19 January 2012
5 - FIGHTING THE SYSTEM
It seemed like a quick eternity had passed since I had lost my job a year ago. I was alive with a roof over my head and food to eat. There were small bright spots in my life of suck, but mostly suck. Like eating. Dinner became my one meal of the day. I would have coffee in the morning and Dad would be ready for dinner around 4pm. Yes, seriously. Sometimes he would even want to eat earlier than that. I saw my life turn into the Early Bird Special. The only good thing about eating one meal a day is the tremendous amount of weight I lost. The bad thing, was listening to my tummy cry for food every night.
I was slowly getting myself in check. I hadn't worked for a year and it was time to do something about my situation. Most of the ideas came from my therapist and sometimes my Psychiatrist would utter a sentence that didn't make me want to crawl in a hole.
I filed for, and received food stamps, which helped tremendously. Before, I had been too proud, and quickly learned to get over myself. I needed food and couldn't afford it, so I gladly accepted the food stamp card and anything they were willing to give me.
The next item on my agenda was filing for an appeal to my VA disability decision. When I was discharged in 2001, I filed for disability with the Veteran's Administration, and received 30% disability. That extra money each month kept my ass afloat for a number of months. Now, I was being told by my psychiatrist to appeal that decision, so I did.
I can't tell you how I started this process, or how I even completed it. I just know I did. My mind is like a sponge. It absorbs as much as it can, then quickly gets rung out, forgetting pretty much everything that was there, only remembering bits and pieces, not necessarily in chronological order.
Once I completed the VA stuff, I filed for Social Security Disability. If you have never filed for Disability, it is a major pain in the ass! The application process is a grueling as taking the SAT, only the questions are about your life, job & medical history. This is when I found out that I had obtained and lost 17 jobs in the past 15 years. Let that sink in for a minute. Yeah, you don't feel like such a loser now, do ya?