After struggling to always be employed and fighting for paychecks, raises and constant job search every day since I was 16, I’ve quit.
Wait, You Did What?!
I’ve quit working at United Healthcare, which was a large source of our household income. I don’t intend to work at another company again.
Why Would You Do Something Like That?
I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder and a high amount of anxiety. It has gotten worse over time and I was beginning to lose control of both it and my life. I’ve thought I could keep up with the stress of a job while pursuing treatment but it became impossible.
I’ve had complete breakdowns in the middle of the workday. I’ve been fantasizing about death the way you might fantasize about a vacation to a country you could never afford. I know I’d never do it (I’ve been to that point before and can recognize that level of despair in myself), but there were times at work where the only thing that could calm me down was thinking the only way out Monday would be if I were hit by a car.
I felt trapped. It was a constant source of panic attacks. I knew it was time for me to decide whether I wanted to risk living my life at the cost of financial inconvenience or to feel like I was slowly committing suicide for the rest of life.
Sure, there were other reasons for leaving the job that are specific to that company and its culture, but what it really came down to was “I hate my job” and the effect it was having on my health. I’m not sure any jobs would be appropriate for me at this point that I don’t directly control and could manage the level of stress personally.
I have a few goals for the year that are both personal and financial. If we’re going to make this work I’m going to have to bring in a little bit of side income to help. We’ll be able to save money in several areas (cooking at home, etc) so thankfully much won’t be needed for us to break even and stay afloat.
Mindfulness and Medication
Foremost my personal health and well being are important to me. I don’t want to die. I definitely don’t want to leave my family alone without me. I’ve always valued my life, even when my brain was trying to tell me it would be easier dead.
Treatment right now is 40mg of citalopram (a generic of Celexa) a day however I have another visit with my great psychiatrist coming up where that may change. I’ll probably keep everyone posted here. There are a few side effects I’m not too keen on (gagging, nightmares, jaw tension, tired) but it’s better than the alternative.
I may look into in-person therapy again, however I’ve been focusing on Mindfulness cognitive behavioral therapy lately and reading a book for self-help. I’m a pretty big skeptic, but the practices really help me during panic attacks and I feel it’s worth giving a shot.
As you can probably tell I’ve started a blog. I managed to get a good deal on a domain and shared web hosting on a whim so I might as well take advantage of the tools I have available.
Can this be a viable side income source? Sure. I actually used to make blogs for a marketing company and focused on Search Engine Optimization to rake in Google AdSense money. It won’t be a lot, but the idea of 150,000 monthly page views isn’t outside the realm of possibility if you know what you’re doing.
I’m going to continue streaming on Twitch and building a following. I don’t expect to be partnered and raking in millions from playing Ninja Gaiden anytime soon, so this isn’t even being considered a source of side income. If I can start getting my concurrent viewers higher, I may focus more here and start streaming more often (daily instead of three times a week).
For whatever reason, my YouTube videos on juggling are immensely popular. I can definitely generate side revenue from monetizing and creating more video tutorials. The problem with this is that I absolutely despise video editing. Hopefully I can get around that immense hatred and do it for the good of the juggling community. There needs to be more no-bullshit videos out there without three minute intros and five minute outros and crazy music tracks to show you something that can be explained in thirty seconds.
I’m pretty decent at word’ing and I’m going to take the dive back into ebook publishing. Mostly short stories at first, but maybe novels further down the road when my hands get into the habit of daily writing again. Non fiction is also a possibility. I’m confident I can make side income in this area, it’s just a matter of content generation. Without a job in the way I can focus on this during the daytime while Rebekah is at work.
I’ve started doing more art, both for creative and therapeutic purposes. I’m going to continue doing this, and streaming the process as much as possible. I’m not sure if this can be a side income, but if it’s possible I’ll give it a shot. I have ideas ranging from single pieces, portraits and landscapes all the way to children’s books and comic strips.
I get pissed a lot so I imagine that activism is still going to be a central component of my life.
If my fiancee is going to be bringing home the bacon, then I feel it’s only fair that I keep the affairs of the house in order. That includes taking care of our animals, meals, cleaning, etc. I’m pretty sure I can handle most of that without having a mental breakdown, but hey, I’ve been wrong before.
It’s been pretty hard to be the best father I can be when every night I’ve felt like killing myself. Hopefully that can change. With the open availability I’ll be able to not only see my son grow to be a man, but also be more involved with his school and extracurricular activities.
I’m optimistic and my chest doesn’t feel like an elephant has been sitting on it all day.