Limited

Today, I’m frustrated beyond belief by my limitations.  I feel like I just can’t do anything.

As a kid, I wasn’t just told I could do anything I wanted, I was expected to do everything.  It wasn’t an empowering sort of thing–it was dysfunctional, though I probably couldn’t have named it as such then.  I don’t think that it ever occurred to me that I could refuse to do everything.  I look back at high school and don’t know how I did it.  I was doing an MFA-level creative writing program at the #4 high school in the country, I was the leader of the church youth group, I volunteered every week at a Teen Court program, I volunteered at a science museum, I volunteered with Special Olympics, I taught creative writing to a second-grade class, I babysat, and I worked three nights a week at a fast food restaurant.  I honestly don’t know when I slept.

Now, I feel like I can’t do anything, and it makes me feel worthless.  I bought my family’s approval–what I thought then was love–by always trying to be good enough.  It was never good enough, of course, no matter how much I did.  Now that I can’t do most things, I feel like I’m even less worthy of approval or love.

And it frustrates me because I know I’m capable of much more than my body lets me do.  I got an email earlier this week from a major political campaign, inviting me to apply for a field organizer position.  I wanted SO BADLY to send them my resume, and I’m pretty sure I would’ve gotten the job.  I would’ve been awesome at that job, and I would’ve loved it.  Plus, they would’ve actually paid me!  Maybe I’m still an idealistic teenager, but I think it’s pretty fucking awesome to get paid to do something you love.

But my body can’t handle it.  Just walking four blocks today was painful.  There are days I can’t be more than a few yards from the bathroom because I can’t tell if I’m going to fart or crap my pants.  Some days I can’t function without narcotic painkillers, but they made me so stupid I can’t accomplish much.  Some days, I don’t have the energy or the blood pressure to stand up long enough to boil pasta.  I would kick ass at a field organizer position, but I no longer have the stamina to kick ass.

And that pisses me off.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Limited

  1. kat

    im sorry you have such physical issues, esp on top of mental health ones. i too feel betrayed by my body, in similar ways. its really hard to accept tho. good luck, hang in there.

  2. I’m starting to feel my limitations as well, thanks to physical illness. When you spend so much time fighting through the mental health issues only to find that you still can’t accomplish what you want is infuriating, to say the least.
    I’m sorry you had to pass on that job…you would have been awesome at it. xx Maybe there’s something you could do for them from home? Even if unpaid…:(

    *hugs for you* my friend. x

    • I think the thing that bugs me most is that being able to get this job would be really good for my mental health. I feel capable, confident, and like I’m doing something important when I’m working on campaigns, and that does wonders for my depression.

      I’m debating applying for an internship, which would require fewer hours. Not sure if it’d be paid. I really want a paid campaign job, if for no other reason than it’ll help me get more paid campaign jobs if/when I’m not sick all the time.

      • Maybe you could lean on the physical trouble you have a little? It’s got to be useful for something right? (lol…not really, I know). I wonder if you tell them that you have physical limitation (not mentioning the MH issues at all) they might accommodate you? Worth a shot anyway.

        I know you’d feel great doing that work. I remember the last campaign you worked on…you were so happy, confident and it seemed to give you something to hope for. You deserve this job…I wish things were different for you. 😦 I’m staring to have to face this crap too and it’s beyond frustrating and often really defeating. xx

        Much love. Push on…G

      • I don’t know–I feel like it would be somehow dishonest to apply, get a job, and then say, “Oh, by the way, I am physically incapable of doing a lot of what this job requires.” But I need to do something. I feel so existentially bored and restless and useless lately.

  3. It is painfully frustrating to go from one extreme to what feels like the other end. I wonder if you couldn’t do a lot of the work from home wherever possible? I agree with Grainne that at least applying can’t do any harm. If they are impressed enough with you, there may be some leeway. Again I’m out of date with this comment but something to consider for the future. You clearly have a lot to offer.

    • I didn’t end up applying for the FO position. I decided it was just a recipe for trouble, for both my physical and mental health. I mean, I would’ve been expected to work 80-90 hour weeks clear through until the election in November, and I just don’t have the stamina for that.

      But I’m pretty happy with the involvement I have been able to commit to. I’m a regional lead now. I recruit and train volunteers, canvass, phone bank, do special events, you name it. I also got a slot as a disabled add-on delegate to the state convention, which is awesome because now I get to actually vote at the convention and have an active role in shaping the state party. And the good thing about doing all of this on a volunteer basis is that I’m never obligated to go to anything. (Except the convention. I will make them wheel my deathbed in for that, if it comes to it. But I’m a huge political nerd.) If I’m stuck on the toilet, I can call and say, “Sorry, can’t make it today.” Hell, I can call out if I just don’t feel like getting out of bed, although I usually try to push myself in those cases because I usually feel better if I get up and do stuff I love.

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