Environment plays a huge part in my mental health. I need to be in a place that feels like home and near people who are family. I don’t do well in crowded conditions.
Guess what? Where I am now is all the things that make me anxious and stressed and ultimately does harm to my mental health. It’s fantastic for many millions who love living and working here. It sucks for me. Even the house I live in makes me feel uncomfortable, gloomy and unhappy.
Tucson felt like home. Phoenix would work as well.
The first step to going back though, is finding a job for my partner. A decent paying job that is just challenging enough without being soul sucking. No more defense contracting. Actually, no contact work at all. Stability and security.
I want this to happen soon. No, wait. It needs to happen soon. I don’t know how much longer I can hold together.
Money and financial stability is a hugenormous source of stress for me. I think it is because I grew up very, very poor. No really. I was born a poor, black child. Even though we were on welfare and got food stamps *and* my dad worked 6 days a week, paying bills and having food were never sure things each month.
When I was 12ish, my mom who had been ill for quite a while abdicated household chores. So, of course, the only girl (and the youngest) had to step in. I do not know why my 4 brothers chose to let me shoulder the burden. I know why my dad did, he had a 6th grade education and was sure his brilliant, genius IQ daughter could handle it better than he. That’s when I found out up close just how on the edge we were. Each and every month.
I spent a lot of time in the school guidance counselor’s office.
I ran like crazy to boarding school when I was offered the chance for the last two years of high school. Not that living away from home absolved me of my responsibilities but at least I didn’t have to do the day-to-day of cooking, cleaning, laundry. Or stare my inadequacy in the face (well, that particular one, I had/have others).
I had very low wage jobs until I lucked into a real career after crashing and burning out of college (why, yes, please let me attempt not one but *two* of the most demanding engineering majors!). I lived in crappy houses with scummy landlords.
So I fret about money quite a lot. I probably always will. I’m not kidding when I talk about being afraid of not being able to get the health care I need or paying off debt or any of that stuff. It’s the thing that gives me nightmares.
Childhood baggage is heavy, y’all!
Throughout the month, I will post what I hope are useful and informative links about mental health.
Yesterday was a difficult day. I gave up. I spent most of it in bed thinking about how awful I am and because I am awful, useless, incompetent therefore how awful my life is.
I had dreamed the night before about my best friend’s mother. I awoke feeling that I needed to share the message of the dream with her (which I did later). Then darkness crowded in and wiped away any feelings other than disappointment, dissatisfaction and dislike (of self).
It was a really bad day. After giving in to the dark thoughts, I then spent time thinking about how to move forward and reshape my life. I have plans swirling around and hope to solidify the necessary steps. Radical changes and gradual changes. Most importantly, however: