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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

I love Hillary, But I would have Voted for a Stick Figure


By: Stephen Puibello  Award-winning Writer, Educator and Presenter
      on Mental Health, HIV and Recovery


Who doesn't have the election on their mind today, if you are HIV+, if you are a women, if you are Bipolar (Mental Illness), Can't afford health care, and scared that decades of civil unrest in our Nation can be reversed by who's appointed to the Supreme Court."

I love Hillary, voted Hillary, but would have voted for a stick figure as I voted issues, as I'm an activist on mental health and HIV+ and Recovery.  I also am dual diagnosed Bipolar and HIV+ now twenty years... And I've said to my Therapist, and many of my friends jokingly:

"I feel like the Six Million Dollar Man."

The costs of my therapies, my labs, my follow-ups, my psychiatrist, the medications alone, well over a million dollars.
                                           
In a way I'm fortunate that I'm bipolar, I wish I wasn't, but I'm disabled and it qualifies me for Medicare,  public housing, assistance with buses and subways and 80% of all the costs of keeping 1/6 of the Six Million Dollar Man working.   

Imagine the greed to charge $50 - $54 thousand dollars per year just for HIV medications, so yes I'm very afraid the outcome of this election.

I'm having to make choices as some medications aren't covered by Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage.  The thought of a hospitalization frightens me.  You see I don't have Health Care for the other 20%.  I'm 58 years old and too young to purchase it.  I also require specialist.  

I agree our health care needs fixing, it needs to encompass all HIV/AIDS consumers, you see we are susceptible to cancers, strokes, dementia, all the co-morbities and for myself and others whom are dual diagnosed HIV+ and with major depression, chronic mental illness.

Recovery as a Mental Health consumer,  using the eight dimensions of Wellness, I've picked myself off the ground to where I am today.  To lose the ability to pay for med's,  the anxiety of a hospitalization, the loss of my part-time job as the debt collectors will place a lean on my wages...all of that eradicates my work and could cause:

                                    "This Humpty Dumpty to have another great fall."



RESOURCES:


The 8 Dimensions of Wellness


Bipolar, watch the video


www.bipolarbear.us
For a comprehensive list of Resources for both HIV/AIDS and Mental Health Services.













Saturday, November 5, 2016

Story telling, It's how I Connect and Grow



I'm a story teller, I skip through life telling stories about the people I meet, the places I go, and for the past twenty years of my life, these stories are connected around mental illness, you see I'm bipolar.

For more on bipolar disorder and other related links that I learned from today's story telling, sharing my story, with my friends and neighbors please check out the resources at the end.

This morning over coffee with friends and neighbors we started talking about stigma, the question I was asked was "how does it feel when you hear someone say you are crazy?"  My response, as an educated consumer living with bipolar, and as an advocate, was that it rolls over my me.  But it can open me up, depending on the situation, prompting me to educate the person who said that to me...To explain the harm it can do, I also talk about the stigma of mental illness.

In sharing today, I learned about Fragile X Syndrome.  I learned about it from one of my friends whom I heard talk about their grandson before, but who never discussed to the same degree what it was.  Their full story came about today when we were talking about "crazy", about being different, and about early childhood development.  I shared more about my own situation today.

Like anyone learning something new, I have a learning curve, so I asked if she could write it down by the name of the condition for me, as it's one of the ways I connect and grow as a person. I got home, Googled Fragile X, Cliffside Park, Charlie Evert and started reading the story.

"Charlie Everett started life with the odds working against him.  Born with Fragile X Syndrome, which causes significant intellectual disability, Charlie has an IQ of 70, well below the average of 100.  His parents had their own major problems, and at the age of 8, he and his younger sister were adopted by their grandmother."

Afterwards, I caught up with my friend and neighbor.  I asked are you Charlie's Grandmother. When she said she was, I asked if I could give her a kiss. She said "yes" and that's how today I grew from sharing.



Meet Charlie Evert and his mentor Bob Relay, an inspirational story.
by Lisa Ung, Staff Writer, the Record (source: Northjersey.com)