Growing into Me with Bipolar

Posts tagged ‘Voc Rehab’

New Horizons: Fears and Anxieties

First off, to those of you who follow me, I am so sorry I haven’t written recently.  But I have been reading and doing things in real life—this is a first in many years!   So, what have I been doing?  I have been getting up earlier (without an alarm!), I have been looking for a small part time job, and even applied at Target (it’s across the street, and I love shopping there!)  As long as I don’t work too much, I won’t lose any of my Disability benefits like Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid.  And that’s fine by me…I don’t want to work too much just yet!  What else?  Oh, yes, I changed ‘teams’ at my mental health clinic.  My med provider was always triggering me every time I went in for a med check.  Even when I would remind myself that he is just like that, he just seemed to always get me to react.  The most recent visit he asked if I was suicidal (standard protocol for mental health patients) and when I said sometimes he told me not to do it because my soul would get stuck inbetween planes and he knew this was true cause his grandfather told him so.  My team nurse can’t draw my blood, so I can’t use the lab at the clinic so I have to drive across town to a free-standing lab instead.  And my Rehab liasion insists to me that I cannot possibly have an open case and a case manager at Voc Rehab, because I didn’t meet with the VR counselor who visits the clinic once a month to do it.  She insists I could not have possibly have opened a case with VR myself (which I did 2 years ago) and that in order for me to get VR services I must close this supposed case and then open one with the VR counselor who visits the clinic instead.  Now, what I want to know is, why should I close a case just to open one?  Why go through all the work of that again, when all the information is already there?  Why can’t my VR counselor just transfer my case and files to the one who comes to the clinic? But my clinic Rehab liasion insists this is impossible.  She has no proof, no evidence, nothing to support her position.  She just keeps repeating that it is impossible, until I am ready to jump over the table and strangle her!!  So, since that is my current ‘team’, it finally occurred to me to switch teams.  It can’t possibly be worse.  Cause right now, all my ‘team’ members are horrible and triggering.  It can’t possibly be worse with another team, although I admit, it may possibly not be better… but we’ll take that chance.  We can always switch teams again!

So, what have I been up to?  I have been up to taking care of myself and feeling better!  I also am now volunteering at the animal shelter where I got my dog, looking for a job,  and switching teams at my clinic…and having a much, much easier time getting out and about, doing tasks more easily.  The only thing now is, how long will this last?  I know I shouldn’t be thinking about that.  But I haven’t felt this good in over 7 years.  For the last 7 years, I have been wearing a suit of armor and slogging through quicksand to do anything.  It has been so difficult that I have been able to do very, very little in all that time.  But the quicksand is gone now, and the suit of armor has been shed.  Movement feels easy again.  But how do I know this will last?  I mean, I have gone so long looking for it I’m not sure it’s real.  I want it so badly to be real, but at the same time I am afraid to believe it is real because it is probably only fleeting, and if I rely on it being real I will make commitments and plans and not be able to follow through on them as this feeling of well being slides away again, leaving me back in the quagmire, sinking all over again.  I am just as afraid as I am excited to get a job, to volunteer.  I am afraid that after 7 years of NOT doing anything useful, anything with a commitment, that I will fail.  And if I fail, that I will end up in the depths of despair yet again.  I am afraid of ruining this good feeling by failing at living and also afraid that even if I do well at these tasks that this good feeling will escape me also.  I’m so afraid of jinxing it, I’m not sure if I want to follow through on these ‘good’ commitments so I won’t be let down.  And yet, if I don’t try, I will never know if it might work out, if I might succeed, get well, become productive.  So I am trying to take it one day at a time trying to not think about anything more, success or failure, fleeting or staying well-being.

Bits and Pieces

Not really anything organized in my head right now, that’s why I haven’t blogged for a few days.  Last thing I think I wrote was a rant about my mental health clinic and my ‘team’ I have there.  Well, after thinking about it for a few days, I decided to go ahead and ask my case manager (who is the only ‘team’ member I actually like and get on with reasonably well) if I could switch to a different ‘team’ in the clinic, since she is the only one I don’t have issues with everytime I’m there.  Get this, her response was, ” Well, I’ll have to ask your team if they will approve a switch”.  So, if I’m having personality conflicts with all my team members and getting triggered everytime I see each of them, they get to decide if I can change teams.  Great.  Wonderful.  That makes sooo much sense.  Let the ones who see it as me being difficult and belligerent decide the merits of my request to switch teams based on my claim that they trigger me.  Well, I don’t know what will happen with this.  I guess, on the worst case scenario, if i am denied my transfer, then I could either continue to pursue it and call the ombudsman and advocate (the big guns) or I can just accept that things are not going to change and only use the clinic just for meds (skip the voc rehab assistance, the benefits management assistance, the groups…).  I guess I’ll live if that happens.  Although I hope that it doesn’t.

One of the examples of what triggered me the other day was I asked about Voc Rehab.  Now, I already opened a case with VR and already have a case manager.  My team rehab specialist kept telling me I couldn’t have a case at VR and I couldn’t have a case manager, because a case manager from VR comes to the clinic once a month, and I don’t have a case with her, so, whatever I think I have with whoever I think I have it is not really a real case with a real case manager from VR, because the only way it would be possible for me to be getting services from VR would be if I had this case manager who comes to the clinic as my case manager.  I don’t understand why they can’t just arrange for my current case manager to transfer my case to this one that comes to the clinic.  In any case, I was about ready to pop, standing up and so close to losing it and just yelling cause all I wanted from her was a reason for what she kept saying, for what she kept insisting on.  I just wanted to know why.  And she just wouldn’t say, just refused to answer.  If she didn’t know, or if the VR case manager could have explained it more, then that’s all she needed to say.  I would’ve been fine then, I would’ve felt heard and validated and not just like she was blowing smoke up my rear.  But she didn’t say any of that, and I almost went completely berserk on her.

And I think I’m starting to incorporate some of my improvements from therapy into my regular life, and, ****crosses fingers****hope I don’t jinx things****I think I am feeling some better!  I am very loath to even think that I may be feeling better, cuz I don’t want it to disappear right when I see I have it finally!  But, I think some of the progresses I’ve had in therapy recently have made their way winding round up there in my head and I actually think I might be feeling some bits better.  So, I am actually considering taking a part time job in addition to still volunteering at the animal shelter 3x/mo.  And if it goes well for a year-(ish), then I will go ahead and deal with all that VR crap from above to get them to pay for my education so I can re-enter the workforce and support myself.  I want to get the education to get a certificate for being an Ultrasound Tech.  But it’s wicked expensive at the place I found the program, so VR might not pay all of it.  Not sure if I would qualify for more loans (still have the ones from my BA).  If I qualify, great.  If not, I might have to pick a cheaper program, like medical assistant or something instead.  I don’t really care, I just have always worked in the medical field, and I enjoy it.  But, I do want to re-enter the work force with a job that I can actually live on, not just subsist on.  I don’t want to keep squeaking by…(like I have my whole life).  I want to have enough to live on without worry, and with the ability to get a few frills and luxuries once in a while.  I was hoping to get the Ultrasound certificate because it pays so well compared to other paraprofessional positions.  But that hand hasn’t been even been dealt yet, so no point trying to see how to play it now.  As a friend I once had would’ve said, ‘stop borrowing trouble’.

Well, I have not in the last 6 years even considered going to work again.  This is the first time I have even considered that I might have a future, and might actually be self-supporting, and might actually live out my natural years.  So, the fact that I feel that I want to get a part time job, and if that goes well, even get trained for a new position and go back to having a normal life, working every day…Well, that just says volumes to me, screams it even.  I might actually have a future, if all the cards fall into my hands at the right time, anyway.

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