Live from Emo Dojo
Live from Emo Dojo

Episode · 3 years ago

Why no health insurance? Is Bipolar even a "disorder?" How do I know if I'm "disabled? "

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

John Emotions answers the burning question, "Why don't you have health insurance?" and talks about creating your own Fox Force Five; your selection of the five people who surround and support you. John then discusses ways people evolve from undiagnosed bipolar to certified disabled and the heart-wrenching decisions made along the way.

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Welcome back to by Pollor Tyle, thepodcast for by Tolor people and those who love them, join US online at by Colarstylecom andnow here's your host Johnny motion, Hey, that's right, I'm johnny motionsand I have bipolar style and that's the name of the podcast by polar style. Whydidn't I call the piecast by polar disorder? Well because that's a stupidname for a podcast, so I did think, though, what was a good one? Oh, like thebipolar show it used to be called bipolar, show kindof generic right. But what I thought was kind of funny was that each podcastwas an episode get it like. I had a bipolar episode so anyway, by polarstyle. Yeah, that's what I call it there's a lot of talk lately or ongoingtalk this kind of a perpetual argument about how you label somebody withbipolar style. Do you say that they have bipolar disorder? Do you say theyare bipolar and it really just gets down to knowing your grammar by polaritself is an adjetive like black or gay. You would not say I have black or I have gay. You say Iam black or I am gay same with Bi Paula, you can say I am by polar by polardisorder. However, is an Nowan when you put those two words together it relaysto the disorder anown, and in that case you would not be that nown, I'm notgoing to say I am disorder, you would say you have a disorder so anyway, toavoid all of that, I just have bipolar style. You have to prove that it's a disorderto me anyways before I start labeling myself with that kind of stigma. Sountil you can prove that it's a disorder that there is some perfectlevel of chemical levels that were aiming for cool until you can provethat our chemicals are imbalanced and that it's actually a disorder, I'msticking with bipolar style. The last couple of weeks have had the youtube life stream going wile. I ecored the podcasts and that'sgetting. I think it's a little too much pressure because find myself focusingon like how to how to present to a camera instead of kind of narrating orconveying a story and the optics of the story audibly. So what I think I'mgoing to do well, actually, I think we're going to move out of these psychmedia offices and get a new place. So let me tell you about that real quick.I may have the opportunity to set up a studio in a crazy part of town in theheart of downtown San Francisco, and what I think I may do is record thepodcasts normally like I am now and instead of facing the camera, I think Imay have the camera behind my back. That way, people can see what I amlooking at out on the streets as I'm podcasting, and that way I can also seemy own computer screen and watch people live, chat, questions and that sort ofthing, so I don't have to worry about seeing my face on camera. You guys willhave something to look at if you're so inclined. If you want to look atsomething there'll be a facebook live stream from behind me facing out kindof like a first person view of doing a podcast. So we'll do that. But let memake sure the new studio is like a viable option and we could set that upwith the next few weeks anyway. I'm today I'm just recording the podcastwithout video interruption, so I think it's a little more a little lesspressure, a little easier, a little more easy, so hopefully we'll just getthrough some stuff and when I say get...

...through some stuff, I mean you get tolisten to be share and vents about having by polar disorder throughout thelast week or two especially the last week or two. It was pretty roughthrough the end of the year holidays, Christmas andNew Year's Eve, so tat yeah anyway, I made it I'm alive here I am total, I'mglad you made it too and cool. So let's start this year off right get down tobusiness. I noticed listen to my last podcast and boy. I talk a lot about thebehind the scenes and how you make a podcast or a video, and I don't knowit's. I think people that are into making podcasts or videos might beinterested in some of that. But I don't know little too muchhousekeeping a a little too light on the actual topics related to by polarpeople. So I will try to focus on fixing that I'll say so less. I noticedthey did that quite a bit or did not edit those out as much as I could.Otherwise, I just want to make a nice compact little podcast for you and getthings off to the right start. Here's what the topics I was kind of mollingover in my head and Ioul. Take the bus of the subway or you know whatevermoment, comes up, pull the phone out and write down some topics. Here's!What we'll talk about! First, one, why don't you have insurance that'll be good and another? One of my favorites is: Am I disabled, or am I not what what qualifies one as beingdisabled? Another topic. I've talked about in the past is the idea that youbecome the average of the five people that you are round the most. I alsoheard another interesting thing from a podcast called Darmapunks NYC, it'spretty good. It's like a Buddhist take on life. The thing that struck me aboutthe Darmapunks podcast was: they also mentioned the number five five peopleand they mentioned you don't need a lot of great friends, but you do need fivegreat friends, which kind of Segete into the average of the five peopleyoure around the most. So I was thinking those five people are prettycritical and how do you choose those people, so that might be a good topicto talk about which then seget into the next topic I wrote down was how do yousurround yourself with supportive people? It's a really tricky question,because, if you've lost all of your support circlesbefore you are ever diagnosed with bipolar or borderline or whatever youhave a lot of times, we don't know about these diagnoses until after we'veblown out our social circles and burnt every bridge, so we have no friends forfamily left that are willing to help. So the question is now that you are nowthat you know what is causing the problem. How do you build the supportscircle around you with five great people that can actually help you liveind prive? I had several more listed here, but I think that's enough topicsto kind of get us through this week's podcast. What do you say? So let me goback up to the top and the first question. I wrote to myself that a lotof people wonder about, is why don't you have insurance? Well, let's give you a little background, like many people with mental illnessesand disorders. Over the years, I found myself in the lower middle class, inparticular, while I'm fairly intelligent and you know, can holdmyself inta conversation most of the time unless I'm overly anxious ordepressed and can't get out of the house, but typically people think ohyeah he's high functioning person, yeah he's cool whatever he could do anything great yeah. That actually works againstme because, while I am creative and I can do really cool things, that otherpeople wouldn't think to do, sometimes a lot of that is a byproduct of mymania. Some of that is a byproduct of years of having a borderlinepersonality disorder where I'm always trying to please other people, I'm notreally sure how I'm as supposed to be...

...so I'm trying to be how they want me tobe so 've developed skills to please people around me, but that doesn't meanI'm that way all of the time. So, therefore, the life of a person withthe sickness I have tends to be really productive for several months. You canmake pretty good money depending on what your vocation is, and then thedepression comes and cripples you takes you out of business disables, youcompletely, you get broke, you get flushed down the system. Again you findyourself at the bottom sometimes homeless, and you have to work your wayback up. So what this does is it creates kind ofa roller coaster scenario where you never have continuous health care.You're bumped from private healthcare like if you've got private insurancethrough your job, which sometimes you do sometimes you don't through the bottom of the barrel,public health care, Medicaid and medical, and things like that inCalifornia. We call it medical in America, Thatit's called Medicaid, butgenerally speaking, most countries that are in the first world have some kindof medical safety net. Unfortunately, the governments safety net throughoutall the advances in technology still doesn't communicate well with thecapitalist corporate safety nets. So they don't share information. Thecontinuity of CARE is not existent and you end up with an very uneven life.One of the by products of an uneven life is low income, so you'll find lotsof people with mental illnesses if they are not straight up on disability anddon't work at all, they often have low income jobs for one reason or another,whether they take a job below their pay because their selfesteem is shot orbecause people have heard about them in the industry and know that they'requote unquote, flaky, because depression kicks in sometimes and takesthem out of service. That ends up being where you cannormally make say a hundred thousand dollars you're now making twenty fivehusand dollars a year. So here in starts the problem: When you startmaking that particular range of money down to the twenty thousand dollarrange a gear in America, you make too much to qualify for the free publichealth care, but you don't make nearly enough to payyour share of medical insurance through your job. Youcertainly don't make enough to pay for completely over the counter. So you endup in limbo. You end up in a very specific set of circumstances where yousimply can't afford healthcare, and here all the time, I've had bi polardiagnosis for over fifteen years now, and I get tired of people telling me,Oh, but you have to prioritize, you have to prioritize right. I have toprioritize food and shelter first, those come first and then I try toprioritize transportation to get to the job that may one day pay for the otherthings. I need beyond that, I'm lucky. If I make enough to cover my medication,if I can't cover my medication, I go without and again that trips anotherwhole cycle of chaos, where you're on mads you're abruptly taken off meds,because you don't have anymore Youre back on meds you're, chasing around redtape, trying to get free help or you're trying to scrape enough money togetherto pay for the quote: Unquote: Good Insurance Through your job and in mostcases you give up because there it seems very hopeless after five sixseven eight years it just doesn't seem worth it. So you get off that rollercoaster and you stop fighting it to try to have a more peaceful existencewithout being involved in some kind of health care scenario. Those withbipolar also know that they know what the scenario is. We know that you go tothe doctor. Tho Give you the MEDS, sometimes tho give you the ones thatyou had before. Sometimes they give you new ones either, because you might needto change up in the way they work or the insurance doesn't cover them. Butat some point, you're changing beds. Again, you try to get the best therapyyou can find. Sometimes they don't have any therapy at all. It works or itdoesn't work. Eventually it stops...

...working. You fail, you become depressed,you lose the job, you lose the housing, you lose everything and your back tothe bottom again and if you think this soundsfrustrating and if you are frustrated as a family member watching, you know loved one go throughthis. Imagine being that person? Imagine being that person, I'm stuck inhere in this brain with the thing that is also causing me to you know sufferthrough this life. So when people think Oh, it's really hard living with myloved one, who has bipola disorder and lie bitch, it's hard living withbypolar disorder. So come on now. So, given that situation, it might be a lot more understandablenow to realize why so many people, with especially by polar disorder, simplygive up and go find out how to get disability insurance. So they don'thave to do anything they just I mean they have to suffer sure, but theydon't have to suffer and fight the system just to try to work a job justto pay for insurance. Once you kind of tap out, you go get the cheap, cheapinsurance because you claim I can't work. I'm disabled hook me up and the government generallywill help you, but here's the Rud there they're not really helping you muchthey're helping you suffer they're, helping you barely get by. They don'treally pay enough for rent you're going to rent. You know you don't make enoughin disability to get your own place. You are prevented from earning money.You can't have a job you, so you kind of stuck now as a slave for thegovernment until you die. So I don't hate to sound so fatalistic about onedirection or the other. But man there's got to be a better choice than eithernope. You have to prove your disabled, a hundred percent of the time to getdisability and oh well, try to work as hard as you can and suffer because youdon't have insurance because you can't afford it because you haven't madeenough because Youre Syck lical job nature, but what is it? What is inbetween there? I don't know so anyway. That's that's part of why a lot of people with mental illnessesdon't have insurance starting back to the beginning. There was nobody there.Once we finally got diagnosed, everybody was already gone, so we don'thave that kind of support system for one we have a eratic job history,regardless of our intelligence or skills. At some point, our brain isgoing to crap out and leave us nearly homeless, and then the cycle continues.That's the deal, that's why we don't have insurance sometimes, but I alwayswonder how does a person with like this kind of potentially lifethreatening disability decide that they're going to wear that labellike okay, fuck it? I am disabled. I want that parking lot plaque. I want touse the special handicape bathroom whatever I want special seats at themovie theater. I want the whole deal. I'm tapping out. How do you do that? Like I'm curious, because I consider itoften sometimes I get right to the brink and like man, life shouldn't, bethis hard, I'm pretty fucking tough I'd been through a lot of Shit n. When Ithink man, something is wrong. Live shouldn't feel this hard and I look atthe folks who have quote unquote, tapped out and take disability, and I mthink man, maybe that maybe that's the thing to do. But how do you decide that?How if you get disability now, what was your thought process in getting fromthere to heare now? Did you ever feel, like you're justquitting on life that I have issues with that? I don't like to feel likeI'm quitting left. I don't just want to say: Yeah Fuck it I'll take fivehundred olars a month from the government in the Chity apartmentforever that no, that there's nothing appealing about that to me at all.Conversely, it's not very appealing- or it doesn't seem even very fair- that Igo out into the world and produce and create cool things anvent and getabandoned by those who are around me.

What I don't serve their needs, so I'mthinking there's got to be something in between, but as a person, if you like,I said, if you get disability, let me know or share somewhere on social media.How do you get from being quote unquote, just a sick person to Bein a disabledperson, and what was that process like? Is it worth it now that you're disabled?Are you prevented from doing some things that you think you mightactually be able to do? I mean like what are the limitations of acceptingdisability and then what are the benefits clearly not having to get upand do some horrible soul crushing work each day, that's got to be a benefitMMM being prevented from doing some soul en riching work just because allof a sudden of no, you can't actually go. Do that. You can't do that formoney because remember we're paying your disability that doesn't seem right.Here's an idea, let's check this out, try this logic: how about giving people that have bipolarddisability when they're disabled and not when they're able and stop making the bureaucracy so slowand heavy so that we're always playing catchup and being reactive? Just let itbe known, that's our condition. We need that part of the system to be moreflexible, sometimes I'm capable sometimes I'm contributing to societyother times. I'm not, and I need help it doesn't seem hard to figure out, butthe system does not allow for that at all. It's almost like the system quoteunquote makes you choose where you're going to be, and once you choose thatplace, that's it you don't get to move around you! Don't G, there's, novariance! You have to be right in that lane that fucking stay in your lane. Ifyou're going to be disabled, stay disabled you've going to work, youdon't get no help at all. So how do we fix that? Here's one thing I came upwith. I think people like us should startresearching political candidates and ask them the tough questions abouthealth care funding for the mentally ill, and I think we should share thatknowledge using the Hash Tag, mh voters or MH voter for mental help vhoters, sothat we can ensure as a society that our needs are being addressed in a waythat is actually proactive and truly helpful because maybe you've beenliving under a rack, but in America the political situation is highly fucked upright now they just borrowed a whole bunch ofmoney against our taxes to give corporations and rich people tax breaksin order to pay for all of that, this next year, they're going to come forwhat Fay call entitlements, which is really payments to child health care,mental health care health care in general. All that stuff is going to becut or they're going to try to cut it so as mental health patience and aspeople with disorders in society in general that have the ability to standup for ourselves. I think it's important that those of us who arepaying attention on twitter on facebook or youtube, or wherever Su kind of jointogether a little more tightly, engage each other, be more inclusive, listento people talk to people follow share, you know it just really engaged. Don'tjust like share some shit. Add extra comments. You know endorse things thatyou really feel are important and one of your biggest signs of endorsement issimply sharing it liking. Something is kind ofacknowledging the statement, but sharing it really says. I endorse this,so I think whith, your on facebook or twitter in particular, share thingsjust hit the Shar button or the retweet button. Don't don't simply hit thelittle star or the heart, that's not...

...enough anymore, and that also reminds me if you aresocial media administrator for one of the major mental health organizationsor bipolar foundations, or whatever you've got to get on the job man youvgot to start following people and retweeting more things. I could seetons of people that are not engaged with you, because you're not engagedwith them. So if you know anybody that works for one of those organizationstell them to get on it tell him. There are some there's tons of people, theyneed to be focused with working with that are doing the heavy lifting andthey don't get much help from the major organizations that accept donations inthe form of cash. So, if you're working for a big organization you're gettingpaid or the organization is taking donations, you dan well better, be outthere following the people, doing the Havffy, the heavy lifting on socialmedia, putting together films and videos and podcast and blogs and thosesort of things. So we all need to band together to help each other and beradically inclusive of all of the voices, not just the ones who speak theway you want them to speak. We have to include everybody all right, so I mean it seems prettystraightforward and kind of self evident, but I think sometimes we needto stop and take a step back, take a big breath and realize that we do have a bigopportunity to make things better for ourselves. So long as we work together.All right, let's do that now. The last thing I just wanted to touch on wasthat magic number five. When we talked about you becoming the average of thefive people you're around the most and what Darmapunks NYC podcast wastalking about having five great friends. So let's talk about that, how do youpersonally? How do you go out and find new people to add to your social circle?Social Circle? How do you do that? I'm curious to know, because I'mcertainly not going to build a social circle out of people. I work with in myindustry because my mental illness is too highly stigmatized. So that's notgoing to work. I don't like coffee, so I'm not hangingat at starbucks, I'm atheist, so I'm not at Church.Looking at the singles club at Church, I don't drink really D. I am a drink alittle bit, but I don't drink like I'm, not going to go to a bar and drink orgo club in Dati naps what yeah, whatever the DBSA groups, I go to the depressionby polar support alliance groups. Those are great, but you know I'm not goingto build my my network out of other crazies,because if you become the average of the five people you're around the most,and I surround myself with five other fucking bipolar people, then I've gotproblems. Nothing will ever balance out right. I ride my bike. I go to walks throughthe park and everything, but there's just it's hard to meet actual humans inreal life, the kind that you could shake their hand, the kind that youcould actually give a hug to. Where do you meet these people andremember I'm talking about? Where do you meet them once you've alreadyburned out your traditional kind of built in social circles, when you havea mental disorder like I said, if you're listening to this without amental disorder, this is what happens to us. I'm able to convey this, becauseI feel good now and this I'm on point today, but a lot of us we've burned outour complete social and family circles. Our family doesn't want anything to dowith this and her friends. Don't either whether or not they knew about ourdiagnosis when they bailed on us is not really relevant to us at this point,the point is they're just not here and they're, not coming back, so we'realways trying to find like even one good friend. So how do you find five?How do you build a support, NEC work of five people, it's kind of like? Howwould you build your ultimate Xman team...

...and if you could, what types of peoplewould you put in those different roles in your five supportive group people,like you, let's call Your Fox fource five. So in building your Fox fourefive, what kind of super powers do you want? Do you want a leader? Do you wantsomeone with a lot of empathy? Do you want somebody, that's kind or a doctoror a car mechanic or whatever, like what kind of people do you want in yoursocial circle that you feel would support your life and make thingssomewhat easier for you. I hadn't honestly, given that any thought untilI heard this darmapunks podcast, so I've been giving it more thought lately,and one of the main reasons is because when I have mania people love to bearound me and they harness my energy and kind of sap on like what do youcall him like Hmi, don't know something that leachesonto something else like a Leech, I guess a parasite or something somethingthat feeds off others. So when I have lots of energy, if I'm at work, peoplefeed off that they kind of latch on to me until it's all gone and one of myenergy is all gone. They leave the parties over folks now John Stuck indepression alone. Nobody to help, so I'm thinking like the people that I'mlooking for my support circle would be understanding of somebody withdepression in particular, maybe bipolar generally, because I don't accept. Idon't expect people to embrace my mania fully, but I'm not dangerous and Iusually do really productive things when I' manic. However, when I'mdepressed, I need somebody to be there that I know they're not going to bailon me start talking. Some shit start pretending they're, ignorant aboutmental health or gas light me or any of those things. The problem is always aproblem right, no, not necessarily, but the problem with this particularproblem. I've been addressing for fifteen years or so is that there's not a great way whenyou're building a support network when you're building your Fox force, fivethere's not a great way to bring the subject up. Like Hey, I'm building myFox foure, five, I have by polar disorder, and I need somebody, that'svery empathetic on Sundays. Where do you do that? There's not anAPP for that ERS AAt for a lot of Shit, but not that, and even once you do make a new friendafter three or four months. There comes the big test or I mighty. It might noteven be that long. It might just be a day or two, but at some point will comethe switch tests when you change from the person they met to your other sidewith me. That typically means I go from being the manic person, they love andthe life of the party that they met that one day to now the depressiveperson that ghosts them for a week or two, because I can't crawl out of bador answer my phone. How do you deal with that as a person who's likelooking for new friends, big questions? Right, I don't know, I don't have theanswers. Maybe you do. I know there's a lot of people tot download this podcastand I know there's a lot of people from countries all around the world, so yourinternational perspective on maybe how to meet New People, or I don't knowabout things to do, but maybe just a different approach to the things. Ialready do something like that like how to break the ice yeah anyway. I really could use yourhelp on that one. I will update you more as things progress here about thepsychdot media office. If you didn't know a couple of other podcasters andfilmmaker and stuff got together on facebook to start a facebook group tohelp promotes other people who create content geared toward the mental healthaudience and that is at Psyche, dot media. You could join us there, but Ithink I might get out of their office and start recording in a new place,which has a little bit of little more visual appeal. If we do I'll put that up on Youtube-and you can watch me podcast from my...

...viewpoint cool aside from that, I thinkI'm doing all right. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest and share about why people don't haveinsurance share a little request for help abouthow to build a support network of my Fux fource, five people and lastly, I'mgoing to be doing a guest spot on a cool podcast called come to the table.It's a faith based podcast, where they bring voices from all differentbackgrounds together to talk about their relationships with or without God,what their walk of life is like and how the whole thing kind of, Inter an mixestogether sounds fun. I listen to a few episodes, so I encourage you to go.Listen to both the DARMAPUNKS NYC podcast and also come to the table,which is again is a faith base brought podcast like. I said, I'm not faithbased now anymore, but I appreciate that and I really look forward to tohaving that kind of open warm discussion where we c include all ofthe voices and maybe spread some love on both sides and keep things movingforward. Keep two tosnd. Eighteen on the positive tip. I really appreciateyou listening go ahead and hit that subscribe button. If you want a freetshirt go to Johnny, motionscom sash join get on my email list. I don't knowwhat I'm going to do with it. Yet I'm not going to spam. You obviously I'mjust one dude. I don't like to be Beholdinto, facebook or twitter, orGoogle, plus or anyone platform. So having an email list of my own is veryhelpful for me. I plan on doing the newsletter, maybe quarterly somethinglike that. You won't get any more email from even that, but if you do go up andsign up right now, you cannot only get some behind the scenes information. Youcan get links to hidden, podcast videos and you can also get a free tshirt. Ifyou are the one who shares and likes the most throughout the month, you cancheck that out. onmy leaderboard at Johnny, Motionscom, Slah leaderboard,so go check it out. All right bet: cool cool. You be good to yourself, becauseI can't always be there for you, look forward to hearing from you and lookforward to talking in a week or so take care of bipolar people over and out. If you have liked what you heardsubscribe on Apple Podcast by Itue and join us at by polarstylecom, thanks forlistening.

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