I have done EVERY goddamn thing my supervisor has slammed me with – all within my first four hours of being at work. Maybe my brain is manic when it comes to getting the bullshit tasks out of the way. In any event, I now have to sit through 5 hours of staring at the clock and trying to figure out what to do with myself.

My partner keeps telling me I can leave this job. But I can’t. I need the insurance, and if you have a crazy brain like I do, you know that we have to see the white coats. And now that Obamacare is on the chopping block (or as I read this morning, those about to take office are calling it the UNaffordable Care Act) I really can’t leave. I cry for the thousands of people who have had this option for health care which is about to be ripped out from under them. I weep for those, like me, who know that we need medical coverage – not just for the handful of pills I take, not for all the visits to the shrink and other doctors, but what if I break in two again and have to go to the E.R.? Or be institutionalize, yet again? Do I have any safeguard other than the laminated card in my wallet, provided as a benefit of working here? No.

And so I am stuck. And if you are struggling with a mental illness, or any illness and do not have medical coverage, or are about to lose it because those in power can afford their own and don’t seem to care about the rest of us, you are stuck too. And I mourn for all of us. I mourn for what the coming weeks and months will be like, as one slowly weens off medication because they can no longer afford them, no longer see a doctor – for physical or mental reasons – because they cannot pay the for the office visit. What if one has cancer, but cannot afford a screening? Or even the treatment, if they have already been diagnosed? I heard an eloquent man speak to Paul Ryan, telling him the only reason he was standing in front of him, still alive, was because Obamacare had allowed him to get affordable care for the cancer that was eating away at his body. Senator Ryan looked blasé.

I am not trying to be political. That is not what this post is about. This post is about being stuck. Like when beavers build a damn and the body of water they have chosen gets stuck. I am stuck. I don’t know what to do. My partner cannot understand what this feels like. The rage that is burning a hole in my stomach, the helplessness I feel every weekday morning and at 5 PM on Sundays, when I know I have to re-enter the world the next day, or that morning. The ridiculous amount of energy it takes just to not scream my head off while dealing with people all day. He does understand the feeling of being under someone’s thumb, of having no control in your job. But he has been working for himself for over a decade, so he no longer has this stress invading his daily life. And he is a man, with a great deal of self-confidence, so he does not “get” why I can’t stand up for myself the way he would. Why I cannot insist on certain liberties, or accommodations (which would mean asking for a new supervisor). He has also seemed to forget that he is on my health insurance, so if I lose it, so does he. And then we’re both up shit’s creek.

So now I am just staring at the walls in my office. The clock that hangs on the wall in the next room that I can see through my windows. Counting, counting, counting. Ennui sinks in. And I hate that feeling.

And I hate people trying to cheer me up or giving me their advice of how to feel better. There is no magic wand to wave that will make this go away. I told my partner that the only thing that would make me feel better at this point would be to run away to a villa in the middle of an olive grove, where I could just write and never be around people again. That’s how it feels at this moment. I feel like venom has replaced the blood running through my veins and unless I run away or kill myself, right now it doesn’t feel like anything is going to change.

The Dark Ages have descended.

© Sorrow & Kindness


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