Writing for Survival

I’m writing while I can, as much as I can. For several weeks, each day has brought turmoil, including a HUGE decrease in my Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) leading to facing homelessness AND not being able to afford my best friend and life mate, Jireh (my Service Dog), news that my mother (from whom I have spent half of my adult life estranged) was in serious condition in the hospital, lost a couple close friends, had a cousin die from drug overdose, I fell in front of an oncoming car (hurting myself and almost getting run over), and the list goes on. Having numerous debilitating medical issues (most of which are exacerbated by stress), I truly feel like I can have a heart attack at any moment. For the past two weeks, my health has been chronically declining.

When I received the notice about the cut in my income with June being the hardest month as they were taking out their overpayments in addition to my reduced monthly income, my strong faith cracked. I have supported myself for the past 30 years as I have no contact with relatives. I’m a fighter as I am equipped with God’s strength and wisdom within me. Having the gift of writing, I assured my close friends if I can pay June’s bills, I can find writing jobs to supplement my income starting in July.

After all, Harry Potter book series J.K. Rowling lived in extreme poverty, receiving food stamps, until her books were published. Living in poverty changes people as Rowling states, The very best thing her wealth has given her, she wrote on her website, is the absence of worry. “I have not forgotten what it feels like to worry whether you’ll have enough money to pay the bills. Not to have to think about that anymore is the biggest luxury in the world.”

According to the website, http://www.businessinsider.com,

Living in a cramped apartment with her daughter, jobless and penniless, Rowling fell into a deep depression and admits she even considered suicide. She was forced to rely on state benefits and spent much of her time writing “Harry Potter” in cafés with Jessica sleeping in the pram next to her.

I’ve been there. I think I still am. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and Crohn’s have all held me hostage in the bathroom the past month with concerns about bills, losing friends who think I am a loser freeloader. I feel like a burden most of the time. If I hadn’t had my personal relationship with Jesus, I would either be on drugs, homeless or dead. Each day that I am puking my guts out simultaneously while losing my bowels day after day, all I can think about is I am losing time not writing. July will be here soon. So, today, I wanted to write about having peace beyond understanding because I trust God.

Instead, I am rolled up in a ball on the floor writing on my tablet so I can write how even Christians have mental health issues. And they cannot just be “prayed away” although prayer certainly changes things. In between my night terrors about being homeless and having to live on the street, I am writing AS MUCH AS PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE my book about being real. About following your convictions so you can look in the mirror, which is why I told an editor last night to take my article down because they changed my wording and it did not reflect my ultimate goal of giving all glory to God. (The byline included my personal blog where I could eventually generate income if I get enough readers.)

I’m not giving up I will write my books every day, all day, getting published and out of poverty. My God has never failed me, and never will. In fact, this post will be another chapter in my book, The Christian Bohemian, Not Your Conventional Christian.

Walking the Course

Major task for today was to draft an email to Comgressman Bill Nelson. Really, it was to finish a book review for Tyndale Publishers. Yesterday, I crashed BAD and realized it was because I haven’t been getting out and socializing, being in panic mode, saving every penny. I realized that’s not healthy as I feel so disconnected from my body. Freaky. I HAVE TO get out into the community. So, I took Jireh to Publix, craving ice cream drumsticks and not only did I see several people I knew, drumsticks were BOGO! SCORE! Then I talked with my neighbors who showed me the difference between a MALE and FEMALE Palm Tree! Who knew?! All this in addition to walking Jireh. Everything is going to work out. I have to calm down and trust God.

So Scared

I am literally feeling like I am having a heart attack over this financial situation. I found out my neighbor who is also on Social Security Income is gone… he’s living on the streets. This is becoming so real to me.

I know I am a good writer. Somehow, I feel insecure about my writing when applying for paid writing jobs. I have assured my friends who are helping financially that I will find a freelance job by July. I have a list of websites looking for writers. I want to write for Christianity Today and other Christian websites… now, I am adding Disability sources for which to apply.

Why can’t I submit my query letter and application? I’m so scared. I am scared I won’t get a job and my friends will regret helping me. I am of being viewed as a moocher. I am afraid of homeless. I can’t calm down.

I wish my old mom was still around. I feel so alone, and I feel bad not keeping my faith. I want to escape by getting Xanax and drunk. I know it won’t solve anything, yet I can’t calm down.

Every Now and Then I Fall Apart

I am trying to keep unwavering faith. For the most part, I make it.

Please tell me everything is going to be fine. I severely panic every now and then. Today I got public assistance to cover June’s electric bill.

June is when they are taking out the entire overpayments. Several friends are helping with June.

After June, my income will be what it was before they raised my rent $70… so I will cut out Sbux, eating out, alcohol, etc.

Unfortunately, I have to renew my car tags and license in August. Plus, my friend got us Def Leppard tickets in Sunrise in August, too. August will be tough to as it’s my birthday month. What matters most is I get to keep Jireh.

Introduction to My Autobiography

Laying in bed while in one of my severe clinical depressions, I reach over Addy, my cat, and feel for my phone. Dreading another day living in poverty. I hate my life. I hate having to accept handouts like some crippled freak.

People don’t know the success I once was when I ran my private practice earning around $100 per hour. They don’t know how I was paid big bucks to be the Keynote Speaker talking about finding your own quality of life. They don’t know how I fought school boards for not giving students with disabilities an equal education, challenging parents to stop listening to so called “experts” who placed limitations on their child. They don’t know all the families who called me to help fight for their children with disabilities.

They don’t because a severe depression in 2007 forced me to stop working because I was unable to put my patients well-being over my own mental illness. I swear I only went on Disability until my depression lifted. Never did I plan to live off the government. A series of misfortunes followed including major anxiety, severe Crohn’s Disease attacks. PTSD, Agoraphobia, and a drug addiction. For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to die.

Ten years later, I’ve been in several inpatient psych wards, more suicide attempts than I can count, and never feeling like I belong in this world. I’ve barely have received enough Social Security Disability income to pay bills, and now I received notice my check is being cut $300. My future is uncertain, and I hate it.

I’m not living, rather merely surviving as I look on social media. Prince Harry married Megan Markle yesterday, and their fairytale wedding made me hate my life even more. Flipping through Twitter, I see it is Cher’s birthday. She is amazing, and much of my personality has been shaped by her. I tweet her, Happy birthday to Cher, who inspires me to be a Bohemian and not care what anyone thinks! I have loved and admired you for 45 years. People, especially Christians, will no doubt judge me for thinking so highly of Cher, they will mistakenly accuse me of making Cher an idol.

**Enter profanity**

Whoa. This is supposed to be a Christian book written by a Christian… Christians don’t use vulgar language. Christians love others. Some readers will likely put the book down over that curse word (which I removed the word to keep from offending readers). I beg you to keep reading. The name of my blog is “The Christian Bohemian- Not Your Average Christian”, because while I am far from a conventional Christian, I am above all a Christian.

As much as I have been influenced by Cher, ultimately, I AM a very strong Christian who spends hours each day studying the Bible, praying, and fellowshipping with Jesus. I refrain from cursing because I don’t want people thinking cursing is acceptable for Christians. I am an ambassador for my Lord, and ultimately, that is how I present myself.

This book is about my life as a Christian Bohemian. It will challenge you to reconsider your own beliefs, while realizing Christians get depression. Christians lose faith. Christians don’t just “pray things away”. We are human. We are not perfect. We mess up. Yet when we accepted Jesus as Savior in our hearts, we are eternally sealed by the Holy Spirit. We are forgiven when we repent.

Whether or not you are a Christian, this book is for you. We were all created differently, and Christians are not cookie cutter perfect people. But Christ is priority in our lives. And that makes all the difference in the world.

Appealing Disability Changes

Social Security News picked up my blog entry on losing 25% of my SSDI and retweeted it. I finished my appeal and added the following (below). Thank you to everyone offering to help me. I fell yesterday and landed on my back, am now in pain, yet am writing all I can to use this time to find writing income before it’s too late.

Added in my Disability Appeal:

I filled this out the best I could. The change in not having my Medicare covered will leave me homeless without family. I was only able to renew my apartment lease (which increased approx. $70) because I was eligible for State paid Medicare. When the State pays, I earn too much, but when I have to pay, I cannot even afford rent and electric. My service dog helps me walk and I won’t be able to afford to keep her. I truly will be alone on the streets. And it costs $1,500 to break lease. HELP