As of today, October 2, 2012, this is what my life looks like.
My last formal job ended in February, 2011. It was a situation that was massively unhealthy for me, and a huge relief to be free of it -- but I have not been properly employed since. Money is dwindling, and I have no health insurance.
Since the beginning of July, I have been suffering from crippling anxiety. I've had a few relaxed patches, but the anxiety always comes back. Some days it's really difficult just to handle the most basic things, eating and drinking enough, keeping clean and clothed, covering the most important responsibilities. Those things have mostly always happened, but they take more energy and focus than I would have ever imagined. Let alone keeping up with more difficult work, like finding a new source of income.
I am blessed to have a wonderfully supportive family and some awesome friends. I've been working with a good counselor to untangle internal issues that contribute to anxiety and illness, and that have hampered my efforts to find a new job. The work goes forward, but it's tough going and I don't know if there's an end to it.
A lot of the time, I'm just tired. It's hard to look around and see much good in the world, even though I know it's there. I try looking for it, but that takes extra energy too.
I feel brittle, unresilient. It wasn't so long ago that I felt strong and like I was getting somewhere, setting goals and getting things done. I felt good about life, confident and interested, expecting something good to show up anytime. Instead, I started getting panic attacks, and it's been a bumpy roll downhill ever since. I can hardly believe I was that confident woman, making plans and getting them done, only four or five months ago. That woman would have never believed she would land here today, feeling shattered and scared, clinging to scraps of cold hope and wishing desperately to just feel like herself again, to please just go back to normal.
What if normal's all gone, for good?
This is what I'm standing up with, the extent of my witheredness, as far as I know it. Anxiety is quick to make up further possible wrongs if it gets half a chance, but I'm not inviting it's help tonight. So this is me, standing up with a weak body and heartsick spirit, wondering what that preacher from Nazareth has in store.