I've got a brief story to tell this morning....about one of the remaining victims from the Great Recession.
It's easy to look in the rear-view mirror these days....most of us are a bit better than we were a few years ago, and while the economy isn't great, it's still slowly headed in the right direction in spite of the best (worst?) efforts of congress.
But then there is my friend. He's a bit like me on the job front; he's bounced around a bit, temping here, contracting there....but then he ran out of opportunities. Over a year ago.
Fortunately, he lives at home, so he's still got a roof over his head and food on the table, but it's a miserable existence. My friend has a whole host of demons in his life, and he's been battling these for about 20 years now. About a year ago, while he still had insurance, he had knee-replacement surgery. (He was recovering last June when I went to visit him the day I got sick.) In their infinite wisdom, the doctors gave him....prescription painkillers. Of course I shouldn't have to tell you what happened.
This past year, things have only gotten worse. He's been barely hanging on, and has been desperately seeking work, any work. I don't know all the details, but about 3 weeks ago he apparently reached the bottom. His own sister had to put him in a psych hospital under a section 12,
and while he wasn't very forthcoming about it, I suspect he attempted suicide. "The Man" got him settled down a bit, but then he went to a sober house in the Dorchester neighborhood of this city to try to recover. He described it as a living hell - full of homophobia and hate, which precipitated a full-bore nervous breakdown.
I finally heard from him last night; he was just getting out of a second inpatient admission to Bournewood Hospital
, which is known around these parts for their mental health care.
He's home now, but with limited insurance through Masshealth (Medicaid), he just doesn't get all the treatment options that a fully-employed person would. He's off most his medications (that had been keeping things in check) and is now forcibly quitting smoking (because there's no money to buy any.)
The hell of it all is, he had an interview with a leading healthcare company in these parts just before all this happened....but then his cellphone was cut off for non-payment, so like he said "If they called me back, they would have never reached me", and he suspects that opportunity is gone now too.
The Great Recession destroyed a lot of things and a lot of families....you'd think that as a society we'd want to help people like my friend by giving them the things they need to stay safe and healthy, and the opportunity to get back on their feet, but the Republicans in Congress seem more interested in continuing the "Great Roadblock" to any real hopes for the future. This is today's America.
(And my friend will need all the help he can get - this is also a request for our vaunted blog support system to spring into action. It helped me last year, I assure you all.)
أَسْأَلُ اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ رَبَّ الْعَرْشِ الْعَظِيمِ أَنْ يَشْفِيَكَ
"I ask Allah who is the Lofty and the Lord of the Mighty Throne that He cures you"