Risking Vulnerability

tl;dr: I have mental illnesses and they have gotten to a point where I cannot hold a traditional job, but I still have things I need to take care of. I am willing to work in exchange for assistance, such as flexible telecommute or writing commissions. This terrifies me and I’m so scared of becoming a failure, but I literally cannot force getting better. So please, any help would be appreciated. A lot of you have ways of contacting me, or you can email me at createamelody@gmail.com and I will be more than happy to work with you. I’m also happy to answer most questions, but reserve the right to decline answering ones that would be difficult or triggering for me.
So some of you may know that I suffer from mental illness. I am currently going through treatment for it, going to therapy twice a week and on low dose medication. But it is extremely challenging and has become so large that it has essentially taken over my life.For reasons I am not comfortable talking about at this time, I have been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD),  and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). My depression has been diagnosed as moderate, my anxiety and CPTSD as severe.

These illnesses have gotten to a point where I cannot keep up with things I used to be able to do. I can’t imagine going to school like this, let alone holding a job. This is terrifying, because I have financial obligations that I still need to meet somehow. Luckily, I have my husband who is supporting me through all of this, but there’s only so much he can do.

To be clear, this is not me trying to get out of work. I am perfectly willing to work and on some days, I am perfectly able. But my mind is literally disabled and there are some days where I can barely keep myself fed and safe, so forget adult responsibilities. If I could do something here and there, the way that artists do commissions, or even work telecommute where they would understand for days that I wouldn’t be able to work, I could do that. But a traditional job that requires you to be there everyday? My illnesses make that virtually impossible.

I am more than happy to discuss how these illnesses manifest in my everyday life and what they look like to an outside observer. I think there definitely needs to be more awareness of mental illness and the effect it has on many people.

For those who are somewhat skeptical, research has found that the brains of those with mental illness are literally wired differently than those who do not have it. Below I have attached some images to show the difference.

 

A depressed brain does not work at the same level as a normal brain. Much of it doesn’t show activity at all, making everyday tasks impossible.

With PTSD, fear centers and things similar are lit up much more than those without.

I know this is a long post, so I’m going to put this here instead of at the bottom. I need help. Whether it be in emotional support or otherwise, I need help. I don’t want to ask for handouts, I am willing to work for them. I’ve got a degree in Communications, I’ve written in various forms, I’ve been doing NaNoWriMo and I even used to work for a paper. I will work in exchange for assistance, I am just not able to work in the same way that others can. You can look at my portfolio to see what I’m capable of here: http://melodysrv.wordpress.com

I am so scared that I will become a failure, that this will ruin my life, that people will now and forever see me differently as someone who is lazy, who is making all of this up, someone who just doesn’t want to work. That is not true, I have tried working and it triggered me so badly that I ended up in the hospital.

Again, I do NOT want to just ask for handouts. I need help, but there are things I can do in exchange for assistance. You can message me here or email me at createamelody@gmail.com and we will set something up.

I know that some of you may be familiar and even struggle with these illnesses, but for those who haven’t I am going to do my best to break it down for you. Hopefully it’ll help you understand why working a traditional job is impossible.

tl;dr of illnesses: No interest in life, extreme low self image, crippling flashbacks, panic attacks and inability to just push through it due to physical responses to mental stimuli

Major depression,—severe symptoms that interfere with your ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy life. An episode can occur only once in a person’s lifetime, but more often, a person has several episodes.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Irritability, restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating, or appetite loss
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.

Let me remind you that these symptoms are so severe that they literally make you unable to keep up with everyday life. It’s not just a bit of sadness, it’s feeling it so intensely that you are unable to feel anything else.

Social Anxiety Disorder

It’s the extreme fear of being scrutinized and judged by others in social or performance situations: Social anxiety disorder can wreak havoc on the lives of those who suffer from it.

Physical symptoms of social anxiety disorder may include blushing, profuse sweating, trembling, nausea or other abdominal distress, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, dizziness or lightheadedness, headaches, and feelings of detachment and loss of self-control.

Everyone can relate to feeling anxious before giving a presentation or asking someone out on a date.

But those with social anxiety disorder experience an intense fear of being scrutinized and negatively evaluated by others in social or performance situations. Some literally feel sick from fear in seemingly nonthreatening situations.

CPTSD

People who suffer from C-PTSD may feel un-centered and shaky, as if they are likely to have an embarrassing emotional breakdown or burst into tears at any moment. They may feel unloved – or that nothing they can accomplish is ever going to be “good enough” for others.

People who suffer from C-PTSD may feel compelled to get away from others and be by themselves, so that no-one will witness what may come next. They may feel afraid to form close friendships to prevent possible loss should another catastrophe strike.

People who suffer from C-PTSD may feel that everything is just about to go “out the window” and that they will not be able to handle even the simplest task. They may be too distracted by what is going on at home to focus on being successful at school or in the workplace.

How it can manifest in the victim(s) over time:

Rage turned inward: Eating disorders. Depression. Substance Abuse / Alcoholism. Truancy. Dropping out. Promiscuity. Co-dependence. Doormat syndrome (choosing poor partners, trying to please someone who can never be pleased, trying to resolve the primal relationship)

Avoiding others, BlamingCatastrophizingDenial ,DependencyEscape To Fantasy ,Fear of AbandonmentHyper VigilanceIdentity DisturbanceLow Self-EsteemPanic AttacksSelective Memory and Selective AmnesiaSelf-LoathingTunnel Vision

Please remember that I am doing everything I can to get to a better situation. I’m seeking help, I’m trying to find alternate ways of making a living. You can think of it like a disability, my disability makes it nearly impossible for me to live a “normal” life. But I’m doing the best I can with what I’ve got. This is just one of those times where I have to admit that I’m in over my head.

Sources:

http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml

http://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/social-anxiety-disorder

http://outofthefog.net/CommonNonBehaviors/CPTSD.html

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