I saw my therapist today, and one of the things I discussed with her was the difficulty I’ve been having with kicking things with school into gear. Part of my difficulty has to do with anxiety. Some of it is from my bipolar getting in the way. The rest is just plain not knowing what the heck to do.
The major problem has been that last one, and it’s something that fuels the anxiety. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve sat down and considered what needs to be done and tried to work on it. So far, all I’ve done is decide on my course of study and get into contact with the Social Security Administration. Thus far, I’ve had little success.
I’m trying to find out from Social Security what, if anything, will happen to my income from them if I go to school. Though I looked everywhere I could on the SSA site, and entered every variation of words requesting this information on my various searches, SSA proved not to have this information available. I contacted them via their contact form, and they sent me an email telling me to call the SSA with the best times to do so.
I explained this to my therapist today, and also my difficulties with researching what I need to do to enroll at school on Salt Lake Community College’s website. See, I’ve been using a direct link that someone sent me to the site, so I haven’t been able to find the enrollment procedure. My therapist did a different thing: she Googled the site and the enrollment procedure came up on the search.
Also while I was with my therapist, I saw the Voc Rehab specialist on my psych team at the VA. She said that since it seems like I am eligible for the GI Bill, I could apply for that, but that I’d be doing everything on my own, whereas if I use the VA’s Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, I’ll have people pointing the way and to help. I applied for that on the spot, since I like the idea of having people help me navigate the enrollment process. Lucy, the Voc Rehab specialist, told me it’s good I’ve researched the course I want to take at SLCC, and that I should make it clear to the people I’ll see with Chapter 31 that I’ve done the research so they know I’m serious about this—it’ll look good to them and indicate my determination to develop a long career with the education I’m seeking. She also suggested that if I can’t find any information regarding my Social Security income on my own, to see if the Chapter 31 people can. Lucy gave me a contact number to call if the Chapter 31 people don’t get back to me in about two weeks.
Anne, my therapist, helped me come up with a To Do list, which should help. Yes, I needed help to come up with it. Trying to on my own was driving up my anxiety. She also taught me a breathing exercise to do when I’m feeling more anxious. I’ll be going back in two weeks to give her an update on what’s going on with the school stuff.