Hi, my name is Dan, I’m 30 years old and honestly could use help with just about everything. Prior to leaving my last job in December of 2020, I actually – for the first time in my entire life – decided to try and address my mental health issues. First by admitting to myself that I had issues, then by seeking medical help.
Despite being prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety meds, though, I continued to spiral. Between working a soul-crushing job – albeit an easy one – and trying to emotionally work through my grandma’s death and yet another failed attempt to connect with someone, it felt like I couldn’t stop the bleeding. So in a last-ditch effort to try and save myself and avoid acting on my suicidal ideation, I quit.
There was no relief. In the months that followed, my condition worsened so I was referred to a psychiatrist and therapist. I continued to pile up bills I couldn’t afford because unemployment wasn’t enough. I cycled through meds every month or two as nothing seemed to work. I began having panic attacks and violent outbursts whenever I sat down to apply for jobs. I stopped taking care of myself. And I watched my bank account slowly dwindle, knowing full well that when it hit zero, I was done.
That happened on December 20th, 2021. I was so broke I couldn’t even buy all my meds so I tried to pick what I thought were the most useful ones. But I couldn’t even cover that. So I had to rummage through my pockets for spare change. After that, I went home, went to sleep for the first time in over 30 hours, then tried to overdose when I woke up. Three weeks later, I was admitted to the psychiatric ward for the first time.
Last year wasn’t much better. I had several more failed suicide attempts. There was another hospitalization. There was an overnight observation because apparently they had nowhere to send me. I received two denials for disability because my issues are all mental health related, though, that’s pending a doctor’s visit next week for my back. I had to have my scope of care expanded a couple times. And I had to rely on my family and what government assistance I could get just to get by. Still, I never stopped looking for a way out.
Then, in October, a flat tire turned into a hole in the frame of my car. Which led to us discovering it not only needed the frame to be welded but also had several other issues. For me, that was almost the last straw. I’d been kicking things around in my head, wondering if it was worth it. Wondering if it wouldn’t be better just to end it and free my family of that financial burden. But I kept going back and looking at dogs up for adoption at the local ASPCA.
At the end of October, my parents helped me bring my new bestfriend home. And while he’s helped considerably – largely due to us always being together – finances continue to remain a major stressor.
My parents make sure the dog has food and toys. They give me a place to live. They buy toiletries and necessities for the house. They cover all the bills. They cover my car payments. Basically everything they can do, they’ve done. And then some. All so I can stay focused on my mental health and working through things.
As for me, food stamps allows me to eat. I continue to take my meds. I attend therapy weekly. I see my psychiatrist monthly. I’m about to start with a peer support program. And I managed to find a disability lawyer that will take my case.
Still, I would like to be able to lighten the financial burden for my family a little. We don’t know how much my car repairs are going to cost yet. But I do know there’s only $450 and some change left on my car payment. I also know I can’t afford my insurance next month or to put gas in the tank once it’s out of the shop because the last $20 I got from Christmas are going towards dog food (the rest went towards insurance).
I’m not asking for much. Just a bit to help over the course of the next few months leading up to my disability appeal. Anything helps, and thanks for taking the time to read my story.