Seeing Other People
So, I got a part time job!
I am being paid $10 an hour to stand on a corner in a dog costume to promote a local pet business. They provide classes/education, caretaking, and grooming services. Once again, I am now a professional furry. It’s part time, so I only get 15 hours a week, but that’s okay because that’s kind of what I was looking for. For a while I posted about needing to find a part time job to help pay the bills, and I was at a bit of a loss as to getting one. I was thinking, since I got back from the Shining Stars event in February, that I’d get a job at Starbucks. Yeah, that’s how slow I move on this. First, I’d need a resume, and I learned a lot of great info at the Shining Stars event about how to make a good resume, tips I’m sure I’m going to use in the future. But, every time I thought of my resume, or lack of one, I just got kind of antsy and anxious and… yeah didn’t want to do it. So I hate to admit it, but when my mother told me that perhaps I could be her digital media manager part time and that maybe I didn’t have to get a job right away, I jumped on that.
Well, my friend Aly, whom I mentioned in my Mouse Guard unboxing video contacted me a while ago about fursuiting for cash for where she worked. I’ve done this type of work before, being a professional furry, so I was like, alright, let’s do this. Things went silent for a little while, and I didn’t push too much, but eventually her boss called me in. So I went and she told me the details and I was like, “Sign me up!” I didn’t even have to have a resume, heehee. So, next week I start my part time job as a professional furry, but this time I’m getting paid much more than I did when I was professional six years ago (of course, that was six years ago).
I know some people may be a little confused about my choice of profession. Some people see this type of job as embarrassing or whatever, but, to me, it’s a dream job. Everybody’s different you know? I mean, I suppose it’d be a bit nicer and more stimulating to work at some place like Intel or HP (it’d probably pay better too), but without a college degree that’s a bit tough. I like doing this kind of stuff and it’s just three hours a day, so it works for me. I’m excited about this opportunity to make a little income. To me, everybody has a different role to play in life, some people are high-powered lawyers, and some people stand on a street corner in a dog costume holding a sign. It’s not really a matter of intelligence or dignity, it’s just a matter of what that person wants to do. Unfortunately, it’s not permanent, just seasonal so it won’t last forever.
In fact, I’m hoping that this extra income can not only pay for part of my rent, but also can be used to fund my new project junkyshark.com. It’s an online store for selling and buying collectibles, and other retro stuff, like old videogames, old computers, trading cards (game or otherwise), figurines, comics, etc. Maus and I bantered the idea of various kinds of auctions around for a while, but I’m thinking that at first we’re just going to straight buy and sell at a fixed price. I tried something like this about thirteen years ago when I worked as an insurance agent in my hometown of Handyville (well, a neighboring town, but you know). I actually amassed about 8,000-10,000 cards at one point for various things. Problem was, we had an issue with output. Input was great but getting the product out there and sold had a bit of a hiccup.
So I ended up with thousands of cards that I just kind of hung on to. Then, when I lived in Bull Run with Ksaru and Maus, we determined there was a new gaming shop opening up in Lyons owned by a local fur. So we took our cards down and tried to sell them at consignment. That would’ve worked, except Ksaru, being the conman he was, represented the cards as his own and cashed MY checks. That was the last straw out of everything, and Ksaru was kicked out of our apartment two months later. That was the last time I ever saw him consequently. I wonder if he’s in jail now, cause that’s the way he was heading. He seemed a bit too smart for that, but you never know.
Finally, I had a bunch of other cards that weren’t game related so I took them to a collectibles shop and the guy there took one look at them and told me, “None of these are worth anything, I won’t even bother buying them.” So, I just threw them away. They were taking up space that I really needed and it seemed silly to hang on to something that wasn’t worth anything. And that was the end of my trading card career. I actually lost two friends on my trading card journey, the first was this guy who thinks I screwed him over in multiple ways and ended up hating me. Well, he isn’t necessarily totally wrong, I did screw him over a bit, and I regret my actions, but, it all worked out for the best. I later learned that he was the kind of guy I probably didn’t want as a friend anyway, so c’est la vie.
Here have a picture of some blossoms on a tree outside our apartment:
In other news, Maus signed us up for a trial run of Blue Apron. I was skeptical at first, because the whole idea just seemed like a lot of bother and commitment. But, I’ll tell you, it actually is kind of nice. They package all the ingredients for you and portion everything out, even the small stuff. This is handy because then you’re not buying large quantities of ingredients you only use once in a while in recipes. The portions are perfect, there’s no left overs between Maus and I. So far I’ve made Spaghetti Bolognese, Spicy Sauteed Chicken, and tonight I’m supposed to make some kind of catfish. If Maus and I get three meals a week that seems to fit in our schedules pretty well. It also handles the hassle of making a whole meal plan, collating all the ingredients, going to the store and buying everything, storing it, planning when to make it, etc. It’s just… more convenient, more than I thought it would be.
We took down “cancer man” as Maus and I called him. I call him that because the pigments that I used to make it are carcinogenic, in fact you’re supposed to wear gloves when you use them and a mask. I just wore the mask though. The guy was the result of a project for my art class when I was taking those. It was a work inspired by the work of another artist (I can’t quite remember his name), where we took a technique they used and adapted it for our purposes. I was starting to pile books under the coffee table so we decided that we needed more shelf space. I proposed we put a bookshelf where “cancer man” was, so we did. Now we have shelf space for quite a bit more stuff.
I also started and finished a book:
Life has been interesting. I’m changing medications, again. The nurse practitioner that I was seeing left the local mental health organization to go do her own practice. So she left me to try out a new practitioner named Matsukawa. I believe she’s Japanese. Now, I’ve seen three (including Matsukawa) nurse practitioners in less than one year so it’s been a bit of a journey. The first practitioner I saw was Glenney, and if you remember I wrote about her when I was seeing her. She changed my official diagnosis from Anxiety Not Otherwise Specified, to Borderline Personality Disorder, my first diagnosis I ever received when I was just eighteen and attending the university. She thought that fit the medications I was taking. Overall, I wasn’t bothered by that as much, Maus and I think it fits quite well (I read an older book on it, and he read a newer book on it) actually. However, I didn’t feel like Glenney really took me seriously, and I was on board with her for a bit, then jumped ship when it became clear she thought most of my problems were, well, imaginary. When Tenley came along they actually let me switch to her without having to say goodbye to Glenney, which was I was all for, so I did that. Tenley was great, better than Glenney, in my opinion because she actually took me seriously. However, she tried to get me on a mood stabilizer and reduce the anti-psychotic. Unfortunately, her timing wasn’t the best as I tried to go off the anti-psychotic while both my mother and Maus were out of the country, and it didn’t go too well.
Like I said, Tenley was great, and I would’ve liked to continue seeing her, but unfortunately that’s not entirely possible. However, after seeing Matsukawa I’m also glad that things have turned out the way they have too. Matsukawa seems very concerned, takes me seriously, and seems more comprehensive when it comes to her application of drugs than my previous practitioners. She really took time to understand my whole situation, and believes my sleeping habits are a product of the medications I’m taking. She actually told me that she believes I have more of an anxiety disorder than anything, but she’s willing to go with Borderline Personality as the big picture. She believes I have “Bipolar Traits,” without necessarily having full blown bipolar which would explain my experiences early on in my mental illness as an adult. She told me that she thought obsessive intrusive thoughts, like I used to have unrelentlessly, were not actually a sign of atypical psychosis like Connie thought, but a symptom of an anxiety disorder such as obsessive compulsive disorder. In fact, she said that an atypical psychotic like risperdal or olanzapine (such as the ones I was prescribed) can actually cause more intrusive thoughts and exacerbate the situation. I wish I’d known that six years ago.
She believes I’m not getting a restful enough sleep at night because my anti-depressant is over-activating my brain. She says I’m on a high dose, again, which she actually reduced today. I think she’s right, because she also prescribed a mood stabilizer called oxcarbazepine and ever since I started taking it in the evening I’ve been dreaming at night again. I was ending up having my deepest sleep after I got my meds in the morning laying on the couch, essentially sleeping twice. This last week I’ve been waking up actually feeling rested, and as if I don’t need to “sleep again” like I used to. Translating that into direct action has been a little sketchy, but it’s getting there.
The only thing that’s a bit concerning is that she wants the oxcarbazepine to eventually overtake the anti-psychotic, the anti-depressant, and the benzodiazepine. If it can, that’s great, but it’s a little scary. However, she wants to up me slowly on the oxcarbazepine and then phase the others out, to keep a stable base. I actually think my regime of a high dosage of the anti-depressant and the low dose of anti-psychotic, while great at combatting my treatment-resistant depression, has kept me from well… really sleeping very well and really feeling something.
What I mean by that is that in the last week the mood stabilizer has dampered by brain, and… yesterday I was sitting in Starbucks, having read a crap ton of a book (I’m working on the website for my mother), and around 4:00 came around and I… felt something. It’s hard to explain, but you ever feel really present in the moment? Like, really present in your life? That’s kind of how I felt, like, I was alive. And it’s kind of frustrating because I feel really big in those moments, and when I look at my life it seems really… small.
You see, I’m an actually fairly isolated little person when it comes down to it. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but, when I feel so big, so full of life, I wish I could share that with more than just my mother and my husband. When I was younger, like, twenty-three and a bit before that, I had some local friends and was “involved” so to speak with a small set of people, which was nice. They were all furry, but hey, you got to start somewhere. In fact, it wasn’t until I moved into the apartment where I had my breakdown six years ago that I only lived with Maus. Before that, we always lived with someone (except for that brief period in between). When I moved in with Maus actually, his ex-boyfriend and his new boyfriend lived across the hall, we lived in the other room, and a fur lived in the living room. Now that was packed, but overall it was fun… until the argument.
I’ve always been around a lot of people in my living situation because I was the youngest in the family. So my two (three) older brothers and all their friends were always around. At any given time there were five or so people in my large ranch house in Handyville, and I got used to that.
Sometimes I feel like my life got interrupted somewhere, maybe even multiple times. The first time was when I was eighteen and went to the university. Oh, those days were tough. That’s when I first attempted suicide, when I was first diagnosed, and when everything in my life just kind of came apart. But… it kind of came back together again, sort of, in its own way. Then things were good for a while, and then, I met Ksaru, and life got derailed again… this time into a thirty-six hour coma and thousands of dollars gone. And then, things seemed to be coming along, and I met Tommy. I don’t know what the whole deal was, but everything that came from that was the catalyst to my most ultimate break down of all. In the last eleven years I’ve been hospitalized about nine or more times, all for psychiatric reasons.
Since the last break down, I’ve been getting better. I actually had two pet rats that lived their whole life cycle with me. I know it sounds weird to consider having a pet from birth to death an accomplishment, but that was a commitment I was finally able to fulfill. I haven’t been hospitalized in a long time. In fact, I think this is the longest amount of time I’ve gone since I was twenty-one without a hospitalization.
But, look at me, going down memory lane again. I tend to do that. I remember, in fact, back before I found Elizabeth, during my ultimate break down, I went to Dr. Drake. He was a therapist and a rabbi, and I explained my problems to him, and he said two things. The first one he said that stuck with me was when he said, “You sound like you’re really defining yourself by what’s gone wrong, what’s happened to you, than otherwise,” the other thing he said was, “Why can’t you just let people be?” and I knew then that he didn’t understand.
I’ve done some definition of myself in this blog over time. I remember, I thought I was going to go down a completely different career path by becoming a comic book artist. I smile now when I think about it, because, despite this, I found myself doing a number of other things EXCEPT drawing comics. It didn’t help that I have a great difficulty drawing stuff out of my head… turns out, I can draw what I see just great. Can I see it in my head when it’s not there? That’s a problem. In fact, every time it seems to me that every time I’ve tried to peg myself down for one particular thing or another, being a game developer, being a writer, being a comic book artist… it never seems to really work out, partially because I end up doing a number of other things EXCEPT whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing. Heehee, well, shucks.
Like I wrote before, Maus read a book on Borderline Personality, a newer one, and I read one but it was an older one. The older books are somewhat grim and not very optimistic, whereas the newer ones are finding that there is hope and a range of treatment possibilities. One of the things I read in my book was about how Borderlines often feel like they don’t have an identity. Like, they don’t really know who they themselves are. They might “chameleon” and work at fitting in to multiple groups, many times changing color to approximate what they think everyone else is looking for, but never really know themselves. I don’t know if I really do that, because, I don’t really have any groups to fit in to, and I’m pretty good at voicing my “authentic” self, that is… I rarely do anything I don’t want to do because I think someone else wants me to do it. But when it comes down to it, who the hell am I?
Sometimes it just seems like everything is worn I suppose. What I mean is, I had a birthday this last week. I’ve successfully turned 34. It was harder than I thought it’d be, almost didn’t make a couple of times, but nevertheless I persisted. I remember back, when I was 22 and the exuberance I had, for lack of a better term, when everything was “new” in a way. Dreams hadn’t died, the conclusions of friendships hadn’t occurred, my heart was less broken and more intact, I had confidence, and I just kinda… fit in to something, whatever that was. In many ways, life was new. I just moved out of my parent’s place, achieving my first “sense of freedom” in a way… I suppose this was my “college” time that I never got to have. Now, I’ve watched some dreams never come about and die because of things like anxiety, mental illness, lack of self-discipline, I’ve seen long time friendships dismantle and violently come apart, my confidence decreased a thousand fold, and all this tore at my heart breaking it more than it was. I’m not saying, hey pity me, I’m just saying that I’ve grown. That’s what happens when you grow but don’t necessarily go anywhere.
So with everything I look at these days I’m experiencing I guess, what they call “jadedness”? And I hate it. Jadedness seems to run counter to my very outlook on life, but unfortunately, it seems to come with experience and age. I think in some ways, because I didn’t really “feel” a lot these last couple years, I’ve let the jadedness run a bit of a course and overtake me without really realizing it. Huh, I’m jaded about being jaded.
Well, I gotta fight this, and I know I’ll win, because it’s just my nature. I suppose growing older is somewhat like having an ever expanding awareness about yourself where eventually, what you end up with is what you’ve been able to make it. Things in life seem automatic, or you react or think automatically, but then as your awareness increases that which was automatic has to become tended, and you have to choose what you’re going to be.
I’m afraid of meeting new people. At least, I’m afraid of the idea of meeting new people. I think part of it… is that I’m afraid that I’m just going to end up hurt, in a variety of ways. When I say ‘hurt’ I don’t necessarily mean dumped, or lashed out at, or what have you. I mean stuff like finding out somebody you like isn’t that great, disappointment, promises that are never fulfilled, and… funny enough, happiness that you can’t go back and live again. That’s my biggest weakness, that something’s going to be great for a while, but then it’ll pass and I’ll never be able to experience that happiness again. That’s my life. I’m also afraid of having to slog through people who either are neutral, that is they we’re on very different paths and just don’t mesh, and awful people who just kinda make you feel bad being around them in general. On the flip side, I’m afraid of being “empty.” I think to myself sometimes, why would anybody like me? I don’t have a personality, or sex appeal, or charisma, or “cool factor” or whatever I happen to be thinking of at the time. And that somehow, in some way, I’ll get confirmation of these fears because nobody will care about me. And then, there’s the worst, my part of the relationship. I have a way of, well, it’s hard to put my finger on it exactly, but let’s say, I have a way of “borderlining” my relationships in the long run. I have a tendency to get them into dysfunctional places, whether in their mind, my mind alone, or both of our minds at the same time. I always have to be vigilant on myself to not well, “fuck things up,” so to speak, and I mean that in a very broad sense. It could be a lack of boundaries, or I let them cross all mine, or I cross theirs, or my feelings towards them get a little neurotic or, or, or …
How about… *sings* looooooooove. Heehee, *sings* seasons of loooooove. Okay, okay, Maus tells me I shouldn’t sing. It’s funny, I picture myself with a smattering of other people, and yet I’m afraid to meet any of them. Sounds like I got to get my priorities straight. Tenley told me TWO sessions ago that I should attend a meet up, and I’ve still yet to do it. I don’t even see Tenley anymore, and I still haven’t done it. I just…
… sit at Starbucks, like this:
And then there are other people, who apparently bring their monitors to Starbucks:
You have to give it to that guy, that’s for sure.
I also made a new acquisition. I hope to make more acquisitions this Friday with some coupons, but this is what I achieved this last week:
Ah well. So those are the pictures of my recent life, at least a few of them. I did acquire this cool glass from Red Lobster. I ate there for my birthday, and we ate there for Maus’ birthday:
Well, this seems like a good stopping point… will Asher overcome his fear of meeting other people and go to a MeetUp? How long will the new shelf space last now that “cancer man” is gone? Is Asher going to get rich with his part-time job and the internet? Only time will tell…