Truths

To Be Or Not To Be “Disabled”. . . That Is The Question.

How do you respond to failure?

How do you respond to not “doing your best”?

I think these are two questions we have to ask ourselves constantly when dealing with our mental health. How do you respond to feeling “unwell”? How do you respond when you feel your “symptoms” or as I like to say, your mental health experiences, start interfering with your daily, hourly, tasks?

As I am only 21, I feel I am striving to improve on this daily. My current response is “curl in a ball and ignore the world”.

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I’m not sure how far that will take me.

What are your healthy and not so healthy ways of dealing with your struggles?

I’m sure you can guess by reading my “This Is Me” portion of my blog, that my diagnoses have always hopped across the spectrum of “mental disorders” as the DSM calls them, and I’ve never been through enough services or in enough crisis situations to warrant a decent one or two. This creates many problems.

This creates many problems because when you are not labeled, you do not get extra services. You don’t get your tests proctored in other rooms. You don’t get social security (you just hop around from job to job every couple of months hoping something will stick, knowing full well you’re not prepared for anything just yet), and no one believes what you say because a doctor hasn’t signed a little piece of paper.

It’s frustrating. Not to make psychosis seem like a walk in the park, because I know it’s not, but Christ sake, if I was running down the street without any clothes and covering myself in mud so the CIA satellites couldn’t track me anymore, or if I went to the ER and said “the FBI put a chip in my head, they’re recording my conversation, you need to surgically remove this right now” or I went into therapy and said “Every time I read a book Satan removes the words from my head and laughs at me, he follows me everywhere”, I would get some attention. I would get a very strong, and adamant label. Life would be very confusing and it would be hell to be stuck bouncing in and out of that. But I would have a label. 

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The small pile of “magical beliefs” or whatever the hell part of my personality that got me the “possibly, maybe, who-knows” “semi-partial, not really official” diagnosis of Schizotypal PD is not enough to count for anything. They probably messed up on that too: I’m more paranoid about demons following me and people conspiring against me than I am “magical”. Or is that magical too?

Whatever.

And this is where I’ve ended up: arguing back and forth with people over characteristics of myself.

Today I wanted to go to the Accessibility Support Center at my college to hopefully register with them, meet with a DSS (disabled students services) coordinator and be able to get accomodations like tutors and my tests proctored in a different, sound proof room with no people so I could concentrate for once.

Unfortunately, two things stopped me from getting out of my car.

  1. I can’t go places by myself. I drove all the way to campus, stared at the sign and drove off. I’ve never been able to shop for myself or go anywhere by myself. There is one market I can withstand about fifteen minutes from my house by car because it is large and it’s rarely ever packed, at least not during the hours I go. I don’t get my hair cut. I don’t shop for clothes, shoes, or anything I can’t get at that one market. I don’t go into the financial aid office the enrollment office or any office on campus without a friend with me. I can’t even print a piece of paper without someone with me. How the fuck am I going to walk into a place, say hey, I have mental problems, I’m fucking crazy, let me take my tests in a sound proof room please? 
  2. I don’t have a label. I’m walking into a place where quadriplegics, people with learning disabilities, Down Syndrome, severe Autism, e.t.c all go to say “hey, I need this help” and I’m sitting there looking normal, acting normal, without papers or documentation asking for something the person across the counter is going to assume I don’t need. This part is my anxiety of being judged.

You ever have anxiety of being judged as not having a mental struggle? That’s a new one. That’s when you know you’re fucked up. 

dependentFrom where I stand, I am extremely dependent. People go to the store for me. They do laundry for me most of the time (it’s hard for me because the laundry room for the apartment complex is very loud, the washing machines are loud, and if a cricket breaks its leg on the window sill the crack echos off all four walls. It’s just sensory overloading. Not to mention running into other people in there. That’s my nightmare.), they make appointments for me, phone calls for me, e.t.c. Sometimes the depression fatigues me so I can barely put something in the microwave.

You might be thinking what any social security officer or doctor might think: well, you have a job. You went to the interview on your own. You went to the office and did the paperwork on your own. You’ve done your laundry before. You drive.

And I have done all those things. But nothing is ever maintained. Every time I think I’m doing well, I backslide and everything overwhelms my mind. I only work three times a week and I’m already feeling like I can’t handle it. I’m ready to quit again.

I know people say “you can do it, don’t give up!”

Listen. You can’t see the floor on my room. There are crickets crawling around on my computer desk as we speak and I have no idea where they came from. It’s a wonder I haven’t made more attempts on my life with the amount of time I spend thinking about it. My cumulative G.P.A has fallen from a 4.0 to a 3.5, that literally makes me cringe to write. I can’t sleep at night because my heart rate decides to pull a NASCAR and race, I wake up thinking “well, shit” and go to sleep thinking “well, shit”, and today, realizing that I can’t do a simple task to make things easier for me, something for myself, at college has only beaten down my morale once again.

I have to go into work in about twenty minutes. If I make it through this week without banging my head against the wall until I’m unconscious or slitting my wrists vertically, it will be a miracle.

That’s not a joke, I”m a self-harmer.

People need to stop making jokes like that. “Ha, ha, Imma slit my wrist”. How is that funny. I don’t get it.

Anyway.

About AlishiaDee (372 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

8 Comments on To Be Or Not To Be “Disabled”. . . That Is The Question.

  1. I’m sorry you feel so bad. I wish there was a way to help you, say something supportive, but I know most of the words doesn’t really help… Is there a way for you to get a diagnoses? I know that with the stupid health system you have, it could be a big problem, but it could be first step to make life easier for you. But I’m sure you’ve already thought about it and I don’t want to sound patronizing. I hope you’ll feel better soon, if that helps a bit :-*.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, I appreciate it. I’m seeing a psychiatrist in mid-october who I’m hoping can take all my semi-diagnoses and transform them into more solid diagnosis so I can get the things I need. Fuck the actual diagnosis really, I just need the documentation to help with school and quite possibly finances if needed you know? hopefully things will work out. Its the waiting on the edge of my seat that sucks! thank you for the kind words:)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks deeply for your searing portrayal of the horrors (hidden and not) that can face us daily. Today, I have many many letters after my name and they are not AA, BA, MA, PHD…the label is not important itself except as a means to figure out ‘what would help?’ I hope you can find that and it will lead to better things, and wanted to say I hear you and witness you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. I just wish I could get more help without having a million things after my name. Perhaps one day it will be like that more wide spread than it is today. But thank you for the well wishes, I know I’ll get through this, I just need some patience I think.

      Like

  3. Well written description. Any ideas about the original source of your problem. Going from isolation of being a preemie, back when they didn’t realize the need to give a premature baby human contact, to a home where a hyperactive brother terrorized me is the theory of my own causation. The move from too little stimulation to overstimulation seems a likely cause. Children with some type of oddity in physical appearance also have reason to suffer from such a disorder, but I don’t believe that factored into my situation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I believe my situations causation has a lot to do with the chaos that was in my house and some genetic predisposition. I think a lot of people miss the fact that as a toddler and child I refused to interact with my peers, I didn’t care much for activities, I didn’t speak to anyone, and preferred my own little world. I was and still am very sensitive to sound, light, and texture, and as a result am very anxious about many things, and I think a lot of that was unexplored for me, even in therapies: being told I would “grow out of it” didn’t ever make sense because it was never anything I really grew into, its been there since I have memory of myself. But that’s my theory. Some people call it shy, I call it “something left unexplored”. Lol. But it’s interesting to factor in reasons why we think we behave we are, thank you for sharing your experiences too, I think it helps all of us to reflect back and see that we are just humans who have been through certain situations that may have contributed to our behavior today.

      Like

  4. Curl in a ball and ignore the world, same thing I do. I tend to sleep when I feel I’ve failed. This is very well written though, your post are amazing in so many ways!

    Like

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