This is my first diary although I have been a member of Daily Kos for a few years. One of the things I have been struck with is the wide spread knowledge of Daily Kos readers and their willingness to share that knowledge and so I find myself turning to all of you for information.
I suffer from severe recurring suicidal depression and am now facing eviction from my apartment due to a forced retirement that left me unable to pay the rent here. My court date was today. There is a real possibility I will end up on the streets sometime in the next few weeks and join the ranks of the elderly mentally ill homeless. I am 62 and physically very weak - I can barely climb a flight of steps, - so I do not anticipate lasting long and find myself terrified at the prospect. I have no family I can call on for help and none of my friends live in the area. If I had the means at hand to end my life in a painless way, I would do so, I have accepted that my useful life is over and am peace with the idea of death. However I do not have the means and find myself unwilling to try some of the more painful approaches at this time so I guess I must live for awhile longer. I wanted to be gone before actually seeing all my belongings thrown out on the streets but it seems I will have to go through that very stressful experience. I really dread that.
The main reason I face homelessness is not really the money - I get $1050 a month from a pension - but the fact that my illness and physical weakness affect my ability to function. Furthermore I suspect there is something neurologically wrong because I can not think straight and my memory has deteriorated significantly. My brain always feels frozen, like it’s atrophied or something. The anxiety alone is paralyzing me, every time I try to function I am flooded with a wave of anxiety that makes it impossible to think at all and that causes a sense of overwhelming panic in my chest. It is very hard for me to push through even to do simple things like take a shower or feed myself. I feel like I am watching a train bearing down on me and I can’t get out of the way. I was recently hospitalized and they said I needed assisted living but I don’t know where to start getting such a thing on $12K per year. I do have medicaid, although I can’t find the card, and will have Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage for several months while my employer is still paying it. After that I will have to start making a contribution I won’t be able to afford so will probably have to let it lapse.
I have 2 grown daughters, but they have let me know my problems are too great for them to deal with and that I am causing them unbearable stress by sending them emails about my situation and asking for help. Yesterday I received an angry call from my youngest reminding me that I am the parent - I’d sent an email letting them know how bad things really are. I emailed them that I would not bother them again and have not heard back from either one. They have both done what they could in the past, but I think they are just burned out and have had to cut me loose for their own protection. I understand this. Both daughters are bi-polar and in fragile states of health themselves. They both lead demanding lives and have limited resources. I don’t expect them to help me at great cost to themselves. Also, they live 2.5 hours away and one of them doesn’t drive so it is not like they can just pop over to help me pack or help me with daily living activities. Dealing with the mentally ill can be really difficult - depression is such a selfish disease - and I would minimize that burden.
Over the years, I’ve read many diaries on the homeless in Daily Kos - often people who have been homeless themselves write comments sharing tips about things that made their lives less difficult while they were on the streets. Other comments have come from people who know about the places people go to when facing homelessness - places that can help one find a place to live. My credit, which was already marginal, is going to be destroyed with an eviction and judgement for back rent on my record so finding a place will be difficult, plus $1050 doesn’t go very far in the suburban DC area where I live. I have substantial medical expenses that cut into that. I would really appreciate any advice and information Daily Kos readers could share with me to help me prepare for the coming ordeal. I don’t even know where the closest shelters are but have read that shelters are very dangerous places so am not sure what the best thing is to do. I don’t even have a car to live in. I am trying to put an action plan together to prepare the best I can. Such preparations must be minimal, considering my disabilities. I thank you for reading this and sharing any knowledge you can.