How long will it be like this?

June 8th, 2010by scott20cmu

My name is Scott. The more I think about my life the more I realize that this started years ago and has become worse instead of better as I used to think it would. I guess I was denying that anything was wrong with me. I think it started after college. I got a degree that wasn’t exactly easy to get a job in but I did it because I liked the field. After a couple years of looking for a job I had to give up and take a management position with a clothing store because I had student loans (still do) to pay back. Back then it didn’t really cause me any problems, today it is one of the things that eats me up inside. The clothing store job was good, benefits, 401k, but towards the end of my little over 2 years there the company rolled out stricter productivity standards that I could not convince my team to meet and I was fired for poor job performance. Another failure. During the time at that job I had been dating and eventually moved in with a wonderful guy who had two kids from a prior marriage. It was also during that time that I came out to my family with at first a negative response but things got better and today we are the best of friends but somehow I think they don’t care for me because of how I am. My partner lost his job and we decided to open a flower business. I was against it, after all I don’t do anything risky, because it always caused excessive worry. We used my good credit to finance the startup with the promise from my partner that we would make enough to pay back the credit cards. Within four months all 4 of my cards were maxed out and in 6 months him and I were getting 10-20 calls a day from collectors threatening everything but our lives. This was daily life for at least two years. I have to say that was the darkest time in my life. All I wanted to do was sleep, I became isolated. My parents and family found out about it because the collectors called and told them about it. I was so ashamed of myself that I wanted to kill myself. I cried daily often alone because I didn’t want my partner to know. I don’t think this affected him as much as me. Again I felt like a failure, a worthless piece of garbage. Somehow, we managed to keep our business and relationship going. My partner got a second job and me and one other person ran the flower shop. The employee became a friend and someone I could lean on and talk to about things I couldn’t tell my partner, I wanted to appear strong to him even though I was a breeze away from crying most of the time. Then our family lost our home to foreclosure after our adjustable rate skyrocketed and I started getting sued by collectors one by one in the span of three months. My friend got me hired in a management position at another clothing store and I performed well there despite at that time being terrified of people and that work would be called by collectors or my wages would be garnished and everyone would know what a failure I was. As soon as I got the job I made the decision to file for bankruptcy and I worked for the first 6 months saving just for that and finally I did it. It was a load off but looking back I never really felt 100%, I felt like I was still in a fog. I was still afraid of people sometimes and situations like job interviews or talking to people I didn’t know. Eventually the economy claimed the store I was working at and I went back to full time work at the flower shop. I started worrying immediately about money and bills constantly even though things were ok. My partner was working full time and I was running the shop by myself and it was doing better. We were renting a nicer home and for periods here and there I felt near normal but never quite out of that fog I have been in for so long. Then this past february my partner lost his job and the feelings overwhelmed me again. Why were all these bad things happening? I started not being able to sleep because my mind wouldn’t shut off with worry about money and bills. I would be so exhausted but just lay there for hours until I fell asleep. Other weeks I am so tired that I sleep through the night but wake up and want to sleep all day. I cry often and began thinking about jumping off the bridge in town, a favorite spot for many jumpers and a sure thing or blowing my head off with my partners shotgun. Unlike previous events, I think about these two methods daily now along with the many failures in my life. Crying is common and I can’t wait to sleep at night if I can because I don’t think about this. I was in the hospital with my grandma and aunt while they were talking about depression. I learned that my aunt was feeling the exact same way several years ago and the things she described about how she felt before getting on medication, the irritability, sudden anger, loss of interest in doing anything, sleepiness or sleeplessness etc. sounded like she was describing my life. And I felt better for a few days because I realized I was not going to get better, that I must have this illness. All along I thought it was how anyone should feel, that it was normal to feel like I did all the time. I’m now at the hard step of asking for help from a doctor. I don’t have health insurance so I worry about the cost of the visits and medications because honestly we don’t have the money right now. I have not attempted suicide, but over the years the thought of it has seeped into this fog I have been in for so long now. I only hope that I can eventually get treatment and wake up one day in the sun again.

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