It’s been a hard decision whether or not to blog about this.
First, I wonder if anyone cares? Does anyone even read this blog? I rarely ever get comments. I am running a sale on my book for the first 15 who comment on my last entry, and after two days, I have 1 comment. Most of the other posts have no comments. So it’s obviously not high traffic.
Second of all, writing about depression is depressing. Who wants to read that?
Third, this is my author blog. Most people who come here probably would rather hear about books, writing, etc, not this stuff. Although my whole life is wrapped up in this current state, still, it’s personal. Do people want to know that much?
I finally decided I’ll blog about it because writing is therapeutic for me. And because I have spent a good portion of my life doing everything I can to serve and help others, maybe a glimpse inside the mind of a depressed person will help someone else somehow.
We recently were forced to give up a home we had hoped to purchase and moved back to a town home. For 15 months, we lived in a house. I had not lived in a house since leaving my parents’ home. Bianca had not lived in an apartment until she married me. The difference in housing types is night and day and we much prefer the house. Privacy, space, personalization — the advantages are numerous, but ultimately, it just fits us better. Now, my part time music ministry job is going away as well, and the options out there are retail at 41 years old, a place I never wanted to return to and which, frankly, pays 1 third of what I have been making and what, up to may, we were used to living on. Because of the debt load we carry, in part due to medical expenses, in part due to living stupidly beyond our means, taking a retail job at such low pay will require me to work tons of hours to make up for the loss of the part time job income of $1200 a month. If I work more than 29 hours, I lose my welfare of $880. So instead of having $2080, I will be providing $1250 or so for us to live on. We cannot live on that. I am told I do not qualify for the Federal Unemployment extension because I have “marketable skills,” although how you can label something as marketable which no one seems to want is beyond me.
Since being laid off from my lousy last employer in May I have applied for 500 some jobs (rough guess). I have done 1 in person interview and 3 phone interviews. I have worked hard on my resume, now in its 9th draft since May, consulting professional sites, advisors, etc. In fact, I imagine I have spent close to $800 trying to get employed which increased out debt, but the economy is awful, don’t let the Obama lies fool you, and it’s not getting any better. My Texas Workforce advisor says most people are taking over a year to find jobs. Every time I hear or think about that, I wonder how we will survive? We already are facing potential bankruptcy. I am ashamed of being such a failure. I am angry that I have spent 41 years and have no career path, making my job search harder. The fact that I dedicated much of those years to missions and nonprofit work doesn’t seem to matter. I look like an unstable employee who floated around freelance and never held a job. That says nothing about my real dedication, effort and capabilities. It also sucks to not be able to do what you love.
My part time job was supposed to be that. Church music ministry. I have been writing and performing songs all my life. Finally to get paid to do it. And to lead people into relationship with God, which I love and is a real humbling honor and privilege. WOW! But instead, I found myself working for a man who micromanages to the finest detail, doesn’t seem to trust anyone but himself, and, despite my 15 year track record, treated me like I just fell off a turnip truck. People with no experience and less qualified education are allowed to do things I’ve been doing for 15 years but am not allowed to do at that church. And despite the fact my worship team are amazing people, whom I adore, it has been a humiliating, hurtful experience with no opportunity for personal and professional growth. Attempts to discuss this with the boss were met with cold ears and a “my way or the highway attitude.” Here’s a man who preaches mercy, acknowledging sin, and apologies but has not practiced that toward my wife and I. Anything we do to offend him, an apology is demanded, yet in 16 months, I don’t recall ever hearing one back. The wounds we carry for it are deep.
My full time job at the software vendor whose product I had worked so hard to promote and implement while consulting at a Fortune 500 company for four years, was one of the harder places to work. One moment they praised you as valuable and like family, the next your job was on the line. No warning. I never got regular feedback. I only heard from them when they had some major issue. I got very little training and yet was criticized for not doing things the way they wanted them. They put me into positions with which I had little or no experience and didn’t do anything to help my succeed. I was on my own. Then, they laid me off at a time when they knew our struggles financially from a medical crisis my wife had last fall. They got mad when I told them all of this, demanding I be respectful. I was hired for technical writing. Everyone praised my work at that. It’s where my gifts lie. Did they really expect they could throw me in unfamiliar territory with no support and I’d be a star? Wish I could, but it was hard. They have too few employees for the number of high demanding clients and it’s stressful and you’re expected to know everything. Since I don’t like to lie and I won’t damage my integrity by pretending to know what I don’t, it’s hard.
So here I am, feeling like a failure. Wondering why my life sucks so much. Why was I born? Why in the world am I supposed to have hope when everything gets worse and worse? I have not even mentioned some other issues, but, trust me, they are one disaster after another. Why is it that I am called overqualified and underqualified but can’t seem to find myself qualified? How am I supposed to feel when I can’t provide for my wife? When I can’t seem to hold a job? Or when I get one I have passion for, why does it have to suck? When I can’t get anyone interested in my “marketable skills?” Why am I doomed to jobs that are not my passion where I struggle with focus because of ADHD and lack of true passion and end up regarded as unsatisfactory or expendable because of it? Why was I cursed with ADHD? Why can’t I do what I love?
I don’t know the answer, and I don’t expect you will either, but I can tell you that when I mentioned to my friend that I was lying here feeling like a worthless lump and he told me to get up and go outside, my response was: “If I go outside, I’m afraid I won’t stop walking until I reach Interstate 10 two blocks away and throw myself in front of a car.” Right now, I can’t even find the motivation to do that much.
So, if you want to know how it feels inside depression? Here’s your glimpse. Hope you don’t think it’s pretty. It’s not. It’s a deep, dark pit where the sun’s rays can’t penetrate and event he Almighty God himself doesn’t have arms long enough to reach. Welcome to my world. For what it’s worth…