Mental Illness Is Tough

I suffer from autism, anxiety, and depression and things are really tough right now. I feel as if the best of all of my years are well behind me and I feel as if I have nothing more to look forward to than a bleak, thankless existence. I feel as if I am a lemon, simply like a car that was never manufactured incorrectly and just continues to break down. I am taking my medications but they just are not working and I am back to not sleeping well again. I know my head is just barely above water and close to clinical depression. I have been teetering on it for quite some time now but I manage to fight it off just as it gets close. Why is getting mental healthcare so difficult? Why do my medications, which have been on the market for a very long time, cost so much even in generic form? Why does life have to be so difficult?

I keep telling myself that I am not the only one and that more people are suffering now than have been for quite a long time yet this is of no comfort. I guess having empathy and compassion is the double-edged sword because it just makes me feel worse for the wear knowing that I am not alone. Things got so bad that on Friday night, they permeated my dreams. I had a dream that I made my mom so sick with worry that she had a heart attack. I realize that these are just my own ruminations but the dream was so horrible that I had no desire to go back to sleep. The dream jarred me awake at 4:00AM yesterday and I had no desire to go back to sleep. The dream was that vivid.

Last night’s dream was kind of bad too, but certainly not to the extent of me dreaming about someone near and dear to me having a heart attack and it being my fault. Instead it was a recurring dream that I have about transferring from Dickinson College to West Chester University. I guess my subconscious still blames me for not being able to handle the heavy study workloads of Dickinson. It’s strange how the mentally ill mind works because I honestly had forgiven myself a long time ago and ceased to assign blame for my problems at Dickinson. I did the absolute best that I could muster and I do not see myself as making any mistakes. Yet my diseased mind sees everything as failure. And even the small part of me still felt that way because I had no desire to go to my college graduation. Instead I got the diploma in the mail. I did not see it as an achievement.

In fact, in the intervening years since graduating college, I feel as if I have achieved nothing and have only spun my wheels. I never made the transition to adulthood very well and struggle greatly with self-care. Added to this struggle is the persistent mental illness which makes some of the smallest tasks feel like it would be asking the mountain to come to Mohammad. Tomorrow I have two job interviews: both for security guard positions and the prospect feels awful. There is a nice side to security in that it is a simple job, but in reality, it is so simple as to bring on depression. A mind is supposed to be used and used gainfully; starved of this biological necessity, the mind becomes unhealthy. And I am predisposed to the unhealthy mind.

I often wonder what I will do in my old age. My brother and I helped a friend of the family move their mother-in-law into a residential assisted living community that costs 4300.00 per month. They can afford that because they’re of the successful baby boomer generation. What of the folks like me that face a much worse fate? I guess maybe it will be serious illness that will kill me because I will not be able to afford care in my old age. It is a lot like feeling like being a dead man walking.

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