At the risk of turning this into a dream blog, I dreamt of having ‘pure O’ OCD last night. I don’t usually have obvious mental health issues in my dreams, but here I was very worried that I would do something very wrong and whether I should avoid certain situations because they might give me an opportunity to do that wicked thing or whether I should actively seek out those situations because there was no real risk of doing anything wrong and I needed to expose myself to my fears to confront the OCD (exposure therapy). I even wondered in the dream if I should go back to the CBT therapist I saw about the religious OCD to see if she could help with this. It was possibly related to some volunteering I hope to do on Sunday and perhaps also to general anxiety.
Today I feel mostly OK, albeit a bit slow, mentally and physically, when doing chores around the house, making lunch, doing stuff for my blogs and so on, but as soon as I think about sitting down to the job hunt, a wave of sadness hits me. It’s not even full on severe depression, just mild to moderate depression and melancholy, I suppose a bit of a sense of futility and despair, just not knowing where I belong in life and how to get there. A slight prickling at my eyes and a bit of a lump in my throat, as if want to cry, but am not quite able.
It’s also hard to find work that suits me. So many writing jobs turn out to be full time 9.00am-5.00pm in an office, which surprised me. I thought I might find something more flexible. I’m also not sure that I’m the right person to write copy for one of the world’s largest car brands, given that I’ve never even tried to learn to drive. But I’m applying for a few things. I feel like I should be applying for more, but even the ones I am applying for are jobs I don’t feel I can actually do, much less want to do. I feel very under-qualified. And I’m really not sure I’m culturally suited as a copywriter for the marketing company that boasts of a corporate culture with social nights out and annual trips to Ibiza for staff who achieve their annual targets. I think the only thing I would hate more than a trip to Ibiza would be a compulsory trip to Ibiza with my boss. Mind you, they were also offering an “Unlimited book allowance” which I assume is for research purposes, but you never know. I’m trying to apply, once I work out how to tell them that I want a career in marketing when I don’t and that I have experience of writing copy, when I don’t have that either.
I do have an appointment with a careers advisor when I get back from New York. I’m terrified about what he might say. When I write stuff online people seem to like it, albeit that I probably write too much and too formally to really succeed as a blogger (as opposed to article writer), but I can’t find an outlet that will pay me for my work.
I spent a while setting up an online profile for a website that deals with freelance writers, but I got suspicious when it asked me to rate my previous employers. It seemed dodgy and I left.
I did find some other sites for freelance writers to find work, but they weren’t as useful as I had hoped. I decided I wouldn’t be able to write about pop culture in a fun, yet feminist, way containing photos and memes as one job required. Nor did I feel able to write “identity pieces specific to the writer that a niche group can also relate to” as I don’t think “depressed, socially anxious autistics” are really a group advertisers would be hoping to attract. Nor do I think I have a “deep passion” for “life in my 20s [I think I missed that boat]… pop-culture, social media, [or] staying on top of millennial trends.” Nor do I think I can write about power tools or coffee. It seems that there are some niche jobs out there, just none that fit my niche. (I’ve had similar experiences dating.) I did find a remote working copy editing job that I thought might be a start, but I don’t have the considerable experience they wanted. I found a list of magazines that accept submissions. Aside from it being American (not such a problem), they didn’t have any that specialise in mental health except for ADDitude Magazine. A few people have suggested to me that I ought to writing a misery memoir, but I have no idea how to structure it, what aspects of my story people might be interested in or why other people would be interested at all. I thought an article or two might be a start, but only if I can find somewhere to pitch it too. I probably need a happier ending, though. Or some kind of sense of an ending, not just unending depression.
I feel I made a massive mistake in leaving my job, but not enough to apply for the job I left as my family suggested yesterday.
I’m slowly relocating my life from the flat to my parents’ house. I brought my big office chair home today, as I was getting back ache from my parents’ chair. Continuing the theme of rearranging my life, I’m going to try to go to an Asperger’s “meet up” (I’m not sure if it’s exactly a support group) next week in town that Yolanda found for me. They’re OK with the fact that I’ve got a complicated diagnosis situation, although I suspect I will still feel like a fraud. I’m not sure if there is a charge though; one of their meetings is advertised as having a £30 charge (I assume for a speaker). I have messaged to try to find out, but my message got mangled by email for some reason so I hope I get a reply.
I’m even thinking of going to a Doctor Who fan meet up soon. (They used to be on Saturdays, but have moved them to Wednesdays since I last looked.) That’s scarier than a support group, though. When I go to a support group, I know other people there are struggling, but at the Doctor Who meet up people could be fairly normal, if geeky.
I set up a Gmail account to get a new email address so that I could set up a non-anonymous Doctor Who blog on WordPress, hopefully moving my current blog on LiveJournal to it. Livejournal is mostly used by Russian language speakers these days and doesn’t look as good as WordPress. Hopefully it will be a way of raising my profile as a writer and a fan. I’m stuck for a title, though. I was advised to find something not obscure (my Doctor Who references tend to be original series, not revived series) and immediately obvious as Doctor Who but also not something lots of other people have used for blogs and websites. This has been proving difficult. I’m not great with titles, as the often desperate titles of my blog posts show (e.g. the one on this post).