I am sure that I am not alone in this but a lot of the time, I just feel completely useless. I am sure my wonderful partner will disagree of course, but it’s a feeling that never quite lets go.

I have no income. I do work though, i’m not completely lazy. I volunteer a few days a week, but there’s no money there. I try to do some work around the flat but everyone knows that that’s unpaid. I apply for an inordinate number of jobs every week, from IT work that I’m qualified for, all the way down to office admin work. An interview from time to time would be nice, you know just to give me confidence that I’m being considered…

But I am not young and pretty. Sure, I’m not exactly old either, and people tell me I come across as about a decade younger than I really am, but I’m no longer in that employable band of 18-30 that employers love so much. Perhaps if I had multiple doctorates that’d be different, perhaps not.

Even training is hard. I am told I need to do this course or that one, but when a course is going to cost me £900 (often up-front and sometimes plus exam fees) and the alternative is buying food to survive, then food wins every time. It means my only option is a book and to teach myself, now if only I could get the 5+ years of commercial experience with whatever it is I train that employers demand for entry level salaries.

But that’s just money, we’ve also got the double bonus win of dysphoria and depression to deal with. Hopefully the dysphoria will ease somewhat after surgery, but going on other people’s experiences, I’m not convinced, and even if it does, it’s unlikely to be total, there’s way too much of it. Of course, this and the money together feed the depression, so yay!

Now in a big way I am lucky here, since my depression is mostly situational rather than clinical. What this means is that it can be broken without life-destroying drugs… usually. The right sort of company can break me out of it, as can sometimes a nice long walk. It’s not a permanent fix, but at least it means that it’s rarely debilitating. It does screw up my empathy though, which means that sometimes I get to be unpleasant, needy and oblivious to other people’s feelings, just wanting my own fixed. To those affected by that, I apologise.

What all this means is that I am not a good life partner. I’m moody, I contribute little and I feel like a waste of space… which loops back to the depression above, yay! I can only afford cheap clothes and cosmetics, I can only afford to have my hair done once or twice a year, which makes me feel inadequate and often ugly, which feeds the dysphoria and yes, in turn, the depression.

As I said at the top, my partner would no doubt disagree with my being useless, and I love her for it, as well as for everything else she does for me. I’m not sure I could survive without her right now. I just wish that I could do more for her.

Posted by Siobhán using WordPress for Android.

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