Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Entitlement issues?

I happened to be there for a conversation between a deacon from one church and someone who had worked in the outreach program at another church that helped people with needs like rent and utility bills. Skilled in the art of standing up for myself, ... I kept my mouth mostly shut, because I wasn't up to hearing that the case I presented was the exception rather than the rule, that people with mental illness could handle doing such-and-such, etc. So instead, like all "good" bloggers, I'll just post my opinion on the internet.

Entitlement issues. How often have I heard that saying about "my" generation. And who would have the most annoying entitlement issues but the ones with the most obvious needs? Lets just take folks with mental illness. And over generalize, since the "other side" is overgeneralizing too.

So, do people with mental illness have entitlement issues? I mean, when they ask for help. I mean, more than a normal person. I mean, do these people have outstanding, unreasonable entitlement issues?

Well, you could stick all of us in locked hospitals, but that isn't advantageous either to those locked in nor to those who remain on the outside. For the outside, it is expensive. For the inside, it is... unpleasant, humiliating, exhausting, etc. So let's just agree that neither the complainers nor the "entitlement issues" people think hospitalization across the board is a good idea.

So let's get back to asking for help.

Some people with mental illness, especially when their illness is strong, would rather die than be a burden. But are they allowed? No. So what can/should they do instead? What if their mental illness is such that they can't work or can't work full time? Well, let's see. They could go to the government for help (and be seen as having entitlement issues). They could go to churches for help (and be seen as having entitlement issues). They could ask friends or family for help (and be seen as having entitlement issues).

What do the complainers (i.e. those who judge others to have entitlement issues) want? On the one hand, believing we have a right to food, a home, light, heat, medical care, etc., is considered an entitlement issue. But on the other, believing we don't deserve food, a home, light, heat, or medical care, etc., is considered either super spiritual or a symptom of a mental illness and generally an unhealthy outlook. I have found such a "non-entitled" viewpoint not conducive to life, that state which we are supposed to stay in.

So I tell myself that I am worthy of food, my own apartment (still not quite believing that one), light, heat, medical care, etc. That, in a sense, I deserve it based on my status as a human. Thus, I intentionally foster what might be construed as an entitlement issue. I will try to be polite about it.

But suppose I went to the one church for help. Let's say I was super depressed, hanging on by my fingernails, with plenty of anxiety for good measure. And let's say I worked up the incredible courage and humility to walk in and ask for help. And they said, "We love you, but this isn't our problem. THis is your problem, and you should have done something earlier." At this point, I'm ready to crawl beneath the earth (well, I already would be just with the depression and anxiety, but this would reinforce it). And they said, Well, we'll give you such-and-such money if you work so many volunteer hours and/or attend certain church sponsored meetings. So then, I suppose I'd be exhausted, further humiliated, ready to cry, shutting down communication. I say okay and speedily walk back to my car - the one I don't deserve to have and that I don't need since there is free public transportation, even if it is pretty scanty. Suppose I have myself a cry and go hide under my covers at home. Suppose a week later I get a final notice for my rent or utility bill or something. So desperation prompts me to call back. And they say, well, you have to go to two meetings and do some volunteer work, and then we'll give you money. And they feel bad, but they know they have to hold the line. Otherwise people like me would take advantage of them.

So there I would be, under my covers, unable to afford my life, seen as having entitlement issues, potentially wishing for death.

Yeah, we'd better worry about entitlement issues. Let's put that at the top of the list, over rent, utilities, medical bills, hey, even being able to afford medication.

Or what if we just talked about manners and phrased our requests politely. Which is hard to do the more often you have to request and the less often anyone responds.

Well, I'm glad that was a ficticious what if. It was rather depressing.

Now I'd better return to my factual life, the one that has a Human Anatomy Final tonight. The one I should study for before going back to work.

Monday, June 3, 2013

first day in my new classroom

Well, the first day teaching my new class in my new classroom has arrived. And I think it is going well. Not perfectly, but who would expect that? But well.

I felt relieved when I started in and knew what to do. Relieved that I did know what I was doing, that I did have experience, that I was going to do a good job.

I think I might be taking ibuprofen for a while though with headaches that might be stress related. But as long as they don't get too bad (hence, the ibuprofen), that will be okay, too.

I love working with little kids. Crazy as I may be for feeling that way, it is still true.

Well, on to homework while I'm on my lunch break. And then back to my new classroom to watch more kids and tape on name tags and all that good stuff.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

depression dip / performances

I'm dying to tell some one my secret; I'm playing at a talent show tonight, but I haven't picked out the second song I'm supposed to sing.

It didn't help that I'm having a depressed but busy day. Busy isn't even bad. It is the performing thing. I just finished my dance recital. I got compliments, but of course, in my depressed state of mind, the compliments felt empty. Eventually, enough people complimented me that I concluded I did a good job after all.

Then comes this talent show. Point blank, I'd rather hide in my house or my garden today. But no, I agreed to do this. So instead of being this great, joyous occasion where I can sing in front of people, it is an act of service. Seems mixed up. That's my depressed brain for you.

I think I got too tired. I blame Wednesday night for a lot of it. I fell asleep, but it was the partly-awake kind of sleep. So when I woke at 2:20, I had the brilliant idea of getting up and eating something. Sometimes (usually) doing that helps me fall all the way asleep. Instead I was awake until 4:20, at which point I realized that I forgot my Seroquel. No wonder my brain refused to stop.

Once I figured out that the problem was forgetting to take medication instead of the medication "failing" me, I felt better. But it still took an hour or so to fall back asleep after taking the forgotten Seroquel. So basically, it was a 4 hour of sleep night, with much of that time being not very restful sleep.

Thursday, I developed a pretty anxious view of my new job. I wasn't going to be good enough. I felt so incompetent. Then I slept that night. Friday, my outlook was oh, so much better. I'm excited to start my own class again. Basically, sleep is super duper important.

Then Saturday, I let myself sleep in. Good choice? Bad choice? Mediocre choice? What does it matter. Add in some hunger. And getting off a week learning my new job. And performances. And just my brain being depressed.

But it is just one day. The depression dip could go away tomorrow, or even tonight. So it is okay.