It’s really hard being disabled, especially by a mental illness. People don’t understand mental illness, and they certainly don’t look at it like they do general medical illnesses. Thankfully, I have a doctor who doesn’t draw a distinction between the two. My brain is an organ in my body that can have a disease or illness, just like any other organ of my body. I wish everybody looked at mental illness that way. It’s extremely difficult to get people to understand that people with mental illness don’t ask to be ill any more than heart, liver, or kidney patients do. Mental illness is crippling and can kill you. I just got fired from a job for being “unreliable” because I was in the hospital psych ward for half of February. If I’d had a flare-up of multiple sclerosis, I seriously doubt that things would’ve worked out that way. I truly had a life-threatening illness that I was dealing with. If my boss had had to walk me over to the hospital the way my doctor did, I doubt he’d think I’m “unreliable “. I truly believe that it’s easier to be a felon in this country than it is to be mentally ill. Felons get a second chance after they’ve paid their debt to society and done their time. Mentally ill people don’t even get the option for a first shot because people are afraid or think we’re incompetent, or lazy, or worse yet, “unreliable”. That’s not true. Every human being deserves a chance and every human being gets ill from time to time. I’m disabled, for heaven’s sake, and I had a flare-up of mental illness. Give me a break. This is the last thing I needed to happen after being in the psych ward for half a month and struggling the whole month to get the help I needed and reaching out. I guess that’s what you get when you’re mentally ill… Ask my doctor — the only thing that keeps me from being reliable is my illness. Otherwise, I’m rock solid reliable. Oh, well. Their loss.

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