My Uncertain Future

Tomorrow I have to sit down for one of my first Centre Link appointments in years to have an interview where I’m supposed to tell one of their Customer Service Officers how they should help me prepare for work or as they say, ‘increase my participation in the community.’

My highly anxious mind instantly made the connection between this appointment and the budget changes happening in parliament. Yes, I would not have to be going through this if my government wasn’t working so hard to bleed this country dry of every dollar so they could just have some extra luxuries, but I also do want to get off the pension eventually and work a basic job and from there gain more independence. The problem is for this to happen I really need this Customer Service Officer to really listen to me and not just throw me into any volunteer position.

What is really holding me back from working or even volunteering is my fear of change that I’ve had my entire life, but also the PTSD anxiety added to this that triggers paranoid feelings about having to be outside alone for a length of time. I realised when I did all I could to avoid going to see a GP that this was the case. I would have had to walk there and unlike walking to Centre Link would not be walking on many populated streets. Yes, I walked to Centre Link a few days ago because of the profound anxiety about missing my appointment and having my pension cut off. Welcome to my nightmare that is generalised anxiety disorder.

So, even though I desperately want to get help for some very severe mental health issues my anxiety is so severe that it’s keeping me from getting that help. The problem is that people who know me know I have all these issues, especially the anxiety because I can’t always hold it in but they think I’m capable of getting that help on my own, so they don’t say much more than ‘I think you should get some help.’

Anxiety turns into depression pretty fast and since hearing this news from Centre Link I’ve been less able to see my depressive thoughts as something temporary. I believe them. When you believe thoughts that tell you you’re nothing, nobody likes you or people are manipulating you and that there’s no way out, you’re more likely to listen to that voice that says, ‘kill yourself.’ I’m more likely to listen to that voice than people telling me not to and rehashing the usual ‘you’re so brilliant,’ or ‘you have so much to live for.’ Well, I guess I can be brilliant when I have much to live for when I work for the dole even though I’m not even emotionally able to be able to. Let’s see what happens. I keep thinking that after my first meltdown that I’ll be institutionalized. My future is probably in an institution because it takes becoming that much worse for people to see that I can’t cope on my own. That I actually needed help for my mental health issues yesterday. And by yesterday I mean two years ago.

I know my wording in this post is a bit extreme and I don’t care. I’ve been dealing with on/off suicidal thoughts and feelings and haven’t been able to tell anyone, because it’s all the same bullshit. People want to talk and tell you how much of a good person you are. People are basically just using the same tricks they use in a regular social situation which I despise even when I’m not depressed. They’re just saying it to make you feel better. I care more about the truth.

It also angers me to be told everything is going to be ok by people who don’t have to deal with half as much of what I go through. Usually they’re not autistic, have ADHD or a mood disorder too. I look at them like average people, people who had to struggle like I do everyday. So, I see their empathy as fake…then again I don’t always feel empathy toward people so maybe I’m the one who’s doing something wrong here. That’s gonna be great for my depression.

Anyway, back to this Work For the Dole thing. I’m not going to allow it. By that I mean my anxiety won’t even allow it. I have panic attacks over having to go to an area I’ve never been to before. I’ve tried to get to music venues I’m too afraid to go to for that reason alone and I can’t do it. And I wanted to see those bands a hell of a lot more than I want to do volunteer work. If this is to be just like Bush’s ‘Work For Welfare,’ programs in America where they send you on a bus and get you to work two jobs then that’s even worse. Good luck to these people if they think I’m going to be able to manage my anxiety and depression.

It doesn’t really matter what anyone says. If people aren’t willing to get me the help I need for mental health issues and help me transition to change better as well as taking into account my executive dysfunctions (ADHD symptoms), hypoglycemia, possible epilepsy and my autistic eccentricities, then nothing will change for me and I’ll remain highly anxious, depressed and suicidal. Don’t even get me started on how after everyone gives me an order or suggestion I think they are trying to manipulate and control me. They may also affect my eligibility to get and keep a job.

As far as I can tell my life is already over. Just put me on medication and I might be ok. If not then I won’t allow my brain to be put under any more torture. Because that’s what anxiety and depression is – it’s torture to my mind. You really want to know why people commit suicide? It’s because they don’t want to be tortured any longer and that’s the quickest escape. And who the hell thinks about their family and loved ones when they are under extreme physical pain? The depression alone puts their mind in such a state that tells them those people would be better off without them. I’m usually angry at them. Angry for not feeling the emotions I feel, having the thoughts I have and not caring because they don’t know that’s the way I’m feeling. It’s hard to think about people missing you when you’re angry at them, and that anger turns to hate. That’s just the way it is.

For the past couple of days I’ve just felt hate toward people. I don’t feel like I deserve to even be liked by anyone. I look at what I struggle to do and know most people can do those things with ease. Then I look at my skills and think most people who do something similar can do it better or they get more recognition than I do. I don’t even want to be around happy cheerful people and I feel like burning my Facebook news feed.

However, I do have a mood disorder and that mood can turn into complete euphoria where for a short time I think everything is going to be ok and I show a lot more motivation and have so much energy. But it doesn’t last. The higher I go the harder I crash. I will also around this time think I don’t need treatment for my mental health issues. This is a good time for people to stop listening to me and take me to get the treatment I desperately need. Because I may in a couple of hours start having a more positive mood which will grow and grow until I am yet again in a complete fantasy land.

This is the best I can do. If it gets ignored or brushed aside as just something else I’m saying during another depressive episode that I’ll soon overcome and no longer feel this way about, then nothing will change and you’ll all be about as neglectful and dismissive as my psychiatrist. Because from tomorrow things are going to change for me and my more negative emotions have already adapted to that change by becoming worse because they have to prepare for what is to come.

You can say I’m being selfish and manipulative but I just want these feelings to end. I’m a very unwell person and I have no idea what to do about it.

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2 Comments

  1. Just tell them you cannot go out into public because it makes you extremely paranoid…and that you have suicidal tendencies when confronted with these type of situations…even start crying if you have to. I hate centrelink and all its bullshit….they are constantly sending me paper work asking what assets I have…so sick of them. I wish I have a villa in France but I have nothing….blah blah blah

  2. JudgeRoy –

    All the aspects of your debilities are so familiar to me, from my younger years, although I admit I was probably not quite as severely affected. And please don’t be offended by what follows – but to offer what I have learned. I’m going to quote parts of your blog in brackets and then comment on each part; if it doesn’t all fit at once, I’m going to keep commenting until it’s all up here.

    [Anxiety turns into depression… ]
    Absolutely. But you can head off depressive thoughts and so on, once you understand their nature and their “feet of clay” better.

    [… since hearing this news from Centre Link I’ve been less able to see my depressive thoughts as something temporary. I believe them.]
    That’s why you have to watch those thoughts – if you accept them for their feeling value, they will simply depress you. Moreover, if you’re anything like me, the depressive thoughts have an obsessive-compulsive sort of nature – they’re born out of a neurological defect, a compulsion to see only extremes (real or not) and only negative things. In order to cope with your personal issues, you will have to distance yourself from any negative feelings and thoughts and examine them in light with a kind of “devil’s advocate in reverse” frame of mind. Simple positivism is foolish, but a regard for facts that’s informed by personal positivism and a regard for your own life, that is a tool to counter-balance the habit of obsessive negativism that sabotages coping with your problems.

    [… When you believe thoughts that tell you “you’re nothing”, “nobody likes you” or “people are manipulating you” and that there’s no way out, you’re more likely to listen to that voice that says, ‘kill yourself.’ ]
    Absolutely. But a couple of points: (a) We don’t really want to kill ourselves; to say that you do is not a true remark – for, given the chance, we’d like to live. But to get that chance, we need to accept that we’ve got a neurological handicap and substitute coping with it in place of complaining about it. (b) you’re not “nothing”, plainly, since you feel despair and can cogitate about it; the judgment of being “nothing” comes from judging yourself with the eyes of the Performance World of neurotypicals and hotshots, where you’re comparing yourself to James Bond or something – and there, YOU’re manipulating yourself! (c) Given (a) above, resolve to see what the social and medical system can offer. A lot of it will be bullshit but don’t spit on help that is offered. Some particulars:
    1. Don’t despise drugs that may defang the neurological monster that keeps you down and anxious.
    2. Read up on the fallacies of thought and feeling that depressed people rehearse to themselves.
    3. Remember that – as pointless or crazy as the universe it – we were put here with a mandate of Living Our Lives, each his or her individual life, as best he can. If there is a point to life, it is to try to live, and beyond that to live as well as one can.
    4. Also, it helps to remember that there’s no such thing, in fact, as “normal” or “healthy” – those are generalizations about individuals, and do not take into account that all of us are dead meat from the day we’re born, that we’re all born without guarantees, and that each is irretrievably stuck with being ourselves.

    [… I’m more likely to listen to that voice [that says, ‘kill yourself’] than [to those] people telling me not to and rehashing the usual ‘you’re so brilliant,’ or ‘you have so much to live for.’]
    Absolutely – that’s our native tendency. But again, self-butchery and self-sabotage is not our proper path. Moreover, don’t automatically despise the fact that the neurotypicals are “trying to help” – you’re right, they have no clue, and they’re foolish in that sense – but to the extent that they’re NOT just being bullies and putting you down or beating you up, to that extent they are on your side and are potential resources or even potential friends. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face, so to speak.

    [… Well, I guess I can be brilliant when I have much to live for when I work for the dole even though I’m not even emotionally able to be able to. Let’s see what happens.]
    Don’t get caught in delusions of grandeur either. Accept that you function with a handicap, be a bit humble, and work from there. The back-and-forth of “I’m great, smarter and more real than THOSE people!” alternating with the “I’m doomed, I’m cursed, I’m ruined, it’s not fair!” is another fallacious mode of thought and feeling, one of the traps of “Either/Or” thinking. Look for the middle ground, the humble area of coping and making progress. Say, “I’m here, I have problems, but I need to use what’s available to cope with these problems in order to live my life.”

    [… I keep thinking that after my first meltdown that I’ll be institutionalized. My future is probably in an institution because it takes becoming that much worse for people to see that I can’t cope on my own.]
    This is fallacious and called “catastrophic thinking”, a habit of always looking for the worst in things. Sometimes this kind of hyper-criticality is useful where there’s some foolish golden bubble we need to pop, when we need a reality check, but a HABIT of such thought is a self-inflicted thought and feeling trap, one that is dictated by neurological problems and self-pity. Learn to notice when you’ve ‘catastrophized’ your perceptions and events, and let that be a trigger to look for the hopeful middle ground, for the fact that you can – if you will – cope with life. Also – if people cannot see that you can’t cope on your own, don’t stop yourself from trying to ENLIGHTEN them about the realities of your existence! Don’t wait for a disaster before you try to get help.

    [… I actually needed help for my mental health issues yesterday. And by yesterday I mean two years ago.]
    Again – use what’s available at this point. Talk to your doctor, see what he or she can offer; be patient and explain yourself to those non-understanding friends who want to “help you” – enlist them beyond their useless platitudes in material ways (to help you successfully get from home to the doctor, for instance); don’t despise the drugs that may give a leg up on your neurological handicaps; and so on. Use what’s available, and remember that – defective or not – you are SUPPOSED TO live as well as you can.

    [… I know my wording in this post is a bit extreme and I don’t care. I’ve been dealing with on/off suicidal thoughts and feelings and haven’t been able to tell anyone.]
    Tell someone. This is critical. Don’t let them simply interrupt you with their uncomprehending platitudes. Best of all, tell your doctor you’re having suidical thoughts because THAT may be the trigger for the medical system to actually start helping you. Again, use what’s available.
    Also: When I hear someone troubled say, “I don’t care!” I know from my own experience that he or she actually does care about himself, does want relief, and that he’s being dramatic to avoid being pathetic. Put all of that away, the fear of being looked down on, the chagrin of having been born odd; you are you, inescapably, an individual, with problems that you need help with – help from both others and especially from yourself.

    [… it’s all the same bullshit. People want to talk and tell you how much of a good person you are. People are basically just using the same tricks they use in a regular social situation which I despise even when I’m not depressed. … It also angers me to be told everything is going to be ok by people who don’t have to deal with half as much of what I go through. Usually they’re not autistic, have ADHD or a mood disorder too.]
    Two things:
    (a) You’re right, they are just using the coping tricks they know; they only understand very transient sorts of depression. But that does not make them your enemies – they are potentially friends and resources for you; and
    (b) don’t simply despise such talk – no, it’s not on target, it’s not useful, and it IS insulting – but NOT by design. Those remarks are a kind of “phatic communication”, a use of language not for information-sharing or for truth-finding or even for therapy, but for the natural purpose of recognizing another person and sharing friendly contact. Phatic Conversation = Small talk. It is a non-referential, “idle” use of language for sharing feelings or establishing a mood of sociability, rather than to communicate information or ideas. It makes use of ritualized formulas to prolong communication and enable two individuals to share feelings of mutual acceptance. While, from a certain point of view, Small Talk is bullshit, such a judgment is also a failure to see the social and non-informational purpose of these interactions – don’t despise them; understand what they are for.

    [… They’re just saying it to make you feel better. … So, I see their empathy as fake…]
    Yes, they’re saying it both to make themselves feel better (“We’re sympathetic and we’re helping!”) and to try (fallaciously) to make YOU feel better. No, it doesn’t work because they’re way too far off base; but remember that it is still a sign of friendship, and if the person will listen, you can try to explain to them why you’re NOT just transiently depressed but are, rather, having serious thoughts of suicide. Treat these people not as the ‘fools’ they may seem to you, but as possible allies and resources in your quest to cope better and stay alive. Their empathy is not so much fake as it is defective.

    [… I care more about the truth.]
    Truth, yes, but one can overdo it on “truth”. To relentlessly throw away your chances for help and friendship and so on is not a real dedication to truth – it is a sort of willful (and self-pitying) suicide, a maneuver to salve your hurt feelings by taking a dramatic moral stance. By killing yourself, you become the hero and the martyr and the people you envy become “the fools”. To obsessively prefer a pole of self-destructive “truth” to the mixed and less-than-perfect mishmash of possible help, coping, co-existence and various sorts of friendship is a fallacious and unwise stance.

    [… I don’t always feel empathy toward people so maybe I’m the one who’s doing something wrong here. That’s gonna be great for my depression. ]
    Two things:
    (a) To the extent you are not trying to use resources to help you cope and improve, to the extent you are being suicidal, then yes, you are doing something wrong. Understandable, but wrong.
    (b) The simple fact that you’re doing something wrong is not a big deal – we fuck up all the time; but if you realize that you may be hurting yourself with your compulsive negative feelings and thoughts, then you have made a discovery and in fact have done yourself (and to a very tiny extent, the world) a real favor. Looked at from that point of view, you should feel your depression lessen just a bit, instead!

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