August 20, 2010 12:44pm CST
I woke up on the floor, and pushed myself onto my side and answered the last rings of my cell phone. I think it was a Sunday, and as Sundays go; wasn't all that eventfull. But that was about to change: For two straight months, I had done all I knew how, to get a job. Anything. Craigslisted, like a madman. Put up flyers to be an elderly caregiver all over Mattoon and Charleston. Applied over in Tuscola, to not less than 25 stores; brought the applications home and filled them out over two days of at the kitchen counter while watching a marathon of Smallville. How was I to know that one of my responses to, "Driver needed", in the Craigslist Ads, would put me in touch with a couple of Amish Network marketers? Crazy, huh? Anyway, somehow we came to different opinions; they hired another driver who was more willing to be, "teachable", and all that jazz - who had a much better vehicle than my $500 Toyota Camry...which seemed to be on its last legs. - And I again, found myself wandering the small space of my mom's apartment, drenched in my own sweat - Illinoise heat is a killer; especially if your air conditioner is on the fritz! - whiling away the hours, watching my favorite T.V. series, "Smallville", and taking numerous baths to stave off the unbearable heat. Today, I got out of the apartment - finally. It had taken me three whole days to get up the courage to go outside. My mind was filled with two things: My cell phone bill, and my auto insurance. Both needed to be paid within just a week or so, and I still hadn't heard back from that training class that I had applied to. This training class was supposed to prepare me to make $18 dollars per hour as a road, construction worker. I had spent 45 dollars to get a hold of my MD birth certificate; studied for my IL driver's license - as that was a requirement to get into the class, and then used my birth certificate and my insurance bill as proof that I was who I said I was. I drove 22 miles out to Mattoon, keeping a watchful eye out for my gas, and passed the test. That was about a week ago. And just a couple of days ago, I was sitting in the bathtub with the shower on cold, streaming down on me, curled up, leaning against the wall, crying and feeling like I was defeated...like there was nowhere to go but down, and that I knew I didn't have the necessary courage to up and wash windows to make a little money. Feelings of rage, bent by frustration, and hopelessness, swelled within me. I was swollen with guilt over not being able or not being willing to help my mom, who has cancer; swollen with such a low sense of Self and a feeling of castration or disgust. Now, here I sit, typing away...not so down as I was a few days ago, but still flatlining. I ask the question, yet probably already know the answer: Does lack of money CAUSE depression? And I believe that the answer is no. I believe that depression is caused not by lack of funds, but by a jaded outlook, and distorted thinking, which leads to feelings of powerlessness. I scored very low on a test for optimism, that I took out of a book by Segliman?, "Learned Optimism". Yet, here I am, bouncing back. I may not have worked up the courage to go do those windows - my side business - but I am still moving around, going places, and trying my level best to put doubts and fears of the coming future, if not to rest, at least aside for a bit.