Unfortunately during my last bad anxiety week also happened to be a deadline week. I accidentally quit my job. And by accidentally quit my job I mean almost as soon as I had my head on straight I realized not communicating with my boss and having my contract severed was not a good thing. In addition to creating a situation I’m going to have to make the best of through some creative self-publishing probably it also got me thinking about the stigma regarding mental illness, more so than usual.
I try very hard to not think of myself as a victim of mental illness, that it’s something I can work with. Anxiety isn’t something that’s ever going to go away for me. There are times where going out and spending all day in a coffee shop or thinking of actually doing something about the many ways the local library has failed me isn’t that bad but there are also times where the thought of going to the grocery store is enough to make me go back to bed. Too many people, too much noise, too much interaction.
Working freelance doesn’t exempt me from the decision of whether or not to disclose my illness to my boss. How do you say hey I might need to ask for an extension on this three days before its due because I may not be able to get out of bed? Also I’ll probably too scared of you to ask you. Trying to explain mental illness to someone who has never experienced it is like trying to teach a cat to swim. It can be done but it’s going to take a certain amount of stubbornness and a willingness to learn. Most people don’t have the luxury of knowing that if they do choose to share that and they get fired there’s another job around the corner.
Sometimes I feel guilty writing, like I don’t deserve to enjoy to what I do. A lot of the time focusing on one project for an hour is a major accomplishment. My day in and day out is coping with just a hint of starting to learn how to thrive. It’s a hell of a lot better than it was a year ago. Daily life is exhausting sometimes and working is more so, but I can work most days. I have a hard time stopping sometimes. I’m looking for a new gig, hopefully one that’s more short term so I don’t have to worry about this happening again anytime soon. In the meantime I’m going to take the opportunity to work on my own fiction and figure out a way to balance my life better.