“Ask me anything and I shall answer as truthfully as I can while still protecting people’s identities, identifying characteristics, and of course protecting the innocent (or not so innocent). This could be fun, what do y’all think?”
And thus the questions begin! Let’s delve into the mailbag…
I’m taking you up on it, but a have a rather serious question. I am on Disability for clinical depression and have been for 2 years. I find I can hardly get by monetarily and this adds significantly to my depression. How do you get by on Disability? I even live with my parents, so I have no rent, but every month I live day to day. All others in my family are well off, and am tempted to say “HEY! If I had some money I’d give you some!”. I know that’s not cool. But, I’m tired of struggling.
This is a really important question, or statement, rather, for those of us living on disability. For those not in the know and not getting into money specifics here, disability pays extremely, extremely little per month. No way can a person on disability, say, live in my town, pay rent, buy groceries, pay for gas, and have a dime left over. I have stated before on the blog that the only reason I am able to live alone is because my parents own my apartment. I buy groceries, a tank of gas, pay for my medication and therapist, and am still eating oatmeal for two days at the end of the month. Living on disability isn’t so much living as it is surviving. And there are no easy answers.
That being said, we cannot give up. Giving up on things ever improving means that we’re giving up on ourselves, and that can’t happen. The deck is stacked against us. Life is hard for everyone right now in this economy, but moreso for those on a fixed and exceedingly small income. It’s hard, and it’s scary, and concessions need to be made. I save pennies by being part of my pharmacy’s prescription program (I don’t have insurance) that lops a few bucks off of the myriad medications I have to buy per month. I clip coupons. I have that little tag on my keychain for the grocery store discounts. And I go without. Sometimes that’s all you can do. You go without.
I know the path can seem endless and dark, but we have to believe that things will improve, and also rally FOR OURSELVES. Research! Use the internet and research ways of supplementing your income. Take a look with a really critical eye at your expenses. Do you really NEED that? Really?
And of course sometimes the answer is “Hell YES I need that, dammit, this is so fucking unfair I can’t stand it and goddammit something has got to GIVE, MAN” and we’re just shit out of luck. It’s the way of the world. I wish so much that I could magically give the answer to all the issues of surviving on disability, but there are no easy answers. The best thing I can say is:
You’re not alone. There are so, so many people just like you. Like me. Like us. Scraping by. And it’s hard. It’s SO hard. But you’re not alone. You’re never alone.
Best of luck to you, and keep your chin up. We’re all stronger than we think we are.