So, a lot of you know I've been Going Through Things in my personal life. Last summer, after losing a job, a lot of things had caught up and I had a bit of what we would once have called a "nervous breakdown". I dealt with some major depression and suicidal ideation, and spent too much time in my home, beyond closed doors, trying to hang in, not give up.
A few months ago my case manager in the mental health department of Kaiser referred me to the California Department of Rehabilitation, which helps people with disabilities enter the work force. I was a bit stunned, not in least by being considered to have a disability.
I talked with my therapist, and she wrote a diagnosis. Included in this was not only major depression and generalized anxiety disorder, but panic disorder with agoraphobia. That..... took me aback. But considering the dread I feel when I need to leave the home.... the anxiety and fear.... I couldn't deny it, and I came to see myself in a new light.
I showed the Department of Rehabilitation people this comic, and they determined that a career in art was quite possible. They've sent me back to school. and I'm now taking classes in digital animation.
I mention this for two reasons. The first, quite simply, is that I expect that there will be delays to strip in the future. It's pretty near inevitable considering the work I'll need to focus elsewhere. I hope you understand.
The second quite simply is that I had the lesson hammered home that while I have my limitations, there are those who offered to help, and that there's no shame in accepting that help I don't have to do everything by myself. While I have some unusual challenges, I've found that it's possible to get assistance, advocacy, and to move on to new pastures
We all have some challenges. I know some find theirs insurmountable. I know some of you have trouble just making it from one day to the next, and have trouble seeing that the fact that you've made a choice to survive is a greater testament to your strength than if you'd climbed Everest. I know that finding help seems impossible, and that it's pointless to try. I've been blessed this past year to have gotten what I needed. I encourage you all to do what you need to survive, even if that only means making the choice to make it to the next day. When help is offered, know that it's an act of strength to take it. I wish you all happiness, and lives you find worth the living. My best wishes for you all.
I truly apologize to those who reached out to me in the past year who got no response. Doing the simplest things, even checking email, became tasks bigger than I was able to take on. I encourage you to try again.