Miss Lemon with baby Rumi, from the archives... Why? To try to smile and feel better. The cuteness!!
I hope Miss Lemon and Lynxie are doing okay and happy.
I'm having an especially pissed-off day. I'm so angry about being born into the only "first-world" country to deny its citizens the basic right to health care. (Of course, being angry about this is nothing new.)
I need to see a specialist (endocrinologist), but none of them will do a sliding fee scale. Even one office visit plus tests plus a follow-up office visit (the bare minimum to try to get diagnosed) is ridiculously expensive, never mind potential treatment! Researching all this today has me especially pissed off.
I'm also angry that I had to be a person with multiple complicated health problems. And to be that person, and to be born in this country, where only money will open the doors to healthcare.
I'm pissed. (Perhaps you gathered that already.)
I recently watched a British documentary in which a guy with a terrible, life-threatening health problem, whose family had been literally taking care of him in every way, physically, financially, etc., for years and years, finally decided to go to a doctor and try to do something about it because, he said, "My family deserves to have me with them."
This struck me, hard, as so arrogant, and so very alien.
I pondered why. Eventually, I realized it's because the latter half of my childhood, the message I got was basically: if you must exist, then you shouldn't have any needs; if you can't survive entirely independently, you are weak (and therefore worthless); and this includes health problems, which you shouldn't have anyway, and even if you do, it shouldn't matter.
I read something pithy and accurate recently. It was something like, "To survive a serious mental illness in this country, you need three things: really good finances, really good health insurance, and a really strong support system of family and friends."
Um...yeah. That is not a description of my life.
I also have always hated the term "mental illness." Even when I heard the term as a child (applied to my mother), it seemed to imply a reduction in a person's intellectual capacity, and so the term never made sense to me and I have always found it misleading, personally humiliating, and unwittingly hurtful. I guess bipolar, schizophrenia, etc., should be called something like "neurotransmitter variations."
I can't afford insurance, and if I did have it, I'd no longer be able to afford the copays on the med that I'm currently getting for free through the manufacturer's indigent program. I can't get need-based disability because although I would qualify for it somewhere civilized like Europe, I don't in the US, and even if I could get it, it wouldn't even pay for rent, and wouldn't let me work much at all. I can't get Social Security-based disability, because I didn't work enough "quarters" total during my lifetime. I can't get some form of welfare because I don't have a kid. I can't get Medicaid because there's an endless waiting list just to be put in a lottery, and it wouldn't cover things like specialists, anyway. My job skills and high education only qualify me for low wages. Why wasn't I born in, I don't know, Sweden maybe?
Yes, I know, intellectually, that things could always be worse. If I'd been born in many parts of the world, I'd be even worse off than I am now. I have my beautiful animolecules who are probably even better than a therapist, I still have a roof over my head and food and enough meds at least for a couple of months, I have some blogger buddies rooting for me out there. Those are big things, I know.
I am still trying to count my blessings, though it's very hard for me lately. My health is getting worse and it makes the usual bipolar and sleep disorder and migraines ever harder to cope with. I can't find more work than I already have, get no responses from work I apply for, am spending too many fruitless hours online looking for jobs and reading about health insurance and such, can't make myself paint, am pissed at the person who owes me money requiring me to go through exhausting legal processes, and I can almost laugh when I repeatedly read health info online where the first piece of advice for any health problem is: "1) reduce stress in your life".
I hate this season too, how it's so dark outside and all about commercialism, and everywhere you go, you have to hear the same dreaded Christmas carols over the loudspeaker, every TV ad shows a Santa, fake snowflakes, and stockings hung from the fireplace, superimposed with words like "Giant sale!"...as if joy and jolliness will be the direct result of how much money is spent buying stuff, most of which the recipients don't need and which will go into the landfill sooner or later. And not to offend anyone reading this blog, but I resent the assumption most people have that everyone here is Christian. A few times, I've been out of the country over the Xmas holidays, and it was really refreshing to not have all that thrown in your face multiple times a day.
Oh, and I found out that my former best friend, who abandoned me during my divorce, is friends with my ex. Some people have no shame.
I could rant forever--I'm a little bit pissed off today, ya know?--but, um, yeah, I guess I'll stop with the invective now. Enough vituperation for one day.
I have long wanted to write a memoir about my life and bipolar (for those of you who don't know, I was a writer before I was a painter), but never felt ready. I think I might be becoming ready. Fully formed sentences have been drifting through my head lately... I think I'd better start writing them down.
Anyway, the most important thing is to scroll back up and look at the sweetness and love in those photos. I couldn't live without animolecules. They are the epitome of beauty, faithfulness, consistency, and unconditional love, amongst other incredible qualities. Do it--go back up and look at them, and let all my angry words dissolve in their warmth and fur. I promise it will make you feel better.