I’ve had these changes in my head for awhile. Around the future long term stuff. Jess and I being able to move out of Albany perhaps to a smaller place like a group home or smaller facility. That’s all it was at first and I hardly thought of it.
We’d sometimes think about being in our own apartment. But we have similar and sometimes opposing issues when we get unstable that they feed off each other and would make us both crash. As an example. When Jess is having a hard time it comes out as irritability and a harsh tone of voice. That mood triggers my anxiety and PTSD which makes me really go off fast. On the other hand my anxiety can trigger her irritation at times and she’ll lose her patience.
She lived on her own a long long time ago. She’s terrified about it because it really didn’t work out. Her life was kind of stuck in a rut for many years. She didn’t manage finances very well or her health. Which lead to the physical collapse in 2009.
I’ve never lived on my own except for dorm at college. It was ok but not at all great. I felt lonely a lot and my depression made it hard to go to meals get laundry and personal needs taken care of regularly. It was at the end of all that that I knew I needed some kind of structure to help give me support with that. I felt safe and good at Friedman place and like I had everything just right until my mental illness overtook all other issues.
It took me like what feels like a million years to get really really stable here. But now I know I am. I have Jonathan and Edith. The other caseworkers. Though I barely talk to them and don’t even know the new ones, knowing there there 12 hours a day is really reassuring. Nurses to be sure meds are on track. A good psychiatrist who goes to a good psych unit, finally! An okish medical doctor. Not so great food but oh well. It’s clean and we have our cozy room.
Maybe it’s the base of stability I have that’s set my mind on a mission to think about leaving. It’s an odd concept. But it reminds me of something Jonathan said. That the best work you do in therapy is when you’re really doing well so you can handle emotional stuff, or hard thoughts and really work things out. Now I see the point.
So back to the progression. We knew we really didn’t want to live in an apartment totally alone so would need some kind of outside support. But we were still thinking about staying in this area. Then I don’t know when maybe a month or so ago I started to really miss MA. It’s weird because I have no friends there. Just my weird family and old relatives who we could never stay with. But I just miss the state in general and knowing where all the towns are. Lately it’s more that I’m fed up with the lack of mental health services/ volunteer oppurtunities here. If it weren’t for intermediate care facilities which I find awesome, I wouldn’t like IL at all. I thought a big city like Chicago would have so much for mental health care. I didn’t realize the governor would cut everything under the sun and all people would be crammed into like four huge mental health centers. And they have it so individual therapists can’t take Medicaid which in MA they can..
I feel like right now my nitch is hotline/ crisis work. And it still gets me that there is only one hotline in the intire city.
I miss the huge Depression bipolar alliance community DBSA group in Belmont. I could become a peer worker more easily than here as there
Are many more places to get that certification. Just different stuff. And an intuitive feeling like I just want to go back there.
Jess wants to go anywhere in new England and says perhaps I should “spread my wings” to other states. I agree as long as there are solid services. She says she’s always wanted to live in origon or wasington so those are possibilities. From my friends experience and pure climate issues we will not be going to California, Arizona, Idaho, or Colorado. Or Alaska as it’s wicked cold.
I think about this now off and on everyday. . It’s like riding a merry-go-round. Sometimes it’s thrilling and exciting to see all the different possibilities and new things, seeing a new life. Other times it’s so scary. Like OMG am I serious? I have nearly perfect stability here. I know that a move would tear all that apart at least temporarily for both of us. What if we moved and discovered it was the worst mistake of our lives? But a small part of me weirdly, feels like if we don’t move it might be just as big a mistake. I’ve never felt like that before. I need consistency so much and changes shakes me up so bad. I love the idea of knowing I can settle somewhere forever. That’s why I hate any short term programs, even for therapy. I like knowing I can do something for as long as I need to and not be on someone’s timeline. I still feel this way. When all this new emotion and thoughts become too much I slide back into the comfort of this place, all the things I have set to support me, how well I’m doing here right now how there’s no hurry. But at moments I feel like I just want to run out of here. Like I’m missing something somewhere else. It’s all so confusing, but I think Jonathan would say it’s a good step forward. I haven’t dared tell staff about it. Like talking about it with someone that’s not Jess, someone who would get all this into motion for us when we were ready, would make all this jumble in my head much more real.
Maybe I’m just bored. Maybe once I hopefully get to volunteer with NRS and Jess gets into school I’ll love the new routine and all this will go away. A part of me wants it to. Like everything is so new and intense it’s almost like I feel a little crazy, except a positive crazy if there is such a thing.
Jess will be in school at least four years. This is a relief when I’m leaning towards wanting to be here stable and happy for as long as possible. And makes me feel boxed in when I’m so full of future possibilities of places to go. It’s a lot to take in. Maybe that’s why I’m taking two naps a day again. It keeps me up at night sometimes. I remember back to when I was on that almost manic tear about needing to get away from Albany now! Edith was beside herself with worry. Jonathan was calm and I guess said to let it play out and we don’t know the future. She said he should have the answers in a joking sort of way. He’ll probably say the same thing to let it play out. So we will and will see what happens.
Thoughts have any of you experienced this shift, at once wanting to continue on a certain track feeling so safe and knowing you’re doing well where you are, but just as strongly wanting to start over? I’m speaking more to those with chronic mental illness or disabilities. It’s huge for anyone to start a new chapter in their lives but there are all sorts of complications if you’re dealing with long term mental illness and disability issues. So would love to get responses from anyone in my similar situation.
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