It has been a while since my last blog. Let me post a caution here. I will not be actively promoting this blog for a while. I am going to go very personal here and there may be triggers for those in vulnerable spots. When things get more positive -I may tweet and post links to this site – but for now, I am willing to expose myself only with my active readers.
It is often hard for me to write these past few months since I lost my job with the state. As you know from previous blogs, I was at poverty level before with my job, paying bills but not enough money to be able to buy food or to pay debts – like traffic tickets. All the while applying for jobs that would help me recover my past income level.
Ironic – or plot twist - the unpaid traffic tickets becoming the cause of my December dismissal! Not the cause of my downfall – I have recently found the truth of what (or rather WHO) caused my “fall from grace”. But the final nail was my inability to pay the traffic tickets & my loss of my driver’s license due to their status.
I now have a monthly income of $124. I have food - but no money to pay anything.
That said – I have been spending almost all my waking hours scrambling for another job or a way to bring in enough money to keep the utilities on. Time spent “hat in hand” begging at the local charities for their assistance. Charities I donated freely to in the past. Scrambling to pull up records and find vital info to qualify for their grudging help. It has not left much time for self-care – like creating poetry or art.
One of my desperate ventures to bring in money has been to start selling online. This requires an initial outlay for “inventory” – the used blue jeans are still my “best” – if infrequent seller. I have other items besides clothes on e-Bay & Amazon and the like (designer clothes, collectables, Avon, books) but they have not sold as yet - though my eSeller mentors insist they are a more guaranteed income/sell than the clothes are. These sells are occasionally just in the nick of time – to keep the lights on, the internet. (water is a lesser priority).
Then there is the daily job-search – fortunately it is mostly internet based these days. Most places only have online applications now. This is good; I can’t afford a bus pass and my VocRehab hasn’t come through yet to supply me with one for job-hunting and interviews. Without medications, most days, my body hurts too much to allow me to do extensive walking. But interviews are rare and too much time in between.
But the biggest reason I have not written is because it is difficult to – mentally.
I get tired of my “updates” being only negative news and I haven’t had positive news to report.
Mentally, I am going “silent” again. I feel like I am crumbling. Not only is my self-esteem returning to its lowest points – it is returning to its lowest functioning. I am having near-constant panic attacks, which shreds my short-term memory. The panic makes it almost impossible lately to make decisions – I am too sensitive to the negative impacts of any action. I am “losing” time – developing gaps in my memory.
An empath – right now I have no defensive walls. Not only does this mean I am sensory-overloaded when I am near other people; as one who also “transmits” I am impacting those I come in contact with. Full-disclosure, seeing my impact on others has started making me agoraphobic. This means, when near other people, I really need to “clamp down” on my depression and negative feelings. If you have met me in person lately, this is why I seem withdrawn, stand-offish. And, yes, I am coming off a little “fake” right now; it’s for your protection. Trust me – you do not want to really experience the current depths of my depression and pain right now.
That is a massive effort. This overload is effecting my home and environment; while I am now used to my emotions causing glitches and sabotaging my electronic (most common cause of my technology fails) , I have now become a actual poltergeist. I am affecting the inanimate objects now, especially at times I am home alone. It has become common for me to be hearing crashes and noises from a room behind me, when I and my cats are in a room together after my roommates have left the house. I no longer run to see “who” caused it. I believe in scientific theory; the correlation between the intensity of my moods and the increase in “supernatural” noise cannot be denied. I work with trying to resolve the issue currently stressing me when I can; work with isolating myself and calming myself when I cannot.
I am off my maintenance meds – so my physical and mental conditions are becoming quite diabilitating. My Voc Rehab caseworker noticed it right away when we re-met; she said I am NOT in a condition to work. Some conditions I have previously shared. Some I am not yet ready to admit to publically – too much ignorant stigma still attached to them. I am not my disabilities; I do not want to be lessened down to only them. (I may have to, here, later. But I choose today is not the day)
With my caseworker’s advocacy, I did finally get approved for medical this past month – but have not yet located new doctors to accept me with this new state-offered medical insurance. I’m working on finding new ones; but it’s robbing sleep time to do so. But I am finding years of therapy and work-arounds unraveling. I am suicidal again. Don’t worry overmuch on this last disclosure! I WILL NOT suicide; it is not an option I will allow myself! I am just being honest and acknowledging it is again a daily struggle, reshaping that internal argument that I am not worthy to live. I KNOW I am – but, what can I say – my parents really did a job on me as a kid. And your parents voices always stay the loudest ones in your head as an adult. You can relearn healthier ways of thinking – but they still stay there.
I am grateful for the skills I learned last year in the Leadership Program I attended – they have allowed me to hang on – but it is hanging on by my fingernails. I am constantly re-wording thoughts in my head, restructuring the negative ones into positive ones. I am not ‘unemployed” – I am self-employed”. I am not a “failed” career – I am an e-seller, artist and poet. I am not poor – I am relearning to do more with less resources. I am re-branding myself. Sure – it is partly forced due to circumstances – but I am also making it intentional.
I used my government jobs as “therapy’ – a way to compartmentalize myself and to bring out my best functioning on a daily basis. With a daily audience, I had to bring my A game to the table every day; be in control everyday. Sure, I would allow myself lapses into “Poet’ or “Artist” – but I took pride in serving as “Public Servant”.
Now I am learning to function without that parachute. In fact – without any of my tried & true therapies and coping skills. In light of this, I really shouldn’t be surprised I am currently a full-blown poltergeist. This is essentially like a pop essay-final, I have been stripped of every coping mechanism and it is sink or swim. It is a rough lesson; sometimes I think I am getting it, sometimes not.
But today – I am awake. I have electricity and internet & have e-work to do. I actually allowed myself to participate in a art event on Sunday – so I have a painting I am now committed to finishing. (I hope this to be a step in a positive direction). Today I will allow myself an hour at my Sunday spot to make further study sketches of my piece, something I denied myself fir five months. I may even do a Zentangle session. Today I will allow myself an hour to edit April’s poetry. And maybe write a piece for today. Today I will venture outside my imposition.
And today, right now, I will write.
Bear with me, as what I write will most likely not be pleasant. But it is a need can no longer deny if I am to live. Writing is how I beat my past suicidal thoughts and demons, how I recovered my voice and with it my self. I need to start putting my SELF back into my daily life. April’s Poetry-A-Day challenges that I participated in helped some, as I knew they would. My imposed isolation was not good for me as it encouraged my silence. Silence, for me, is a trigger; I start living only emotionally and reactively. I am not only dealing with the absent silence of friends and past co-eorkers, but a silence from my thoughts as well. In February I had even stopped writing to myself; it was bad how I shut down. And as I process things/experiences through writing – it hobbled me. And, by extension, it has hobbled my electronics, freezing up the computers and phones in my house. So allow me to share some of my frustrations – so I may stop other frustrations from being born.
Perhaps, one of you reading here also is dealing with high depression. Please, don't give in. It doesn't always get better ...
But the ONLY way for it to get better is to not give in!