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Thank you for your kind words. Hey, atleast if you're pestering me through my afterlife, I might have some company along the way! ;-)

Seriously though, I'm not far enough gone down the old depression plug-hole for suicide to be a viable 'option', so-to-speak. I have to be quite a bit worse for it to start to become a real day-by-day fight to not give in to that temptation. I've spent far too much of the past, eight years or more fighting against it and not always managing to resist that temptation, to not know the way depression and I interact... triggers, trips, situations to avoid, etc.

This is a bad time of year for me. To many things are tied up with the time around the equinox and samhain. Too many events have unfolded in that period, although many are simply consequence of one far more long-reaching and debilitating one with my sister dying in mid-october, 1995.

I struggled with my time at university because of depression, it took my six years to fight my way through to graduating in the end with honours, even if they were only the bottom end of 2nd class. Course, my grandad died in the January of my final year at Uni aswell, which screwed my up beyond belief and I basically ended up pretty-much giving up on getting any kind of degree at all. I did not complete my dissertation-type module, mostly 'cause I simply couldn't concentrate enough to write the required computer-code. Getting a 2:2 is a miracle really...

But even before Uni, this time of year was hard. My final year at school (for any Americans actually bother to read this, and who don't get the British school system, you can stay on at school at 16 for two years of Further Education doing more advanced subjects than for your standard highscool qualifications, or you can go to College to do the same), was *not* pleasant. I got myself into a real mess with all my subjects. From proposed grades of B's and A's in three subjects with a C in Art, I eventually finished up with a C and a D, having dropped Art and failed Maths with an 'N' grade. Alot of that went back to the beginning of that year and some more seriously screwy head-behaviour, plus falling out with a fairly large number of staff including the Head...

And now I'm stuck-in-a-rut... an ever-deepening rut. I'm about £13,000 in debt for the privelege of a degree that isn't helping me get a job.

Oh, incidentally, the last day I worked was 1st November, 2001.... something else from this time of year....

So I guess I'm basically saying that this is how I get sometimes because there's all this lovely crap that's gone before. When things are going well, I'm on-top of all of that stuff. I'm *reasonably* happy... well, I'm ok, anyway...

But I'm not OK atm. Far from it.

And things are definitely coming to a head.

The *wonderful* (note; that was sarcasm ;-) people at the JobCentre have this *lovely* thing called the New Deal For Over 25s. What it basically means is:

"You're shit, so we're gonna make you take the crappy jobs no-one else wants. We will tell you what interviews you are going to, and if you refuse, we will take away your benefits because you obviously don't want a job."

I have an interview-thing, a week on friday, which will put me on this New Deal.

Now, lets think about this one for a second... I have "computer skills" and I can read. And there are *always* lots of data input jobs in the JobCentre listings. So I think there's a *very* good chance I'll end up with those kinds of jobs. Now lets think about this a little more.... I'm (allegedly) intelligent... if I'm being rational, I'd probably concede that one... so data input is not exactly going to be taxing. So while I'm working, I'll have plenty of time to think about other stuff. "So think about escaping and getting a better job!"...? I'd like to be able to say I could, but that isn't how my head works. When I'm not doing well, like at the moment, free thinking time drifts into Bad Thoughts. And Bad Thoughts lead to me being in less of a good state than I was before.... which leads to more Bad Thoughts, which leads to a nice destabalising spiral, which leads to me waking up in an ICU on machines and stuff... or, well, not waking up. Although obviously that's not happened yet.

But even before we get to me being in a crap job, we have the lovely prospect of the interview.

After the last interview I had with the JobCentre, if there had been a vehicle coming down the road that place is on, I would have been under it.

The guy basically spent the entire interview, and I'm sure this is what he was *trying* to do, anyway, *trying* to make me more determined in my job search. Unfortunately, his tactic was to take every aspect of my life that I mentioned and to attack it. He attacked me because I went to my parents for help, he attacked me because I was living off my parents because I had no income (and no benefit I hasten to add due to the shitty system), he spent half an hour tearing my self-respect (and I don't exactly have a lot of this to start with) to pieces.

His main themes were "if you had a job, no matter *what* the job, you would feel better", "don't you feel utterly worthless still living off your parents at 25" and "nobody *likes* their job; you don't *have* to like it, you do your job and your life is better for it".

You get the picture.

To my assertion that I did not wish to risk jeopardising my health and life for "just any job", his response was "you'll feel better when you're working".

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure data inputters perform a valuable service. I know they do. I just don't think I'm *up* to surviving sitting for 8 hours a day putting stuff into a computer system.

And of course, the JobCentre in Bristol is on a relatively quiet street. The one in Leeds is very close to some *very* busy roads, including New York Road, which is supposed to be a 40mph road, but since it's an 'urban motorway', gets driven far faster than that...

Oh, and I will have to drive back from Leeds... and there's this wonderfully nice bit of road where you can *easily* hit 100mph, and there's a roundabout at the end of it, which I seem to remember has nice solid concrete barriers blocking access to the roads slipping off of it... I'm quite sure I can get the car onto the roundabout doing 60 and under control; there's both a steep hill at the approach, and quite a tight neck of the road into the roundabout... But still, I'd be heading straight at the concrete at 60... less than 10 minutes after I leave the interview.

The last one, I had to walk for that long to get back to my car. This time I can already be dead, or atleast dying.

It's also quite a quiet road by that time of day... 9:30/10am in the morning, there are very few people around, so if I *am* dying, I'm not exactly likely to get found and hospitalised.

Ask me if I'm scared of my head.... Terrified.

Ask me if I'm scared of my depression... More scared than I am of my head.

I have another week and a half or so to live with this. It's not going to get better, I'm sure of that.

In the meantime, I have job applications to do; 5 of them atm that I'll get posted tomorrow, and a couple of things I'm waiting to hear about interviews for.

But the clock is ticking. And i'm peternaturally aware of it.

Suicide is not something I'm *planning*. It's something that I usually avoid the possibility of by staying out of the situations I can see coming.

This interview is a bit like a brick wall across a motorway.... I hope I miss it, but there's not a lot of hope of that... I'm just hoping I'll survive the impact.

Comments

( 2 Mobwebs — Spin A Cobweb )
airneail
7th Sep, 2003 14:23 (UTC)
This is probably a crap question, but what, if any, depression meds are you on, or have been on in the past?

This is what I'm seeing: very classical chemical depression triggered by a set of very unfortunate life events.

I've been to a JobCentre loads of times now. It's awful the way they try and paint it so goddamn cheerfully. Gabe was on the Dole for ages and I went to his appointments with him. They could never find him anything in Aberdeen.. and the only one close to his house in Langholm is in Annan..which is ages away by bus.

No matter what, data entry is 10x better than working in the fruit dept at Sainbury's or something similar. And I know that the idea of going is horrible.. but after the first two weeks, it may become so routine that you don't think about it.

As for your loans, since you make under 16,000..you don't have to pay them, right? That's what Gabe's are like anyway...

*worried*
littlemissgoth
7th Sep, 2003 15:05 (UTC)
I'm of a/ds, and have been for about two years... ever since I got out of the end of my degree... one of the few things I have to show for that time.

The meds never really helped... they just numb me to stuff, the good as well as the bad... i hated being on them. And when I came off them, i just got un-numb... not really any better... they were only ever breathing space... so i made a vow to myself that i would not go back on them unless things were dire indeed.

And while I sound like i'm about to throw myself from the nearest cliff (that's about 50 miles or more btw... scarborough i believe) I'm not actually in the state-of-mind that I'm going to.

The closest thing I've ever come to a pre-planned attempt is thinking as I get stuff together what i'm going to need. I don't lie awake at night planning every tiny detail of my next attempt... the lie-awake-dream-up scenarios tend to be too grandiose to be truly made... requiring lots of specifics... in a way they're kind of fun... macabre, but then...

For example;

Take one railway track, one that has high-speed trains that use overhead electric cables, find a bridge that goes over one, that you can tie a rope to, tie the rope to it, and tie a noose at the other end... time it so that you jump, glance off the electric cable, so arcing the current, hit the bottom of the front of the train, so as to go under the wheels, rather than just get bounced over the top... it's *very* involved and complex... and the accurac of timing would be near-impossible... it's more a technical exercise in how completely can you kill yourself, than a design-a-death thing.... it was also entirely impossible where i was living when i dreamed it up, as we didn't have overhead electric trains down in bristol... we *do* in leeds...

Generally I hover on the verge of doing stuff, just shy of the line, and it takes a *LOT* to push me onto or over the line... and then an attempt will probably happen if there's any way I can think up on the spur of that particular moment. If there isn't, the moment passes and I'm back on the 'safe' side of the line...

I'm quite good at controlling my thoughts and actions when normal stuff happens; hence the avoision of certain places, situations and scenarios... it's the unexpected or the out-of-the-ordinary that throws me into serious trouble.

Oh, with regards to the debts.... If I'm remembering this right, the figures run as being 85% of the national average income being the threshold figure for repayments to the evil-SLC... and I *believe* this comes out as about 19,500*ish* gross annually, or 1650 pre-tax/NI/etc a month (1648 sounds familiar as being more exact...). The I have about 12000 on that (a *bit* less..), plus 1250 overdraft which I'm being charged £10/month on... so I need to try and reduce that... I'm not so worried about the being-in-debt-ness... as to the way it's going up constantly... if I have to do L'Emploi Mediocre for a year, getting back into IT becomes a lot harder, and the debt goes up by 2.8%... and when I *do* get a job, my repayments will be 225/month... so even if I get a 19,500 job, my effective salary gets taxed at 22% and NI'd aswell, and then dropped by 2700... and the expected repaymments obviously increase every year in-line with the interest....

Basically I have way too much thinking time and, as you can possibly see, there's this masochistic-obsessive that is *far* too capable with sums sitting in my head working out this stuff... along with the doom-sayer, the fear-monger and then there's me in the middle falling to pieces.

I'm surprisingly resilient, most of the time. The rest of the time, i'm just, well, struggling on I guess.

Please don't worry
( 2 Mobwebs — Spin A Cobweb )