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I seriously am falling apart. Some here know some of the details, and since there's a fucking religious cult reading my online posts here and elsewhere, I -- dammit.

I have no job, no health insurance, no family and no idea what to do next. My mind is in such flux that I can't imagine taking any job because I quite simply won't be the same person a week later. I'm on meds which I've been trying to get off of for some time, and am seeing a therapist but I'm paying out of pocket with a dwindling bank account. I'm starting to really wrestle with identity shifting and wonder at what point I may start dissociating or just become full-on psychotic.

Note to religious cult: feel free to use this info to further manipulate me, but keep in mind I HAVE NO MONEY. To everyone else, I don't want to discuss the cult thing just because it sounds interesting to you. I'm trying to get them out of my head.

It just feels like there's no one left who can help me. I've become nothing but a facade for other people's benefit, and the center can't hold. I've been cooped up in my apartment for 3 days or so and can't figure out any good reason to go anywhere, and of course I feel worse and worse as I watch crap on TV and lie around atrophying. I talked to a recruiter on the phone yesterday who is sending my resume up for a full-time IT job, and I can't begin to think about how to explain in an interview that I no longer have the attention span to code, the emotional support to handle work-stresses, any recent experience with computers, nor any remote desire to be a programmer. Never mind the giant 20 month period of unemployment broken only, inexplicably, by a semester of grad school for architecture. I can barely organize around feeding myself, but I guess I need to put on a suit and convince someone to hire me or I won't be *able* to feed myself.

And so, it appears, I'm going down.

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Oh Jem,  I wish there was something tangible I could do for you.  Please, please hang in there.  All I can think of is how supportive and strong you were for me when I was having a hard time and I want you to know that you have a support system here.  You are an incredibly intelligent, good-hearted person, don't give up.  To any cult people who are reading this:  Fuck off, jackholes.

I think that SZS's idea of SS disability is a good one to look into.  Keep posting please.  Thinking of you.

JBella

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Hi Jemini,

Fellow ADDer here. Nooooo, you aren't going down. You are dipping. You still doing that meditation? Go do some! How about the nutjob doc who told you as a kid you wouldn't make it out here? Don't you owe it to yerself to prove his ass wrong?

Y'hear? Yer dipping. This is one biiiig rollercoaster ride, and you can't get off until we tell you it's okay. Ergo, you will get up again.

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I'm so sorry things are sucking right now. Can you go to social services for emergency help? Don't give up/ You're smart, talented, and in the middle of a crisis but it WILL pass. I hope things work out for you soon.

Lilie

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i had trouble getting on the board as well for the last few days.

i'm in the submarine too.  these manic attacks (which give me no nifty euphoria) have hit me a few times in the last few days and then I seroquel myself into a semi-coma, which, tho it sucks, it waaay better than the huge overstimulation I get when I go into this.  And it comes on so fucking fast it's intense and unpredictable.

I'm also completely broke.  i have a dollar.  long story, but my disability checks got hung up so I'm four weeks behind.  and i had a couple personal days and one sick day left at the job so I asked to be paid.  when I checked my balance on payday, there was nothing there.  turns out the union took it all for back dues.

and my cable is out.  this actually isn't b/c i haven't paid it, a tech has to come and won't be here until wed and i've been out since sat.  now, I realize it's not culturally sound to watch tv, but you try to read when the words are either jumping off the page at you or you can't focus or make sense of the words.  i can't believe i got this far in the post b/c of these symptoms.

i'm going to pawn my only piece of jewelry i ever owed tomorrow so I can have some money until the checks come thru.  Family?  fugetaboutit.  i called my pa crying the other day, just wanting to vent and feel less alone and he says I need to learn to pull myself up by my own bootstraps.  funny, i'm 38 and have been on my own since 19.  he didn't come to NY ten years ago when i cut my wrists and the super called 911 and he didn't send a dime or even a handful of flowers and i stayed three weeks in the hospital.  I ate pancakes and ramen noodles for a month b/4 i got enough nerve to try to get food stamps and during all the yrs i lived with him, he never even took me to a dr to see if there was something wrong as i would come home from school and go to bed until the next day.  if i ever do find my bootstraps, i'm gonna strangle him with them.

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Hey Jemini,

You still have my contact info, don't you? My schedule is kinda up in the air at the moment, but if there's something I can do to help by visiting in person, let me know. If you need a pedxer to feel ok out of the house, I might be able to do that. Or I could take you some fresh veggies and such. Watermelon sound good?  I have no particular insight or skills relevant to psychosis, or, for that matter, to any MI issues beyond ADD and dysthymia, but I can give a few hours of my time.

If you'd rather not, that's ok too. I just hope you're feeling better soon.

--------------------

to others: if Jemini takes me up on this, I may need your advice

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Damn, Jemini. All I'm capable of is repeating the obvious: DAMN. That royally fucking sucks. It's difficult enough trying to get to where you want when your last 14 months involve a disparate string of shitty jobs; I can only imagine what it's like trying to explain... nothing, particularly in an interview for a job you don't want. It's completely and totally sucktastic. Unfortunately, that's about all I can really say or do.

The suggestion you relocate to Ontario seems like a bit of a stretch (Canada's loss ;) ), but the recommendation you seek social insurance or whatever else it is you have in MA seems good. Just a few years ago, wasn't MA considered one of the better NE states for social support of low-income individuals? You're in a better position than I to know if things have completely changed, but you're near enough urbanity that there must be SOMEthing helpful for you. There are food sources. If still more shit hits the fan, there is shelter. You are an intelligent and gifted man. It might take longer than it would if you were well, but I think you are capable of tapping the right resources to get through this shit.

Life's crazier than you are, but you can take it. Hang on. Keep breathing. If you can get a firm enough grip on your brain, meditate. Do what you can from what you think it'll take to keep yourself together, first, then the basics of life. It sounds like it's time to switch into full-on survival mode and let the peripheral things slide. Secure shelter. Secure food. Keep yourself safe. As long as you're alive, the rest of this can be dealt with.

I will shut up now.

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Hey all! Thanks for support. I hadn't realized anyone had replied because I didn't check for e-mail notification. ;)

So an update. My father has told me he will give me a bit more financial support, for a couple months (not enough to live on, but it's something) and after that I'm on my own. Um, thanks dad. He apparently still refuses to discuss actual details of my survival, like for instance correcting his assertion that disability (SSDI) will give me money if I haven't found a job in the next few months. But I'll tell people here, the social security office (among many people) told me many months ago that: A) I am unlikely to qualify for disability, B ) it takes about 5 months processing time before they would notify me that I don't qualify, and C) if I were to accept any over-the-counter work in that 5 month period, I would negate the application. Wonderful. So I either need to *choose* to be unemployed and make as strong a case as possible that I'm not able to work, for at least 5 months (and supposedly in mental health cases more typically as long as 18 months for appeals), or find a job. And since I *can't* support myself for 5 months...

I will likely apply for SSDI at this point, but it requires a lot of paperwork from me (hello, ADD) as well as my therapist, and for the out-of-pocket money I'm paying to see her, it feels like there are other things at least as important to be discussing. I have thought in the past about Canada (I fucking hate this country, sorry "patriots"), but quite frankly, New England is way too cold already. Maybe I'll have some nice (crazy) people to visit at some point in Canada.

I may have an interview this week for a Perl programming gig, and I am almost leaning towards telling the recruiter to pass on me, since I can barely imagine being able to show up every day and do such work. Not so much because of my mental state, which is actually OK except for the ADD, but because programming makes me fucking miserable. Unfortunately, I *can* imagine it, and I need money. What sounds better is finding an experienced carpenter or builder who is willing to take on a 33 year-old with limited (less than a year) experience and no tools or truck but who *DESPERATELY* needs a mentor in his life and enjoys physical labor. I have one contact that sounds promising...

I've consoled so many people over the years that the light at the end of the tunnel will appear, and that it must get better than this, but I never forget that the next time I'm in the abyss, it will suck so bad I'll want to die. So far, not wanting to die, and actually like I said, my mental state is generally positive, but the circumstances are feeling more and more overwhelming. Also, where I know there are always people in worse circumstances, and I have been in worse places myself, sometimes it's more a matter of can't-get-there-from-here, you know what I mean? Coupled with almost no sense of where "there" is, this can be debilitating. When I start thinking of cashing out my retirement funds (not a lot, but not bad for a few years' working for academia) and moving to CA to surf or something, I have to wonder just how far I am from saying, fuck it, I'll eat a bottle of pills instead.

I don't *want* to succumb to pure survival thinking, even though I agree Lmnop. I need to stop living up there and start living down here, but it's just that the *only* positive stuff in my life are the people I've met and the way I've been able to be more open with myself and with others. Everything feels like a catch-22. Working in software: quick descent into hyper-focused anxiety-prone negative thinker and no time or energy to keep up with the more people-people I've met since leaving that work. SSDI: stagnate, don't move towards anything, stigmatize myself further in the eyes of my family and friends as well as myself; forced not to work until application is processed and likely appealed. Architecture: cannot handle stresses of hyper-competitive and presentation-oriented workplace, with long hours for low pay; would very likely lose any job I could get and feel even worse than I do now. Carpentry: best deal on table, but probably will require reinvesting first many months of pay into tools and better transportation even to be taken seriously by "employers"; independent contracting scares the shit out of me since I like showing up and being told what to do and am dreadful and waking up and finding something to do on my own. Male prostitute: not *that* good-looking; probably feeds into low self-esteem issues in the long run.

I have been in touch with real-life (offline) friends, and that is something but not enough. In fact my friends are the first (and only) to say things like "I think you need professional help." Yeah, thanks. Got a few thousand dollars? I'll check myself right in. I know everytime I've been hospitalized, it's transformed my life magically and immediately upon leaving I was completely better and no longer needed to talk to close friends. And of course my therapist for a couple hours twice a month is much more helpful than friends or family. Stupid advice is what I'm saying. I hate when people say I need help. We all need help.

This is a long response.

Thanks again everyone and keep sharing PLEASE!! I need all the support.

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Stupid advice:  you need help! and my personal favorite, You are strong and you can get thru this.

Ugh.  Enough, thank you!  It should be legal to punch people in the face when they say that.  First of all, getting "help" isn't an instant cure and being "strong" doesn't mean we should get to be pushed as far as we possibly can before we crack.

I'm feeling very cranky and aggressive today (and yesterday) which has nothing to do with my illness.  Since we "spoke" online sometime ago, I know you are really bright and I hope that gives you some comfort.  See if you can work on your book.  It's a worthwhile endeavor.

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I can barely imagine being able to show up every day and do such work. Not so much because of my mental state, which is actually OK except for the ADD, but because programming makes me fucking miserable. Unfortunately, I *can* imagine it, and I need money. What sounds better is finding an experienced carpenter or builder who is willing to take on a 33 year-old with limited (less than a year) experience and no tools or truck but who *DESPERATELY* needs a mentor in his life and enjoys physical labor.

Replace "programming" with "call center work," and your choices sound very much like mine.  I'm hoping my employment counselor from the disabilities office can help me come up with some better options, because working in that field (and I don't much care if it's inbound or outbound -- both are okay-paying but awful) tends to destroy me within six months.  As for other options, I hate my stupid hands, but you already know why. 

Hmm.  Must go to my other sucky minimum-wage workplace where some middle-aged guy has apparently taken it into his head that I am to be his girlfriend and likes to follow me home.  Right.  Like I need THIS. 

Sorry for the absence of support.  Commiseration trumps silence, no?

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Today's update: feeling OK, sort of. On the plus side, I have a date tomorrow. On the negative, can't afford to be going on dates. I don't know still what work I should be looking for, but will be talking to more carpenters if this one guy doesn't work out.

ADD sucks right now. And so does my father, though my mother is sympathetic to what I'm going through. Wish I had any other family to talk to. I just feel so nowhere for my age.

Oh and I slept almost the whole day today, but did go to the gym tonight, which seems vaguely positive, though I feel every day like I'm less and less useful to anyone.

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Things are sounding a little more positive?  yes/no?  Who's the date with?

Sorry your dad is being such a douche.

Have you considered being an occupational therapist?  Wow, holy ADD, Jem, sorry.  Or you could be the resident computer geek/yogi at a yoga center.  I really need to give you some ideas or I feel like I'm not helping. ;)  

I think you are fabulous.

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Thanks JBella -- actually I have considered occupational therapy, because I love helping people, enjoy the group therapy dynamic, and I'm an artist and musician. However I have a very hard time committing to such things, given my mercurial nature (aka ADD). I actually *was* very very briefly trying to be the computer guy at a yoga center; it just turned out to be a religious cult, plus the pay sucked and they actually didn't want me to do anything specific other than turn over my mind and free will so I could give them my "ability" in service of the master's "vision". Whatever.

I like you too ;)

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though I feel every day like I'm less and less useful to anyone.

NOT useless, I for one enjoy reading your posts.  I don't enjoy the pain you are going through, but do look forward to your posts and know others feel the same way.  Life is dealing you rotten cards at present but hang in there, I know you are a winner and will find your way, don't give up.  Stay well, Sulu

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Thanks JBella -- actually I have considered occupational therapy, because I love helping people, enjoy the group therapy dynamic, and I'm an artist and musician. However I have a very hard time committing to such things, given my mercurial nature (aka ADD). I actually *was* very very briefly trying to be the computer guy at a yoga center; it just turned out to be a religious cult, plus the pay sucked and they actually didn't want me to do anything specific other than turn over my mind and free will so I could give them my "ability" in service of the master's "vision". Whatever.

I like you too ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Oh dear, god.  What a bunch of schmucks.  Are you reading this, schmucks?  Go AWAY!  Anywho,  I thought occupational therapy, because depending on your specialty and location you can be flexible.  I have the ADD, too.  If it won't be flexible, it doesn't stick.  Hmm.  Something that's constantly changing.  What about working in a group home or a hospital?  Taking down 200 pound guys is physical labor.  Not very artistically intriguing though. Music therapy? 

I'll work on it.

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