So, it’s a new year and I just had yet another birthday; but what exactly is new? This year marks 14 years that I have been struggling with depression, anxiety and self-harm. It marks 10 years struggling with poor body image and an eating (and thinking) disorder. It marks 6 years of living on my own, but not feeling totally independent from the support of family members because I haven’t been able to make it on my own. It also marks 1 year since I had to say goodbye to my dream apartment, the one I worked so hard to get when I was still working. It was my comfort zone for 4 years and I had to leave it because I just could not afford it anymore with my lower income, due to my mental illnesses and losing every job I tried so hard to hold onto.
Last January (2011), I moved into a shared house in a not-so-wonderful neighborhood, without realizing the hell I was getting myself into. I only cared about the lower rent and the fact that I’d be able to afford it on my own. But… You get what you pay for. I fixed it up and it became my little project. I made the interior look great, but the problems I started experiencing from the get-go should have told me that it wasn’t a great idea. I’ve had to live with terrible drug-using neighbors who do all sorts of things to piss me off when all I want is peace and quiet. I’ve had the world’s worst irresponsible landlord, I’ve suffered through a year of being constantly exposed to secondhand smoke that drifts through the walls and seeps into the vents. There have been several break in attempts, the cops have been called countless times (twice by myself), and my car was hit & totaled outside the house by a random driver who did not stop, and never was caught. I am so paranoid that I am up all hours of the night, I am ready to call the cops at a moments notice, every sound sends me into a frenzied state, and results in daily anxiety attacks. My health (and sanity) seems to be deteriorating, and I can never feel totally at peace or comfortable.
I also had to leave my fiance in England last fall and we have been apart ever since. In over 2 years, we have spent a total of 10 weeks together, split up into 3 different visits. The reason being that round-trip plane tickets are over $1,000. Even those brief moments of happiness together are marred by the fact that we have to be apart most of the time, and never know when and if we will see each other again. I am constantly criticized by my family (and probably everyone reading this, in your head) for even being able to get on a plane to be with my partner. I am called a liar and a hypocrite because they think it’s impossible for someone with anxiety to get on a plane (where you sit in one spot, with headphones on, watching movies or sleeping, being waited on hand and foot, never having to interact with ANYONE) with anxiety and panic disorder. Well, it’s very hard to get on a plane yes, but it’s also very hard to live without the person you love. There are some things you just have to suck up and do. It’s nothing like having an everyday 9-5 job.
I haven’t felt this depressed, hopeless, and unmotivated in years. I feel all my creativity has been sucked from me, and I am just left this shell of despair. I have left all my projects half-done, barely ever leave my house, and wallow in my own misery most of the time. Yes, I am sickening myself by wasting my life like this and being so pathetic and depressing. That’s why I rarely ever talk about it. I don’t really know why I am writing this now, I spend most my time being judged by my family, so it’s inevitably going to be worse when it comes to anonymous readers online. But alas, writing sometimes helps bring clarity.
I do work hard. Sometimes I think there’s a misconception about what I do. I do not have a conventional job anymore, no. But I do what I can. I have my jewelry business, which contributes to my bills and to my other projects. I am starting up an apparel line to go along with my jewelry line. I do a lot of work for google and YouTube, and I help others. I try to get all my bills paid and I do what I am capable of doing right now. Not everyone who is disabled and unable to work is unable to do anything but sit on the couch and watch TV. But anyway, that’s a different topic all together!
I want something to change. I feel this depression and anxiety only getting worse, when for so long I thought I was getting better. I have nearly relapsed with self-injury, but am trying to hang on as long as I can, because I KNOW in the long run, it makes everything harder, more complicated and worse. It’s only a very temporary fix. But I cannot control the depression that creeps in like a thick fog, curling around me and making it so hard to see what’s ahead of me. The anxiety grips me like a vice, and I am never comfortable. I am constantly sick, worn out, tired and unstable. The only thing that keeps me afloat is knowing someone loves me, and that I do have a fiance that will wait for me. Things may seem hopeless for us now, but they are never really hopeless because we have each other.
I have secretly (because I don’t want anyone to get their hopes up) been applying for at-home jobs that match my qualifications, but most of them are out-of-state. I think if I had some kind of small opportunity, even if it was just proofreading or editing, or blogging, then I could ease my way into it. I know I am unable to hold a conventional job, and there aren’t many jobs you can do remotely. But, they do exist. And every one I have found that has been a good fit requires me to be in a different location in case something arises when doing a job from home. Sure, you can do it from home but only in the city the company is based in. So nothing has panned out. Its been so hard for me to even consider doing that, but I know I am barely keeping my head above water and I don’t want to drown. Something has to change.
I am considering moving, so I have more opportunities. Not JUST out of this hell hole of an apartment, but out of this state as a whole. I don’t think there’s anything for me here. I think I am stifled here, and maybe in a new situation and surroundings, I can grow.
I know it’s easy to say “just move to England!” where they have better healthcare and of course, my fiance lives there which would make everything better. But it’s not that easy. Getting a visa costs more money than we have, so do plane tickets and the amount of money you have to bring with you that they require. That’s why living in this place where I have no room to grow and no opportunities is not doing me any favors in regards to being with my fiance. It’d be the same for coming here. It’s something that is a goal, but not something we can achieve right now unless there was some kind of miracle involved! It’s something we have to work towards, but it just feels like I am getting nowhere the way things are right now.
I wish I knew what the right decision was, and what I could do to change things. I have several opportunities to move but what’s keeping me from doing it is the commitment and the fear, but also again, money.
Being unable to “just get a job” as so many people unsympathetically say to me, really sucks. If I could, I would. What people fail to realize is that I HAVE “just gotten a job” and then have “just been fired from those jobs” due to my anxiety on the job, which is something I tried hard to control and was unsuccessful at. So while working in public service is not something I can do, I know there are things I could do if only I had the chance. But I feel like here, where I am, I don’t have the chance.
And I want that to change.
All the movies that taught us that in order to find change, all you have to do is jump in your car, roll the windows down and crank up the radio were LYING. I have a car and a radio and yet I am still sitting right here wasting my life away.
All I know for sure is that something has to change in order for me to finally have the life I want, and I know I am determined to make it happen… I just… don’t know how right now. But I do know that I have to keep trying to work past all these road blocks so I can be on the path to happiness soon.