Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Up $#!& Creek Without A Paddle

I am having not a great day today. Not a great day at all. And I am going to take just a few minutes to wallow in my sadness, and then I am going to use some of my DBT skills to help me cope with it and move on.

So I have not been working much. But I've actually been working more in the past two weeks than I did in September and October. I have been forcing myself to take more subbing jobs, especially the ones that are subbing for actual teachers, because those ones pay more than twice as much as the assistant jobs. The bad thing is, we get paid once a month, for the previous month. So at the end of September I got no check at all, and then at the end of October my check was less than 200, and for the end of November my check will probably be pretty meager... bigger than the last one, but not quite big enough.

I am leaving for Chicago this weekend. When you travel with a Psychiatric Service Dog, you have to submit your paperwork to the airline at least 48 hours ahead of time. Well, I had submitted mine a week ahead of time, just to be sure. I was certain the paperwork would be fine, because I used it in August on a different airline to travel with her.

This morning I woke up to a message on my voicemail from American Airlines, asking me to call them. So I went to call them, but when I dialed it took me directly to Verizon Wireless, who informed me in a robotic voice that my service was being cut off until I paid my bill. Trying to deal with things like a capable adult, I actually called the Financial Services (because although your phone is cut off you can still call Verizon apparently) and asked them to turn my phone back on and that I would pay at the end of the month when my check came. They said they would, if I authorized a post-dated check, So I did... but later, looking back on it, realized they said the total would be $253, instead of the $80 I was expecting. I think the lady charged me for last month plus this month plus next month! I wonder if I can go back and change it to just last month, and then pay this month next month, and then... yeah, I'm upside down in my phone.

Got that taken care of, at least temporarily. Then I called American Airlines, who said that they were rejecting my Psychiatric Service Animal letter because the letter from my therapist in Chicago (which worked fine for the other airline) didn't include THE DATE THAT MY THERAPIST STARTED PRACTICING AS A THERAPIST! I suggested that they just call her, using the phone number in the letter, and ask her, but they said no, they need it included in the letter. So the lady sent me a form, which I was to email to my therapist in Chicago to fill out, and if she sends it back to me, then I am good to go. BUT if for some reason she doesn't check her email... I don't know. My next step will have to be to see if my medical doctor will sign the form, even though I've only seen her once because I just moved here.

After that was taken care of, I had to borrow some gas money from my aunt, because I am THAT BROKE. I hate asking to borrow money, so I had Lily do it for me. Nobody can say no to Little Lily!

Then it was time for work. That went okay. I have been subbing as a 1:1 assistant all week for an adorable kindergartner with autism who is mainstreamed all afternoon. The position as his long-term 1:1 is supposedly open, and I wish I could take it, because I like the teacher there and I like the kid and the school is so calm and positive... but it is only 20 hours a week, which would earn me only about $800 a month, which, although way more than I'm making now, is not enough to live on.

On the way to work, I noticed that my dashboard light that said BRAKE came on. My brakes seemed to be working fine, though, so when I got to work I Googled it on my phone and found out that it probably means I need more brake fluid. Well, car, you are going to have to get in line! But then, after I stopped and got gas, the light went off. So... WTF? Any car literate people out there? 

Then I came home, and made cookies with my aunt, which was really the only good thing.

Then at dinner my aunt and uncle had a talk with me that I need to make more effort to work more hours and get more money so I can become independent, because they're going to be moving to a smaller house and there probably won't be an extra room for me. I always knew that I was only supposed to be staying with them on a temporary basis, but I pictured myself being gainfully employed by this time, and I thought my only obstacle would be finding an apartment and finding a way to get my things from Illinois to here. I never thought I'd be down to zero in Washington!

 I feel like I have no control to get enough money to live on, because I've been trying for YEARS and nothing ever pans out... I need some sort of systematic formula for getting a job and getting a place to live. I need more in life than what it is possible for anyone else to give me. I need a miracle!

I feel like I am stuck between 50 rocks and 50 hard places. Everything is coming at me at once. I can literally feel the pain in my face as if someone is chucking rocks at me. Or maybe I'm just getting a sinus infection. Either way, it sucks.

The good thing is I have my DBT skills now, which I am learning more of each week. The skills are meant to help you deal with anxiety, depression, and other strong feelings, So instead of feeling like I need to have a meltdown, I can use my skills. I can use WiseMind to keep myself from making irrational decisions like jumping out a window. (Don't worry, I won't do that, it was just the first irrational decision idea that came to mind!) I can use Mindfulness to slow myself down and concentrate on the present moment, instead of going into a spiral of worry and hopelessness. I can change the temperature of my body (this is a DBT skill that is similar to waterboarding yourself, but it actually helps you calm yourself down in a crisis) or do Paced Breathing and Paired Muscle Relaxation. I can validate myself by telling myself that my emotions make sense because anyone would be feeling this way in my position.

But DBT does not have a skill for how to get several hundred dollars in order to pay your phone bill and pay your rent and put gas in your car and get your prescription from Target and make sure your little dog has dog food, and there is no skill for making sure that your therapist in Chicago hurries up and sends you the paperwork you need to bring your service dog (who should not even need paperwork because she is a SERVICE DOG, but the rules are different for Psychiatric Service Dogs) on the plane in four days.

I feel like I am going to spiral. But I am not. Instead I am going to finish this blog, then I am going to spend some time online looking for a job for when I get back from Chicago, then I am going to do my diary card for DBT, and then I am going to go to bed.I am a zillion times broken. I need to sleep.

And here are the cookies I made today!


  1. I'm sorry that sucks. Hopefully you can find some employment or disability or some sort of help:( It's hard...
    I hope it gets better soon for you in all ways:)


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