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Fighting Depression #31 – Things are going pretty well right now.

July 1, 2017
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The new job is good, but very demanding/taxing.  Working overtime most days, so away from the house half a day, and when I’m home, I’m exhausted/beat.

(Four day weekend for the holiday right now, so that’s rather exciting.  Conversely, we’ll be working next Saturday, so that week we’ll only have a one day weekend.  Bah.  I think it’s funny, considering that I had what amounts to a five and third month long weekend for the first half of the year.)

The work is interesting enough – I’m officially a “Press Line Operator” or a “Machine Operator” (I’ve seen my title referred to as both.)  I’ve been trained on nine machines (flatteners, stakers, piercer/deburrers, knurlers), and as of this past week, I’ve also been trained and spending about half my time in the wash station (which I refer to as the “dish pit”, as it strongly reminds me of that.)

The work is hot (especially in the dish pit) – temperatures of 100F plus are common.  (Our shift starts at 3pm, and since 3-6 is generally the warmest part of the day, it tends to get cooler as the shift goes on, fortunately.  Days where it rains makes a huge difference, too.)  But I don’t really mind hot work; there’s plenty of fans, so it’s (mostly) tolerable.  (And, depending on the temperature, we are eligible for extra breaks in the air conditioned break rooms.)

The work is physical, especially in the dish pit (lifting baskets/dumping them in in the machine, reloading, etc, plus another part of the job is ferrying stacks to their next stop.)  I don’t mind physical, but after 5+ months of a mostly sedentary life, it’s taking a bit to get used to.  The past couple days seemed to be less taxing, so we’ll see how it continues.

The people I work with are very cool, for the most part.  I’ve gotten friendly with a few folks already, and everyone else ranges from politely aloof to cordial.

I’m being paid several dollars an hour more than at the shelter (no surprise, this is a big corporation vs a small non-profit that really didn’t appreciate its workforce), but I’m in a higher tax bracket, so not bringing home quite as much more as you’d think.  (Still, with the overtime, I’ll have brought home in two weeks what I’d have brought home in 2/3rds of a month from the shelter.  This will greatly help in catching up on the debt I’ve accrued this year.)

Being busy and productive and bringing in cash and being social is very good for me, mentally.  It’s keeping my depression/issues fairly quiet for the time being.  Doubts and fears and such are still there, but the voices are drowned out by everything else going on, at least for the time being.

Here’s hoping this trend continues.

As always, thank you for reading along.


Fighting Depression #30 – Hey, I started my new job…

June 19, 2017
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So, as anyone following knows, the biggest thing that’s defined this year is my being fired from the non-profit no-kill animal shelter that I bled, sweated and shed tears over for the past twelve-plus years.  (I won’t go into the long, detailed story again, but for those who are newer and/or don’t know the story of me and the shelter, I wrote about it in detail two months ago.)

I started a new job today.  It’s “temp-to-hire”, but I’m hoping that I’m able to prove myself and turn it into a permanent hire position before long.

Today was orientation, so that meant a morning meeting with HR and several other new hires, and then most of the rest of the day taking tests on the computer.  The last couple hours, I sat in on the beginning of the shift meeting for the department/team I’ll be starting with, and was walked around and given the grand tour and explained many policies and introduced to a bunch of people by my team leader, Linda.

Tomorrow, I begin actually being part of the crew/team/department (not sure their term for it – team, I’m thinking, but I’m uncertain.)  Excited, a bit anxious.  There’s a lot for me to learn; it’s manufacturing, and while I have had a job in that field before, it wasn’t this particular type of manufacturing.

And, of course, depression/anxiety is having me second guess everything and beat myself up… yay.  But, I’m doing my best to ignore that, battle those thoughts with positive ones.

So, onward and upward, right?

(As always, thank you for reading.)


Fighting Depression #29 – I’m still here!

June 9, 2017
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So, 15 days gone by, not a post from me.  (sheepish grin)

Let’s see… quick recap, bullet points style!

  • I’m still unemployed.  Still collecting unemployment (“ReEmployment Assistance” in Florida.)  Still putting out applications left and right (minimum required to be on RA is 5/week, I’m exceeding that every week.)
  • I have a job interview next week; I’m nervous as fuck about it.  I did a phone interview, and then an online assessment and now the next step is in-person interview.  This would be a cool job, I think, and it’s 2nd shift (I’m so not a morning person, so that’s a good thing) and it’s manufacturing, so the pay should be more than I was making.  (And, while I’m not really about money, I do like being able to pay bills and the like… plus I’ve accrued some extra debt doing the jobless thing the past five months.)
  • Technically, tomorrow will be five months from when I found out that I was being fired for no reason.  (Yes, I’m still bitter about that.  Even though, from things I hear, I think it’s a good thing I’m not there any more.  Let’s just say, standards have fallen.)
  • I’m scraping by, I’m managing.  Selling stuff online and making some here and there, finding some money I had squirreled away in an envelope three years ago and completely forgot about helps.  I’m starting to look into other avenues should the ReEmployment Assistance run out before I find a job, and there are avenues.
  • Been going to the gym, twice a week most weeks (there was a ten day stretch between visits a couple weeks ago, so that wasn’t good.)  I’m thinking about boosting it three times a week.  Better for my weight loss (which is happening, been about a pound a week most weeks), better for my mental health, too.
  • Saw two new release movies, one last week, one this week.  Last week was ALIEN: COVENANT (I enjoyed it, it wasn’t great, but it was fun) and this week was WONDER WOMAN (oh, so very awesome, loved it.)  I paid $6 to see both of them (did a blood donation a couple weeks ago, and got a $10 Gift Card to EPIC THEATRES.  On Tuesdays, it’s “Discount Day”, shows are $6, $8 on the XL Screen – and, trust me, superhero and scifi movies are MUCH better on that bigger screen.  So worth the extra $2.)
  • I have good, productive days and I have bad days.  Time is starting to get tighter in regards to a steady income (such that it is), so I’m going to have to force myself to have more good, productive days.  I have a plan for the weekend and even early next week.  Plans and lists are tools that help me stay on track, or get back on track when I derail.

So, that’s it, in a nutshell.  Pretty much a holding pattern/same-old, same-old the past few weeks.  Hopefully, this coming week brings good news, but if not, then I’ve got to go into overdrive.  While I’m waiting for that, working on things, looking into avenues, the like.

As always, I thank you for reading.


Fighting Depression #28 – Today was a bad day.

May 25, 2017
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Today, everything just came slamming down on me, mentally and emotionally.

It was a bad day.  A very bad day.

I’m okay, though.  Not gonna beat myself up for having a shit day and doing pretty much nothing all day.

Gonna chill for a little bit, try to get to bed before long, and tomorrow’s a new day.  I have a game plan for the rest of the week.  I will get things done, I will take care of business.

But, damn, did today hurt.

 


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Fighting Depression #27 – I’m okay.

May 22, 2017
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(Quick plug: I still am selling personal items to help pay bills while seeking employment.  If you like DVDs and Blu Rays, please check out this post.  If you like games – roleplaying, tabletop or PS4, check out this post.)

I’m okay.  (It’s been eleven days since my last post, so you might be wondering…)

I’m not great.  I’m still unemployed.  I still have days where… I just lose myself for a bit.  I’m still a little overwhelmed most of the time, and a lot overwhelmed on occasion.

I’m not horrible.  I’m paying (most of) the bills.  I have a buffer, thanks to the ReEmployment Assistance (though that’s going to run out, it’s not a long-term thing – I’m almost at the halfway point now.)  I have food in my stomach, a roof over my head.  My critters are healthy and happy.  I’m mostly healthy, I believe, and there are times i’m happy.

There have been several screening interviews for jobs (mostly by phone, one in-person.)  There’s been an actual in-person interview/skills test.  They didn’t say how soon to expect a call if I got hired… and I get the sense that it’s not unreasonable to not have heard from them just yet, so there’s still a chance, I’m thinking.

I’m lonely.  I can’t afford to go places on a regular basis that might help me meet or interact with people.  (That being said, I’m likely going to go see a couple movies this week – last week, I donated blood and got a $10 gift card for the local theatre, and tomorrow is their Discount Day, so I’m intending to go see Alien: Covenant… and I got a free screening pass for Wonder Woman on Wednesday.)

I really crave some intimacy with someone, too.  And, really, there’s no way I’m a “catch” right now.  I’m a mess, my life is a mess, my house is a mess.

I’m frustrated with life right now.  Last year, I enacted a plan to Make Things Better.  I budgeted better, got caught up on payments, improved my credit.  Even with the extra weeks’ worth of work I missed last year (and didn’t make up), I was able to do all that.

I had a plan for this year – my five day wrestling weekend was going to involve a hotel room local to the venue (I actually had money saved up for that, but that was used to pay bills to get me through until after said wrestling weekend), and then the rest of the year, the game plan was getting a new(?) car and doing some home improvement projects.

So, yeah.

But, I’m okay.  I.  AM.  OKAY.  I’m not (yet) in danger of losing the house, of being homeless, etc.  I still have time, I still have options.  I need to refocus and tuck my chin and charge through that wall.

I have a reputation.

(Well, I have MANY reputations.  Sadly, most of them are based in truth.)

But, I have a reputation.  I am considered a bit of a force of nature when it comes to my stubborn (some will say bull-headed) nature

So, maybe I need to tap into that and get shit done.


Fighting Depression #26/Movie Time: Guardians of the Galaxy Double Shot

May 11, 2017
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A week ago today, I went to a double feature at the local theatre, the EPIC Theatres West Volusia with Epic XL.  It was a double feature of 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the debuting Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2.

gotg double

This isn’t going to be a break it down to basics review, you’ve probably already seen plenty of those.  This is going to talk about the experience and how it was good for my mental health.

For those new here; I’m blogging some life stuff/etc to help deal with my depression.  I’m self-diagnosed and not seeking professional help at this stage.  I’m also going through a particularly tough time, having been fired (without any explanation) from the not-for-profit no-kill animal shelter that I gave twelve-plus years of my life to.

So, couple weeks back, I saw that there was a double feature of GotG on Thursday, May 4th.  Now, I LOVE GotG.  It’s my favourite Marvel Studios movie.  It’s one of my favourite movies, period.  I own it on blu ray (and it’s one of a select bunch that I am NOT selling – if you want to help a guy pay some bills, please consider looking at the movies I am selling… or you can check here to see the tabletop/roleplaying/PS4 games I have for sale, too.)  I’ve seen it a good 4-5 times now.

The idea of seeing it on the big screen again really appealed to me.  I thought that would be much fun.

The ticket for the double feature was $20.  A bit pricey for my budget, but I had a gift certificate for $12, so it would only cost me $8.  I could justify that – I’ve been treating myself to a meal out about once a week – if I’m having to sell my personal items to pay bills, some of that money is going towards fun stuff.  So I decided this would be my treat for the week.

Now, a little history.  I really dig movie marathons.  I’ve only ever been to two others in actual theatres.  Back in 1987, my friend Todd and I went to Orlando (sadly, I don’t recall the name of the theatre – it wasn’t a big box one, it was a small community theatre with a balcony – we sat in the balcony, it was very cool) and saw A Nightmare On Elm Street and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge (neither of which I’d seen in the theatre because they were rated R, I was only 15 for the first one, and I didn’t have a consenting adult to go with), as well as the debut of A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.

It was a VERY cool experience; it was a Friday afternoon, so I played hooky from school (I was a junior in high school, Todd was a senior) and we went to Orlando.  The auditorium was filled to the max, maybe 300-350 people, all rabid Freddy fans.  Watching the first two on the big screen was a lot of fun, we were yelling out lines and such… one vivid memory I have, thirty years later, is EVERYONE yelling the line in sync when Nancy tells her boyfriend Glen (Johnny Depp), “Whatever you do… don’t fall asleep.”

Fast forward to 2014.  Now, I’m a big Planet of the Apes fan.  The original is probably my favourite scifi movie.  It’s certainly my favourite post-apocalypse movie (and I’m a rather big fan of that genre of story.)  I like the five movie series, even the bad one, Beneath The Planet of the Apes.  I own the set on blu ray (and again, NOT SELLING them.)

In 2011, when Rise of the Planet of the Apes came out, I was excited, but with very big reservations, as the 2001 movie sucked balls (though, to be honest, I find myself wanting to revisit that, just to see if it’s as bad as I think I remember it being.)  I put off seeing it at the theatres, so I had to wait until it came out on video (I believe I watched it via Amazon when it did.)  I loved it and was kicking myself for not going to see it… so when Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was coming out, I was excited to see that the UA Seminole Towne Center 10 was having a double-feature with both movies.  (And, yes, I currently own both on blu ray, and, no, I’m not selling them, either.)

I, of course, went.  Was so thrilled to watch RotPotA on the big screen.  Loved the movie even more for it.  (There are some movies that are just so much better on the big screen… and this one was one I already loved.)

Then, DotPotA came on.  It was a 3D movie.

I was horrified.

I’m legally blind in my left eye.  Traditional 3D (the glasses with one red lens, one blue lens) does NOT work for me.  At all.  My brain processes about 98% of my vision through my right eye.  (Even when I cover my right eye, my brain processes so that I ‘see’ through my hand – it processes the left eye image and the image of my hand together.  It’s really cool and weird.)

I thought… ok… well, I’ll try and watch it without.  (I used to try that with the old style of 3D, and get a headache within minutes.)  Then, before the movie actually started, I was like, “fuck it, we’ll try the 3D”.  So, I had to go out and get a pair of 3D glasses (I had no idea DofPotA was 3D, it hadn’t been stated obviously on the website I got the ticket from, though it was listed on the ticket, in small print… I’d have passed on the ticket, or looked for another venue where they were showing the regular version of the 2nd movie instead.)

Guess what?  The new 3D works for me… mostly.  I still don’t get the full experience, but I can see SOME depth and difference.  And, wearing the glasses, I don’t get a headache, so that was good.  (Bottom line, I was able to experience the movie and enjoy it.)

Now, this double feature experience wasn’t as cool as the ANoES triple feature was, because there were only about a dozen people and it was a more sedated experience… but the movies were more than fun enough to make it an experience that I hold dear.

So, walking into the GotG double feature, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It was about 4pm when I walked into the lobby; the movie was scheduled to start at 4:30.  There was a line queued up already, about twenty-some people.  I got in line, found out there was a raffle, so I presented my ticket to get a number.  There were 5 soundtracks and 3 t-shirts being raffled away, either would be fine to win, I thought, though the soundtrack was the ideal (and everyone else seemed to agree.)

I didn’t win anything, sadly.  I also forgot to pick up the complimentary button/mini-poster set, so there’s that.

All told, I think there were about fifty people as we filed into the auditorium.  I got to sit the very top row, exact center, which is my preferred seat, so I was pleased with that.

This was more of a fun experience, because everyone was EXCITED to see GotG on the big screen again.  When it started, people clapped and cheered.  Throughout the movie, people clapped, cheered, awww’d and more.

The new movie… I loved it.  I know a lot of people out there have complaints, I think you’re all nuts.  It was just as good as the first, I think – and in some ways better (and in some ways, not quite as good.)

Loved the villain; he’s one of my favourite somewhat obscure villains from Marvel comics, so I really enjoyed that.  Loved the little Easter Eggs.  Did I think Stallone was the perfect casting for Stakar?  No, but he didn’t have that much screen time, and what he did, he did fine for the character as it was presented.

Loved the credit scenes.  All five of them.  Third one’s the best, but they were all good.

And the crowd was hip and into it (though about half left after the 2nd credits scene, dummies.)

So, for $8 I got a super fun experience that I’ll remember for years.  And it’s stuff like that that helps me fight the negativity and such swirling around in my brain.

As always, thanks for reading.


Fighting Depression #25 – A little good news goes a long way.

May 2, 2017
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I’ve had some good news today that I REALLY needed to hear, so I had a nice, strong drink to “celebrate”… so this post is going to be short so I don’t make a fool of myself.

The good news: I finally got approved for unemployment compensation.  This was weighing on me as there were “pending issues” that could “delay or disqualify” me from getting the UC.  (Oh, yeah, here in Florida, it’s called “ReEmployment Assistance” now.)  Even though I knew there shouldn’t have been any reasons for me to not get approved (I was terminated for no doing of my own, I am not otherwise earning an income), it’s VERY stressful to see that in my account every time I checked it.

But, finally, I got the letters of approval on both the termination and remuneration issues.  (The latter was b/c I got severance pay from the shelter when I was fired, but since that’s long been used up and more than enough time has elapsed, that’s been determined not to be a factor.)

So, that’s a MAJOR weight off my shoulders.  I’ll be getting some money on a regular basis, and that means I can now apply for mortgage assistance from the Florida’s Hardest Hit program, as well as food stamps, to help me out.

Today was pretty much a wash; I didn’t get much done, but I’m okay with that.  Tomorrow, back to being productive and pro-active.  Gotta get some job applications done for the week, plus apply for the aforementioned programs.


Online Yard Sale #2 – Game night! #PS4 #tabletop #roleplaying

April 28, 2017
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(This is the 2nd “Online Yard Sale” post.  The first one has blu rays and DVDs, you can find them here.  Short version, I’m unemployed and need help paying bills, so I’m selling my stuff.  Please share this post with your friends/social networks who might be interested in buying.)

 

EDIT – JUNE 17: As I’m starting a (temp-to-hire) job in two days, I’m pulling the ONLINE YARD SALE posts.  If this job doesn’t work out, then I’ll likely revisit them.  (Additionally, I will be selling some stuff, not all that I had listed, on eBay – you can find my listings here – currently none but there will be some later in June – as I still need to catch up on debt accrued during my unemployment.)

A big thanks to everyone who purchased items from me and those who signal boosted.  I made several hundred dollars through this, and that helped with the bill payments BIG TIME.


Fighting Depression #24 – Stumble, Fall, Get up again. (Also, dieting.)

April 25, 2017
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So, I’ve been applying for jobs over the past several weeks, using LinkedIn and Indeed mostly, applying for some directly on the company’s own sites.  Still tweaking my resume, and just trying to find something interesting (if not actually fun) to do that isn’t too strenuous on my back (or if it were, part time but also paying enough that I could live off of.)

One of the jobs I applied to on Saturday called me early yesterday morning; I was out walking Smiley, so I didn’t get the call.

Oh, for those of you who aren’t in the know, this is Smiley.  She’s a senior (at least 13 years of age, probably more) pit bull that I adopted from the shelter four years ago (the last Sunday of April 2013 she went home with me.)

In fact, here’s the pic I took the day she came home with me, at the end of the work day:

IMAG0238

And here’s a recent pic of her:

april 2017 smiley

(As you can see, she’s camera shy.  And, yes, a lot more white in her face.)

But, I digress.

So, I didn’t get their call.  They texted me to inquire if I was interested in a phone interview, I said I was and was available and they called.

I thought it went well.  We discussed the job, the responsibilities, my job history, my skills and predilection to work customer service type jobs.  I was told that my resume would be passed on for review for calling people in for in-person interviews, and if I were selected, that I would receive a call by 5pm that day.

5pm came, went, no call.

It hit me hard.  I know I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up just because *I* thought the phone interview went well, but I did.  So, I was majorly bummed out.  In a deep funk.

Late last night, finally occurred to me why.

This is only the second interview I’ve EVER had that did not end up with me being hired.  (And my first phone interview.)  Now, granted, my memory is iffy at times, so I’m willing to concede that it might be my third that never resulted in a job… but no more than that.

I guess I interview well.

But, yeah, so I was down, but once I sorted that out in my head, was feeling a little better.  Today’s been working on other stuff, then tomorrow, back to job-search related stuff.


 

So, I’ve been going to the gym twice a week for the past several weeks.

A few days ago, I started tracking my calories again.

See, back in 2010, last time I was unemployed, I got fat.  252 pounds, the heaviest I’ve ever weighed.  (Caveat – I was 252 in March 2011.  Last time I weighed myself before that was Sep 2010, and I was like 230 pounds then.  Which I’d weighed once before, in 2000.  And in 2000, I lost 30 pounds in about 3 months while working in a high volume kitchen.  So, at the time, I felt it was no worry… but I kept gaining weight, obviously.)

Right now, I’m about 220-225.  (I only weigh myself about once a week.  Weighing myself daily doesn’t do any good.)  I’ll weigh myself either tomorrow or Thurs morning.

But, anyhow.. so, March 2011, I get on the scale, I’m 252 pounds and I freak out.  I’d been going to the gym 2-3 times a week, but doing just basic stuff.  So I got myself in to the gym, talked to a personal trainer, came up with a program, was working out 4 times a week, sometimes 5.

And started counting calories.  Not really cutting out anything, just cutting back on the heavier calorie foods.

Which is what I’ve been doing (mostly; yesterday, feeling bad, kinda didn’t.  Oh, yeah, I’m an emotional eater.  Happy, sad, stressed, wired, depressed, euphoric, don’t matter, I eat.)

Anywho… using FatSecret (website and app) to track things, we’ll see how it goes.


 

Welp, that’s it for now.  As always, thanks for reading along.


Fighting Depression #23 – Tackling things one by one

April 21, 2017
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I get overwhelmed so easily.  And once I do, there’s really not much chance of me being useful until I ‘calm down’, for lack of a better term.

Tackling issues, one at a time, is the best way to avoid (and possibly get through) that.  I need to keep things simple.  Stop stressing over unemployment (there’s a couple ‘issues’ according to the system, but I’m supposed to follow procedure in the meantime.  I just DO NOT deal with uncertainties like that well.  At all.  Never have.)

So, I’m going back to making a list.  Every day, I’m going to make a list.  Put stuff to do THAT DAY on it.  Allow myself to not get them all done, but to have a list and to use that to: a) help me remember what it is I need to get done.  I am still VERY much having memory issues.  (Been happening for years, gotten worse over the past couple years.  I’m of the opinion it’s stress/depression related.), and b) to be able to look back and see what I’ve done, so if I’m beating myself up (I know, that NEVER happens…. o.0)  I can look at the list and say, “Dummy,” and yes, read that in Eli Drake’s voice, “you’ve gotten stuff done today, see?”

(If you’re wondering who Eli Drake is and why I chose him, check out this short video.)


 

So, a couple days ago, I posted a list of DVDs and Blu Rays for sale, hoping to generate some cash to help pay bills, help with groceries.

In the past three days, I’ve made (including $91 which is pending via a check-through-Paypal) approximately $200.  The first $100ish went to groceries and a utility bill.  The $91 (which should clear early/mid next week) will pay my power bill for the month, so, yay!  Many thanks to Monica, Susan, Bryan and Andrew for buying stuff, and many thanks to everyone who’s help spread the word.

I’ll be posting a 2nd “Online Yard Sale” post either tomorrow or (most likely) Sunday, with some gaming related items – board games, role-playing games, maybe even video game stuff.  Stay tuned.

As always, I thank you for reading along.  If you’re inclined to share my Online Yard Sale posts, that’d be super-grand.


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