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Monday, October 1, 2012

Grace During Mania? The Daniel Story Part I

This first post is an ongoing story of how I am being led to help another bipolar sufferer. His name is Daniel and he is in his late twenties.

I met a him in a not-by-chance manner last month just outside a neighborhood grocery store that I frequent. He was in bad shape I could tell. He approached me in a frightened but composed manner and had just one request of me.

I hesitated briefly and then said let's walk for a while and you can tell me your request. I quickly learned he was both homeless and bipolar and had been on the streets for the past several months.

Oh boy I thought to myself, what have I got myself into? I'm sure you have had a experience where you wanted to help someone but felt it was not achievable or worse, doing so could impact you and your life in a bad way!

The Request

After traveling down the path back towards my house he explained his needs. He is on Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and receives around $1,000 per month. Sounds fine, right? No.

Because of his disability he needs a "payee" to receive the funds and then dispense them to him. Basically, he had no payee and therefore no way to receive his SSDI. The payee is the SSDI's way of having the money doled out to him in a responsible manner each month.

My Manic Episode

To be quite clear I was not close to what most would call normal when I met Daniel. I was having my third manic episode for this summer, which is very strange in itself. My prior manias were singular, lasted longer in duration, and were several years between episodes.

Now, since May I have had three manic episodes. If I have just one more this year I will be bestowed the label of the psychiatric term "rapid cycler." A rapid cycler has four or more cycles each year. Do I get a medal for that?

My Reply

Because of my nature to help others, the lack of clarity in my manic state, and limited ability to see future repercussions I said to him that I will be his "payee." In hindsight I should have prayed on this and sought advice from others before accepting his request. But no, I did it.

What Would You Do?

I know what I am doing by helping Daniel is going to hurt me in some ways. That's important because I am not fully healthy (physically and mentally) and his burdens will surely impact my recovery.

But I am compelled to help him get to the help he needs so he can:
  1. Recover from his current ailments;
  2. Abstain from actions and behavior that will destabilize him; and
  3. Move in the right directions so he can grow in life and discover his purpose.
What would you do if you were in my shoes? I don't need a reply to this answer but consider this: what if the roles were reversed and I was the one who approached him in desperation.

Be bipolar and be blessed.