The Pit of Sparta. (a.k.a. anxiety)

I’ve been waking up earlier than usual this week, usually to weird dreams. It freaked me out a bit. So last night, I made sure to sleep in a bit later than I have been, and this morning, I was woken up by my 7 am alarm. I have yet to figure out which I prefer.

I had 1/3 of my meds left, and I decided not to take it today, just to see how I can function without any of them. Probably wasn’t a good idea, but we couldn’t afford to buy my missing ones, so I experimented while I had the chance. I also had breakfast from a skeevy place I might stop buying food from, because they have some questionable hygiene. I’m not too picky when it comes to food–I’m Filipino, I live for street food–but this is a stationary 24-hour place. For my own sake, I’ll be staying away from it.

I’ve been officially unemployed for almost two months now. Looking for a job really is as hard as everyone says it is. Especially a job you want. More particularly, for myself, a simple enough job that isn’t too technical, but also not mind-numbing. I’m happy to work in a coffee shop or a library, to be honest. However, considering I did study four years in college, I’m aiming for a writing job. Not research or journalistic, because I can’t be bothered to concentrate too hard on anything, so I want somewhere along the lines of editing, copywriting, and proofreading. I’m meticulous and skilled enough anyway. Now what am I saying this for here, is this a job application?

I’m a bit lost, see. Today, I sent in two applications for a company hiring for two different writing positions. I hope to hear from them soon, because I would like to start working again. However, that would mean I have less time to write for myself, and less time to recover from my bout of illness. But I’m also sick of being sick. I want to be a functional human being, a legitimate member of society, which is why I started this blog in the first place. Even though I’m recovering, I need to do something productive with my time.

Some people continue/go back to school to pursue their degrees. We can’t afford to pay for the school nor the fields I’d like to pursue, though, so I’ve resorted to online courses. I might prefer them anyway, because it gives me free reign in terms of my time, attention, and effort. Right now, I’m enrolled in a Digital Photography course. In the introduction module, the professor mentioned it is an expensive hobby. Which isn’t? Nowadays, education is mandatory if you want a proper job, but also fucking expensive. So do you pursue what you love, or what you will survive? Frankly, I am a believer of the former. But doing what you love is usually a futile pursuit. You either end up hating it, after realizing it’s still a job, or you won’t end up with it at all.

In fairness, I don’t exactly know what I want. Topics such as goals and aspirations lead me to thinking I might be bipolar or have ADHD (I don’t even want to actually find out, cos if I do have them, it just means more meds we can’t afford). I’m good at writing. I don’t want to be a journalist. I don’t want to be a researcher. I could try being a freelance writer, but it’s much too unstable. So instead of the uncertainty, I’ll throw my resume into the void and see who picks it up. But then I still have a problem…

Before I get into it, I have another story to tell. I’ve previously mentioned that my parents don’t fully understand or acknowledge my… anxiety and depression. Nor do I really want to break it to them. As close as we believe we are, there are still things we don’t talk about. Sad, really. As much as I will gladly take a job, that’s the attitude I had with my first and previous one. It wasn’t difficult, but it was challenging. I could do it quite well, as praised by my supervisors, and I was content with it. However, and everyone in the Customer Service Industry knows this, it is highly unstable. That’s why BPO companies are always hiring, because to them, employees are expendable. They offer good pay and benefits to attract you to their company, but won’t necessarily keep you if their relationship with their clients don’t hold up. Along with that, everyday I would go to and from work, and a prominent part of the back of my mind would ask me, “is this really what I’m doing with my life?” And that was what threw me off. It wasn’t the customers, it wasn’t my co-workers, it wasn’t the work. It was the thought that my mom worked for the government for all my life, which is also her adult life, and I extremely doubt that she is happy. She’s a very hard-worker, determined and motivated. But I spend far too much time, than I care to admit, feeling guilty about the life I kept her from living, by existing.

I don’t consciously try to, but I don’t really want to end up where my parents did. Not to say that they aren’t happy, but they definitely don’t have plenty of the things they wanted, needed, and most importantly, deserved. They are far from the people they envisioned they’d be, I’m sure. And that idea terrifies me. Because I have, not really a picture, but an expectation as to what I will do and accomplish in my life, and I don’t want it to remain in my mind. I want to work toward it, because why do people ever bother doing anything? If at the end of the day, we don’t actually get where we want to be, why do we bother aspiring to anything?

Seems very cynical, I know, but why do you think I’m thecynicalnerd? These are the thoughts that linger prominently in the back of my mind, and there I hope they remain, if not disappear altogether, because as I’ve already mentioned, I want to be a functional human being, a legitimate member of society. If I ever hope to achieve at least that, I need to maintain this facade of togetherness, especially to my parents. They are the only people whose opinions I value.

So after that long narration, I think I’ve even explained the root of my problem, which is my anxiety. I’ve experienced sitting down and feeling this pit similar to that of the one into where Gerard Butler kicks this Persian Ambassador when the latter forced him to kneel to Xerxes.

The second-to-the-worst one I had was sitting on my station, waiting to get a call early in the morning shift. I breathing faster than usual, my hands colder than they should be, despite the air-conditioning messing with me anyway, and I just chalked it up to nerves. After all, I’m pretty introverted, and it’s always a tad scary to receive your first call of the day, hoping it doesn’t come any time soon. But it got so bad, I had to start calming myself down, subtly enough that no one notices my strange behavior, but also quickly enough that I don’t get a call to my shaking voice. To top it all off, it seemed like my chest simply refused to get any air in. Soon enough, I calmed down. I think it took less than 30 minutes, and thankfully I didn’t get a call. But after I did, it was as if nothing happened, and the rest of the day went by as naturally as it could. So I convinced myself it really was just nerves.

Another instance after this was of me and dad walking to my building early in the morning. Either of ,my parents took me to work, because it was still dark when I left the house, and it was dangerous to travel alone if you’re a woman. Enough said. Throughout the bus ride, I was feeling the Spartan pit again, and I tried calming myself down, still convinced it was nerves, ridiculous nerves. So as dad and I walked, I jokingly said, “I wanna go home,” and he shrugged it off as he usually does, but endearingly, thinking I was just being lazy. We got closer and I repeated, “I seriously wanna go home.” He probably got the point and just said, “well, we’re already here. It’ll be over before you know it, and you can just come home as soon as you can.” I consider this the third-to-the-worst.

The worst one was when I had taken a week off of work because I’d gotten sick. This was at the start of my absence at work. Instead of dad, it was mom to take me to work. So in this instance, I already have a shortness of breath, but I was determined to power through it. Anyway, I planned on going to the infirmary and asking for a recommendation of leave because I really could not handle calls. But as we progressed through the commute, I got even more breathless than usual. I chalked it up to being in a bus again after spending a week at home. I really did try to stop being fucking useless. As we walked closer to my building, I was in tears, just wanting it to stop, especially because I didn’t know how to tell my mom I wanted to go home. I was a 20-year-old, for goodness’ sake. She told me to calm down, just relax. to not stress myself out. Very much easier said than done.

Knowing that was how low I’d gotten, and seeing how I am now, I feel confident that I’m heading in the right direction. But that just terrifies me more, knowing that I can’t stay here. Hopefully I can figure it out sooner, rather than later. Wish me luck.

PS: this was longer than usual, and I hope you lasted through my ramblings. See you on Sunday. I’ll try to make it shorter then. Thanks again, and good luck to you, too 🙂


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