April 30, 2017: What a difference two weeks make.

Hello Friends,
I haven’t written in the last couple of weeks,  because so much had taken place since the second week of April 2017.    In prior entries, I have written about how I lived in a temporary housing facility “Alternatives, Inc”.  Well,  That since has changed as of 04/28/2017.  Reason? I was approved for  Disability.  Actually, I was approved for Social Security & Disability. However,  Disability paid more than Social Security.  What Social Security paid back was the General Assistance that was allotted to me, and I was given the balance. Disability was to begin in May 2017.  At first, I was excited over me being approved, but that changed in a matter of a few minutes of receiving the notices informing me of this.  If I was to stay in te temporary housing, I would have to pay them $44.00 a day.  This would leave me with a balance of $126.00 a month to purchase necessities such as toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo etc.. This was excluding what I had to pay out for my phone which is $35.00 a month.  Atop that, my Food Stamps would drop from $177.00 to $16.00 a month.  So, basically what was a good thing, was turned into a bad thing instantly.  
For the first couple of days that followed, I was back in a dark place.  “What the Hell am I going to do now?”, Disability was great, but I couldn’t afford to live on my own with it.  It was suggested that maybe I should reside in a boarding home, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to go along with that idea. I just plain did not know what my options were.  I was placed on a waiting list for Section 8 housing, but God only knew when that would come through.  I was just overwhelmed with anxiety.  It wasn’t until my dear friend Jason suggested that I call a friend from our Anxiety Group through Richard Hall Mental Health Facility, Bridgewater, NJ.  Yet, I was such a nervous wreck at that point, he called her immediately.  Jodi gave Jason information and instructed me to call her to go over the particulars.  The very next day, I did just that.  I contacted Jodi, and we talked for quite a while.  By the time the conversation was done, it was agreed that I would move into her home on 04/28/17.  
I went from being excited to a crippling downfall of panic, back up to happiness in a matter of four days.  My emotional state was all over the charts.  The day after Easter, I started packing up one room I resided in for a year.  I was overwhelmed over that as well.  It wasn’t until the day before I was to move,  did it finally hit me “This is actually happening”.   I slept for maybe an hour and a half the night before, and I got up that morning with the determination to get this move done, and not look back. 
With the help of three staff member’s from Alternatives, Inc., and Jason (The ultimate best man on the planet,  as far as I’m concerned).   We headed to Bridgewater, NJ.  My new residence for at least 6 to 24 months. My new roommate Jodi was so gracious to open her door to me, in order to yet again start another chapter in my life.  For that, I consider her a Godsend.  
I am not that religious. However, since the time I was diagnosed with mental illness, amongst with physical ailments and became homeless… I have prayed to God every step of the way.  God gave me the people I needed in my life thus far, to learn lessons.  God gave me strength to overcome some of the toughest times in my life.  God granted me the people I consider “My Rocks”, such as Jason, Lydia, Jodi & Fae from Alternatives Inc., to help me cope with my illness.  To become my dearest friends & earth angels.  Every night, I thank the following for always being there for me. I thank God even when I am having rough days. It’s my own way of acknowledging that he is watching over me.  I will always pray for them too, as they have mental illnesses as well.  I know that I am leaving out other people who have been there for me, but that would be one lengthy list.  In conclusion to this Sundays entry, I just want to add this statement.  Not all people with mental illnesses are bad people.  Yes, in some cases there are horrible people who cause horrific acts of crime.  However, if those people had sought out help through a mental health facility such as Richard Hall Mental Health in Bridgewater, NJ., they too could have received the help that I, myself received.  Mental Health has such a harsh stigma.  WE are not all terrible people.  People with mental illness are just like everyone else out there.  We just need for others to understand and/or try to educate themselves before placing judgment.
Next Sunday, May 7th.  I will continue to write about Bipolar & coping skills.  
Thank you once again for reading, and allowing me to share my personal experiences with mental health.  Take care.

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