Financial stress, part 2

Well, I did it to myself again.

Namely, I forgot that every GST cheque month is also a five week month.

That’s natures way of making sure poor people never get ahead or feel good.

So I have been spending as if my dough only had to last four weeks instead of five. It’s not that big a deal as I have, actually, managed to get a little ahead in the game and have enough of a surplus that it plus the GST cheque will cover my expenses.

But it’s just so damned frustrating. And depressing. I was planning to deposit most of the cheque onto my reloadable VISA card and thus shore up my savings, but now I will be lucky if I have anything left over at the end of the month.

Oh well. The Good Lord giveth and the government taketh away.

The kicker is that I did remember the five week thing. Then I forgot. So I had my chance to avoid this emotional kick to the gut, but I messed it up.

Oh well. It’s not that huge a deal on a practical level.

It’s just depressing, that’s all. And it reactivates the financial stress I had managed to disabled by developing the surplus.

And like I said before, financial stress is really bad for my mood. It erodes my paper thin feeling of security and that everything will be OK.

On the plus side, I applied for a bunch of freelance jobs on UpWork yesterday and today I have two nibbles. So I might be on the way to actually earning some money.

Now I just have to overcome the panicky feeling I get when I get work. It’s a known thing for me and it comes from all that mindless fear that keeps me locked up in this cage of mine. Getting work makes me feel exposed and afraid and that makes me freeze up.

But this will pass. Tomorrow afternoon I will respond to the nibbles and force myself out there into the world no matter how I feel about it, and that will be good exercise for the muscles I will be using to resist the fear in the future.

Neither of the jobs pay much, of course.  I am still a third string freelancer despite my Uno work, and so I take what I can get. Plus I haven’t done any UpWork work in a long time so in that sense, I have lost my UpWork cred.

But I don’t mind. I will be using this experience primarily as a way to practice overcoming the cold, clutching fear that has kept me from having an adult life. It will work just fine for that.

The money is just a nice moment.

For me at least, depression and anxiety are two sides of the same coin. Thing like these potential jobs reminds me of that. It’s all too easy for me to forget all about the anxiety part of the equation when I haven’t challenged it in a while. As long as I obey the fear in all ways at all times, it doesn’t hurt me and I can forget it’s there.

Sounds like an abusive relationship, doesn’t it? Or life in a fascist regime.

It’s only when I start straining against my bonds that the fear comes. From that point of view, a case could be made for simply never fighting back.

But I have to fight back because this cage is way too goddamned small and keeps me from having any kind of healthy adult life and makes me miserable.

That’s the depression half of the equation. So it’s like being trapped between two awful things, anxiety and depression. If I fight back, I get anxious, if I don’t,  I get depressed.

The only solution is to learn to endure the fear and fight back anyway. That’s going to be tough – panic attacks are a powerful disincentive – but if I keep at it, I will beat back the fear and develop some confidence in myself and my ability to handle things.

And it’s not that big a deal on a practical level. It’s not like I am suddenly be working a nine to five job.

It just means I will have something productive to do with my time now and then instead of dreading filling up all those empty hours.

I’ve realized something about my video game addiction – it has a lot to do with the kind of false sense of accomplishment games give me.

I realized this as a result of another revelation, that I was treating whatever game I was playing like it was a job. Like I was somehow obligated to get as far in the game as I could and if I didn’t, I had failed on some level.

That’s fucked up, man.

I mean, these are video GAMES. Games! As in, things one does for fun. Things which don’t really matter so you can relax and enjoy yourself.

That last thing they should be is stressful. But somehow, as part of the Skyrim addiction from which I am still recovering, the whole thing became invested with this sense of urgency and fervor.

And I think it’s because it become my substitute for true purposeful action. Video games give me a sense of having accomplished something. After all, I pured my energy into it and I got ahead in the game. The proof is that I am a higher level now, and all the cool gear I have accumulated, and where I am in the plot.

So it really is like the game is my job. And that’s clearly wrong. If I want to get out of my cage, I will have to find truly purposeful labour that means something to me.

An my inner demons will howl and scream and I will get anxious and panicky and I will not have some core of inner strength to call upon to counter it.

I will just have to keep going no matter what.

Luckily, I am good at that.

I will talk to you nice people again tomorrow.


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