Thursday, December 16, 2010
I freelance not by choice, but because of its perks and allowances. Being sick means I can't do full-time work that requires clocking in - because then most days of a weak I would need to rest at home and take emergency medication; fourteen days of MC would fit a month, not a year. Or I would take long term sabbaticals never to return. Even as a freelancer, my doctor told me I have to try to work only alternate days. I tried to do more, and my system broke down so to speak, and I fell even sicker.
Now, I seemed to have regressed even further. Simple tasks like taking a shower, cleaning the house, is so difficult for me. I can't even do these things, how am I supposed to have lessons with my students in my home? Thankfully, they chose to take sabbaticals too - for the exams, and then for the holidays. Usually I would press them to have lessons in the holidays, my practice for the ten over years I have been teaching. But this year, no. Usually spending time with my teenage students energises me, for I love working with teenagers. But now the thought of anything social in the first place is driving me anxious.
Yes this seems like a regression in my depression, and it is, plain and simple. I didn't realise it at first, but now I do. Instead of moving forward and being able to do more of my paying freelance work, I can't find the strength to do it anymore, when it comes to teaching. When the school year starts, of course, I will have to teach again, because all the academic problems my students face will rear their heads fiercely. And maybe during the last week of December I will invite my students to come over for a pre-school-year lesson - yes, I will do that. But for now till then, I really want some more respite.
How can work be so difficult for an individual? I thought I was getting better. But as always, it is one step forward two steps back. I feel the working class guilt, the protestant work ethic, kicking in and telling me that I should do more paying work. I know I should, but wherefrom should I find the strength and health to?
I have tried working through the pain, sickness, depressive episodes and anxiety attacks. When I do that, basically all those attempts are half-fucked because I keep on, in gaming terms, afk-ing out. I tried. And people around me have to make allowances for me when I am semi-catatonic and very obviously unable to work. Imagine working with someone who is half faint, unable to talk, unable to move, or all of the above. Thankfully, it's freelance, so I can come and go. But I leave debris behind.
Work that doesn't require much strength from me regarding washing up and cleaning, would be my copywriting work. But that comes in less steadily than teaching. I enjoy it because I can do it unwashed and never have to step out of the house (unless necessary to meet). With my ad out in the web I get calls for quotes, and I have a regular entreprise using my services, but I am not actively seeking for more prospects as the salesperson in me should. Simply because I don't have the energy to, literally. Like I said, I have regressed. Doing simple, menial tasks already take all the energy out of me lately. I need to move on from this regression to move up.
I know I will move on, out, up from this recent regression in being unable to do many simple daily tasks like a regular person can - easily. That said, I know I will always have to be a freelancer because I never know when I will suffer a blip in my recovery and need to time out. No boss is going to understand this unless I work for myself.
And yes, this is the price of clinical depression on the economy.
In any case, writing about this has helped me. I will keep on going on. I will put up more ads for my copywriting services. I will schedule a last-week-of-December lesson week for my students. I will keep on doing things in small steps towards recovery, so they can become big steps. Even though I might have to do this for a long time, I will keep on doing it - getting better.
Years on, years to come? Maybe. So please understand us.