Sunday, October 28, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 28: Schism

Demanding that one
Who has been repeatedly broken
Must make the choice
To appear whole and happy
In order to bridge the chasm
Between rejection and belonging
Only serves to foster
A life built on a lie
The schism remains
And the least misstep
Means falling back into the abyss


Friday, October 26, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 26: Mixed Messages

I need to be more open, I am told
Not to keep my truth a secret, to be bold
Not to be introspective, to reveal
Every thought I think and feeling that I feel

But when I follow this advice, then all I find
Are those who say: don't be quick to speak your mind
You must maintain an air of mystery
Don't be in a hurry to set your secrets free

Have an open heart but don't wear it on your sleeve
Don't let the sun catch you crying, no-one wants to see you grieve
Be real and true and honest, but don't be an open book
Don't keep your light hidden inside, let the world have a look

With all this conflicting information
I just want to catch the train and leave the station


Thursday, October 25, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 25: Receiver Of

The door does
Not go both ways for me
In the past when the door would open
I would follow the advice of well-meaning
People who would suggest that I should
Jump in and take the chance
And walk through

The door does
Not go both ways for me
If I go in, part of me does not
Return when I am thrown out the door like trash
By men who want the old in and out
But they actually hate
Those they use

The door does
Not go both ways for me
Suggesting that I take a chance on "love"
Is the worst advice that anyone can give me
When I have taken chances, I have 
Only been abused, so
Not again

The door does
Not go both ways for me
I long ago grew very weary
Of giving but never receiving in return
Only receiving abuse for love
Do not suggest that I
Try again


The Triquain, created by Shelley A. Cephas, is a poem with several creative variances and can be a rhyming or non-rhyming verse. The simplest form is a poem made up of 7 lines with 3, 6, 9, 12, 9, 6, and 3 syllables in this order. 
Yes, the poem is autobiographical. Please, please, please do not suggest that there is something "wrong" with me for not wanting to be involved in a romantic relationship. Please do not suggest that I need to "fix" myself so that I can "find love." That may be something you need or want. It is not something that I do. I have had more than enough of gaslighting by narcissistic predators posing as "nice guys" for one lifetime, thank you anyway.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

My Musings through life: The Song of my Desires

My Musings through life: The Song of my Desires: Day-24 OctPoWriMo-2018 Prompt: Opening (Form: Free Verse) I am a flowing stream Don't bind me In worldly tangles. ...

This is an amazing piece, and the photograph fits with it perfectly. I often wonder what I could have become if I had been allowed to BE.

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 24: Out of the Attic


The madwoman has escaped from the attic
And cut through the red tape


She stumbles out into the sunlight
No longer will she hide


The people hide in the shadows
To see her in the open is quite a shock


How dare she try to approach the good people?
She's such a hideous thing!


Surely she doesn't fancy herself equal to us
Who does she think she is really?


The madwoman has escaped from the attic
And cut through the red tape


I have type 2 bipolar disorder which was not properly diagnosed until I was 38 years old. I first noted symptoms of bipolar disorder, then termed manic depression, in myself when I was taking a psychology class in high school. I approached the teacher with my thoughts, and she told me that I couldn't be manic depressive because manic depression was a psychosis, and I evidently wasn't psychotic.
Bipolar disorder has since been recategorized as a mood disorder rather than a psychosis.
Bipolar type 2 can be difficult to diagnose because it presents with hypomania rather than full mania. Bipolar 2 does not have psychotic features. Bipolar 1 may or may not present with psychosis.
I have experienced mania and psychosis when they were triggered by SSRI's, the darlings of the psychiatry field. It was terrifying and upsetting. While taking Effexor, a patient in the long-term care center I was working for at the time asked me why I was so happy. I wasn't happy, I was manic as fuck and felt completely out of control. I never experience mania if I don't take SSRI's. 
Just another reason why people suggesting that I should "try medication" makes me want to go all Norman Bates on their ass. I did, and the cure was worse than the problem. Having a psychiatric anomaly does not make a person stupid.
I realize that sometimes it can be difficult when dealing with people who do improve with use of medication and who then feel as if they have been cured and quit taking the medication. Psychiatric dysfunctions are not one size fits all. 
I do best using a low dose of Lithium Orotate. It short-circuits the irritability that is part and parcel of my condition.
I once had a doctor tell me to "just stay on" a medication (Zoloft) which made it feel as if my brain had developed tiny hands and was trying to pick its way out of my skull. To this day, I would like to know how the fuck he thought that was an improvement. That was a psychotic reaction to the medication. I normally do not experience psychosis. I knew it wasn't really happening, but it sure as fuck FELT as if it was really happening, and who the hell knows what I might have done to stop it if it kept on. 
These medications are not "happy pills." They change the brain chemistry. Some people are helped by them. For some, they don't work at all. For others, the cure is worse than the disease.
I think that one thing which desperately needs to change is the idea of making people who live with neurological or psychological differences into "normal" people, and to stop acting as if those of us who live with these conditions are "broken." 
It would have been nice to learn how to live with a brain like mine from the time I was in my youth rather than being told that I had to be "fixed," to be "normal." 
I will never be normal.
I will only be me.
Stop the stigma.

Haiga copyright The Real Cie
You are welcome to use it with a credit back to me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 23: Behind the Mask

Beneath this facade
I hide the unspoken truth
None may uncover
I will never make it clear
What lies behind this calm mask


I could tell you the unspoken truth, but then I'd have to kill you. ;-)

Monday, October 22, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 22: A Palindrome for my Pancreas

An artistic depiction of my pancreas

Betrayal in honesty
No loyalty offered
Deception not really
Not dishonesty
Without grace
Though there was duplicity
There wasn't mercy
You weren't exactly lying
You have not forgiveness
Forgiveness not have you
Lying exactly weren't you
Mercy wasn't there
Duplicity was there though
Grace without
Dishonesty not
Really not deception
Offered no loyalty
Honesty in betrayal


Pardon my brutal honesty, but my endocrine system is a fucking trash fire. My thyroid decided to immolate itself when I was sixteen. My ovaries became cystic, shitty little bastards. My periods were from hell. I developed endometriosis. I don't know when I started developing fibroids, but I have a uterus full of the damn things, and it's coming out at the end of the year. 
At least with the thyroid, I just have to take pills, although sometimes the dose has to be adjusted down because they can jack up my blood pressure and pulse rate. My thyroid may still have some of its own function, but it's completely abnormal.
Then there's my pancreas.
My pancreas waited until I was 49 to decide to fuck me over.
At first, I took pills, but then they stopped working sufficiently. Besides, I don't like having to carry around a spare pair of pants, and the less said about that, the better.
Then I had to start injecting long-acting insulin (Levemir).
Now I inject the long-acting insulin at noon and midnight and the rapid-acting insulin before meals.
"It's soooo much fun having a zombie pancreas," declared the queen of sarcasm.
By the way, diabetes cannot be cured, so don't tell me about how if I just drink a gallon of vinegar at every full moon while pouring ice cubes down my pants and sprinkling pepper in my hair I will be cured of diabetes.
In rare cases, type 2 diabetes goes into remission. This is not the same thing as being cured. Like cancer, a person with diabetes in remission is always more vulnerable to a recurrence of the disease than a person who has never had diabetes.
Further, I would like to see the word "diabetes" stricken from the medical lexicon and replaced with "hypopancreatism," which is a much more accurate term.
Diabetes is an ancient Greek term which translates loosely to "evil pissing" because of the increased urination that is part and parcel of the hell that is this stupid disease. Besides, it's a loaded term. People love to say it with a sneer as if those who end up with it "brought it on themselves" by "eating too much sugar.'
The cause of hypopancreatism is having a genetic trigger for the disease. A person who does not have the genetic trigger will never get the disease no matter how much sugar they consume.
People living with food insecurity are more vulnerable to activating the genetic trigger for the disease than people who have a reliable supply of nutritious food. However, the disease can strike anyone with the genetic trigger, regardless of their physique or social standing. Age increases the likelihood of developing type 2 hypopancreatism.
So, I am not calling the disease by its ancient Greek name anymore, although I do think that "evil pissing" is a pretty cool term. I would like to see the stigma attached to the condition eradicated.
And now, I need to go inject my wonderful basal insulin.
People who don't have the condition think that having to poke oneself with needles is the worst part of the disease. It really isn't. Often I don't even feel the needle. If I hit a tender spot, I experience minor pain. No big whoop. 
What I hate the most is the way the disease curtails my independence.
And that is why I leave this with a big FUCK YOU to my zombie pancreas and my crap endocrine system as a whole. I sometimes wonder what my life could have been like if I hadn't been easily fatigued and depressed for most of it and accused of being lazy every step of the way.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 21: Hideous Death or Just Misery

Since I have the libido of roadkill
I really couldn't give a rip
Whether it's love or lust
If there was a spark in the dark
I probably didn't notice
My desire is long dead and buried in a desert 
Or a scrap heap
Or a tomb with no view
And I have no intentions of reviving it
Anytime in the near future
Or ever
I'm better off without it
But I am questioning
And I am deciding
Whether this wretched cough
Complete with nasty mucus
Is just a lousy cold
Or if this awful feeling
Like someone set an anvil on my chest
Is in fact the beginnings
Of something quite a bit worse
Like maybe Captain Trips
So my choices boil down to this:
Am I a miserable hypochondriac
Or am I about to leave behind a really vile corpse
For some unfortunate soul to discover
Laying on the couch
Slime running from the eyes, nose, and mouth
Of my putrefying body
Kitchen Nightmares playing on the computer
I will die thinking 
If Gordon Ramsay survives
He will cut Randall Flagg to bits with his words
Thus ends my alternate universe version of The Stand
And now, if you'll excuse me
I must cough up a lung
By now it should come as no surprise
That I don't have a man in my life
My Give-A-Fuck broke a long time ago
No fellow in his right mind wants a partner
With a twisted sense of humor like mine


Friday, October 19, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 19: Suicide Ideation

Flowers and a Grave
Copyright Raivn_70

Is it death that you desire
Or do you wish to escape from your troubles
Are you questioning whether to end it 
Or do you wish to escape from your troubles
Do you search for a means of suicide
Or do you wish to escape from your troubles
Do you doubt your will to live
Or do you wish to escape from your troubles
Will you fulfill the threat to end it all
Or do you wish to escape from your troubles


The form is a chant poem.
I am aware that the go-to when one believes that someone is suicidal is to tell them to go to the emergency room or tell them to call the suicide line.
Please don't tell me to do either of those things.
I have lived with suicide ideation for as long as I can remember.
If I went to the emergency room every time I felt suicidal, I'd have to live there.
If I may be so bold, fuck that shit.
I'm afraid that in my experience, suicide hotlines are, well, not that helpful, if I'm to be blunt. I had one asshole who laughed at my distress. I had one kind but not at all helpful fellow who wished me luck. So, that has been my experience with suicide hotlines.
Suicide ideation is in a different class than someone threatening suicide, particularly if they have the means and a specific plan to complete the act.
A person may have a high degree of suicide ideation but a low level of planning, which tends to be my case when my suicide ideation flares up.
A person like me is not likely to telegraph it if they are actually going to commit suicide. If I were to commit suicide, no-one would know until after the fact. Thus, telling someone like me to go to the emergency room if I say I wish I was dead isn't going to accomplish anything except for wasting my time. With someone like me, it works much better to ask what's going on to make me feel that way. I might say that I'm on a downswing, or it might be something more concrete. But asking why I'm feeling as I am will make me feel as if you care rather than causing me to make a mental note to myself that here is yet one more person I can't tell anything because they just don't fucking get it.
It is a fact that people who experience suicide ideation are more likely to complete suicide than people who do not experience suicide ideation. It also is a fact that people who experience suicide ideation over the long term tend to have mood disorders such as major depression or bipolar disorder. A lot of us do not respond well (or at all) to the "magic medications." For people living with a chronic mental illness, it tends to be unhelpful and demeaning to suggest that we "try meds" or "seek counseling." Many of us have had bad experiences with "mental health professionals" and will avoid them like a bad case of athlete's foot.
If I could find a therapist who did cognitive behavioral therapy and whose services were covered by Medicaid, I might consider it. Such beasts, however, are rare as the proverbial hen's teeth. I find artistic pursuits to be a far more soothing balm than spilling my guts to someone who a) probably doesn't give a fuck, and b) will frustrate me by just not fucking getting it. I can find someone who fills those criteria by walking out onto any street corner and yelling "hey, come talk to me!"
That is your psychology lecture for the day, class. Thank you for attending the Crazy Creatives Cheerleading Academy!

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 17: Normal is Boring and Sanity is Overrated

I'm just sane enough
To know what I'm supposed to
Do so I fit in
And just sane enough to know
That I damn well think it sucks


Monday, October 15, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 15: If Hope Were an Umbrella

If hope were an umbrella
It would be full of holes
An unreliable shield
Allowing all manner of projectiles through
A farce offering the illusion of shelter
But in reality, only granting cover in fair weather
Affording no protection when storms arise


It did not take me 10 minutes to write this, let's be real

Sunday, October 14, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 14: Not Your Fat Joke

believed I could be
Then I would have
Followed my dreams
And believed in myself
In spite of people telling me
That people who look like me
Are only allowed to be
The butt of jokes
Fuck that shit
I refuse to


I wasn't quite sure how to do it, but I think I made the basic shape of a certain gesture 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Insecure Writer's Support Group: More About Cross-Pollination

Insecure Writer's Support Group: More About Cross-Pollination: Lately, I’ve been obsessed with cross-pollination. I’m not talking plants; I’m talking about linking up with endeavors of different kinds.

My response to this post:

For me, there's criticism and there's attack. Unfortunately, because of being bullied throughout school and having perfectionistic parents who inadvertently raised me to believe that I couldn't do anything right no matter how hard I tried, attacks tend to make me flare up and then shut down and become mired in self-doubt. I appreciate constructive criticism, i.e. "Cie, this paragraph is confusingly worded, and you never mentioned this character before." Sometimes when one is writing, one is so mired in their own Universe that they forget that other people are visitors and need an explanation of the characters and various events.

Constructive criticism helps writers and artists to build and grow rather than to become discouraged and walk away.

It's easy to say that we should just ignore the kind of toxic schmucks who enjoy attacking others' creations. Maybe some people are self-assured enough to do that and walk away unscathed. I'm not, although becoming older and meaner, I have developed a degree of self-esteem which allows me to blow off the kinds of losers who delight in causing harm.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 11: Fallen Through

A life filled with events unexpected
A soul epitomizing imperfection
Goes slipping through the cracks unnoticed
One fateful night she was forced to see with new eyes
She now fights to begin again in spite of everything


I began with the intent to make a cascade poem, but once these five lines were there in front of me, I felt that extending the poem would only make it seem unnecessarily verbose. I felt that this poem needed to be brief and to the point, so I am leaving it as a stark free verse.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 10: Floating

Cerebral Dysfunction
Copyright Callie Fink

Content warning:
Drug reference

Yes, I have been euphoric
The year I was sophomoric

Back when I still wanted to dance
In times when there still was a chance

In the clouds I thought I found delight
When I stayed out partying all night

Since I felt no joy in reality
I let substances bring the joy to me

Though it was a lie, I needed it so much
It's been years since I felt euphoria's touch


I did a lot of drugs in junior high and high school. I don't apologize for it, and I don't really regret it. I did what I had to do to survive. I did not survive unscathed. I came to see as I got older that the drugs didn't solve any of my problems, they just made them fuzzy and nebulous for a while.
I am and always have been a proponent of legalized cannabis. For my own part, I don't use it to get high. I don't even smoke it. I take a low-dose edible to help with my rampant insomnia and to stave off leg cramps. It doesn't get me high, it just acts as a mild sedative. In fact, it fucks with my mind a lot less than prescription sleep medications. I've never done a sleepwalk jaunt out to pee on my car tire after eating a THC-infused gummy square. I most certainly did do that when taking Ambien. 
Fortunately, it was 3 AM and the parking lot was very dark. Also fortunately, I didn't walk all the way out to the busy road and get made into street pizza by a passing semi. Well, fortunately or unfortunately, I guess, all depending on your opinion of my existence.

Monday, October 8, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 9: Not a Damn Rom-Com

Image copyright Ronnie Chua

The train to Infatuation Junction
Leads to dysfunction
Ends in malfunction
Of those damn fool dreams you hold dear

So you think you want romance?
I say no damn chance
I never again want to dance
To the symphony of destruction

You say you want some affection? 
Well take up a collection
And walk in the direction
Of the nearest kissing booth

It's hard to even trust friendship
When everything's a dead-end ship
I don't want to take another trip
Down to Heartbreak Hotel

You promise endless devotion
But I'll need calamine lotion
Because all the commotion
Of our breakup
Will make me break out
In hives

You say you'll cherish me forever
That you'll leave me never
But in the end you'll just sever
The last trust from my heart

Love does not bring delight
Only fight after fight
And long lonely nights
I'm better off alone

I came to dwell
In Indifference Dell
After being plunged into hell
One too many damn times

Too many damn cheating men
Live in Infidelity Glen
I won't go there again
I will stay well away

I was not born, you see
With impartiality
Or a spirit so free
It can find fun on the run

Too many cold-hearted souls
Have left my heart full of holes
I don't want to play the role
Of the one cast aside

A role I've played many times over
So when you promise green clover
I say: "Begone, fickle rover"
Because I smell manure

Been there done that time and again
Been betrayed time and time again
Been pushed aside time and again
It's time to say never again


This one turned out more badass than brimful of regret, which I think is pretty damn cool. 
Fair warning that few things piss me off more than people advising me, however well-meaning the advice may be, to "not give up on love" and "give it another chance." It is absolutely, positively not something I want to pursue, so, please, just don't. 
To me, such advice is akin to saying: "well, maybe if you stick your arm in that meat grinder again, it will be nice and not shred your stump like it did your hand. You can't stop trying just because you got hurt a whole fucking lot of times in the past when you stuck your hand in the meat grinder."
Can and have. It's my life, not a rom-com. I'm never so miserable as when I have some sort of romantic entanglement. Been there, done that, never want to go back again.

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 8: Descending Again

Copyright Morgan Dragonwillow

Obsessive and compulsive 
Obsessive about everything 
Everything up and down 
Down I spiral 
Spiral into madness 
Madness is obsessed 
Obsessed with perfection 
Perfection is crazed 
Crazed troubled mind 
Mind over matter 
Matter of fact 
Fact is flawed 
Flawed is me 
Me is broken 
Broken is truth 
Truth is yes 
Yes and no
No peace here 
Here in mind 
Mind a mess 
Mess it up 
Up and down 
Down I go 
Go to hell 
Hell here inside 
Inside my brain 
Brain is insane 
Insane is repeating 
Repeating the same 
Same crap again 
Again I slip 
Slip to hell 
Hell is repetition 
Repetition is crazy 
Crazy is flawed 
Flawed am I 
I am broken 
Broken to pieces 
Pieces of dreams 
Dreams fall dead 
Dead down inside 
Inside the lies 
Lies I repeat 
Repeat and replay 
Replay the same 
Same damn thing 
Thing which possesses
Possesses my process


This poem addresses obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is part of my grand trifecta of mess. Many people misunderstand obsessive-compulsive disorder, believing that everyone who has it is a germophobe and a neat freak. Obsessive-compulsive disorder can actually express itself in a variety of ways. 
I am neither a germophobe nor a neat freak. My perfectionism is in part due to my obsessive-compulsive disorder, and it can cause a lot of anxiety. I am not one of those people who finds cleaning relaxing: quite the opposite, in fact. I have trouble getting rid of things, which is why I am now going through a storage unit which contains a lifetime of things I had trouble getting rid of.
I also have a bit of an obsession with numbers and more than a passing infatuation with categorizing everything. This need for categorization comes into play with my multitude of blogs. I have had more than one person get up in my grill about having multiple blogs. I have two thoughts on this: first since you don't have to have anything to do with any of my blogs, why do you give a flying crap? Second, just because you wouldn't do it that way doesn't mean it's wrong or bad. If I lumped all my work together in one blog, it would be a sanity-scarring fuckery. I am doing everyone a favor by categorizing my blogs, trust me.
I probably would have enjoyed working in a library or another profession involving categorization. Sadly, I don't know that there's much call for book re-shelvers in this modern age, and even if there is, such jobs generally tend to go to teenagers, in my experience.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 7: Unsent Letters

Image from Creative Commons via Microsoft Office

Unsent letters to
My younger self, with regret
It is not your fault
Your magic was too big for
A world which is graves of dirt


Friday, October 5, 2018

OctPoWriMo 2018: Day 5: Devastation (NSFW)

Image copyright Comfreak on Pixabay

I just can't get poetic with today's prompt. I may end up attempting to tie things up by making it into a Haibun, but I make no promises there either. This is one of those that's going to be real, raw, and only lightly edited, so buckle up, Bitches, it's going to be a bumpy ride. 
By the way, if you have issues with profanity, with subject matter that is on the opposite end of the spectrum from sweetness and light, with mental illness, the black dog, and suicide ideation, you'll probably want to give this post a miss. 
Also, please remember these guidelines:

If I may add a couple:
"Have you tried meds?"
I will be 54 years old in February and have lifelong mental health issues. What do you think? The Wonder Drugs don't work the way they're advertised, they make things worse by a long shot. So, please, don't patronize me with that crap.
"Have you tried church?"
Some of the nicest people I've met have been religious.
Conversely, some of the most truly horrible and destructive people I've met have been religious.
If religion helps you, that's great. I don't like organized religion. It did me a lot more harm than good. 
But neither of those things are what I came here to talk about.
I came here to talk about the day that the nuke dropped on my life.

Oh, hey, here's a Haiga I made last year. So, there's the poetry part of this assignment. This Haiga has little nuclear clouds in the background.
I'm a lifelong proponent of nuclear disarmament. I grew up during the cold war. When I was a child, I feared that I would die in a nuclear exchange. As a teenager, I figured I might as well party as hard as possible because I didn't know if I had a future. As an adult, I still have nuke dreams, but they're allegorical, just like the nuke that dropped on my life closing in on two years ago now.
I've mentioned before that I was fired from my job as a nurse back in March of 2017. I was really sick at the time I got fired, with both a chronic illness that had become significantly worse and an acute illness that made my lungs and sinuses feel like they were full of Slime.

Yeah, that stuff. When I was twelve, my brother and I got the kind with worms. It came in a little plastic trash can. We loved it. 
I miss the fun I had with my brother when we were kids. He's too overworked and miserable and also in constant pain to have much fun now. It breaks my heart.
Anyway, the days playing with Slime and believing that Really Cool Stuff was going to happen were long in the past. I was working when I knew I shouldn't be working. Like I said, I was really, really sick. 
I was working as a home care nurse. I had this really pushy coordinator who, when I mentioned that I was sick, said that the family really needed me to be there and it would be okay because I had contracted the illness from that patient, so it's not like he could catch it from me. Besides, this coordinator kept talking about how they were going to replace the nurse who had the four-night week with me (I was working three twelve-hour night shifts with this family and one twelve-hour night shift with another family) because that nurse had lupus and often had to miss work because of it. Great! Not like I can mention that my diabetes had gotten worse and was causing me problems when presented with that, right?
Yeah, I could have, but it has been a lifelong struggle for me to assert myself. I was afraid I'd lose my position. So I buckled down and went in. I had been dozing off during the shift during the past couple of weeks, but I always woke up. Still, it was worrying me, but I didn't feel like there was anyone I could tell.
On this particular night, I didn't just doze. I fell into a dark, dead, dreamless sleep. I'm fairly certain that I had a small stroke because there were certain changes to my cognition following that incident. Judging by the clock, I was out for about twenty minutes. I woke to the patient's father sitting at the end of the bed, glowering at me.
I apologized profusely, gathered my belongings, and left. I knew that I would be fired, which I was.
I felt horrible about the incident and about myself. I very seriously considered suicide. I've dealt with suicide ideation my entire life, but at this point, I was wondering if there was any reason for me to go on living. I was the worst of fuckups. Was I redeemable in any way? I hardly thought so.
At first, the financial hit wasn't as bad as it could have been. I was working part-time for another agency, picking up shifts once every couple of weeks with another patient. I was able to get full-time hours with them although the hourly salary was less. But then, that patient's condition worsened, he was hospitalized and ended up requiring more extensive care than we could provide. The agency never found me another case.
I drifted for a while, delivering food for Uber Eats and eventually trying to drive for Lyft and Uber. This lasted about two weeks, and some dumb stoner kid backed into the rental car I was driving. The rental company did not prorate me for the lost days, and Lyft took close to a month to reinstate me, even though the accident was not my fault. I said, "fuck it." I really didn't like driving passengers anyway.
I tried going back to work in long-term care, but the activity intolerance caused by my diabetes combined with the slight cognitive impairment experienced after the night which led to my being fired from the home care agency made this impossible. You never stop when you are working in a long-term care institution. There is no time to rest or even eat. My blood sugar tanked. Plus, as I discovered, I was no longer the whiz with passing meds that I had been when I did my nursing internship in 2011. 
I understood each of the components of passing meds. This patient needs this med in this dose at this time. I understood what each of the meds did. But for the life of me, I could not prioritize which patient to give medication to first. I called my son halfway through the shift and told him I didn't think I could do the job. I emailed my letter of resignation to the staff director the next morning.
I took a job with an all-night grocery delivery service and ended up with a permanent nerve injury to my left arm. I spent half of November in terrible pain, unable to sit up for more than about 45 minutes at a time before I had to lie on the arm to try and numb the pain. I again considered suicide, this time not out of self-loathing but because the pain was nearly unbearable. I had to wait for two weeks for Medicaid to kick in before I could start physical therapy. I hadn't been able to afford insurance before that and was making too much with the delivery service to have Medicaid. It is one fucked-up system we have going, and there is nothing anyone could say to make me believe otherwise. It is straight-up fuckery, plain and simple.
At this point, the arm pretty much feels like a lump of clay. Sometimes a tingly lump of clay. But I'll take that over a hideous pain that induces suicidal feelings. Before anyone gives a person desperate for pain relief grief, think of the worst pain you have ever felt in your life. Now, ponder on the idea that you could not stop that pain. Bitch, you aren't going to just grin and bear it. You're going to do whatever the hell you have to do. I can't stand people who get sanctimonious about folks who become addicted to pain medications. Nobody wants to be in pain. End of story.
After a couple of weeks of physical therapy, I was able to drive again and ended up at my current job: delivering food. This is the sort of job that people have been taught to look down their nose at. To them I say, well, Motherfucker, I have your fucking food here, which you did not have to cook or pick up. You're better than me just because you work in an office? I say no. This kind of shit "master and servant" attitude does no-one any good. Rich people aren't better than poor people. In fact, to para-quote Bob Marley, some of them are so poor that all they have is money. Some of them are terrible people, and I would find it torturous to be in their presence for one minute.

Case in point, and ain't it the truth.
I went through more than a year of thinking "if I'm not able to be a nurse anymore, what value do I have?" I'm no longer in a "helper" profession. I'm no longer able to do the kind of work that said "helper" profession requires. I not only have a psychological disability or three, but I am also now physically disabled as well.
This society behaves as if people with disabilities deserve to live in poverty. I never believed that, but I kept feeling as if I'd done "something to deserve this."
I can't remember exactly when the breakthrough happened, but one day I got really pissed off and realized that no, I damn well did not do anything to deserve to be pushed into poverty. I lose Medicaid if I make a dime more than $1100 a month, but who the fuck can live on $1100 a month? I don't qualify for SNAP because I have a 401K from the job I held for close to 11 years and I don't want to take an $18,000 hit by liquidating it. I want that whole fucker to go to my son when I go tits up. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
As for being a nurse, the truth is, I never wanted to go into that profession. I was encouraged to go into it by my family because my mother had been a nurse. While I had some nice moments with the kids, and while I had some nice moments with my co-workers and the residents at the retirement community when I was working there, I was done. I was burned out. I really didn't want to do it anymore, and I felt extremely guilty about that. What kind of person doesn't want to help other people?
It isn't that I don't want to help other people, but I think it's long past time that I acknowledged that I need help too, that I deserve to have help, that I'm not garbage because I'm disabled. No disabled person is garbage. We need to stop this shit attitude in our society, and we need to stop it yesterday. 
My disability doesn't really make me angry. Sometimes I wish I could still run and jump like I could when I was a kid. But I like to walk, and I hope I'll be able to walk for the rest of my life. Maybe the time will come when I need a scooter or power chair. If I do, I won't be bitter. Bodies age, shit happens. It is what it is. However, I have to be brutally honest. If I deteriorate to the point where I need to spend the rest of my life in a long-term care center, or if I'm diagnosed with dementia, that's the time I pull the plug. Those are two situations that I find absolutely intolerable. I won't do it to myself, and I won't do it to my son.
By the way, inasmuch as we need to acknowledge that depression is a very real illness, as real as any physical malady, we also need to acknowledge that sometimes depression isn't a brain-based issue. Our world is very fucked right now, and anyone who looks around and doesn't see terrible problems that should have been fixed a long time ago is shutting their eyes, sticking their fingers in their ears, and yelling "lalala, can't hear you." 
It isn't going to get better by ignoring it, People.
It's really not.
And that's all I have to say about that.