Posts Tagged ‘depression’

I’m No Longer Arguing That With Him: I Quit

July 14th, 2010

If you’ve had the fortitude to stick with this blog since my first post (I’m Not Arguing That With You) you may recall I was miserable with my pathetic career choices and fantasized about changing my life…essentially getting my groove back:

But holy crap it would be so nice to just walk in and…

Well, I finally did it.

I decided to start my own business. My wife was with me 100 percent. Sure, the economy sucks ass (thanks Mr. Bush and friends) but she believes in me. (She was also probably categorically sick of my bellyaching and wanted me to get my groove back, too.)

So,  for several months I planned my work and worked my plan…I ate my daily quota of shit, avoided mirrors (who needed the pitying look one gets from one’s self?) and quietly laid the ground work for my daring daylight escape.

The day finally came when I was ready. The new business incorporated, bank account open with a whopping $100, business cards printed. I even had some customers.

One task remained; one I both relished and feared.

I walked in to Mr. Waturi’s crappy little office, looked him in his piggy little eyes and told him effective immediately I was outta there.

“This life, what a joke. This situation… this room….you look like a bag of shit stuffed in a cheap suit.”

Okay, actually I didn’t say that. Instead I said thanks for a great opportunity, but I just wanted to try to do my own thing.

His mouth moved like that of a goldfish in a bowl, but no sound issued. His piggy eyes widened.

After what seemed an eternity he (and I am paraphrasing because he actually stammered around for twenty minutes–going through all the phases of grief) said:

“Please stay.” (He was stuck on the bargaining phase, I guess.)

I was totally blown away, and for a moment I indulged him in his promises to make things more tolerable; his hints at greater things to come if only I would give up another humiliating year or two of my career. If only I would let him feast on the rich moist center of my career meatloaf until all that was left was sawdust and ketchup.

But I did not waver.  Instead I agreed to stay on a few months to help ease the transition. (And earn a tidy nest egg for the business to boot).

That transition has now ended and I’m happily working away at my business. Now it’s up to me to make my own dreams come true. No more fantasizing about easy ways out, either.

I have to say…it did feel good to say farewell to Mr. Waturi. I’m no longer arguing that with him. Sure, I have a totally new set of fears to conquer, but at least I’m longer waiting for my real life to begin.

I gotta get my groove back.

Step one: Take back my career.

Status: Achieved.

The dumb ass.

“Heartless” GOP Punishing the Unemployed

July 5th, 2010

Excerpted from an Op-ed by economist Paul Krugman. He could not be more right:

Today, American workers face the worst job market since the Great Depression, with five job seekers for every job opening, with the average spell of unemployment now at 35 weeks. Yet the Senate went home for the holiday weekend without extending benefits. How was that possible?

The answer is that we’re facing a coalition of the heartless, the clueless and the confused. Nothing can be done about the first group, and probably not much about the second. But maybe it’s possible to clear up some of the confusion.

By the heartless, I mean Republicans who have made the cynical calculation that blocking anything President Obama tries to do — including, or perhaps especially, anything that might alleviate the nation’s economic pain — improves their chances in the midterm elections. Don’t pretend to be shocked: you know they’re out there, and make up a large share of the G.O.P. caucus.

By the clueless I mean people like Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for senator from Nevada, who has repeatedly insisted that the unemployed are deliberately choosing to stay jobless, so that they can keep collecting benefits. A sample remark: “You can make more money on unemployment than you can going down and getting one of those jobs that is an honest job but it doesn’t pay as much. We’ve put in so much entitlement into our government that we really have spoiled our citizenry.”

Now, I don’t have the impression that unemployed Americans are spoiled; desperate seems more like it. One doubts, however, that any amount of evidence could change Ms. Angle’s view of the world — and there are, unfortunately, a lot of people in our political class just like her.

via Op-Ed Columnist – Punishing the Unemployed –

Enjoy the Silence?

May 26th, 2010

There was a time when I thrived on noise, hullabaloo, cacophony…loud stuff. Loud meant life. Loud was exciting–whether it was the Police’s ‘Synchronicity’ blaring from my car stereo at full blast in high school or the varied carny sounds of the state fair midway, I liked the aural stimulation.

Now in my early forties, I find loud noise–particularly sharp, quick clatters– generally objectionable, and not just because I suffer a congenital hearing loss. It’s because loud noises can shatter my thoughts, rob me of my peace.  Sometimes even my wife’s innocent footfall on the stairs after her long day annoy me–though not nearly as much as the way she sounds as if she is breaking dishes rather than loading them into the dishwasher.

I walk with a quiet step–learned it in acting training years ago and never lost it. I put the dishes in the dishwasher or the cupboard deliberately, efficiently and often almost silently. Economy of movement equals quiet.

A ringing phone irritates me before I even know who’s calling.

My toddler’s cries are generally music to my ears, but there are times when her plaintive whining and screaming for cookies is a feeling akin to pain between my ears.

My wife and child have done nothing wrong, they are merely doing what comes naturally. It’s my unnatural sensitivity that is out of the ordinary. I have to deal with it.

Sensitivity to sound can also be a symptom of depression or anxiety, which I have lived with most of my life. Though not in a depressive mode now, I still lapse into severe sensitivity to sound several times a month. It makes me irritable and jumpy. Unsettled.

There’s really no cure for my issue with loud noise.  There are times–usually alone in my car–when I crank the stereo way up–so perhaps it is sound that is not created on my terms is the problem? Perhaps it is my lack of control over the sound? Ooph.

Right now, as I type this alone in my house I can hear the cars passing outside, a generator running across the street and a slight ringing in my ears.

It is not silence, but it is actually pleasant.

My Own Private Smoke Monster

May 24th, 2010

I read somewhere that depression was often a side effect of repressed anger.

I struggled for years to contain my anger. I was raised by generally decent people who–through indifference on one parent’s part and more than occasional cruelty on another’s–managed to produce a very depressed, angry and emotionally stunted child. That child was a target. He was sensitive and brutalized about his intelligence, appearance and future. No child should ever have to hear that their mother’s life would “have been so much better without you” or that they are “Stupid, stupid, stupid.” A father should never say “We never liked you that much.”

I survived it as best I could and the emotionally battered child is inside me now. I have forgiven my parents their failings. But the memories still linger, like tape recordings from a phone tap on my childhood. Those hideous tapes get played when things go south: a mean or unreasonable boss, liars, two-faced backbiters, people who try to take advantage of me, people I perceive as a threat to my family, etc.

You are stupid, stupid, stupid. The tape is played at half volume; just loud enough for me to hear.

The past is the past, but the echoes of that past are with me, despite therapy and the understanding that only the distance of years can provide.

I think that’s why often when I feel grievously wronged or on the defensive, I get physically sick. Not because I am frightened, mind you, but because I have swallowed something sickening.

I have swallowed platters of anger and a banquet of resentment. My guts roil not because I fear the people who wronged me, but what I would do to them if I ever vomited up that anger. Would I release a verbal torrent as deadly as the “smoke monster” on Lost? I say verbal because I’m basically pacifistic by nature. I wouldn’t harm anyone physically, though my inner smoke monster has been known to kick a trashcan or knock a few things over as it escaped the environs of my personality.

I have figuratively destroyed people in my past: unleashed a grotesque treatise on their every fault, flaw and lack of worth as I saw it. I’ve menaced those in business who have tried to screw with me–and some who have not. I’ve reduced friends and lovers to tears. I have wounded friends who to this day seem wary of my anger. It has cost me. I am my mother’s son.

In my heart, I’m defending myself. I’m protecting something– perhaps that little kid who got the short end of the stick from his parents.

By God, I couldn’t fight back then, but I will now and I will win.

I fear the sickening feeling. I fear the smoke. And fear is as bad as anger sometimes.

Now that I am a father, I am determined to keep this in check. I will win out over this. Therapy, yoga, whatever. I will channel this.

My kid will never smell the smoke.