This is a new case! If you haven’t read the previous case, you can do so here: http://www.confessionsinmentalhealth.com/peter/
This story follows my brief time working with a young woman, who struggled with Bipolar I Disorder. You can read more about that diagnosis here: https://tinyurl.com/lkltaga
Her experience involved mostly lows, with some highs peppered in. Her arms bared the evidence of the use of razors. When she became a client, she was also having serious complications with her diabetes, and required a lot of support in that regard.
Katrina became a client because her doctor recommended she get support during this difficult time- he knew she was homeless, and had some emotional difficulties as well. I was nervous to become involved; she had as many medical needs as she did emotional. I felt in over my head. She was very quiet, struggling to discuss her real issues and seemed to carry an unbearable burden. Katrina was younger than 30, but seemed to be worn out way beyond those years. She looked weary.
Her life was comprised of doctor visit after doctor visit. Her diabetes had damaged her kidneys beyond repair, and she needed dialysis multiple times a week; she was on the organ donor waiting list. She wasn’t very optimistic about her chances, but continued to press forward, head down, never giving up.
I met her at the homeless shelter. Our first session involved maintaining her much needed routine: dialysis, seeing her counselor. She didn’t say a word in the therapy session, her counselor seemed exasperated, but did a commendable job with being positive and supportive nonetheless. She was seriously depressed and honestly, I struggled to be optimistic myself. She had no one in her life. She was homeless. She was dying. So yes, she was understandably depressed, but in a situation where most would give up, she wouldn’t allow herself to do so.
After the counseling session, we went to grab a cheap lunch. While we ate, I presented the question: “What do you want to gain out of this?”
She thought for a moment, and responded, “I need to get an apartment. My sister is homeless too, and if I get a two bedroom apartment, she could live with me.”
“Okay.” I said. “Let’s get some applications on the way home.”
She smiled slightly, “‘Kay.”
We made several stops. Got applications. When we got back, I walked her to the front door of the shelter. She stopped before going in.
“I’ll see you tomorrow?” she asked.
I couldn’t help but smile. “Yes ma’am, I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Maybe there was some hope after all.