Cathy

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I have been diagnosed with clinical depression since I was 17 years old. After being diagnosed with clinical depression, I went through a series of tests and was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, osteoarthritis, and degenerative spinal disease as well. For work I started cleaning houses, driving for bus ministries, and cleaning at the hospital during the graveyard shift in addition to raising my two sons. My youngest son was dismissed him from the Langley school district at the age of 7 after his ADD/ADHD diagnosis. They said he had to be put on Ritalin or he could not come back into the school system. They even tried to put him into other programs like HANNA programs for special needs children, which was frightening for him. So I decided to home-school him, and worked driving the school bus as well as working for the church driving the friday night youth groups. That all came to a stop when the bus I was driving was hit at 3pm by a drunk driver, throwing my body against the plate glass as I was standing in the bus. It dislocated my abdominal muscles, slipped some disks in my back, and tore my rotator cuff. The migraines continued and I was put on heavy dosages of medications for pain and nerve damage as well as the clinical depression medication. At one point I ended up with shingles and was put on Tylenol 3 with codeine because of the pain and got addicted to the codeine. I was 29 years clean and sober, now I’ve been backsliding using alcohol and codeine medications just to cope with the migraines and depression.

Now my children are grown, living in Vancouver, working, and doing very well. And now I’m just working really hard on getting back to work and back to wellness. I’ve been working on a regaining my drivers license but the system is very difficult to deal with because I have no family doctor at the moment since being dismissed by my previous doctor. I had asked her why I was on a certain medication without counseling and she said counseling wasn’t necessary. This brought up an issue around the medications and she said she didn’t like my tone but I was feeling very depressed that day and it was misconstrued. Sometimes when you’re really down on yourself It can be really hard to be up all the time smiling and that can be mistaken the wrong way.

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But here I see other people suffering and my heart just goes out to them. I’m a born again Christian, I’ve given my life to the Lord and I believe that He’ll be my shelter through the storm. I’ve lived in a camper all over and finally I got a place that allows me to have pets in a very low low income ghetto gated community for $600 a month including somewhere for me to park my camper and be off the roads safely. My heart just goes out to those struggling without homes and it breaks my heart to see the suffering hear some of the stories. Because I’m in the line ups too now I would just like to say about the serious things that go on about the youth—someone will talk about how they’re planning on working really hard to make $600 this weekend, and another will ask how they’re going to make $600, and they’ll say “like everybody else in this town makes $600. Sex.” And it breaks my heart.