Dear Papa Bear,
I wrote to you before about a topic I'd rather not bring up again and your advice really helped. And now I'm hoping you can help me again.
I'm stuck in a depression that borderlines suicidal (not exactly there yet) mainly because I'm not happy living where I currently am. I plan to move out soon, but at the current moment I have nowhere to go. My parents don’t want me moving back in with them, and plans I had made with 2 different furs fell through for reasons I won’t get into. According to my therapist, I'm not mentally fit to live on my own and I don’t really get along with anyone outside of the fandom. My problem is that if I stay in my current living situation any longer I will reach the point where I'm winding up in an insane asylum because I’m either plotting to kill myself or my roommates. They stress me out to the point where I can’t function in society, and they make me feel like ... well ... they make me feel like I'm worthless ... especially since one has the worst self-esteem issues I've ever seen and the other is constantly criticizing me for not doing anything exactly the way he wants it because of his OCD. And it doesn’t help that they smoke weed on a regular basis (one more than the other). It doesn’t help that I have a mess of mental disabilities that hinder my thought process (bipolar and schizophrenia to name 2). I'm so stressed out that I feel like I have a rock in my throat that will never be removed. I tried to talk to my therapist about this but all I get every time I talk to her about it is that I should try to work things out to the best of my ability, which I do with no results. I'm wondering if you know any resources for furs looking for roommates or any resources for furs that are in a state that I'm in. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
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Whenever someone writes to me and feels they might be suicidal, that letter goes to the top of the pile. First question: have you tried calling a suicide hotline? Calling one doesn't mean you're about to kill yourself, but even if you're just contemplating it, you should call. They have excellent counselors online.
1-800-273-8255 or http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/
Second, fire your therapist and find someone else. Just because this person is a therapist doesn't mean they are a good one. Just like a doctor, it can be worth shopping around for one who works for you.
Next question: are you on any meds? If so, it might be a matter of adjusting dosages or switching medications; if not, you might want to explore that option.
Next: are you obtaining any help from government sources? It sounds like you could qualify for disability SSI. Are you receiving any currently? Obtaining some financial support may help lower stress.
Next: you need to try to change your environment. Clearly, your current one is detrimental to you. I don't mean go rushing out the door (and, Mom and Dad are not an option), but just start looking for a new living arrangement. Even just the process of knowing you're planning to move and that you aren't trapped can elevate your spirits.
Finally: don't forget to lean on your furry friends for comfort and emotional support.
I hope this helps. If not, feel free to write again and I will try my best to help out! If it gets really bad, you can call me.
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Hi papa bear.
I got your response to my letter and I spoke to a suicide specialist. They seem to think the same as you that I need a change in environment. And to answer some of your questions, yes, I receive SSI at the current moment but it constantly gets lowered because my roommates keep making changes to my living arrangements (as I am currently not paying rent); plus, recently they had me apply for food stamps ... so that docked me down another 100 dollars ... and as far as my meds: I receive meds for all my ailments (including my HIV that I wrote to you about at an earlier date.) But I really wanna live with someone who can understand what I'm going through as far as my social life. My furry life is important to me. It’s really all I have. Which is why I was asking about resources for furries searching for roommates and such. My fur parents were one of the furs I spoke about in my last letter, but they can’t keep me at this current moment.... I was hoping you could help me in any way you possibly can. Sorry for sounding needy, but this depression is really killing me. Hope to hear back form you.
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It might be a good idea to talk to your therapist about antidepressants. It really sounds as if you might need them. I don’t like telling people they should go on medications, but in this case it might be very important to do so. Ask your doctor about mood elevators.
You need to take a step back and realize, too, what you’re asking here concerning roommates. You are looking, ideally, for someone to live with who is not only a furry but who is willing to live with someone with HIV and whatever other ailments you have, is living off SSI and food stamps, has a history of depression, and might be suicidal or even homicidal. It is kind of a tall order. If you go on a roommate hunt, would you hide these facts and then divulge them later (or at all) to your new roommate, or would you confess them up front in hopes of finding a saint willing to live in the same apartment or house as you? Just be aware of what you’re asking here. I really would recommend you get your emotions in order first before looking for a new roommate. That might sound like putting the cart before the horse, but it will greatly increase your chances of changing living arrangements.
I’m sorry to say that I don’t know of any furry roommate matching service. I think it would be a great idea, though, for someone to create one, and I sent an email to my advertiser FurryMate to see if they’d be willing to set one up.
Other than that, what you can do is go to all the furry social sites out there and announce that you are seeking a roommate in your area and just see what happens. Word of mouth can spread like a virus, and there very well could be someone just like you in your area looking for the same thing.
And to readers of this column, if you are seeking a roommate or know someone who is in Missouri, please contact me and I’ll forward the information to Smokey.
Wish I could be of more help, but hopefully I have given you some nudges in the right direction.
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