Ok, guys, realtalk.
I’m dealing with a pretty serious psychological issue, it’s something that’s been present in my life since I was 16, and has gotten markedly worse over the past 3-4 years. Even now, most of the time I’m functional and happy, but once I start to get bad, I become a danger to myself.
I realize that I can’t keep going like this, so what I need to do is get a proper diagnosis so I can be treated and maybe be ok. While looking at options, I contemplated the prospect of going on disability, so I can focus on getting better without having to worry about staying functional enough to work.
Now, as I said, I’ve been dealing with this problem for my entire adult life. Even before the decline at 25, I’ve had trouble getting/keeping a job, maintaining proper social practices, all the normal life stuff. Right now I’m having a particularly bad episode. I can force myself to go to work, and not fuck up too much, but only by putting 110% of myself into it each day. It’s exhausting and unsustainable, and it’s starting to show with my interactions with friends and even in my moods at work.
I can swing between despair so crushing I can barely drive myself to keep working, and manic elation that has me throwing myself at my work so hard that I end up hurting myself, and back again, within the span of an hour. Fortunately, where I work is seasonal, and I’m actually done at the end of the week, so I’ll have some time to figure things out.
Now, this job I’ve had for almost 4 years. It’s far and away the longest period of employment I’ve ever had. But because it’s seasonal, and because I’m part-time, I only make about $8,000 per year. I rely on my family’s assistance to keep up with bills and such, but I can’t do that forever. Unfortunately, I don’t think I have the capacity to work any harder or take on any more responsibilities than I am now.
Coming back to my point, I looked at disability benefits. Based on my work history, if I were to qualify for disability, I’d receive about $400-500/month. This is not a living wage. This isn’t even close. I don’t understand how it’s possible for this system to exist, where the government is saying “yes you’re too sick/hurt to work. Here’s not enough money for you to live on without working”. The only way to increase the amount I’d receive is by working longer and more, or by getting a new job that pays better and sticking with that for several years.
“You’re too sick to work, but you don’t work enough to be too sick to work.” Which boils down to “you’re too poor to be sick.” I don’t understand how that can be. I want to get better, I want to get help and find a treatment that’s effective and become a functional member of society, but apparently the country is too worried about freeloaders cheating the system to do anything to help the people who actually need help. Fuck that noise.