Holding jobs was never really my thing…
My work history is littered with short-lived casualties of my patterns of depression, anxiety, temper, impulsiveness, and laziness (not usually all those simultaneously, but maybe once or twice).
My last job took place from 2012 to 2015- leaps and bounds longer than any previous period of employment. It was the only job I’ve ever had that I felt like a perfect, natural fit for me. For a while, I felt like I belonged.
My relationship with money has rarely been stellar. Even though I loved that job, I wasn’t making much money and easily blew through what I did make. I couldn’t support myself, nor have I ever truly been able to throughout my life.
I don’t know exactly what happened, though, in 2015. It was some kind of perfect storm of restlessness, bad choices, addictions, and depression. It was when my life, what little life I’d built up (which felt like a lot by my standards), began to seriously de-rail. In the chaos of what was transpiring, I quit my awesome job.
If you combine my general sense of financial ineptitude/incompetence with the feeling of “if I couldn’t stay with the closest thing I’ve ever had to a dream job, how could I ever work a lesser job?” you might begin to see a light framework for why I haven’t been looking for work.
There are other factors too. In 2015 (post employment), I had an absolutely epic dextromethorphan-induced manic period that resulted in a, “I don’t give a shit about the rules of society; I am God, bitches” phase… which resulted in me playing it rather loose with the law until finally getting arrested and put on probation.
All right, so…
That was more than just a “manic phase” for me. It was a truly profound experience, and I was convinced that it would be worthwhile to return to DXM after probation. And that’s exactly what I did.
My DXM obsession increased over time, and I saw it as my life’s work to break down the stigma associated with it, and help society see how dextromethorphan can be beneficial for the future of humanity.
Meanwhile, I’ve been living with my mom and stepdad ever since 2016, where my ideas about DXM were flat-out rejected (of course). But to me for a long time, my vision was worth fighting for.
During all of this, I did not try to work in a traditional sense. I filed for SSI assistance in 2016 (denied as of 2018 due to minimal time spent in formal treatment for depression and anxiety), and poured some hope for a while into making some money self-publishing books and working on a personal brand. Alas, no real dice in those areas yet.
Over the past year or so, I’ve seen my major friendships crumble to dust one by one, both because of and contributing to even more isolation and social anxiety.
So on top of everything else, I’ve become something of a nervous mess usually, when interacting with people. I’ve broken out of this a few times and had some major social wins up until late last year, but 2018 has largely been the pits.
In March of this year, everything took a terrible turn for the much, much worse, too. I was hospitalized and put on some heavy anti-psychotics (and even misdiagnosed with schizo affective disorder, because of temporary DXM-related auditory hallucinations), and, well… I haven’t been the same since.
Even through the depression, despair, and confusion of these past few years, I generally had the ability to feel passion and resolve to move forward towards my goals, no matter how unrealistic (making a living right away from self-publishing, running for POTUS, you know, that kind of stuff).
After the anti-psychotics, though? Just totally dead inside. Apathetic about life. Motionless. No impetus to make positive changes. Suicidal every day. That kind of stuff.
And that’s how I’ve been since March. That’s still how I am, sort of. I say “sort of” because there is a difference: I’m writing these words instead of just staring at the wall imagining jumping off the top of a parking garage. I’m looking at my life, instead of shying away. I’m figuring things out. I’m developing ideas for improvement.
So, something new is happening inside, and I fucking welcome it.
Also, today I started a partial hospitalization program, which is basically six hours of group therapy every week day for two weeks. This is helping me add some much-needed structure to my life. I had pants on at 7:30 this morning, and yes, I am totally proud of it.
I’m not doing DXM anymore (explaining all that is a story for another day), but I do struggle with binge eating and occasionally drinking as an ill-fated coping mechanism.
My unhealthy habits and general inactivity have led to me expanding into a super-rotund version of myself, which has led to further inactivity (damn downward spirals). My general physical discomfort is another factor in the whole depression/anxiety stew.
But yeah, progress is good. However, I’m still at a total loss about what to do about making strides towards self-sufficiency.
Don’t have to figure it all out at once…
But I’m worn out from these last few years, man. Something’s gotta give…
I’m being encouraged to re-file for disability (filing an appeal won’t work in this case) after building a stronger case.
But here’s the problem…
What do I want to do? Put all my energy into proving I’m disabled?
Or, you know, overcome some shit?
I think I’m done verbally vomiting for now.
Anyone who read all of this might just be weird. Or you might just be a good friend. At any rate, I’m not writing this for anyone but myself. But if it benefits you in some way, rock on. And if you don’t like it for whatever reason, you can eat me. 🙂
Peace, love, and coleslaw.
Also published on Medium.