I’m trying to feel good about the bad, and I’m trying to keep myself up. This is the hardest part: trying to see your difficulty and your terror as a blessing, something to feel good about. I don’t feel good about where I am, but I’m trying to, because accepting my life in this moment is the only way that I’ll pass through this moment. This is the hardest part.
It’s so easy for people to say, “stop feeling depressed” and “you’re exaggerating” and “it’s not the end of the world” and etc., because according to people, you can stop feeling depressed and you are exaggerating and it is not the end of the world. & these people are wrong, they are so wrong.
The so-called ‘psychotically depressed’ person who tries to kill herself doesn’t do so out of quote ‘hopelessness’ or any abstract conviction that life’s assets and debits do not square. And surely not because death seems suddenly appealing. The person in whom Its invisible agony reaches a certain unendurable level will kill herself the same way a trapped person will eventually jump from the window of a burning high-rise. Make no mistake about people who leap from burning windows. Their terror of falling from a great height is still just as great as it would be for you or me standing speculatively at the same window just checking out the view; i.e. the fear of falling remains a constant. The variable here is the other terror, the fire’s flames: when the flames get close enough, falling to death becomes the slightly less terrible of two terrors. It’s not desiring the fall; it’s terror of the flames. And yet nobody down on the sidewalk, looking up and yelling ‘Don’t!’ and ‘Hang on!’, can understand the jump. Not really. You’d have to have personally been trapped and felt flames to really understand a terror way beyond falling.
In one week, I will have been jobless for two months. In August, I will have to start paying off my Sallie Mae loan; my current HESAA loan payment per month is $220, and my Sallie Mae loan payment per month will be $330, bringing my total loan payments per month, beginning in August, to $550. In one week, I will have been jobless for two months.
This is difficult for me. I am registered with three different temp agencies, and I am not getting asked to work as a temp. I spend my evenings looking for and applying for jobs; in a good week, I’ll apply for about 40 jobs. I am struggling, and people tell me something will come along, something will come along, but nothing is coming along; I’m looking like my job is looking, and there is nothing, and I don’t have the luxury of sitting here and waiting for something to come along.
And working retail again would kill me. After quitting my job at Goodwill because of the poor management, working retail again would kill me. Working at Goodwill, I earned $350 every two weeks, if I worked 40 hours every week and didn’t miss one day of work. That’s $700 every month. I was earning $8.50 per hour, after New Jersey increased the minimum wage, and before New Jersey increased the minimum wage, I was earning $8.00 per hour. Can I live on $700 per month? That’s $8,400 per year. Taxes and everything out of the equation, can I live on $8,400 per year? After paying $550 per month to HESAA and to Sallie Mae, I’m left with $150, and can I live on that? Can I afford food, gas, housing? Insurance? Credit card bills? I can’t. I really, really can’t.
I keep dreaming about saving my money and moving out of my parents’ house, affording a rent payment, going on vacation, getting a new tattoo, not living paycheck to paycheck, paying off my loans. I am terrified. And when people tell me, “you’re not looking hard enough, you’re not trying hard enough,” I have nothing to say. There is nothing to say. I nod my head and my mouth bleeds a little.