Saturday, May 26, 2012

Update - divorce nearly over

The divorce is almost over. I will be moving out June 15 (currently spending tons of time and energy looking for a place to rent with Mojito, Rumi, Gadjo and Fennec, and one room to use as an art studio, but still haven't found a place to live). 

Not many divorce details in this post, but for now I'll just say that post-divorce, I'll probably have enough money to live on from a few months to perhaps about a year and a half. Being unable to work full-time, I will be an impossible situation after that, but right now I am desperately trying to get through one day at a time. And these are hard days. Each one, I don't think I'll make it through. As you can probably imagine, my bipolar, sleep disorder, and migraines are not exactly dormant right now. And I am having to take some new anti-anxiety meds to take the truly scary edge off of some days and nights. Unable to paint or do much of anything except try to make it to work appointments. I wouldn't be able to get out of bed at all if not for taking care of the animolecules, kissing the kitties, and seeing the happiness on Mojito's face when he knows he's going to go out for a walk.

The Husband is currently saying he is going to keep Miss Lemon and Lynxie, so I am going to remove the previous post about new homes for them.

I'm still looking for a home for the lovely black Cleo. There is one family that wants to meet her in the next week or so, and there is land she could roam and hunt on, so please, please cross your fingers for me and for her, that that will work out. I so hope it will, and that if it does, she adapts quickly and isn't sad. I feel so guilty.

I lose my health insurance in about a week. I just refilled the prescriptions that I could. I don't know what will happen later. I'm in a typical bureaucratic catch-22: because I'll have some "assets" (i.e., enough money to live on for x months), I won't be considered "poor enough" to get typical social services like cheap or free meds (I will keep investigating social services, though, to keep trying to find an option). My meds are about $800 a month with insurance. Without insurance, it's at least double that. Insurance itself, the cheapest I could get, is about $500/mo, which is a third or fourth of a month's rent, so I won't be having health insurance. So I'm not sure if this blog is going to end up being some kind of unintentional "bipolar person going off meds experiment" diary. I guess we'll see. If it does, stick around; it could get interesting. I've been on meds (lots of different kinds) for 17 years, since I was diagnosed at 30. 

The worst irony for me is that there is a program in Boulder called Affordable Housing that I had been hoping I could get into. It's so that lower-income people can buy a condo for a third of the normal cost. However, to qualify, there is a minimum income requirement (I think it's 33K/year), and I can't earn even half that. Therefore, the irony is that since I don't make enough money to qualify as low-income, I have to pay regular rent prices, which tend to range around $1500-2400/month for not an undergrad dump.

When we first started talking about divorce and such, there was a hope (now known to be quite in vain) that I would be able to get a settlement that would allow me to buy my own condo at regular rates. Then the hope had to be moved to the idea of the Affordable Housing condo-buying program--but I can't even do that. Then my lawyer suggested that my only option might be to buy a cheap used mobile home, much as the thought of living like that depressed the hell out of me. Then we found out that none of them allow more than one small pet. So that means all hope of my owning my own place is gone, and I will just be renting until the settlement money runs out. And I cannot live, have no wish to live, if I can't have my animals.

Very depressed. But I felt I owed you all an update. And I'll even put up a kitty pic, to try to get a little cheer on this post. Thank you as always for reading and for your blog support.


Lisa Le Quelenec said...

Huge hugs! I hope it doesn't sound glib but - it's always darkest before the dawn. There will be something just around the corner that will make things better even if you can't see it just now. I have faith in you.

Shelley Smart said...

Oh, man, what a difficult situation. My heart goes out to you.

If your meds cost $800 more each month without insurance, isn't $500 a month for insurance a more economical way to go? Like $300 less to pay out each month. Not to mention the health benefits. I figure you were planning on giving up the meds but maybe that's not a good plan? People DO love you and care. Can you get disability?

I used to live in Boulder and even those many years ago it was a very expensive place to live. How about living somewhere else? Either near by or in a totally different state? How about putting an ad in the paper seeking a small rental that allows pets? Back when I was there, there were "industrial" areas and other small places, kind of off the radar, that were "affordable". Those may have gone as Boulder has grown. Have you checked Craigslist? I guess that's an obvious place that you would have looked. How about roommates to share a place?

Anyway, prayers going out for you. Keep your head up and your wits about you. Think outside the box. There are positive solutions (she said optimistically/hopefully).

Once upon a time, I was near bankruptcy, worried about losing my small house, worried about my many pets. I meditated in those days (more than now) and I just put up a desperate prayer: "I need help NOW." And help came.

Good luck.

Shelley Smart said...

Just another thought. Have you asked the company that makes your meds for assistance? I often see ads for companies that provide financial help.

And, please, realize that I know you've been doing what you can but I just want to provide some support. And the only way I know to do that is to offer suggestions! So please read them in the spirit in which they are offered. And don't post them if you don't want to, naturally.

The Pie people were worrying about you. Or one of them, I don't know. "June" is ending her blog next week, allegedly.

As a teacher, could you get a job at another college, even a community college, in some smaller, hopefully less expensive community? Boulder may be a box you are trapped in. Just a thought.

Be kind to yourself, and I will be praying for a good outcome for you.

Maggie Latham said...

Jala, Such a lot going on for you right now….but you will get through it. It might not seem like it at the moment, but everything happens for a reason. I have no other words, except I know what it’s like to live in the States without health insurance… and we were not even on regular meds! Hold on in there…..

Maggie Latham said...

Jala, Such a lot going on for you right now….but you will get through it. It might not seem like it at the moment, but everything happens for a reason. I know what it’s like to live in the States without health insurance… and we were not even on regular meds! Hold on in there…..

Gabrielle said...

Okay Jala, deep breath. And another one. A lot can change in a few months, so don't even worry about the future. You've got to get yourself resourced and centered right now.

Shelley is right, you should contact your pharmaceutical companies about helping you with the medicine costs.

I would also highly recommend yoga, meditation, or any similar type of mind-body stress-reduction. Scientific studies have shown these activities significantly reduce the parts of the brain that become activated under stress and anxiety. I won't go into my own personal details here but I have found these things essential to my recovery from trauma. I'm sure they would be extremely helpful to you. Taking care of yourself in this way will take your panic down a notch and will help you see things more clearly and feel that there is hope (which there is). You can find resources for yoga and meditation for free.

I've never been to Boulder, but just a very quick Google search brought this:

They've got yoga, introduction to meditation classes, etc. and they have a Generosity Policy which is to not turn away anyone due to financial concerns.

Your public library will also have books on meditation for stress-reduction.

Perhaps you can use your beautiful art to barter for services you need.

Look for online support groups for bipolar, depression, anxiety, whatever. Just choose the ones where the participants want to move forward, not just use the group to complain about everything.

And play music, music you love, music that makes you happy. Sing along. Dance even. Music is a wonderful mood-changer. It is very hard to motivate yourself to do this when you can barely get out of bed, but it is worth it. Just be careful not to choose music that might remind you of your ex, or songs with words that might trigger negative thoughts.

You have to take baby steps. You may not have energy one day to dance to music, so you just choose to have it playing in the background. You may not feel up to going out into public one day - use your online support group then. Just so long as you choose something each day that gives you a sense of taking care of yourself.

You mentioned that you were 47. Perimenopause could be magnifying some of your problems, too. That can mess with your mind, your emotions, your body, your sleep patterns. The meditation, yoga and stress reduction will help immensely with that, too.

This is all about taking care of yourself and learning that you may not be able to change circumstances but you can change your reaction to them. This has been a very hard lesson for me to learn, one that I've rebelled against and gotten angry about. It's much easier to blame someone or something else than to change your thoughts but if you stick with it, the peace of mind is incredible and you can move forward with confidence.

I'm sending you lots of love and hugs. You can do this!

Caroline Simmill said...

Thank you for the update Jala, I have been wondering how things are with you. I do feel sad about your situation and really hope you can find somewhere to live soon. I understand about wanting to have the animals with you it is important. best wishes.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

forgive my intolerance but if you just jumped a border or were other wise 'undocumented' you'd get all the help you could ask for. The system sucks and is so broken .
Makes me so mad.
Hang in there.