Sunday, March 3, 2013

A heart in darkness

I'm in something of a bad place right now, and it's not the first time. What's particular is the timing; late winter and early spring have been emotionally and psychologically trying times for me in the last few years. The first instance that I came bring to mind was when I damaged my back. I had been on worker's compensation for well over a year at that time, and was waiting for the agency to deliver their verdict, after therapy was stopped because I was starting to regress. It took a long time for them to answer, and their answer was to return to work, everything's fine. AKA fuck you.

At that time, I had only had work experience in physical labor, and it was what I had assumed  would be able to do, previous experience and all. It was a very bad time, since that I couldn't actually return to my old job, and I was rather wary of pursuing such employment, which all led to me living on my own with zero income for a few months. It was tricky to say the least.

This led me to apply for call center jobs, first as a telemarketer (and what a glorious failure that was), then as a customer service peon. sadly, this was the best salary I had ever had. I was being paid more money answering the phone than lifting the heavy things and other blue-collar activities ever had.

This time the damage was psycho-emotional; after a few years, I was hit with a severe depression. My only advantage in that dark time was that I wasn't physically self-destructive; that was a double-edge sword, because while I did not internalize my anger, I externalized it, towards whatever happened to be near when the mood shifted dangerously. I never lashed out physically, but that didn't mean that I didn't strike fear into my partner.

I got mostly over my depression and returned to work, taking a break from the office to return to physical labor of sort. And I needed that vacation, to get back to a proper head space. The biggest trouble with office work is that lack of tangible result. You can work your ass off all day and all week, and at the end of it all, you have to start all over again, with little tangible result to show. With physical labor, at the end of the day, you have a shelf stocked, dishes washed, inventory moved from the truck to the warehouse, a deck built. It's real, it's tangible, it's undeniable. With office work, it's all about numbers and perception ans status.

I hit another low last year at about this time. Sleep issues that were work related. I had returned to call centers, in a different field, but ending with the same sort of dangerous environment; play the game, fake off, be hungry, the games that money and status demands. I was never big on those, so they got to me eventually. I did not enjoy the work, but  was somewhat addicted to the newfound status of now being officially middle-class for the first time that I needed to get help to find a way out. So I took a month's vacation, an sent out exploratory tendrils.

So I moved on; same field, better environment. Less of a rat race, improved salary and benefits, the works. And yet, troubles returned to haunt me and mine.

While I could say that it's not just me, and that it quite likely has an impact on me, I am surrounded with friends and acquaintances trying to plow through problems after problems, many of which are medicated, whether the meds are being taken or not. And throughout all of this, I have yet to address the anger issue. Oh, I had said I would, a few months back. But when you give yourself time to think about it, you find good, rational reasons to not do it.

Until you snap again.

Like I did yesterday. So I didn't wait. This time, I made the phone call, and I will force myself to not ignore the need and deal with the shark in the living room.

Deal with the shark, or it will deal with you. With extreme prejudice.

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