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Before he died, Richard Pryor had once asked, "Do you know how you felt when you would lean all the way back in a chair, and just before you were about to tip over, at the very last second, you'd catch yourself ? That's how I feel all the time."

And so do I --- I've felt that way every day for the past 4½ years, ever since being laid off from my job in October of 2008. And I'm also dealing with arthritis in my neck and back, as well as atrophy, because of long-term unemployment.

I no longer have a car or a savings account. Most of my possessions were left behind after I received an eviction notice in January of 2011. Fortunately, since then, someone had offered me a place to stay.

I constantly worry about how I will survive without an income. It's a nagging feeling that I just can't escape, although I try, by reading, writing and watching TV --- my only three distractions. But during these activities, my mind often wanders, as I ponder my dilemma.

Not surprisingly, researchers have found that the suicide rate in the United States has risen sharply between 2008 and 2010 --- four times faster than it did in the eight years before the Great Recession. The study also found that every rise of 1 percent in unemployment was accompanied by a 1 percent increase in the suicide rate.

I was almost added to that statistic in January of 2011, choosing that over homelessness (see my post here). I didn't want to deal with the bedbugs, lice, disease, drugs and all the crime that is associated with homeless shelters --- and I was not physically capable of living on the streets --- or living underground in the tunnels.

While unemployed (and without healthcare or dental insurance), I was also having dental problems; but even for the dirtiest and lowest paying jobs, employers generally won't hire someone without an address, front teeth, or clean clothes.

Researchers looked at the impact of business cycles on U.S. suicide rates from 1928 through 2007. They found a general correlation among suicide rates and major shifts in the U.S. economy (ya think so?)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that "suicide rates tended to fall during periods of plenty, such as during World War Two and the decade-long expansion from 1991 to 2001, when the economy flourished and there were low rates of unemployment."

But do we really need to be told these things from a study or a report? Yet, as a society, it seems that we'd rather document the problem rather than fixing it --- such as by creating enough jobs for everyone --- jobs that pay a "living  wage" --- rather than outsourcing them overseas to people who are working for slave-labor wages.

As of last year, the suicide rate among active-duty U.S. military personnel had spiked, and was on pace to out-number the total deaths attributed directly to two wars.

Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, called suicides among active-duty military personnel “the tip of the iceberg", and that the unemployment rate among military families is a particular problem.

With the wars in the Middle East winding down, and the upcoming cuts in defense spending due to the sequester, expect more unemployment --- and more suicides.

So far I've been very lucky, mostly because someone had offered me a spare room --- and because I was destitute, so therefore, I qualified for food stamps and Medicaid. So there's a slight chance I might see a happy ending after all --- that is, if the Republicans don't cut off my food supply (food stamps).

I've been leaning back in my chair for far too long --- the daily anxiety is wearing be down. Now I'm just hoping that after 2½ years into the process (and two previous denials), I'll eventually win a Social Security disability appeal --- otherwise, at age 57, I too will be SOL.

* Need help? In the U.S. call 1-800-273-8255 --- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Originally posted to Bud Meyers on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 12:42 PM PST.

Also republished by Unemployment Chronicles, Mental Health Awareness, Invisible People, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Miss a lot while homeless (21+ / 0-)

    Richard Pryor

    We are probably going to see the suicide problem get much, much worse. The predicted climate models do not bode well for most of humanity.

    "Til you're so fucking crazy you can't follow their rules" John Lennon - Working Class Hero

    by Horace Boothroyd III on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 01:00:27 PM PST

  •  Hey Bud Meyers (32+ / 0-)

    I'm glad you were offered a place to stay and the possibility of medicaid, food stamps, and disability is there to give you hope of a better future.

    Feeling suicidal is really hard, beyond belief.  I've known people who chose to live one moment at a time, for years, and then, things got better.

    •  superb advice! one day at a time and when that (16+ / 0-)

      becomes hard, one hour, one minute - one foot forward.

      you always have the option - you don't have to take it right this very moment - one second to the next - it really does get better!

      knowing you have the "option" means that you don't have to use it.

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:03:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great advice, edrie. One foot in front of the (6+ / 0-)

        other.  

        Please, don't think about suicide as an option.  

        Write a big list of all sorts of other things to do to improve your situation and remove suicide from the list.

        {{{{Bud Meyers}}}}

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:23:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hi, cindy - for me, it is ALWAYS about choices. (28+ / 0-)

          for example, as a single individual, alsheimer's or another fatal dehibilitating disease is a valid reason to consider options.

          physical inabilities not so much - i have a lifetime of reading to catch up with.  but if i cannot take care of myself and options are limited, i look at my life as my choice.

          for depression - i resolved that one many years ago in a most amusing manner.  i was at the depths after reagan cut the funding to the arts and that career ended - i went to work for wang labs and then the doc died and was laid off - still okay with that - but then the new "head", richard miller, decided to stop all of us who were offering supplemental software and hardware support as v.a.r. (value added resellers) - he institued a new policy charging a software licensing fee that was ten times the worth of the used equipment.  he figured that all the customers would buy used from wang or buy new.

          instead, since the pcs had just really hit the market, all the customers that could (the majority that weren't government contracts) dumped the systems almost overnight.  the stock plummeted and the company went under dragging all of us down with it in days after the letter went out.

          i was desperately trying to restart my design business or ANY business to keep the roof over my head when my sister called to tell me a  the head of a north carolina ballet company she volunteered for asked her if i would consider designing and building a ballet for them.  i was ecstatic!  i told her to tell them yes and that instead of my usual 1/3 down, 1/3 midway through and 1/3 at completion, if they paid the amount up front, i'd come down and set the ballet in person (while visiting my mom and her).

          her response threw me for a loop - she nastily replied she was going to tell them not to give me ANY money upfront because i would take it and not deliver the costumes!  i was stunned - i'd been a professional designer for almost 30 years.  where she came up with that statement was so far out of reality i couldn't process it - i only know realize it was jealousy...

          but that day, that night, i was beside myself - i drove that night to the docks in long island sitting in the cold and thinking how easy it would be to just slip into the water and disappear.  my only concern was that i lived on this 150 yr old house/property set back and no one would know that my dogs were there alone.  that was solved when a police officer stopped by to "check" why i was there - i lied - cheerfully - told him where i lived and that i was just "enjoying" the night.

          when he left, i knew my dogs would be safe - and as i sat, ready to slip away, i suddenly heard this scurrying of feet on the seat behind me.  it jolted me back to where i was, as i started to laugh.

          my friends always said my backseat had "something alive back there" because it was a gargantuan mess of collected "stuff" - and, indeed, it did - i heard a little mouse that had taken refuge in the back seat and was running around!  my lone companion that night made me realize that no matter how bad things seem, there is always something out there to laugh about!

          i went home and went to bed.  never did those costumes - and, sadly, in these last months, realized how seriously disturbed my relationship with my sister has always been - and am letting that go, too.

          oh, and i cleaned my car the next day.  yep.  there still have been more struggles, more hardships than i care to talk about - but i always remember my little friend - that little mouse who reminded me i HATE cold water!

          8^)

          may every soul have a mouse when they need one!

          EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

          by edrie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 04:42:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That wonderful mouse. Animals have a way of (8+ / 0-)

            changing our frame of mind, don't they?  I love animals.    

            This evening I went outside to finish digging myself out of Nemo, and I heard a great horned owl, "hoo, ha, hoo, hoo."  

            That made my night.  I hadn't heard an owl around here for over a year, and I love owls.

            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by CIndyCasella on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 10:04:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  yep... wonderful mouse! and the reason i love (10+ / 0-)

              going to the barn late at nite is the number of "night walkers" i see - from owls, racoons, deer - coyotes yipping between packs - it is truly magical, isn't it!

              yes, the best things in life really are free - the quietude that holds volumes of sounds from the solitary night...

              when nims was still alive and i lived at the barn where he and sani had a HUGE pasture in which to play, i usd to go sit between them and watch the stars - sometimes the late sumer shooting ones - between their feet.  we'd together just sit and savor the fresh night air and the beauty of the sky together.  

              one nite i was making my way back down to go to bed when i heard this chittering - didn't recognize the creature making it so i followed the sound down between a row of paddocks until i came close to the end.  the horse in the paddock beside the tree where all the activity was occurring looked at me frantically saying NO!  NO!

              when i looked up on the branch, two beautiful young skunks were talking to each other.  the young male, when i softly said "well, hello!' quietly crept down and slipped away into the field.  the young female just stayed draped across the limb of the tree languidly watching me as i told her how beautiful she was...

              all this while the poor horse who lived in the paddock not two feet from the tree had his lips tightly drawn and his eyes narrowed - not moving an INCH!

              since the beautiful "kitty" showed no apprehension or fear, i stayed and softly talked to her a bit - then bade her good night and quietly turned and started to walk away.

              that's when i "heard" the horse mutter "stupid HUMAN!"...  he was convinced i was going to get his paddock sprayed and he'd have to suffer the consequences of my behavior.  don't know if he ever forgave me for HIS tense night!  8^)

              EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

              by edrie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 11:27:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You write so well. I feel as though I was there. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JayRaye, cotterperson, NancyWH, edrie

                My cat got sprayed twice last summer cavorting with skunks.  I wiped him down with a paper towel and the stink dissipated by the next morning.  He didn't seem to mind stinking to high heavens, though.

                I've never seen an owl in the wild except once.  Last night I walked closer and closer to the hooting, but the owl stopped hooting before I could find him.

                While walking through Harvard Yard over 30 years ago one winter evening, I saw students looking up into a tree.  There I saw a Snowy Owl eating a rat, I think.  Eww!  The owl was beautiful, though.

                4 winters ago, I cross country skied too far to get home before dusk and was frankly a little frightened making my way back in the dark.  I was at the remotest part of the Town Forest, furthest from any home, when I heard a loud weird screeching.  My heart leaped.  I skied like the dickens home.  I got on line and listened to all the owl calls and realized that what I heard was a Screech Owl.

                Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

                by CIndyCasella on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:34:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  I was going through a bad spell once [!] (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Fairlithe, edrie, CIndyCasella, MRA NY

                and went down to the creek behind my childhood country home.  [I was living in a near by city.]  I watched some muskrats doing whatever muskrats do at dusk, feed, come home, what do I know?  Watching their sleek bodies moving silently through the water, I realized nothing that was weighing me down meant bupkiss to these beautiful creatures.  Not to subtract from the very real & tangible woes of many, I realized, in my case, @ least 1/2 were self inflicted.  I started to grow some perspective that day.  Sending positive energy to all who are suffering.

                "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

                by NancyWH on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:51:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  for me, perspective is being at the barn at 2am - (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NancyWH, CIndyCasella, JayRaye

                  the not so odd thing is that many times, i will find traces of others who are there in the night.  we were the barn "vampires" for a long time - never came out in the day.

                  it is so very beautiful when the world is left to its nocturnal doings.  one of my favorites now is driving by the deer who are coming in for the night to be safe from our nearby mountain lion and having them stop and stay to look at me as much as i am looking at them.  

                  one dusk, the beautiful buck with his family was so entranced by my tee that he stopped, staring for the longest time - then slowly started taking steps closer and closer to my precious one.  it was only when he couldn't quite bring himself close to the human on the other side of the leash that he turned and led that little family away.

                  i felt the magic between my "pup" and the deer and am quite sure had i not been there, they would have joined to greet one another!

                  what beautiful experiences you've had - i can also "feel" the brisk cold of the snow as you tell them!

                  EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

                  by edrie on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 02:47:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  An angel......n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              CIndyCasella

              The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

              by dfarrah on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:39:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I have a little cross stitch framed (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NancyWH, Fairlithe, edrie, JayRaye

            That says

            Look for the small miracles, and you'll find them everywhere.
            I will always think of your mouse when I look at it! So glad s/he was there for you.

            Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

            by emmasnacker on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 10:18:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  There are days that I live an hour at a time (11+ / 0-)

        And then there are days that I wish could go on forever.

        It sucks.

        But the days that you live hour to hour, if you can remind yourself that there are indeed days that you want to last forever, it makes each dark hour seem a bit more bearable.

        "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

        by Richard Cranium on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 08:22:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  know exactly how you feel - i am now living (18+ / 0-)

    in a spare room of a friend's house due to my unemployment running out and my sister never settling out mom's estate.

    and,

    i'm 67 - fortunately, i did qualify for food stamps and medical to pay my medicare and senior advantage... and a friend cleared out a 10 x 9 1/2 ft room.

    i do see a light at the end of the tunnel.  mom's estate will be resolved - one way or another - the hard or the easy way - but i can see a bit of light down the road...  that's why i keep plugging onward - that an having a responsibility to keep the promise i made to my now aged horse that i would take care of him.  (actually, it's the other way around.  without him, i'd have no REASON to "stick around" - that is and always has been MY choice to make, btw).

    people who have never fallen over the edge will never understand the depths of despair that comes with the fall.  never.  and for those of us who have climbed back up, the prospect of falling again calls for serious consideration of quality of life vs quantity.

    you're young - hang in there.  there are ways back - i know, been there, done that, doing it again.

    if you're looking for a job - look at car sales.  requires little experience except a good personality, HONESTY (if you want to succeed) and a willingness to put long hrs on the clock.  if you are good, the money can be, as well.

    hang in there.  oh. i said that already.  well, let me say just this - there is no shame in poverty - there is no shame in it at all.  it is NOT your fault and you can find a way out.  don't let those who "judge" shape your attitude - make it positive and exhuberant and move forward into a better future that you can and will find (eventually).  then you can either look back or choose to forget this experience.  me?  i look back and keep it with me to make sure i don't start "judging" that guy with a paper sign asking for help.  i remember because i don't want to EVER be that irritable person who judges... ever!

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 02:02:03 PM PST

  •  one of the things I wished (21+ / 0-)

    Obama would push, for are real employment offices, where you can go and are shown lists with all job openings. This combined with a regulation that companies MUST list their job openings publicly in those offices and must accept applicants for their job openings IN PERSON.

    I feel that the anonymity of applying for jobs over the internet is very discouraging and without dignity.

    These days you apply over the internet and ... you don't hear back ... nothing. When you have done that fifty times or more, guess what, you give up and shit on the technological "advantages". Sometimes after several months, they call you back and ask if you are still available, yeah dude ...I really have time for several month to get a reply, either negative of positive, but a reply other than "we get back in touch with you" would be nice.

    In the old days if you wanted to apply for a job, you could call in, try to get an appointment, write an application letter and could expect the company to get back in touch with you pretty much within a couple of days, by phone or by letter. Today you sit in a company database. That's unacceptable. Consider this inhumane. People who apply for a job need to know that they are rejected or that they can have an interview in an acceptable time frame. Don't let people live and hope in a database.

    I also wonder if the suicide rate among the Veterans might not get higher than the one among active military. Active military, they have still a paycheck. Veterans ... not so much. And I guess before they cut back on military expenses overseas and on weapons, they'll cut the benefits to Veterans.

    Hang in there and I cross my fingers that something good may happen one day. One can hope from one hour to the next. Don't give up and good luck, that's all what is left, good luck.

  •  Bud (10+ / 0-)

    my best advice with that appeal is lots & lots of medical records, if at all possible.  And good luck.  I will send positive energy your way.  

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 03:13:04 PM PST

    •  GET A LAWYER FOR DISABILITY APPEAL. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NancyWH

      I represent disability applicants for a living. If you don't have a lawyer already, I recommend you get a referral from http://www.nosscr.org

      The great majority of lawyers who practice Social Security law charge only a contingent fee--no money up front.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:51:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  When I was appealing my daughter's SSI case, (0+ / 0-)

        I tried every possible avenue to find a lawyer - NONE would take the case at that level.

        The attorney we had for the hearing handed us her file after the hearing and said, "win or lose, you're on your own."  

        I was fortunate to have the wherewithal to do the appeal myself (and win), it is a task beyond what most can do.

        Like in any profession, there are some good and some bad, but my feelings are very negative against SSI lawyers - anybody with any number of ailments that will be automatically approved has no need of one, yet EVERYBODY is told they need a lawyer for this.

        And our personal experience leads me to believe that there are a whole lot out there that are willing to go to the hearing level but not beyond.

        "Don't Bet Against Us" - President Barack Obama

        by MRA NY on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 10:32:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Various points. (0+ / 0-)

          The critical thing to understand about the SSA disability system is how random it is. On one extreme, there are a small % of SSA adjudicators who will approve you if your symptoms are more or less consistent with the medical evidence. On the other extreme, there are a significant % of SSA adjudicators who will stretch hard to find any drummed-up pretext to deny your claim. Most are somewhere in between--you're going to need solid evidence not just of what's wrong with you medically, but of what specific functional limitations it causes; and if you have that, you have a good chance (but no guarantee) of being approved.

          So when you speak of "anybody with any number of ailments that will be automatically approved"--there is no such person. If you draw the wrong SSA adjudicator, you will get screwed, almost regardless of what's wrong with you and how well it's documented.

          For instance, in the case I'm working on today, the claimant applied for disability in October 2008. She has now been denied five times; I'm drafting the appeal for decision #6. The treating orthopedist, treating psychiatrist, and two consulting psychologists all say she's disabled.

          Her original lawyer represented her through decision #4, then gave up. She hired my firm last year to continue appealing. It is quite true that a lot of lawyers don't handle higher-level appeals, though a lot also do. My firm is one of the relatively few that will accept cases at the higher level when we did not handle the lower level hearing.

          I wish I could say cases like today's are unusual, but they are not. Last month I won a case that had been appealed over and over again through multiple hearings since 2001. I took over in 2004. This was another case in which multiple doctors agreed the claimant was disabled by spinal, circulatory, and psychiatric impairments, but SSA just refused to see the obvious.

          Many lawyers do not handle children's disability claims because the rules are different for children, and are actually somewhat tougher. But the rules are not really any more complex for children, and there are many lawyers who will accept children's cases.

          I am sorry you had a bad experience with a lawyer, and glad you got your daughter approved. Best to you and her.

          "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

          by HeyMikey on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:02:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Often you get dozens of replies (9+ / 0-)
    These days you apply over the internet and ... you don't hear back ... nothing.
    of spam for fake jobs paying 'up to $5000 a week' that you didn't apply for.

    The job search over the internet is completely discouraging and depressing between the non-responses and the constant spam.

    Job fairs offer a little more hope because you can apply to several companies at once while being able to see and talk to a human.

    "I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights." (From "You Said a Mouthful" by Bishop Desmond Tutu - South African bishop & activist, b.1931)

    by FiredUpInCA on Sat Feb 09, 2013 at 03:17:54 PM PST

  •  Don't give up!! (17+ / 0-)

    I have been through the same process you are going through. I believe the approval process is dragged out intentionally so people will give up. It took me three years and someone(judge) who finally read my records to get approval. I discovered it's necessary to have a professional advocate to get heard. shortly after she registered her representation of me I got a hearing I'd been waiting years for. They will approve you. If you qualify for SNAP(food stamps) and Medicaid you meet the qualifications, IMHO. Once they approve you, you'll receive compensation for the time you waited. I got $11,000! It's worth it; all the hassle and frustration. Hang in there. YOU'RE worth it!

  •  Sympathy on the disability paperwork (15+ / 0-)

    It took my wife 6 years, two appeals and a judge recusing himself from our case because he didn't believe in her ailment.

    I don't know how anyone does it who is trying to do it on their own.  Good luck to you.

  •  Hang in there! (13+ / 0-)

    I know what it's like to be on the verge of homelessness.  My husband and I both lost our jobs within a few months and lost our house.  Thankfully, his mom is letting us live in her garage, otherwise we'd likely be on the streets, or perpetually couch surfing with friends.  We qualified for food stamps for awhile, but we weren't able to get Medicaid or any other assistance because we don't have children (because neither of us wants to bring a child into the world until we have a nice stable income).  My husband finally found full time work (though for much less than he was making previously).  I gave up, and decided to go back to school.  We're still living in the garage and slowly trying getting back on our feet.  I'm hoping in the next 6 months we'll be in a situation where we can afford to move out and get our own place.  Hang in there!  If you're having trouble with finding work, try going back to school.  Community Colleges have lots of vocational programs, but even just taking a class for fun, or to brush up some skills would help alleviate some of the boredom/helplessness associated with being unemployed.  I know I go stir crazy if I don't feel like I'm accomplishing something.  

  •  The problem is that we have jobs connected (6+ / 0-)

    To survival, which as technology expands is going to be come more and more of a problem for more and more people.

    Lowering the birth rate would help, but the right wingers are totally against that, and push to keep it going up and up.

    We need to rethink the basic assumption that you have to have a job to make enough to live on. It's not sustainable the way we are going. The wealthy are really going to have to realize that there has to be a different way to do things.

    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

    by splashy on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 04:03:02 AM PST

  •  SSA Disability (9+ / 0-)

    In 1999, I remember having patient calls where they were on disability for some fairly bogus conditions. Additionally, we had patients who were on with quite severe conditions. At the time, the doctor I worked for said, "Everyone who applies is denied once, so it takes on average two years to get it."

    My friend with immobilizing rheumatoid arthritis, tourette's syndrome, and obesity has been denied twice. This, if you ask me, is insane. Those conditions are documented and crippling by any medical standard. They are disabling, and that's that.

    I can't imagine what has happened to SSA that this is the rate of things, because there is, quite literally, no way that such an application can be denied on the basis of need.

    Everyone is innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:36:03 AM PST

    •  I was approved the 1st time out (6+ / 0-)

      and got a retroactive check from the date of my application the 1st time, and going back a yr the 2nd time I went back on SSI. The law was changed to save money, cutting the retroactive amount to a max. of one yr. (People were getting 5 and 10 yrs of benefits retroactively for huge amounts of money which can't be counted as income for SS purposes)

       What it takes is a socialworker and Dr. that knows the right way to fill out the forms and the correct things to say. Both are worth their weight in gold. The other thing is to always make things sound as bad as they are. Leave your ego at home and if you need to exaggerate to make your point do it but try to do it without flatout lying.

       My Tny is back in the hospital and this time they found lung cancer that has metastized. I have been her caregiver for around 10 yrs and we knew it was terminal but not like this. She beat cancer 3 other times but there is no way to beat this one. We can live decently on both our disability cks, but on just my ck I will be homeless not to mention alone. Sometimes I relish the day I can commit suicide without putting any more pain in Tny's life. Once she is gone I won't be far behind. I'm too old to walk the streets with a sleepingbag and backpack. I could only make a few blocks a day anyway so why bother. I plan to die in my own bed, own apt, after a good meal and a couple bowls. Let the State do the worrying about the funeral arrangements and cleaning out our crap. They refused us enough to do anything about either so they can deal with it. Neither of us will be here to worry about that crap anymore.

      "the government's role should be to uplift, enlighten, educate and ennoble the citizen, not oppress them with taxation and intrusive laws," Gatewood Galbraith, Historic Marijuana Advocate, aka "The Last Free Man In America," RIP 1-3-12

      by SmileySam on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:38:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am so sorry for your struggles. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greengemini, The Geogre

        Your understanding of SSA disability regulations is mistaken, but this is not the time or place to trudge through that. My symapthy's on Tny's illness.

        Please do not limit your vision to homelessness or suicide. Try googling "housemate match [your zip code]." Check with your local public housing authority. There are options.

        May you and Tny find comfort.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:57:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  SSA is largely random. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greengemini, The Geogre, JayRaye

      I have represented SSA disability claimants for a living since 1997. So much depends on the individual at SSA adjudicating the claim. Some are smart, work hard, and want to do the right thing. Some are dumb, lazy, and will cut corners to deny every possible claim for reasons I still do not understand.

      The worst are smart, work hard, and try their damnedest to deny every possible claim.

      Get a lawyer from http://www.nosscr.org and prepare for the worst.

      "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

      by HeyMikey on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:00:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

        I have copied down this information and passed it on to my friend. She said that the website looks promising, but the horror of the experience is unparalleled. However, all her pay is going to medical treatment anyway (she works three full time teaching jobs at online for-profit colleges, because that allows her to work without walking).

        Everyone is innocent of some crime.

        by The Geogre on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:24:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  {{Bud Meyers}} (8+ / 0-)

    You sound like you're holding things together despite setbacks that would have stymied others. If the weather is nice, take a walk -- it might help with the anxiety and it's free. I know it helps me, I call it my therapy. Despair or feeling unwanted or unnecessary is so debilitating. Sometimes, just listening to a bird sing can completely change my outlook. Also, you may already know this but just in case -- if you live near a dental school, I've heard they provide affordable dental care.

    "I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards any one." (Edith Cavell)

    by Southcoast Luna on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:18:24 AM PST

  •  Sending good thoughts (6+ / 0-)

    I have no answers -- just wanted you to know that someone stopped by and felt sympathy for your situation.  I wish with all my heart that those "work from home" jobs were real and true and that people in your situation had businesses and opportunities that were easy to set up and good income for hard workers.

  •  Just found petition for us to sign right now! (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, cotterperson, NancyWH, Oh Mary Oh

    Jobs Not Wars

    It's horrible that our country is killing so many people in our name abroad waging wars based on lies and making many of us at home feel suicidal, because the wars are destroying our hopes and dreams of getting a good job at home.

    Please sign this petition to tell President Obama to end these wars and bring peace time wars back home.

    Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by CIndyCasella on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 08:41:27 AM PST

    •  I still can't believe (3+ / 0-)

      that BO and Congress are not focused on job creation with all the people out of work.  It's an outrage.

      They're all off to the next shiny thing, gun control.  Our congresscritter and senator visited our county re-org today, and neither said anything about the economy or jobs.  Why bother--the audience is mostly retired, benefitted people.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 05:48:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Such an important story! (5+ / 0-)

    & beautifully told.

    tip rec repub

    WE NEVER FORGET Our Labor Martyrs: a project to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives in Freedom's Cause. For Jan: Right-to-Work/Right-to-Live(?)

    by JayRaye on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 09:15:58 AM PST

  •  a couple of suggestions (5+ / 0-)

    If there is a YMCA nearby, find out if they have some free memberships for people in your situation. (I know mine does.) Why? Companionship, encouragement, and arthritis classes especially in the swimming pool that could help a lot with keeping as healthy as you can. Exercise also helps a lot with anxiety and depression -- it's those endorphins or whatever. If you have the ability to do some work, you could offer to swap that for a membership, or help with their phonathon to raise money for the scholarships -- which when I've done it feels better than begging for freebies -- it's an exchange, you're giving something back. And who knows, it could even lead to a part-time job or even a full-time one that would be consistent with your physical limitations.

    Also contact local senior centers, which also are likely to have arthritis programs and information on other resources.

    Finally you are a good writer -- hope you can find ways to put that to good use in your own community, as well as posting here.

  •  I always thought that was a Steven Wright quote. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greengemini

    Anyway, I wast to start a new business but it is just too scary. If it doesn't come off, I am unhireable do to my age. I could always retire to Nicaragua, and I would, except I am so close to my children.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Sun Feb 10, 2013 at 12:55:12 PM PST

  •  *raises hand* Suicide survivor here. (6+ / 0-)

    Things have looked just that bleak a few times in my life.  Ultimately, for me, it was the lack of control that was the killer; I thought my death - from homelessness, illness, what have you - was inevitable, there was nothing my friends or a suicide hotline could do (it was purely a money issue) and I wanted to go out on my own terms.

    And yet, I am still here.  I was convinced to stay, and my demons don't yell quite so loudly in my mind any more.

    (offers a hug, the best he can give)

  •  I hope something good happens. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh

    48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam> "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." Edna St.V. Millay

    by slouching on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 12:54:47 AM PST

  •  yesterday was my last day at work. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh, JayRaye

    even though it has nothing to do with work performance, it still hurts. maybe because it didn't matter that i was always on time and doing my job that it hurts more. clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right had a 'lucky' soc sec # so they get to stay.

    even though we have other income and will receive significant unemployment $$ soon, it doesn't undo the 'out with the trash' feeling.  this will pass, and i cannot imagine piling on to this humiliation the despair of long-term unemployment and loss of shelter and other necessities.  i won't face that as far as i know, so i can only be thankful i see a future of many options. for example i can go to the downriver dispatch tomorrow. they advertised a pt job in this week's paper.

    i think i will always feel strong enough to carry on because i will have a foundation to stand on. i am deeply sad about those who have 'hit bottom' only to find out there is nothing there to stand on.

    sometimes I spend more time reading the comments than the diaries. no offense to diarists: thanks for the launch pad.

    by dunnjen on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 04:21:48 AM PST

  •  "..no front teeth.." (0+ / 0-)

    Oh, shit.

    "You can't run a country by a book of religion. Dumb all over, a little ugly on the side." Frank Zappa

    by Uosdwis on Mon Feb 11, 2013 at 05:39:39 AM PST

  •  Thank You! (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks to all who took the time to read and post to my diary. I was just now made aware on another post that the "protocol" was for authors to reply. Thanks again.

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