Friday, June 21, 2013

On trying to be not-disabled

It more or less goes without saying that I'd like to be a billionaire by the end of the year.

There are debts to repay to people who have long since given up on the idea of me ever giving them their money back.  The house needs improvements.  There are people who are deserving of donations.  It would be nice to never again be in a situation where being able to afford my medication depends on a large unexpected donation.  If I could afford the start up costs of injection molding I think I could get a puzzle business off the ground since all it would then require of me is designing, which is more like scribbling to pass the time than work.  The classics program at my university is in need of a massive cash infusion because, while the stupidest and most vindictive leader the university ever had has been ousted the replacement is still proving herself capable of being pretty damn stupid.  (Lets cut everything that makes money and keep everything that loses money!  That'll fix our financial situation.*)

I've always wanted a glass armonica.  I'd kind of like solar panels and a sub-basement.  I want to buy out my aunt.

I think there should be an organization dedicated to operating in the most Republican areas of the country and holding the elected Republicans there accountable for every time they violate Republican values.  I think this mostly because a lot of the gridlock that is currently making the country suck is a result not of differences between the Republican and Democratic parties but instead Republicans turning against their own ideas the moment a Democrat shows interest.  When the Democrats start pulling that shit an equal and opposite organization needs to exist, but they really haven't been.  (Did you know "cap and trade" is a Republican idea?  Democrats were skeptical but this market based Reagan Era idea first implemented under Bush I to deal with acid rain proved its efficacy and so Democrats reluctantly got on board with it.  [They still thought their idea would have been better.]  Try to find a Republican supporting it now.)

Health insurance would be nice.

My sister had an idea to set up a store where all the local craftspeople could show their wares because right now the major problem standing between these people and making a living off their considerable talents is the fact that they don't have a physical store in which people can buy their stuff.  All it takes to get a store is enough money to lease the space.

My mother took me skiing for ages, I'd like to be able to pay her back by taking her skiing.

I know an international group of incredible game designers who are held back from making incredible games by the fact that they're struggling to make enough money to get by in their current non-game design jobs and so can't devote the time to doing what their talents say they should be doing.

My dog has an injured leg that isn't going away without medical treatment, I can't afford it right now but if I were rich he'd have had four good legs ages ago.

There's this stunning looking bird at a local pet store, do you know the last time I had a bird?  Do you know how sad the end of that story was?  It's time to start over and make new memories.

Since an accident that cost me most of my superglue I think I'm down to three good shirts.  I could use more clothes.  I could use more superglue.  I could use nail-polish remover because that's what you need to get the superglue out.

There are things I want to do with software that would require more than one person with not enough time on his hands, I could use a team.  A supercomputer or two would help too.

Schools across the country are cutting back on the very things that students in this modern world will need most.  For example, you can google the quadratic equation, but to get a hands on music lesson in a brick and mortar classroom is a fair deal more difficult.  (I say this as a mathematician, recall.)  Donations could fix this.

So on, so fucking forth.  It more or less goes without saying that I'd like to be extremely rich in the near future.


But right now, right now things are weird.

Donations are, I think, ok.  Unless they become something I could live on in which case blogging would constitute a job and I'd be not disabled and... stuff.  That would be fine.  If I had enough donations coming in to live off this thing (something that will never happen) then I would neither want nor need the government's help.

Income I actually earn, on the other hand.  That gets more tricky.  It is not the case that making money will allow me to keep less.  The aid I'm on is specifically set up to make sure no one ever has to deal with that bullshit.  By the time I stopped getting any aid I'd be making well more than what I had when I all I had was aid.

That's good and smart and stuff.

Here's the problem:  As I've previously noted in my current state, a state I hope to get out of, steady income is basically impossible.  What might not be impossible would be something like a one time time push to make a certain amount of money.  It would burn me out, burn out the market, and basically make it so I could never do that again, but it would get me the supply of cash.

Here's the problem with that: I don't think the government aid accounts for the possibility that you could make a bunch of money in a short time and then absolutely nothing after that.  It's possible it might, I haven't looked it up, but I don't think it does.

So I think that if I did make such a push I'd lose my aid when I made the money and end up homeless and foodless soon after.

So don't try to make a bunch of money unless I can make a career out of it.  Ok.  I can hold myself to that restriction.  What would I need a one time only payment of a bunch of money for anyway?

Right.  University.

Any scenario that doesn't involve me being disabled for life involves me continuing with the psychiatric care I've been getting through the university.  I didn't expect that to be a problem since while mental illness has fucked me over of late, and sporadically before that, when it comes to actually passing anything I'm still doing well enough for financial aid.

But, if you take into account the classes I took when I didn't know what I was doing, the classes I took to be a math major, the classes I took to be a classics major, the classes I took for interest only, and the classes I took so I could be an enrolled student so I could get the damn psychiatric care...  actually everything's fine, provided you don't count the ones I failed on account of mental illness.  But if you do count the ones I've failed on account of mental illness then it turns out that I've attempted too many credits to qualify for student aid.  I'm looking into an appeal but my hopes are low.  In the gutter, low.

Now I could try to do a one time push to gather the money needed to enroll next semester so I can continue the psychiatric care which I swear I believe is almost to the point where I can no longer be disabled.  Give it one more year of treatment and I'm pretty sure enough progress can be made to turn me from a welfare recipient to a taxpayer.

But if I try to make a push to pay for next semester where does that leave me?  Burnt out, with my way of making that money exhausted, no longer on the aid that keeps a roof over my head and food in my belly, and on the way to being homeless and hungry.


Yeah, trying to stop being disabled isn't easy.

If I were satisfied with where I am then all I'd need to do is jump through some more hoops with the state to make them pay for my medication.  (Since I wrote the last post I found out that they should be helping me there.)  And I could stay on disability for the rest of my life and never have to work and... yeah.

Like most people on welfare that's not my dream.  I don't want to be on welfare.  Not because I think there's any shame in it, there isn't, but because I think I can be doing more.  Some people can't, and so they stay on it their whole lives.  I don't think I'm one of those people.  I don't look down on those people, I want to be clear here, there's no shame in being permanently disabled.  But I don't think my disability is permanent.  At least I don't think it needs to be.

For ten years nothing could so much as dent my depression.  Then, not that long ago, we found a medication that showed it the door.  That was a major fucking breakthrough.  Now the problem is something, I'm not sure exactly what, that shares some symptoms with ADHD and basically got up after the depression went away, looked around, said, "I can have some fun here!" and pretty much destroyed my ability to focus on anything.  (That sucks for school work.)

But if my current team could solve the depression in months where a previous succession of doctors couldn't dent it in a decade I have faith that this too shall pass provided we're able to keep working on it.  Which means that I don't think I need to be permanently disabled, I think I can beat this, if I can stay in school.

But if I can't convince the financial aid people to forgive me for trying too many times to get credits I need to raise the money for that myself, and if I raise the money for that myself I think I lose my aid, and if I lose my aid that'll fuck over everything.

Do nothing and I'm set for life, basically.  Not rich or prosperous but enough money (and food benefits) coming in from welfare that I never need to worry about being homeless or starving.

Try to improve and I risk making things worse.

Once you've gone through the bureaucratic hell of getting officially recognized as disabled, being disabled is an easy proposition.  Cash your checks and you stay alive.  Not the best life ever, but it's better than the alternative.  Becoming not-disabled seems a good deal harder.


* First mistake: Determining the value of programs at a public university in terms of profit.
Second mistake: Doing it backwards.


Random note: When my dog hears sirens he tries to imitate the sound in what has to be one of the strangest dog vocalizations I've ever heard.

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