Friday, November 21, 2014

One Voice

[What follows is an email message I received after the publication of my Op-Ed essay in The Dallas Morning News on last Monday.  I found it very helpful, as well as inspirational in its own very unique and personal way.]
I just read your article on Facebook concerning the homeless and the mentally ill. . . .I live on the poverty level and am mentally ill.  I have Bipolar Disorder with Mania and Depression.  I was a school teacher for 20 years in Lancaster, DeSoto and then Dallas ISD.  Because teaching 6, 7 and 8th graders are so challenging and dealing with the Standardized test, my PA suggested I retire on disability.  I did.  I then worked in retail for 7 years in a declining market.  3 of the 5 stores I worked for closed their doors.  I haven't worked in 4 years.  However,  I do have a interview with Nordstrom on Wednesday and maybe I can start getting back on my feet again.  I lost my car due to an accident and now take the bus.  It is going to be very challenging to take the bus, especially late into the night.  However,  I am going to try my hardest to accomplish this goal. With my little Teacher Retirement, I bring home $1,200 a month.  I cannot live on this. I have to work. I eat so many sandwiches and crackers it is not even funny.  I also take 6 medications to relieve my Bipolar Disorder and Anxiety.  Because I am not on Medicare or Medicaid, I make these co-pays myself. 

What has strengthened me more through all of this is my everlasting relationship I have found with God.  I no longer worry about my future like I use to, but it is very difficult and unnerving to say the least. I find myself on the streets riding the bus talking to all kinds of homeless people.  Most of them have a mental illness, most are very bright, and have at one time been successful.  I too, could follow in this footstep of not having a roof over my head.  The rent, water, electricity keep going up and my check stays the same.

It is very difficult to maintain any sense of normalcy due to my illness.  What I have found, is through my experience, I am able to filter a lot of the mental illness kind of like a schizophrenic not listening to voices.  

I think there is so much more American's can do to help the homeless.  I was very proud to have read your article tonight.  Right now I am not able to help the homeless or mentally ill, however, in my prayers tonight,  I will pray that I may be able to help in the future.

Thank you so much for your article that softens my heart concerning the homeless and mentally ill.  I may not be able to put my heater on as high as I would like, but right now I do have a roof over my head.  Thank you again for such a touching article.




No comments: