Today was consumed with three things:
1) Going to see the social worker at the county health department and learning there's little they can do for meThat's about it. I wanted to watch some anime but WoW expanded to fill the available time. Oh well.
2) Playing WoW
3) Cutting the grass on the "East 40"
Dinner? General Tao's chicken. Delicious...especially after the not-quite-food I had "inside".
* * *
When I first got out, and was walking out to my sister's car, it felt strange to be standing at ground level. I'd spent two weeks on the 4th floor of a building, looking out windows and seeing the ground from about 50' up; the ground looked a bit weird at first when I was walking on it. The feeling quickly went away, though.
It's so wonderful to be out of that place.
While I was cutting the grass, I was listening to my MP3 player (the GPX, not the Trio) and thoroughly enjoying the music because I hadn't heard any of it for two weeks plus. The weather was perfect, not a cloud in the sky, a pleasant breeze--I felt good. Really good, for the first time since April at least and probably longer.
I'm worried about having a relapse, but the crushing pressure and stress is just not there right now--I ought to be okay. And if I find myself in a crisis situation again, I can contact the social worker, or my family members, or-or-or. I have more resources available to me now than I did before.
But my worry about the relapse is probably unjustified. I was under too much stress and had a breakdown; I'm not under that kind of stress right now and--God willing!--won't be any time in the near future. I know, now, that I have to ease into work and such, that I can't just jump in with both feet.
It's about like leaving a glass in the freezer for four hours, then filling it with boiling water: most glasses will shatter if you subject them to that kind of thermal stress. (Pyrex won't, of course, because tempered glass is the shit.)
Having figured out what was causing the depression, now I know that I'm not bipolar--for which I am very grateful, because that'd be a whole new can of worms. At the time I was kind of hoping that was it, because bipolar disorder is eminently treatable with the right medication. Not being bipolar disorder meant that the solution was more complex, and possibly very difficult to accomplish.
* * *
So it works out that the job at [employer] was the right thing at the wrong time. That job was a perfect match for my abilities, talents, and training; everything they wanted me to do I could do, or I could learn how to do it.
Unfortunately, I wasn't ready for it.
I'm not terribly worried about finding something to pay the bills for the time being--something simple, not stressful, close to home, etc. I'll find something. It's just a crying shame that this job had to shake out this way.
I thought I was ready to work; I really did. I have never had that kind of problem before--but of course then again I've never been an orphan before, either. I'd never actually come up against the limits of my tolerance for stress before, which is kind of surprising to me considering how crappy my life was in high school. ...but in high school, I had a lot of friends. I had a robust support structure.
I'd wager that the same thing would have happened if I'd been hired by Og's employer: it might have taken longer, but I bet the outcome would have been highly similar. I wasn't ready, and the worst part is there was just no way possible to tell that I wasn't ready. I felt fine!
* * *
The cats have forgiven me for being away so long. I went out around 12:30PM to get a Big Mac, and my sister told me that Luna was singing her sad song, the one she sings when I leave the house for a while. Poor kitty.
* * *
Getting to the county health center was a fiasco, and it was all my fault. It's in University Park, but my GPS thinks it's in Park Forest. To make matters worse, I thought I had to turn on Western; the GPS led me in a circle and I thought, "WTF! I need to be there at 2:30 and it's 2:20 and now you screw up and make me drive in circles?"
That's what I get for not paying attention. I was so sure the place was just off of Western Avenue (because there is a similar facility that's on Western Avenue in Park Forest) that it didn't occur to me that it might be somewhere else.
Now, if someone had said, "Oh, it's in the strip mall by the University Park town hall..." I could have found it without using the GPS at all. But no, they give me an address with a road name I've never heard of.
...but despite my stupidity I was there before 2:30, so it all worked out. *sigh*
* * *
Proof that Hollywood has a liberal bias. As if we needed it.
* * *
Last night I went out in the front yard to get some fresh air and look at the stars--it had been more than two weeks since I last saw them--and I found myself thanking God that He hadn't ended my life when I begged Him to. "Thy will, Lord, not mine," I finished, "because You are infinitely wiser than I am." (Not that being wiser than me is such a hard thing to manage.)
I didn't want to die; I just wanted the pain to stop. Well--the pain has stopped; and what's more, I know why I felt the way I did. It seems almost miraculous, in a way.
When I asked to talk to the chaplain, in the hospital, it was because I was worried: had all this been a test of faith? Had I failed? What were the consequences of failing a test of faith? The chaplain helped me realize that God is forgiving, and that regardless of why and how He wouldn't turn me away.
Then I remembered that God experiences every last bit of pain we feel, probably more keenly than we ourselves feel it. He's not sitting up there in Heaven watching us suffer; He is experiencing everything we experience. ("'Omniscience'. Look it up." [Joan of Arcadia.]) God knows what I was going through; He knows how I felt. Faith tells me that He has a reason for my experiences in the past five weeks; someday, hopefully, I'll understand the lessons of these experiences and be a better person for it.
I can look back at my life and look at all the shit I went through, and realize that without that shit, I wouldn't be the person I am...and who I am is a pretty damned good person. Okay--I'm not rich, and I lived with my parents for their last seven years on this Earth, and I've only had a few girlfriends in my life. I'm pretty pathetic--but I'm honest and I'm loyal and I've got integrity and character.
I don't think I'd be the man I am if I hadn't suffered. I'd probably be an arrogant prick who did whatever the hell he wanted to without worrying about the feelings or desires of other people.
* * *
Speaking of the feelings of others, I have to add that I'm ashamed of myself. I think deliberately cutting myself--thus precipitating an ambulance ride to the hospital and two weeks in a psych ward--is shameful. It's shameful because it's just not right to put my family and friends through that kind of experience. It's a rotten, rotten thing to do to people who care about you. It's not misplaced shame, not by a long shot, but I'm not used to behaving shamefully. I deserve to feel ashamed of myself, but it's hard to face it.
It makes facing my friends and family harder, too. I owe everyone a huge, serious apology for this, and I'm trying to figure out how to do it right. It's like, how the hell do I explain this? What can I possibly say to make it right? People will say, "Oh, don't sweat it!" but it's something I need to do. (See above, "integrity and character".)
So I haven't been 100% happy since the pressure dissipated and the crushing depression ended, because I've had these feelings of shame and guilt to work with. They cause ordinary depression (see also "the blues") of the kind that I'm used to feeling: normal, everyday "ho hum" feelings. Manageable and right; not the abnormal and wrong black depression that led to all this.
But then I realize that I'm surrounded by some good people who will forgive me (if they haven't already) and who want only the best for me, and that makes me feel better.
That is the real miracle; and for that I give thanks to God.