Disabled homesteaders, or posters(had disability pay or Mental Health issue),

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by WillowWisp, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. WillowWisp

    WillowWisp Well-Known Member

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    I am sure I am going to get alot of fire for this post along with some more gentle responses, but personally I really need to know.
    I am not going to get into a whole list of my issues which I don't feel like writing here after personally explaining to a couple people and writing about my situation. It is my understanding that there are people here who homestead or live on a farm with physical disabilities. Has anyone ever done this if they were granted Social Security disability for
    even a small length of time? Have any of you ever had a serious mental health problem? Perhaps the homesteading community is void of seriously emotional health issues, I really am not sure. But I think there is a lot of great help here even for us city folk who would like to frugalize our lives or one day live in the country. I came to these boards to see what ideas for alternative housing, and meal ideas were and yeah I vented. I don't plan on doing that much, but I am new here.

    Ciao
     
  2. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    Have not done the disability issue, but yes, there are those of us online here who have experienced depression, anxiety, etc etc etc.

    My best friend is on VA disability and homesteading.

    I bet you can get your questions answered if you post them. Just don't read the flaming answers! :)
     

  3. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I agree about not reading the fliming replies (and you'll get some!).

    Still, I also agree with the poster on the other thread who said you're awfully young to get yourself labelled with a disability.
     
  4. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Yes, a few people have posted about this.

    My sister in law has health problems similar to yours. True, she has no interest in homesteading, but she HAS found out that she can work part-time. The only way that she can do it, though, is if the job meets 3 criteria.

    1. The job has to be low-stress.

    2. She has to like it.

    And, 3, it HAS to be part time. 3 days a week is her maximum. Any more than that, she winds up, stresses out, and after a few months gets ill again.

    Lets see, on homesteading terms that would be......For the low stress part. If it bothers you to eat an animal with a name, don't eat your own meat.

    For the like it part. Be ready to give up on whatever project bugs you.

    For the part-time part. A garden would be good for this. It doesn't need care EVERY day, just every couple of days. Also fruit trees, and perhaps you could sell excess fruit. Berries. Farmers markets usually just sell 1 day a week. Chickens need care daily, but mostly just need 10 minutes a day. Longer jobs, like cleaning the hen house, can be done as you are able.

    The interesting thing about my sister in laws job, is that it would be stressfull for most people, but not for her. She takes care of elderly people, as a personal aid. She does no lifting, she just helps them eat and tends to their daily needs. A few of her ladies have died. Like I said, most people would find her work stressfull, but she does not. She sits with the ladies and happily swaps stories, and makes them comfortable.

    It took my SIL 10 years before she found her nitch. Something that she can do, and enjoys. I sinceraly hope it does not take you as long.

    Shrek has a worm farm and sells bait. He has it set up so he works VERY long hours, and then crashes for a day or 2. The benefit of being self-employed.

    Lastly, do not take anything too seriously if they do not post their name. There have been a lot of catty remarks lately by gutless people who prefer to be called "unregistered", so you don't know who to be mad at. I generally ignore them.

    Just remember: you cannot please everyone all of the time, so don't even try.

    Good luck!
     
  5. caroline00

    caroline00 Well-Known Member

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    we are homesteading with a disabled child. We have found that he really enjoys mowing lawns with dad. He can sit on the riding mower and do his thing, alone with no one bothering him. It is very low energy! Dad does the trimming.
     
  6. you are not mentaly disabled. that would be someone who was stuck at say a 4 year old mentality i had an uncle like that born as his mother died of scarlet feaver. he could talk with a somewhat limited vocabulary but could not write any more than to sighn his name rather poorly. he was also physicly disabled confined to using a walker by his mid 30's fell down a lot and dislocated his shoulder at least 3 times that i know of. those are the type of people social security is realy meant for not people who can function. You may have mental illness but it is no more disableing than a person who needs highblood pressure pills is physicly disabled. My mom spent 25 years administering the state phsyc internship and in most all states help is available. any illness you have should be quite capable of being controlled through medication. tratment is improving all the time and mental illness does not prevent normal function in most cases. I know most all phsyc patients don't like taking the meds but just like the guy with high blood pressure you need to take what they perscribe to funtion properly. I would forget trying to pursue the handout and just get with the program see the phsyc doctor at the state internship program they will slide the fee to accomodate your ability to pay and will treat your illness so you can be productive and have some pride in your accomplishments. people that are mentaly disabled are not capable of the type of posts you write.
     
  7. I say that you aren't "mentally" disabled. Your posts are much too intelligent for a "mental" disability. I know a person who is desperately trying to get disablility. This person says 'they're not able to work', yet he/she can do any job that they WANT to do. It's just a matter of wanting to work. This person is always saying that if they'd filed for a mental disablity they could get it. Is that how you want to be labeled? Any intelligent person wouldn't want that, and I doubt that you do. Why don't you go to a doctor and ASK for an anti-depressant? There's nothing wrong with being depressed, but there is something wrong with wanting some one other than yourself to pay for your living.
     
  8. RAC

    RAC Guest

    A lot of conditions have been construed as "mental health" issues these days, including ADD (which imho has been overdiagnosed) and depression (also overdiagnosed).

    I think, unfortunately, WillowWisp, that someone, somewhere down the road has encouraged you to go down the "poor me" path, instead of the personal empowerment path.

    There are a lot of people with both physical and mental disabilities who are able to work, with some accomodations--whether by medication or by machinery.

    As someone mentioned, you're here on this forum--so you CAN do some kind of work. Cleaning houses for money, even if you hate cleaning your own, is always an option. Child daycare or doing light eldercare (nothing that requires certification or nursing skills) is an option. Taxi service for elderly or children--if you have good driving skills and a good record. All of the above you can set your own days and hours. Do check that your income will NOT be lumped in with your spouse's for his child support.

    Honestly, I think one's attitude can be the greatest handicap--or as DH says, "if you say you can't, then you're right--YOU can't". Surround yourself with some truly supportive people, instead of people dragging you down.
     
  9. FolioMark

    FolioMark In Remembrance

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    My friend Levi is on SSI and diagnosed with bipolar disease and depression amongst other problems.,though none of them are physical. He is only 23yo.He has held a few jobs but finds working under stress very difficult. He has his good and his bad days like many of us but I will say this. Some of his best times have been the days and weeks we have spent on our homestead in Missouri. We spent 3 weeks there together last summer and he had a great time. I kept him busy with building and garden projects and he learned a lot of useful new skills. His health and attitude improved and he really loved it. He is particularly good with animals and simple tasks that many of us hate, like cutting brush and raking or shingling. Its a lifestyle that suits many people with bipolar disorder who take mild meds and need to live relatively stress free. Good luck with your plans :)
     
  10. Gercarson

    Gercarson Well-Known Member Supporter

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    WillowWisp - the flamers usually include great advice - they can get to a different point of view that should be taken seriously. Some who are considered "flaming" are just expressing a very deep and personal experience - can shed major light on a subject that they have had some "last nerve" dealings and think that if they got through THAT - we can take something as minor as not eating for two days a week with a smile and to praise God for the privilege. Let them post and we all learn a lot. God Bless you.
     

  11. Will you please define what you're saying in the above post? Thanks.
     
  12. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    "You may have mental illness but it is no more disableing than a person who needs highblood pressure pills is physicly disabled. "

    A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. This is not at ALL true!

    I have had dealings with the mentally ill, partly as a nurse and partly as dealing with my in-laws. It is not at ALL like something you take pills for, and it goes away! :eek:

    My in-laws range from a guy who is institutionalized, to folks who were employed for most of their lives. No two cases are alike!!!!!!!! :no: The thing is not if the disabled SHOULD work, the trick is finding work that they can DO! Take my SIL, for instance. Her health has NEVER been any good. It took her 10 years of effort to find something she COULD do without trashing her system. Once having found it, however, she is still working at it!

    How about helping WillowWhisp find out HOW she can work while disabled, instead of just scolding her for not already finding it? She has plainly let it be known that she wants to get out of the house and be more usefull. Re-read what she has written, especially in her later posts, if you missed it the first time.

    Disability, by the way, does not mean helpless, and it does not mean she cannot work. It just means that figuring out HOW to work is more difficult.

    I am going to have to leave the talking to someone else, I fear. I am going in for a lumbar puncture to see why I am loosing the use of my legs. It is probably MS, but I will not know for a couple of weeks.

    They can treat MS, now. I HOPE to get the full use of my legs back, because I have ALWAYS worked on my feet, and I don't yet have the skills for a job that I can sit down on.

    If my legs REMAIN weak, I will have to learn a whole new set of skills, BEFORE I am employable.

    Starting up from scratch is a HARD thing to do.

    Willow is trying to start up, with 2 strikes against her. I expect that she will do very well, ONCE she finds work that she CAN do without triggering her problems. BBut, I think she needs advice on WHERE to get started, instead of WHY to get started. She already knows WHY, she dreams of a place of her own, she is broke, and she wants to "get out of the house", as she has said, as well.

    Willow, some of the advice you have received here HAS been good. You are likely something of a night owl, with your DH's job schedule. Working in a theater MIGHT suit you. Or not. Taking a weekend job in a clothing store. House and pet sitting for farmers who want to get away for a few days, you likely know about livestock care. Working in a tractor supply, where you will have a great deal in common with the customers. Order Ken scharaboks book on "how to make a living in the country", it,s free. He sends it by e-mail.

    Just take your time, think it over for a few days, and make your move.

    Think things through, and give it a try. You can always quit if you get stressed out, some bosses are toxic and some are not. give it a try, and if one job doesn't work apply again and try for another. Continue until you find a job that suits YOU!!!Put some of your pay into a savings account to tide you over any hard times.

    Because, you may SURVIVE on disability, but it will NEVER get you that homestead you dream of. A job will. And, if you GET the homestead, you can raise a big garden, sell baked goods, eggs, and veggies, care for the local peoples farms while they go out of town, and do the things that you have ALWAYS wanted to do.

    Dream big, Willow, and try to make those dreams come true. Life is MUCH! to short to waste it sitting in a home when you would rather be out fullfilling your dreams. And, remember ALWAYS that for EVERYONE creativity and persistance pays off BIG! :yeeha:
     
  13. Gercarson

    Gercarson Well-Known Member Supporter

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    "I am sure I am going to get alot of fire for this post along with some more gentle responses, but personally I really need to know."

    WillowWisp was ready for a lot of fire - others suggested that she just ignore those who "flamed" - I'm only asking her to go ahead and read those posts too, because they offer some of the best suggestions - often having to read between the lines - because they have "suffered" through so much more and came through with flying colors. I didn't mean to garble my message but wanted to make it clear that every post should be read and evaluated. They have learned an age old lesson - If God brings you to it - He will bring you through it!
     
  14. Grecarson:
    Thank you so much for your reply. I believe what I've written is true. I've experienced a lot of HARD times in my life of 60 + years. It is true that my husband did have a very good job, but I also worked and raised 5 wonderful children, AND they weren't all mine. I took on the responsibility and we worked hard at making our marriage work. Besides working full time at an on the feet job, when I got off work I picked tomatoes, beans, peaches, pears and plums and took them home and canned them. There were lots of nights I stayed up until midnight canning. I also went through 3-4 years of depression. If you can't get yourself out of the rut, you need to ask for assistance from a doctor. If you use your determination you can't fail. If you sit down and give up you fail.
     
  15. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    I am particularly alarmed at unregister'ds ideas about mental disability.

    Retardation is at a cellular level. Mental Disease is cellular. Mental Disorders are chemical.

    ALL "problems" with the brain and it's functioning cause "disability" to some extent; the question being, HOW MUCH DISABILITY?

    For example, I can write intelligently. I can sit on this computer and post messages that make sense. I can shower myself. USUALLY.

    I can remember to eat. USUALLY.
    I can rarely be trusted in public, although sometimes I can be charming in public, too.

    I AM DISABLED BECAUSE THE CHEMICALS IN MY BRAIN DO NOT SELF-ADJUST THEIR LEVELS THE WAY MOST PEOPLES DO.***

    **** Yes, there are medicines that TRY to adjust the chemicals back to normal, but they can take MONTHS to even start to work; and NONE of them do the job 100% of the time.

    My "fear" chemical will stay active long after it's not needed (anxiety attack)

    My "despair" chemical will over-produce, and tears will roll down my face when I least expect it.

    IT IS NOT just a matter of "wanting to work", you closed-minded, uneducated little person. It's a matter of surviving in a society that will lock you up if you weep out-of-turn or cannot contol your urges to strangle some ridiculous twerp who desperately needs it; because the chemicals in your brain cannot be denied!

    I just returned home from the WAR, where I was fighting to continue to provide YOU with the freedom to say your say in this open forum. Living in fear of DEATH 24/7 for 6 months trains your brain to adjust it's chemical make up. Unfortunately, it can take decades to teach it to adjust back (sometimes it never will).

    I am going to GLADLY live off my VA Disability money, AND my Social Security Disability money for as long as I need; so that I don't "upset" the "normal" people that don't WANT a "special needs" person in their office, that look down their noses at someone whose hands shake all the time and every other sentence needs to be repeated for because her short-term memory is not currently working.

    Chin Up, Mentally Disabled! Getting out of bed in the morning IS a triumph for us. DO NOT make the mistake of being too hard on yourself. Make small lists: get up. brush teeth. check the mail. Tommorrow is another day; add 1 more thing, or remove one thing.... TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Don't feel pressured to work just because most people do; you're not like most people right now! Give yourself a break.

    (ooh, I'm hot right now....ggggrrrrrrr)
    -Jill Costello US Army (RET)
     
  16. I think my previous post was misunderstood the point i am trying to make is mental disability and mental illness are not the same thing mental disability is not something you can help cure or get around. Mental illness on the other hand is treatable and seldom disabeling. mental illness needs treatment not mislabeling as mental disability
     
  17. Thanks Jill, for what you've done for our country. My brother was in Viet Nam and is still having difficulty adjusting back to a normal life. May you find peace of mind in the near future.
     
  18. rio002

    rio002 Well-Known Member

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    Hi there Willow, We manage alright with my dh's one income plus my 6 yr. olds' disability check which thank god allows me to be home with him instead of daycare ( he has seizures and I don't trust strangers to handle that properly). The dr.'s first said he was "slow developing" at 9 months and was able to get s.s. disability at age 3. He is this fall just entering his second year of Kindergarten with special help (last year was special ed Kindergarten) and will hopefully be ready for 1st grade next year when he's 7. He at this young age has proved that if you focus on what you can do then when you find something you can't do it's not such a big deal you just work harder and try longer. Because we are currently dependent on his checks to make it by each month with me home, we are planning for the day when he is no longer classed "developmentally disabled" and those checks will end, if we do it right we may be able to continue on with me as a stay at mom. However at his age he has learned how to use a hammer, drill, rake, was learning how to drive the tractor til it lost the starter, and clippers--as we often get covered in blackberry vines lol. We have made sure when building the barn, coop etc. that all maintenance could be done by an 80 yr. old woman, ie: the corral has a year round spring piped to it for the horses and goat and the overflow is directed back to the original creek so that eliminates middle of winter hauling 5 gallon buckets to the horse trough in 2 feet of snow, the chickens are on automatic feeders and waters so if I don't have a chance to get outthere Every day (usually morning and night) they are ok til the next morning--lots of things can be done to make homesteading easier on our bodies and minds with a little extra planning for day to day hassles. Our son helps with everything here and is a little block of muscle while his cousin (13yr. old ) sits on his butt all day in front of the tv with his mom is now weighing in at 215lbs--a little hard work is all it takes to shape up and design projects and maintenence to your needs. Good Luck!!
     
  19. so you were in good enough shape to defend the nation yet you can not funtion well enough to find anything else you are capable of? does the term slacker sound harsh?
     
  20. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Shows just how dense you are. I got the PTSD in the war, duh.

    Just wait 'till your daughter gets brutally raped and has PTSD of her own...I'll think you'll be singin' a different tune, then.

    Oh, and I'll remember to think of you next April 15th when you pay to fund my disability check.