I don’t care about your political views or what sport teams you prefer. Trump and May have made an utter shite feast of what historians may refer to as the old Western Civilization. Kayne West should hand in his Chi-Town card (yes, it’s a thing). Mayonnaise flavored ice cream and as a pizza topping is the first sign of the Apocalypse. Still, we can all agree 2018 has been an utter mess of a year.
For me, I’ve not only struggled with my weight, depression, anxiety, and diabetes, but the added pressure of trying to find the elusive magical creature called a “job.” I believe it to be a cross breed betwixt the Loch Ness and a Unicorn with the possible lineage hailing from a jackalope on it’s mother’s father’s side thrice removed. Yes, while writing a novel and poetry, trying to keep the darkness of depression at bay, I’ve struggled trying to find a job. Now, my mother believes that I have not been looking hard enough, only because I am loathe to do so in her presence. I have this overwhelming sense of shame permeating the air around me, so I try to keep it at a minimum. Of course, with anxiety, I often suffer from insomnia. This means while my mother has been abed, sleeping, I have been restless, crying and not sleeping. I often get up around 3AM, look for jobs, apply, and back in bed, finally asleep around 5-6AM. My mother then is upset when I don’t get up until 10 or 11AM as she feels that I have been lazy and asleep too long. So, yes, if you’ve been counting, that’s a lucky 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night for the past year and a half, give or take a few days when I’ve been so exhausted that I’ve gone to bed around 6pm and slept until 9AM. Or I’ve been given sleeping medication by my primary doctor because my blood-work shows I am suffering from malnutrition and exhaustion. Oddly enough, one cannot take sleeping pills too often as they are addictive. I find after 3 days, they no longer work.
As for the malnutrition, the medication I take for diabetes in the morning, on top of all my stress, makes me nauseous. So I have trouble eating. It is not uncommon for me to vomit up my breakfast because of stress or medication. So I chose to go without until about 2 or 3PM (FYI, that’s not good). An obese diabetic who cannot eat is wildly peak 2018 ironic. Diabetes is a terrible disease. I do not recommend it. Some medication (pills) can help one lose weight (water mainly) but worsen your depression. One injectable (in the morning) helps lower the blood sugar but causes nausea and weight loss. It also causes migraines (painful ones too). The insulin causes weight gain. The forty pounds I painstakingly worked in shedding this past year has been reversed, shockingly, because my insulin has had to go up, which means I have gained weight. Again. So the conversation I have had with every single doctor since I was 12 about losing weight is, of course, thrown in my face. I think it would shock most people to know I eat, on average, between 1400-1600 calories a day. I’m actually under-eating for my weight and have been for about a decade. So, I am seriously considering weight loss surgery because I’ve been some kind of diet since I was 12 and I cannot live the rest of my life perpetually gaining weight as the insulin has to keep going up because I am getting more and more insulin intolerant. This is why I do not recommend Diabetes to anyone.
As for the novel, I think I need to do more work on my query letter before sending it out. I was too premature on that and the harsh, almost cruel responses from the 10 agents I’ve gotten responses from has been beyond comprehension. I know my novel is good and others will like it. But to tell me that no one will read it because of who I am is uncalled for. Of course another blow was submitting a few poems for publication only to be told that I was plagiarizing someone famous. I stupidly submitted some poems to Poetry.com from 2002-2005 (roughly 6-8). One ended up published in one of their books. The others were published on their website. The website has been defunct since 2016 and you cannot even find via Archive. So, imagine my blow to find out around my birthday that some famous twat has used my poems, claiming to have written them, and has made money off of them. It’s devastating because I have the original poems (I wrote them in an English Norton Anthology text book) with notations that a certain teacher liked them. So I do know when they were written. I won’t name the person (yet) but it’s an added stress of now having someone steal something so personal, an artistic expression of oneself, and to have it highly commercialized. Intellectual Property theft is an actual thing (I know, who knew?). I will only add to my defense that anyone who has been around me physically, knows I listen to Talk Radio, Classical Music, my CDs, or iPhone. I rarely listen to the Radio otherwise and these poems were written close to 20 years ago which is why I didn’t catch the theft earlier. Plus I have written over 200 poems. You cannot expect me to recall the particulars of every single one.
As for the mysterious “job,” it’s been increasingly frustrating. I’ve applied to teach, only to be told I do not have a PhD in order to teach at a Jr College. I have a IL substitute teaching license, which thankfully will expire next year (it was not worth the money). I qualify on the state level to teach in schools but schools will not hire me as I do not have a background in early childhood education. Unfortunately, the one Theatre job I did do soured me to the point that I still cannot Design professionally (though I miss it). They killed that dream fairly early on (not reimbursing me and bad treatment backstage was just uncalled for). I applied at Trader Joe’s and they first “lost” my application. The next time, they said I was over qualified. And that’s been the general response. I am over qualified or not qualified enough. I am, apparently, over qualified to work at a local animal shelter taking care of cats for 15 hours a week. My mother’s glib remarks usually pertain to that there’s a new fast food place opening up. Yes, dear mother, let’s apply and be told one is over qualified to work at the local chippy. Because I really need yet another layer of thin rejection on top of the condemnation you give me on a daily basis.
It’s even worse as my depression is at such a level that I physically cannot work a FT job. I cannot stress how physically debilitating depression and anxiety are on top of insomnia. A FT position, quite frankly, would kill me. I would not have the strength nor the mentality to cope with one. Nor do I want the stress of one. I do think 2018 has made me prioritize myself for the first time in my life. I have always been the person who places everyone else’s needs, wishes and desires above my own. It is a fault and a failing stemming from my need to gain acceptance from both of my parents. I am the oldest, but my brother was and always will be the favorite of both of them. I cannot change this and it’s not worth fighting anymore. I have never been good enough and that led to me having suicidal thoughts a few years back and I was hospitalized. It’s amazing how much over 30 years of feeling worthless can break you down. And I am better. But I have to realize, and have come to, how the people I chose to be my family are much more supportive (and it’s vital to have such support). Now, I still love my parents and don’t hate that they prefer one sibling over another because they are human-they are flawed.
Then the possibility of losing my beloved cat, Jack is something I don’t want to think about. When I am having an anxiety attack, Jack helps calm me down. Cats are notorious good at such things. Pets are precious to us because they give us our humanity.
So yes, 2018 has been utter shite as my brother from another mother across the pond would say (Daniel, you really have been my rock). But it’s been like that for a lot of us. I know there have been people who’ve had it much worse than me. I am still here. I will still fight to survive.
Alexa, play “Under Pressure”…