandparents. We have since my father left my mother when I was in middle school. To give some perspective on how long we’ve been here, I graduated from high school eight years ago. It’s been a long time, too long. We’ve outgrown each other and it’s quite clear it’s time for us to move out. However, fiscally, it’s really not possible. We were hoping my disability would be enough to move somewhere modest, but we were wrong. Now it seems I need to get a job. Herein lies my problem.
I need to graduate from college. I not only need to graduate from college, but I need to do so with a degree that will allow me to work from home. To me, that more or less means I need to major in something related to computers. But to graduate from college, I first need to, in some way, attend college. In order to do that, I need to somehow get over this extreme self-consciousness, this severe social anxiety that makes me nervous to leave the house. One might begin to understand why I’m losing sleep at night.
I’m getting depressed, possibly rapid cycling between mania and depression. I can feel it. Some days I wake up ready to deep clean the entire house. Other days the entire world is a hindrance. I’m supposed to schedule an appointment with my psychiatrist tomorrow. I’ll do it. But part of me can’t help but wonder if this depression/mania can be fixed with a simple medicinal tweak. I feel like I need to sort out my life, gain direction. I need to be more than I am. That is what keeps me up at night. I’m good at being bipolar. I take my meds, I go to therapy and I see my psychiatrist the moment symptoms flare up. But what I’m not an expert at is making grand and bold changes in my life. Therein lies the problem. Because while I may need a different mood stabilizer or an increase in my anti-depressant, what I really need is change. And I just don’t know if I’m capable of that.