Human beings are naturally problem solvers. Regardless of method or ideology, we are good at turning things that don’t work for us into something that does, or at least prevents future complications.
One of the most frustrating things in my life is that I’m pretty clear about my problems, but I am unable to address them properly. I know I have depression, anxiety, and show more than enough signs of adult ADHD to probably get diagnosed. I’m a procrastinator, I fear failure, and while I’m not a traditional “perfectionist,” I do tend to hold myself to high productivity standards that I rarely ever meet.
My reasonable, rational brain knows for a fact that most of my problems could be solved with therapy of some sort, and possibly medication. I’m open to both options, overwhelmingly so. However, there is no such thing as free medication and therapy. At least not here in the U.S.
After being laid off in January from a decent, albeit low-paying job, I suffered through four months of stress, anxiety, and tension with my roommate at home. He’s a disabled vet who relies on my rent each month to help pay bills. He suffered a few setbacks because of me, and I hate myself for it.
I’ve looked for better paying jobs, but I simply don’t have the experience required, or the degree desired. I proudly clutch at my Mass Communications Associate’s degree, but it is next to nothing in the real world.
I currently work a part time job at an auto parts store, getting 20–25 hours a week. However, I have yet to receive my agreed upon salary per hour of $12 because of an HR personnel problem. So for the past two months I’ve not been properly compensated, being paid $9.10 an hour for my first check, and $10.75 for my second and third. Despite multiple efforts by my manager, no one at corporate seems to have their shit together enough to sign off on a pay rate change. Legal action is a very viable option if my pay rate is not changed and my back pay is added to my next check.
I have applied for government assistance. I receive $57 a month in SNAP food benefits. I do not qualify for Medicaid, and the health care marketplace set up in Maryland is too expensive for me. I don’t work enough hours to qualify for benefits through work, either.
What all this comes down to is a horrible Catch-22: I’m in need of money to afford the therapy and medication that will aid me in becoming a happier, more productive person, but I cannot break free of the fear and bad habits of my mental illness to motivate me to pursue other ways to make money. I do not possess the will or discipline.
Some might say that this sounds like an excuse to be lazy and mooch off others. And to those people I say that you don’t really know me, and you certainly have no idea about what mental illness can do to a person. There are days when I wake up and just need to do or make something, and I hyper focus on a project and dump hours into it. I have over 5500 words into a novel I started three months ago that I wrote all in one day, and haven’t touched it since. I picked up a podcast review blog I started years ago, and have since cooled off on it even though it has lots of potential.
Most days, I float through the day, my time dusted with a smattering of high anxiety moments, horrible thoughts, and just spacing out. All of this severely prohibits me from reaching my potential, and I can’t do anything about it. Am I doomed to live this kind of life? Everyone says, “it’ll get better,” but in reality, it doesn’t get better unless one does something about it. I can’t do anything about it, and it is slowly killing me.