The Voiding Darkness of Depression

Someone I love dearly beyond words or measure asked if my depression being unmedicated was creating havoc on me. And I think it is. I know it is. I’m an uninsured American with multiple problems that all intersection with a dose of depression. Sometimes I write, to let it out. To let the inky, dark, crawling emptiness face some blinding light.

I can’t and don’t trust myself in many ways. I trust myself professionally without hesitation. I trust my writing, my abilities to create and craft research. I trust my own instincts, but I can’t always trust my own goodness. I can’t see the part of me helping illuminate my good points, not just bad.

I do things for people because it’s right, it’s being part of humanity and a community. But I can’t take that into account in a ticking ‘good’ column since being decent isn’t really award-worthy in my mind.

Oh, I’m my harshest critic–make no doubt. Nothing you can say will match my own hard truths I deliver all the time. If you’ve ever graded my work, or proofread anything, you have no idea how truly cold I can be. Bloodless bath of misery. Part of my tendencies to strive for perfection.

But sometimes it feels like so much more…
Continue reading The Voiding Darkness of Depression


Rant: Life according to Republicans means a cut in Food Stamps

So the government that wants to multiply defense spending wants to cut food stamps. Fantastic! Because, you know, social safety nets aren’t important, but creating war for the 1% to make a ton of cash is.

The five-year farm bill sets policy for agricultural programs and nutrition aid like food stamps, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. House Republicans held up the bill for almost two years, arguing that food stamp spending needed to be cut.

As someone on reluctantly on food stamps, here’s a large fuck you to the Republican government looking to make me work when I DO but still make under the poverty limit.

Only about a fifth of SNAP recipients are eligible for training. The rest are elderly, disabled, children or already in the workforce.

You want people to work? Bring back jobs. Bring back the educational money value that forces students go into debt just to look for jobs–that are often not there now. I’m in the 80% that includes people already in the workforce. This is just the latest Reaganesque “welfare queen” scam so Republicans in Congress don’t look inept. Surprise! You fail.

Also, Linda Taylor, the woman in the middle of “welfare queen” scandal had a lot more at stake to lose based on criminal behavior beyond food stamps.

And there were the deaths. Taylor posed as a voodoo practitioner and spiritual adviser, and after one or Taylor’s particularly naive marks during that scheme turned up dead, Taylor was found with the dead woman’s credit card. But police investigators didn’t go after Taylor on murder charges, because they were worried it would detract from an ongoing welfare fraud case.

Somehow going after food stamp abuse was more important than caring for the children and people abused by Taylor. Why is that? Why are food stamps more important than the value of human life?

In 2013, The Atlantic posted an article that cut to the heart of what public assistance really costs compared to not using the safety net. And let’s be real, the numbers are staggeringly different for families with children under 18. Just look at difference in food costs. $6460 on stamps versus $9539 off. So…people not on stamps are actually spending less.

So that $6,460 spent on food comes out to about $34 per person, per week. Not exactly a shellfish budget.

You think I like being on assistance? I don’t. But I also know I have to eat decent meals in order to work with my diabetes and keep my costs down so I don’t eat up more taxpayer money because I don’t even qualify for the ratchet healthcare system here. People may complain and moan about Obamacare, but at least you’re covered, so sit the fuck down and shut up. I’ve lost weight on food stamps, which is highly important for my health because I can eat nutritional foods, which fuels my failing endocrine system.

Would the public like to pay my food stamp bill until I can find a good job that means I can give back into the system later on? Or each $16,000+ bill as I hit the hospital in a diabetic coma and/or ketoacidosis for having to eat bad food and causing severe stress because I know it’s literally killing me? Take your pick. You only get one choice. My death is not option three. Nor is some sanctified “find a job” when I’m already looking and have a job as it is.

You think it’s fun being in poverty? Live it. You think it’s easy to get a job in a market with too many applicants, a non-living minimum wage, and having to decide if you can afford your life-saving meds? Live it. Otherwise. Sit. Down. And. Shut. Up. when you make over $171,000 a year…minimum for Congress with all the federal government benefits received. Including retirement and health, plus expense accounts.

The WSB article about the latest cuts notes that while the money is federally granted, states have autonomy on how to use the money.

Conaway praised the grants, saying that states’ innovative approaches “will help able-bodied SNAP recipients climb the economic ladder.”

As in past years, a House budget proposed this week would transform the program into block grants to states, a move that could cut tens of billions from the program. A Senate version of the nonbinding budget resolution called for cuts to programs like SNAP but was not as specific in how they should be done.

You think I’m not looking for full-time work and benefits? Wrong. I’ve got applications in other states because I can’t find a decent job in this state. So until you’re in my position, don’t even begin to tell me how I’m failing a social safety net meant to keep me afloat while the government is more concerned with ongoing pissing contests!

Even Vilsack admitted “you are either going to cut people or cut benefits, and both approaches are the wrong way.”