Monday, May 14, 2012

Support. It's not just for pantyhose, ya'll. defines the word "support" as follows:

      *Support:   sup·port [suh-pawrt, -pohrt] 
                                   verb (used with object)
                          1. to undergo or endure, especially with patience or submission; tolerate.
                          2. to sustain (a person, the mind, spirits, courage, etc.) under trial or affliction: They supported him throughout his ordeal.
                          3. to maintain (a person, family, establishment, institution, etc.) by supplying with things necessary to existence; provide for:
to support a family.

  When I was discharged from the Army, I was told that I wasn't going to be able to get any of my benefits.  Ever. 

  I was pretty much grabbed, nabbed, tabbed & told to go home.  I was done.  I wasn't given a proper physical.  But it didn't occur to me until years later what had happened.  And at the time, the diagnosis of being bi-polar was still fairly fresh, the research was in, but when it came to the treatment methods, one was normally prescribed one pill, "The Chill Pill," shuffled off on their merry way, and told to come back in a month.  At least this is from my point of view.  There are others out there who, quite obviously, will tell you differently.

  Back then, there wasn't a lot of publicity about the American Legion, or the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  And the Department of Veterans Affairs was this huge governmental conglomerate that was a powerhouse to deal with.  In other words, ya'll, they weren't your friends, they were the government and anything to do with the government meant it was gonna take an act of Congress to get done or approved.  (Somehow, it doesn't seem it's changed much......*ponders*)

  I've mentioned before that many years (11 to be exact) went by before I even contemplated getting help from the government.  During that eleven-year time span, a hell of a lot of things happened.  I went through my first divorce, I had a real difficult time holding down a job for any great length of time, I found that I have the worst skills when it comes to maintaining/balancing my own checkbook.  Oh sure, give me someone else's money, make me keep their budget, and I will pinch pennies like they were made from platinum.  But the point, my friends, is that a lot of things happened that I needed to get a handle on. I  (Duh-duh-duhnnnnnnnn) (What?)

  That's a tricky word, support.  There are many definitions to choose from, but for our purposes for this post, we are going to look for the type of support listed above. 

  After my first ex-husband was discharged from the Navy (yeah, I married back into the, we quickly figured out that we weren't going to make it on our own in South Carolina.  Not with the way things were at the time.  We were persuaded to move back to Colorado, where he was raised.  At the time, it seemed logical, I mean, the cost of living in California was (and still is) a bit more than in the Mile High State, and there would be a support system there with his parents.
I eventually made friends through work, and met friends of friends, who have now become closer to me than some members of my biological family.  But I felt as though I wasn't getting the kind of support I needed.  I felt like I was missing something.

  Now, despite the fact that the father of my kid and I ended things badly......very in, still very badly........IMHO.........he and his family attempted to maintain a level of support for me, if only for the sake of my kid.  I do believe the events during the first six months leading up to, including and about a year after my divorce, sparked the biggest, longest, downward spiral of cycling with my bi-polar.

  I did things that would completely shock some of my oldest and dearest friends.  I began walking a path of self-destruction through the use of drugs, alcohol, and sex.  My ex colluded with my adopted sister to call me on my bullshit behavior.  And even then, I experimented with anything and everything in life.  Hair color, eye color, jobs, living spaces, alcohol, drugs, music, etc.  After a while, my cycle calmed down, all the while, I had my sister and my parents in my corner.

  What I didn't realize, is that even though I can say without a doubt that I do hold a certain amount of ill will toward him, my ex also supported me.  (Yes, that sound you just heard was, in fact, my head spontaneously bursting into flames.  It's OK!  Do NOT call the fire department.  It's all good!)  See, there's something I realized a long time ago, but could never quite formulate into something may need and want support.  But it isn't always going to feel like a warm blanket wrapped around you to make you feel better.  Sometimes, support comes in cold-hard truths, in-your-face facts, and involuntary commitments based upon the decisions of those you hold dear (or used to hold dear).

  Support is getting touch with others who share your circumstances, your issues and ideas.  Support means, having to take a long hard look in the mirror and making that tough decision whether or not to get the hell out of bed or to roll over and get a bit more shut-eye.  It's realizing that even though you can almost say without a doubt, and with the most adamant conviction of every fiber of your being, that you strongly dislike someone, that they may have just saved your damned life.

  I lived in Denver for 10 years, and it wasn't until I became a reporter for KNOP-TV, in North Platte, Nebraska, in 2007, that I got in touch with Paul Cooper.  Mr. Cooper was a Vietnam Vet, and he was the Lincoln County Veterans Affairs Liaison Officer.  He was the man that got me squared away, helped me plead my case to the VA & initially get me started with my benefits.  And that level of support was happenstance, guys.  I was covering a story, and he was there.  I got curious, and he answered my questions, and as the Universe keeps moving, I got support.

  From then on, I continued to get, and still receive support.  All those years, no one helped me find what I needed.  They helped me out a hell of a lot, and they supported me the best that they could.  It might not have been what I always wanted, but it was what I needed.

  The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA), helps millions of people across the country by giving them tools, life lines, and information about what it's like to live with bi-polar disorder and depression.  Teaming up with doctors and patients, DBSA offers free support groups (even during holidays!!), magazines, links to other websites, information to help you and/or your loved one with depression and bi-polar disorder.

  It just so happens, that one of the sites listed this month is Bring Change 2  Their mission, and yeah, they chose to accept it, Mr. Phelps, is to erase the stigma and discrimination of mental illness.  Straight off of their site, ya'll.  Actress Glenn Close founded the organization and is a champion in our corner.  If you haven't gone already, what the hell are you waiting for??  I've taken the pledge, introduced myself, and plan to read more on their site.

But not tonight.  I need some sleep.  I'm moving into my own place again tomorrow. Kind of exciting.  Need my rest.

Oh, but before I go, check out what's under the cut below.  Paul & John always knew the right words to say, didn't they?

Night, all.

With A Little Help From My Friends
by: John Lennon & Paul McCartney
What would you do if I sang out of tune,
Would you stand up and walk out on me.
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song,
And I'll try not to sing out of key.
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm,I get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends.

Do you need anybody?
I need somebody to love.
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to love.

What do I do when my love is away.
(Does it worry you to be alone)
How do I feel by the end of the day
(Are you sad because you're on your own)
No, I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, get high with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, gonna to try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody?
I need somebody to love.
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to love.

Would you believe in a love at first sight?
Yes I'm certain that it happens all the time.
What do you see when you turn out the light?
I can't tell you, but I know it's mine.
Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm I get high with a little help from my friends,
Oh, I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody?
I just need someone to love.
Could it be anybody?
I want somebody to love

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends,
Mmm, gonna try with a little help from my friends
Ooh, I get high with a little help from my friends
Yes I get by with a little help from my friends,
with a little help from my friends

*This is an edited version of what's posted on the site.  For more definitions, go here:

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