A stethoscope sits on a sheet, in black and white.
A stethoscope symbolizes diagnosis. Photo courtesy of Hush Naidoo/Unsplash.

When I first found out I had epilepsy I was extremely confused and no longer had any goals set for myself because I didn’t think I would live to see 21. I didn’t think about applying for disability because I had such a hard time maintaining my health insurance since I was becoming an adult. My mother always worked and it came a time where she did not tolerate me not working so I had to find a way to create my own income.

I started selling newspapers and t-shirts before I got my first legitimate job with a UPS warehouse. Once I started working I maintained the 9-to-5 mentality while neglecting my health. There would be doctors appointments I missed or didn’t schedule because I had to maintain my job no matter what. After a while this affected me in several ways but mainly because I could not maintain employment to have my own place. Since I have been on disability I have maintained a roof over my head.

Marcellus Phillips is an artist and vendor with Street Sense.