My therapist knew exactly where I was in my mind. She knew I had reached the point of hopelessness. She also knew the danger that returning to my home of origin would put me in, a danger that I could not see because my mind was so focused on giving up.
My therapist talked about other options. She realized that half my battle was financial, something I had been not-so-upfront with in the past. That is when she brought up going on disability. I’ve never been on any type of government assistance, because I feared it would mean I was a leech like my parents, constantly depending on others to get by. Also, with SSDI, that would make my diagnoses real, and part of me still lives on in denial.
I promised my therapist I would look into it, even though I really didn’t want to go that route. I told her it wouldn’t matter anyway, because it takes months to process, and that is even if I am approved, which is unlikely the first time around. Then my therapist brought up cutting our sessions down to once a week to save money, and I started to panic. I can barely handle myself right now; I cannot imagine going to therapy just once a week.
Then she brought up seeing another therapist, one that is covered by my insurance. That was even more horrifying than cutting therapy down to once a week. I’ve been in an out of therapy for 15 years, and the last few years were some of the worst because Medicaid makes it near impossible to find competent mental health treatment. I was not about to go through all of that again. I might as well just treat myself.
Then reality hit again. “Ethically, I can’t continue to take your money and treat you, knowing that you may end up homeless.”
I sort of knew this already, but I didn’t want to accept it. The main reason I moved to this particular area was because I needed help, and I knew I could get it from her. I started therapy within a week of moving here, before I even got a job. Therapy was, and has been, my priority. And now I felt like I was losing that, too.
I didn’t want to think about it then. I had to get myself back on track. I needed to remember why I was traveling, that I was going to take an exam that was going to better our lives.
I went home after therapy and started packing my bags. I had a list written out of everything I needed. I obsessively checked and re-checked everything. By the time I was done, I was so exhausted that I just went to bed, but I didn’t sleep much because my mind was still racing with anxiety.
I got up at my usual 4:30 time, took a shower, packed my last-minute things, and went to work. I was hoping for a rather uneventful morning, but that proved to be false hope. Instead, I got another realization that some of the people and things I held hope in were no good. The thought of going back home to my parents reemerged in my mind. I reached hopelessness again.
I tried to fight back, but at that point everything was chaos. I wanted to quit my job and never come back. What was the point anymore? No family, no more therapy, no money, no life. The life I was building here was fading away fast. I didn’t know what I was going to do.
Part of me was afraid to make the trip at all, knowing that I was risking throwing myself into the lion’s den. Part of me had given up entirely. And another part of me knew we needed to take this test, and there was no other way to get there.
With Courage and Superbear right alongside me, I went to the train station after work and caught the train back to my home of origin, still struggling through the mush of possibilities in my mind.