Truths

Depression and Irritation Goes Hand-In-Hand

I haven’t been out of my house (except for a brief period in time at 2am) since last week and I fear I’m reverting to old habits. What is there for me to do outside? I have no one to interact with (and don’t really want anyone to interact with). The two people I know have jobs and lives to attend to, I’m not going to interfere with their moment of being token citizens. I wouldn’t be happy with a nine to five or a part time position that doesn’t require me to do anything else than service people. Not help them or aide them or even bring joy to their lives . . . just service them. That doesn’t enrich me as a human being and it doesn’t enrich the customer as a human being.

I’m grateful for people willing to do those service jobs, however, because I sure as hell couldn’t do it.

Social anxiety is one thing. Dissatisfaction is another.

Everyone is so proud of themselves when they get their first or second job, I’ve noticed. I was proud when I got my first job; I know now that pride was artificial because I figured I was supposed to feel proud.

They’re proud they can provide for themselves, they’re proud that their parents see them as a part of normal society, and they’re proud that they feel useful. But I don’t understand why: I’m not capable of understanding why. Why do they feel useful? They’re servants. I mean . . . I guess that’s useful, but not in my eyes. They’re making money, yes, and can buy their own gas and their own food and some of them might even be able to move out . . . but isn’t that all a little selfish? You get a job so you can make money so you can do things for yourself. I . . . I don’t understand.

Maybe it’s the logic side of me, maybe it’s the creative side of me, maybe it’s the arrogant side of me, maybe it’s the depressed side of me that’s about ready to put a gun to my temple, maybe it’s the dissatisfied part of me, or maybe it’s the socially anxious side of me–maybe it’s all of them combined, but for myself I see no reason to conform to any of that. When I find another “job”, I want one that I’m satisfied with, one that has a creative side to it, one that enriches people’s lives in some manner, one where I have control over what I’m doing and if I have to interact with people it’s through collaboration, not an authoritarian-to-submissive-being type relationship.

I know I want to volunteer at the homeless shelter downtown, eventually. Bagging food or putting it on a tray for those people is kind of a service but it’s a little bit of richness to their life: they’re getting food they probably wouldn’t in a different setting. I know many of them have mental issues and I know many of them cope with addictions. These are people that don’t have your white-picket fence, your neat little family, your trip to the amusement park, you vacation in the mountains–these are people who make due with what they have. Whether or not they put themselves in the situation is irrelevant: they’re starving, cold, alone, most likely hopeless, and food is probably a moment of comfort. I enjoy providing that moment of comfort.

I wouldn’t mind tutoring high school students whose second language is English. Shit, I’ve been doing that since I was a freshman. Even college students asked me for help. It’s fun, it’s something I love, and in the process they gain a skill that will help them better communicate to the people around them.

I wouldn’t mind dedicating a significant portion of my life to writing again. In fact, it’s one of my goals and once I get a goal it might as well be etched in stone.

Analyzing petri dishes in a lab. Assisting a researcher. I can’t do it this coming semester since I won’t be able to finish my chem class . . . but later I can and later I will. That’s useful, it’s fun, it’s got meaning–to me.

Photography, flash animations, videos, music, things that appreciate the joy in life, things that bring joy to my life and to others: that makes sense to me. What is life without a little bit of joy? I see nothing joyous about being stuck in a restaurant waiting on some customer who thinks she’s the shit and demands you bring her the spicy mustard rather than the regular mustard even though she asked for the regular mustard then leaves you a penny for a tip claiming you had attitude. I see nothing joyous about being stuck behind a cash register listening to some customer bitch at you about the APR on the credit card you have to try and sell them. Does it look like I fucking made the rules? Does it look like I even know what I’m selling you half the time? And most importantly, does it look like I give two shits about whether you sign up or not?

Some people enjoy these tasks. It’s easy to them, they get money, they get to do what they wish without restriction and you know what, if that pleases them than who am I to judge? But it’s not for me.

I am extremely grateful for my mother who works those kind of jobs so I don’t need to. She doesn’t enjoy the hours, but she enjoys the work she does. She actually likes a lot of it. I was the one who promoted her to leave her bullshit job (of which she worked for 25 years) because they were under new management and weening out the old people. They wouldn’t give her commission that she obviously made and then rang her around for months saying “oh, we’ll look into it”. I told her to leave that fucking place because they’re a bunch of incompetent, corporate bitches.

People started quitting left and right. I told her they should all get up and report them to the labor board. No one would. I told her they should all get up and walk out, let the business fall to the ground–they’d get their job back. But no, people let themselves get put down, dragged around, and beat into the floor by this company. I wouldn’t let it happen to my mother.

It was hell trying to find a new job for her, of course. I started looking for jobs too, even though there were none that fit with my school schedule. I’m sure it would have been hell for anyone from that place to find another job if they quit. I ask her now whether she thought it was worth it all and she always says yes.

But this is what I don’t understand: who let’s a corporation, a leader, an authority figure, degrade them to that level? Who? What makes you people submit your entire life to getting shoved in the ground?

One of her coworkers has a husband who is a lawyer and makes 400,000 dollars per case he wins. She pays for his health insurance through the job she worked with my mom because . . . who fucking knows? She said the reason she wouldn’t leave is because she wouldn’t be able to pay for his health insurance.

They’re fucking rich. They go to Paris, to London, to India or some shit all the time on his fucking salary!!.

What the fuck is wrong with people? You’re going to give up your happiness, your identity, your self-worth to a motherfucking corporation that treats you like a piece of shit on the ground, abuses your talents, blows your stress levels through the roof, because you don’t want your rich husband to have to pay for his health insurance? I’m so confused!

This is why I refused to get a nine to five. This is why I want a job that appreciates who I am not because “I’m a good worker” (who gives a fuck? What does that even mean?), but because I have something to give back to society, I have something creative, something unique, something that enriches others lives, something that I can live off of and something that can simultaneously give me a life. And when I get there I can give back to the people who sacrifice their happiness for the sake of money and for the sake of family.

Call it arrogance if you want.

Maybe it’s this depression talking.

Maybe I’m so arrogant that it’s impossible to be selfish,

Or maybe I’m so arrogant the only thing I can be is selfish.

About AlishiaDee (372 Articles)
Alishia D. is a blogger, a beginning novelist, and a counselor at 2nd Story Peer Respite house where diagnostic labels and the culture of mental health is long forgotten. She's a mental health peer who has bounced through as many labels as she has doctors, and enjoys being sarcastic when she can. She also hates writing in 3rd person.

6 Comments on Depression and Irritation Goes Hand-In-Hand

  1. I feel like this was, in many ways, two posts in one. As your title said: Depression, Irritation. And I want to address each of those semi-separately.

    The first half of your post was kind of an empathetic typhoon for me. When I owned my small (okay, tiny), antique business, my favorite part of the job was that, being the owner, I could occasionally gift a stranger with something I saw them eyeing, for no other reason than to watch them light up like a Christmas tree and feel special and significant and appreciated in a world where far too often these feelings come with a hidden cost. It was beautiful to me. Camping out in a park as part of a protest and giving food to the homeless was like living my dream life when I did it. And there’s that anguish with depression where you know you have something in you, something to give, and you don’t feel like you can or are. To explain better, I’ll turn to one of most brilliant men alive (imho), Stephen Fry:

    “Choking with dry tears and raging, raging, raging at the absolute indifference of nature and the world to the death of love, the death of hope and the death of beauty, I remember sitting on the end of my bed, collecting these pills and capsules together and wondering why, why when I felt I had so much to offer, so much love, such outpourings of love and energy to spend on the world, I was incapable of being offered love, giving it or summoning the energy with which I knew I could transform myself and everything around me.”

    I felt his words echoing in my head as I read the first part of your post.

    On the irritation front (and yes, you can go hog wild and get irritated at me if you’d like, and I will take no offense), I’d like to address a few things. First, I absolutely agree with you that these people walking around thinking they are free when their lives are entirely regimented by a flawed and corrupt system, are simply slaves who don’t know it.

    But I think there is another side to this. As you said, you have something unique to give back to society. If you have this uniqueness, statistically speaking, it is highly improbable that you are the only person who is that way. Perhaps their uniqueness presents itself differently than yours. Which would logically make sense given that it is, well, unique.

    I know tons of people who work for “the man”, who do grunt jobs they hate to buy things they can barely afford, and this cycle has defined their life. But, not only were many of them basically railroaded onto those paths by circumstance, many also have an entire life of joy that you don’t see, simply because they find joy in something that you don’t. Does their joy have less density or purity than yours, simply because it comes from a different source?

    To quote Doctor Who, which I do far too often: “Is a slave really a slave if he doesn’t know he’s enslaved? YES.” Yes. Yes, he is. I will never argue that these people aren’t slaves to a system. But, and maybe it’s my BDSM background speaking up here, I know people (myself included) who enjoy and thrive on different forms of slavery.

    Who decides whether a life was well spent? I certainly am arrogant enough to believe that it should be me who decides if my life was a waste or not. I doubt you would want “the system’s” definition of who you are to be the standard to which your life was held against. Neither would I.

    Perhaps there is joy and fulfillment in places we just haven’t thought to look yet.

    Oh, and if that was just a bit more benefit-of-the-doubt for ‘irritable you’ to extend comfortably to others just yet, and you’re still full of that powerful rage and righteous anger, watch this video. Trust me. It’s worth it.

    I hope that at least some part of this helped. Hang in there, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for your insight, I appreciate it. I absolutely agree, that cycle of being pushed into a life of grunt work and barely being able to afford anything is vicious (I’ve been in the working class all my life, was homeless for three years living in hotels, tents, e.t.c, and my parents have always been poor; I’ve lucked out school gives me a little money to enjoy) and there were a lot of little joys in my life back then that had nothing to do with being poor or picking mold off fruit because there was nothing else to eat. I wasn’t trying to sound like if they don’t find joy in what I do that they’re not valid, I just honestly don’t understand how you can be joyful (in terms of their career and job) when you’re obviously oppressed. Most likely their dead end job isn’t the source of their joy, it’s probably coming from the art they do after work, or the D.J or garden work or whatever little joys people can find in life that have nothing to do with their societal duties. I think I was trying to separate duty from life more so. I know a lot of people who really do love their jobs even though they won’t go anywhere or even if their boss is horrible or whatever and I say more power to them. They’re doing what they enjoy and that’s all I care about. Plus if they do it, I don’t have to haha. Which sounds horrible, but it’s just the truth. If anything, I think the fact that they can enjoy themselves in that situation makes them extremely unique; at least from my eyes. Oh, and thank you for sharing the video!! I also love that quote by Stephen Fry, thanks for sharing that too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think those thoughts are arrogant or selfish, or even heavily influenced by depression, I think it’s just a question of perspective; there’s this underlying question that, in a way, asks us to come to terms with our own existence, and different people respond very differently. I think a lot of people largely ignore it, and accept doing what society says they should be doing as good enough. I’ll never understand how, because all of these questions of meaning and existence have plagued my mind ever since I was a child in kindergarten, but (maybe paradoxically) I do understand WHY I’ll never understand, so it makes sense (for me).
    I think the important thing is that you can find your own source of meaning, and that it’s as deep as you need it to be. Understanding everyone else is something that I don’t think ever works out for anyone, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’ve the same issue: why do people ignore things that I feel I’ve been thinking about since I knew how to think? Lol. Ill probably never find my own sense of meaning in terms that whole “meaning of life”b.s….I think I create it but it wasn’t there to begin with. Us humans have a knack for creating shit that wasn’t ever there but then saying it was Lol. I pretty much gave up trying to understand these people, most of my questions are just rhetorical. Everyone’s crazy, chocolate is delicious, and that’s life. 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My favorite line in this, if you don’t mind me calling it your “philosophical rant” that I would like to reiterate here is this: ” Does it look like I fucking made the rules?”

    No, you didn’t.

    Neither did I.

    It took hundreds of years for people to have created what I call “society’s cage” and like it or not, we all have to live in it until people who have been blessed with some sort of insight, creativity and lots of determination decide to take a stand.

    I think what you did for your mother is great. She might only be 1 person out of however many there are on the planet now (what, 6 billion?); however, YOU changed one. Never lose sight of the positive things your life has contributed to others.

    This is what will bring you that joy and (hopefully) inner peace that your mind is screaming for. And yes, chocolate is great-especially dark chocolate! 🙂 -Peace, LaVancia

    Liked by 1 person

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