Friday, July 22, 2011

Good News!

It took a couple of days, but I was able to get by the hospital last week looking for help.  Under the auspices of the Florida Mental Health Act, I was able to get myself a 72-hour stay in a very friendly facility.  I went in as a suicidal, depressed person, but came out much feeling much healthier.  I mentioned during my intake interview that I have gender identity issues, and those came to the fore during my visit to the psychiatrist and my follow-up meetings with various counselors.  I told them that I'm not sure where I fit on the transgender spectrum, and they all said that I deserve to find that out, and explore my options.  My visit to the psychiatrist also yielded a couple of prescriptions for antidepressants.  I've only been taking them for a week, but I'm sleeping better, and I've lost a lot of the anxiety that plagued my day to day life.  I have my first appointment with one of the counselors outside in August.

On an even more positive note, I finally got a job.  I went to an interview on Wednesday at the local franchise of a hotel chain I've worked for before.  I originally applied for a job there in March, but the position had been filled.  They have a slot opening up next week, and they had retained my resume from the last time.  The interview was the best of all the ones I've had, and I left feeling very good about my chances.  Apparently I transposed the numbers from my phone, because they've been trying to call me since then, and the call wasn't going through.  I got an email this morning, and they'd like me to start training next Tuesday.

Another positive development is that I've got a more permanent place to live, starting in a couple of weeks.  My sister will be able to move into her new house after the beginning of August.  The property includes a small guesthouse similar to where I moved into in December last year.  That building was originally earmarked for another person, but he is no longer a part of their considerations, so it was offered to me.  I'll be able to get into the house for meals and bathing, but I'll have my own place to sleep, watch TV and surf the net.  Going back to work, I'll be able to fix my 360, and Xbox Live will follow soon after.

It's taken me a while, but life is slowly coming back together for me.  I look to the future with a sense of hope.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Taking a Little Vacation

The last few weeks have been rough.  When I last wrote, I was preparing to move out of my sister's house.  Or at least, I was preparing for my sister to move out of her house.  We spent a lot of days in June breaking down the house, packing things into boxes and readying other items for sale.  We started having a yard sale on the weekends, to raise money until my sister got the money she was waiting for.  We sold a lot that first week: an LCD television, two bed sets, a DVD player and most of the major kitchen appliances.  Yeah, they sold the refrigerator and the microwave on the first day of the sale, some three weeks before the scheduled move.

Two days after my last posts, the City of Tallahassee shut off the electricity.  My sister had just acquired thousands of dollars from various relatives, but she didn't use it to pay the light bill.  Those last six days and nights at the old house were hellish.  We'd work from sunrise to sunset doing whatever needed to be done, then it we'd sit in the house and read by candlelight.  I was already depressed, but losing electricity meant losing access to the internet, too, and my circle of friends shrunk from dozens to a mere handful.  Connected to the world by the web, I have many friends, scattered across six of the seven continents.  Without the web, I can count my friends on the fingers of one hand.

If you'll recall, I was waiting for an opportunity to move in with the gentleman I met through the Tallahassee Atheists group.  It was a tidy little setup.  He was offering me room and board in exchange for keeping up the yard around his house.  Do you remember that I thought the offer was too good to be true?  A couple of days into that last week, I called my friend to let him know that the move was taking longer than I'd thought.  I had been told that we'd be getting a moving truck on Monday of that week.  As it happened, we didn't get it until midday on Thursday.  I called to make sure we were still on, and told him I wouldn't be ready to move until Friday evening, or possibly Saturday morning.  All of my things were packed up, but I wasn't going to bail out on my sister until the move was done.  My friend had told me previously that he might be going out of town for the Fourth of July weekend, and when we talked, he told me that he'd wait for my call Saturday morning.

As it happens, we didn't finish the move until last Saturday afternoon, after my friend told me that he'd be going out of town.  I spent the weekend with my brother at the store in Havana.  It's a little cramped, but I've been able to get back online, and I've kept myself busy helping out with the store's operations.  On Tuesday (July 5th), I sent my friend a message on Facebook asking when would be a good time to call.  I never received a response.  On Wednesday I called, and the phone went to voicemail without ringing, which told me his phone was turned off.  I called again Thursday and the phone rang, but went to voicemail again.  I left another message indicating I was ready to move; I just needed to know when it was okay to come out to his house.  I never got a callback.

Yesterday my friend sent me a message on Facebook, saying that he never heard from me, so the room is no longer available.  He said he looked forward to seeing me at a future atheist function, and signed off.  I was so mad I could have walked out into traffic.  Obviously I didn't, but I thought about it.  This brings me to my next thought, and the point of this post.

I've been depressed for a long time, but I've never sought any kind of help for it.  This has been a mistake.  I should have reached out for professional help last year when my thoughts turned to suicide, but I thought I could keep myself away from the brink on my own.  I spent a couple of hours the other night talking with my sister and my brother.  My brother has suffered from depression in one form or another since he was seventeen.  It runs in my family: my grandfather suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and was an alcoholic; both of my uncles had problems with drugs and/or alcohol and one of them killed himself when I was eleven.  My mom had problems of that sort later in life, but they were overshadowed by her other health difficulties.  I can hardly imagine how she held it together all those years watching her children lurch from catastrophe to the next.  During the course of our discussion, I mentioned my misgivings about moving in with my friend.  He's a little paranoid, and has a house full of guns.  That's not the sort of environment I need to move into in my current circumstances.  My friend lives twelve miles outside of Tallahassee proper, and with no vehicle of my own, I'd have no way to get around on my own. so I'd be stuck out there, often all alone, with a house full of firearms and my black moods.

My sister is out of town this weekend.  I've been helping my brother keep shop, but I'm biding my time till she returns.  Monday or Tuesday next week, I'm going to do something about my depression and thoughts of suicide.  I've got neither a job, nor insurance, nor money of my own, so I'm going to the emergency room at the hospital.  My brother has done this in the past.  I'll tell them what's been going on and we'll see what happens.  They might admit me for a few days, so I can talk to a doctor, and undergo tests, and maybe get some medication.  Because I'm essentially indigent, I'll see if I qualify for Medicaid, which is paid out of the deductions from my wages from every job I've held since the age of fifteen.  I may as well get some use out of it.  I might be offline for a few days after this, but I'll be sure to report my condition after I get back.