Hello there. It has been a few months without me posting anything. I’m not even sure why I stopped, but after a while it did come to me.
Towards the end of November 2016, I had received a notice from Alternatives, Inc., stating that my time in temporary housing had reached its year end. I would be evicted come December 31,2016 (What a way to ring in the New Year). Shear panic struck me naturally, and my mind scrambled. Where would I go? I had no immediate family in New Jersey, they had all left for Florida in the Summer of 2016 without me. (Another story in itself). I knew my year at Alternatives had expired Nov. 16, 2016. However, It was so cold and ebrupt to learn that I would be without a roof over my head.
Without hesitating, I contacted Somerset Social Services right away Spoke to my case worker Barbara. It was up to her to decide my fate with Alternatives, Inc. Within a few days, it had been decided that I would be allowed to reside here on a month to month basis. I was so grateful to Social Services & Alternatives to keep me on month to month, but it is a dark cloud over my head. To fear that even that could end at any given point.
In the midst of worrying about my housing, I had to do the leg work in order to file applications to other housing resources. To this day, I must have filled out 30 plus. That was another obstacle to overcome. Most places said I needed to wait for Social Security and/or Disability to approve me. My income was only general assistance, and food stamps equalling $324 a month. I was also placed on a waiting list through Alternatives Inc., to be placed in permanent housing. All of this weighs heavily on my already high anxiety.
When I was released from Robert Woods Somerset Hospital back in late August 2015, I was placed in an outpatient program through Richard Hall Mental Health of Somerset County. It was there I did group meetings for Addiction and mental health support. I also obtained a clinician for one on one therapy. Also, assigned physician to prescribe my medication to assist with my anxiety, severe depression, bipolar 2 disorder, and insomnia. The groups were three days a week, and therapy once a week. That lasted for 5-6 months. I continued with my therapy twice a month and joined an Anxiety Group that meets once a week. All of which is to help with coping skills in day to day life, and work on setting boundaries. Plus, learn how to avoid triggers that would cause a relapse. Along with all the therapy, I was receiving at Richard Hall, I was also involved with a Women’s Group through Alternatives, Inc., which met twice a month. All of this therapy, medication, and groups certainly help. However, when the stress of housing is over your head, and the waiting for SSI/SSD to make their decision…There is no pill to keep you from worrying about your fate.
The past year and a half that I’ve lived here at Alternatives Temporary Housing, I have had several different roommates and moved three times within the same house. I have met people from different back rounds. Some of which, have become very dear friends. We are all here for the same reason. Mental Health Issues. When we are not in Richard Hall or other organizations that help us with our illness…we are all here for one another. When others have given up on us, we are here for one another to get through the thick of it. It’s not easy living with people you didn’t know prior to moving into a facility such as this. One roommate that I had, I thought we became friends. However, after eleven month’s she assaulted me. I had to notify the police department, and Alternatives terminated her stay here. Since that time, I’ve been more jumpy and nervous. Yet, the other tenants that reside here have been so kind.
I regret not having written my blog. I just hit a brick wall when my stress got the best of me. I had to retrain my brain to start writing again. I started journalling again last February with the suggestion of my clinician, and case worker. We discussed how it was my blogging was created to help others that suffer from mental illness.
I would like to hear from others that suffer from mental illness. What are your experiences with the stigma people place on it? What do you think of the programs you are in? How has this affected your relationships? Maybe, You can add your input on addiction and/or mental health?
Again, I started this blog in order to hopefully assist others on the journey and path through this illness. Every day is different from the next. One day you are happy, the next your crying your eyes out. One moment you feel like you can take on the world, the next..you can barely get out of bed.
I want to hear from you. Please share your story with others. We all could use suggestions, and how you cope with those moments when our illness tries to take over who we are.
For now, I am going to close. I promise to check in weekly to share my journey with you.
Take care for now,