Today I spent five hours sitting in a waiting room at the local DES office. It was crowded and noisy. Filled with all types of people: adults, singles, couples, parents with children. All there because we are desperate and needy. I saw dirty, unkempt people. And neat, clean people. And all those in between. I saw people lugging all of their wordly belongings to this place in hopes of maybe getting help.
As well, I saw parents entertaining their kids. Trying to make this long, often humiliating process a bit less trying and boring. I saw people helping people. Explaining the process to those new to it. Encouraging worn down parents with fussy kids.
By the end, I felt as though I’d joined a fellowship of a sort. I have a shiny new EBT card so I can now buy food and take some of the burden off my partner.
Sitting there, I was reminded of my childhood when we had to go check in with the government and assure them that no, we had not suddenly come into money and yes, we did still need food assistance. Food insecurity is a terrible way to live. Back then, we had actual color coded packets of vouchers. It was embarrasing to go shopping and pull those out. At least with the card, you don’t stand out as much.
I sat in my car for a moment and felt…something..nothing. I am dependent. Dependent on my partner. Dependent on my friends. Dependent on the meager services provided by the government. Dependent.
I feel like I’m waiting, waiting, waiting. The requested evals are done. So I am waiting for some strangers in an office not too far from here to decide if I am broken enough to receive disability.
I am seeing pictures from my friends at Pennsic and my friends travelling to Worldcon and I am wistful. I want to travel. I want to dress up in funny clothes and have magical encounters.
I miss my Nia. She’s haunting my dreams. I hope she’s okay. Yes, I’ve tried to contact her but I have heard nothing back. I worry, too, about my friend Beth. I miss, as well, those friends and acquaintances from all of the places I’ve lived and visited over the years.
Worry is my old friend. I fret, as usual, about money. I fret about being useless. I couldn’t even hold the coffee carafe to fill it this morning. I had to use two hands. I had a spurt of activity feeding the critters (birds and kitties). I fed myself too. But then I was tired, tired. I just want a nap.
Or I want to be elsewhere. Or maybe someone else. My 25 year old self, maybe. Or in a different universe where I stayed in NC. Or finished my degree and did good things for humanity. Or never left Tucson. Or ran off to join a commune.
I hate, hate, hate having to ask others for help all the time. I remember when I was the one able to lend a hand. Buy a meal or run an errand.
I am depressed. I haven’t blogged about it or really written very explicitly about it in quite some time. It’s because I’m in a truly dark place and depression lies. It lies and tells me that no one cares, no one wants to hear about my feelings/struggles. It tells me that people are tired of my constant struggles with depression and finances and my whining about my life when obviously I have many good things.
I am worried and stressed and my depression lies and tells me that I’m being stupid/silly. Any problem I have is my own fault and I should just *fix* it already. I’m not sleeping or eating well (this is very bad due to my eating disorder past and I know it but my depression tells me that it doesn’t matter).
My depression tells me that everyone around me would be better off if I disappeared from the world entirely. That ceasing to exist would be a vast improvement to my current state of uselessness.
I’m wrestling with it, the darkness, my old friend, my depression brain. I’m trying a new antidepressant but it hasn’t had a chance to kick in yet. I’m applying music therapy and playing silly games and trying, trying, trying to shut out the noise, the lies. I’m mostly managing to get out of bed everyday so there’s that.
Since it is Mental Health Month, I decided to do a little Booster campaign to give y’all something tangible in return for your support. The campaign is here: https://www.booster.com/intomentalhealth I hope you like the design. I think it is pretty spiffy. As stated in the information at Booster, I will donate part of the proceeds from the t-shirt sales to NAMI. The campaign is open throughout the month with the t-shirts delivered a couple of weeks after it closes.
So, that said. Let me delve a bit into why I’m doing this. I mentioned before that I’m coming out of a down cycle. Doing something useful will help me keep from falling back too far. I’m actually pretty excited to see this succeed. There’s a minimum of 8 sales before the shirts will go to print. However, if 20 are sold, Booster will kick in another $20, if 100 are sold it’s $50 and so on. I doubt I have enough reach for 100 but I’d be thrilled with 20! I’ll donate the entirety of the extra.
Anyway, thanks for listening. I’ve been feeling incredibly useless and like a waste of air. This campaign is a good start to quelling those feelings. I’m going to look for other things I can do that makes me feel like a contributing member of society.
The founder, Amy Bleuel, died on March 23. Yes, it was by suicide. However, do not lose hope. The struggle goes on. For you and me and everyone. Please reach out and do not give in!
“If anyone is struggling right now, please take care of yourself. Please talk to someone about it. Please make use of the resources we do have. You can text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. You can call The Trevor Project at 866-488-7386. Or, consider donating your social media data for suicide prevention research at OurDataHelps.”