Lately, my depression has been getting worse. I can’t help but feel like I am lost right now. Four years ago, I felt like the world was my oyster. I had gotten into college and did well academically. I was excited and planning for my future. I never thought that Cerebral Palsy or my mental health would hold me back from accomplishing my goals.
In November of 2019, I began to look for work. I wanted to make money and save to live in my own apartment. I assumed it wouldn’t be difficult for me to find a job. I quickly learned that employers didn’t want to hire me because of my disability. I couldn’t get a job at a supermarket or a fast food restaurant. Nearly three years later, I’m still unemployed.
It’s hard to view myself as a productive member of society. I don’t have a job, while many people my age do. I receive disability benefits. Society looks down upon people who receive public assistance. I am embarrassed that I need Medicaid, and SSI.
I also rely on Medicaid, so I can’t make too much money. Without Medicaid, my home care would be more than $50,000 annually. I couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket for my care. I have no choice but to stay within these programs’ income and resource limits. Needing help with activities of daily living doesn’t mean that people can’t work.
The COVID-19 pandemic has turned my life upside down. I was struggling with anxiety and depression before the pandemic. Staying home for the past two years has taken more of a toll on me than I thought it would. I still feel uncomfortable when I am in public. I am nervous about attending college in person again this fall. I hope that I enjoy college again and get my motivation back.
I don’t want to give up, but staying optimistic is sometimes hard. Cerebral Palsy shouldn’t make me feel like a lost cause, but it does. People with disabilities shouldn’t be forgotten. Everybody is worthy, and offers something to the world.
Grace, you should never, ever feel embarassed for having Medicare and Medicaid. Also, you are so special and kind that you should be prould of who your are! You are more kind, loving, intelligent than most people on this planet. When you feel anxious about something just throw that thought away for that day! Just think of the accomplishment of writing for Easter Seals! That is is impressiive! You are going places and I am going to be so proud to say I know you! Don’t forget me when you are famous!
I love you Aunt Rose!