Monday, May 14, 2012

Stir Crazy


My daily routine has been the same for over a year now; I roll out of bed around at 7am, huff a cigarette, brew coffee, and spend hours upon hours job searching, applying, writing, submitting stories and queries, drawing, reading, pacing, babbling at my guinea pig as music plays on my dying computer, do some yard work, wash dishes, or cook, if only to keep my mind occupied. Around 4 or 5 I turn to video games/television for the evening, then attempt sleep between 11 and 3.

I sometimes think things are going to change. I press send on a short story submission, novel query, or job application, and assure myself, "This is it. This will get things rolling." More often than not I am hopeful, confident in the few skills I have and dreaming of where they might one day take me.

After my interview with Walmart, I was convinced my return to full-time employment was imminent and that I'd soon be living on my own again...something I've craved since my humiliating return from Denver. However, Walmart was not interested in hiring a college graduate, which was evident when the woman repeatedly asked, "Are you sure this is the right job for you?"

Yet sometimes, I'm not hopeful. Sometimes, I sink low to the ground, claw out a hole, and slip inside. I cover myself in dirt and beg the universe to play whack-a-mole on my skull with a pickaxe. It's not a place I want to be, yet it's a place I often find myself when left alone with doubt, and every time I drag myself down, I stay a little bit longer. I start to believe there's no escape.

My depression, not unlike other's, stems from an overwhelming sense of failure that I habitually list in my head and scrutinize. I can admit that not everything on my list is real; some are a fabrication of my mind from tainted perception, but I'm often incapable of differentiating truth from fiction within my own memories. While some people live with rosy-colored glasses mine are murky, and if I wasn't so stubborn, I would have offed myself long ago.

Rejection is a challenge flag, not a deterrent. It's a test of one's resolve, a way to root out the weak and craven. To prove one's worth, we must sweat and bleed, we must endure ridicule and pain and keep swinging till the lights go out forever--even if our stories end in tragedy.

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