this is reality for most of us educated working people in the U.S.–one

One paycheck away from being homeless. If you lose your job, lose your position, status, fail to produce even once, get sick, have a mental health or physical health moment, you get ground up, turned to dust. Beautiful touchstone objects ground into sand/dust, in other words.

This is the 21st century reality for me.

I have tendinitis on my right shoulder, elbow, arm, and hand–and my weight-loss actually aggravated it. I stopped smoking to save money and decrease the inflammation, which worked after fucking up my mental health a bit more than it already is but it did not resolve the issue because the issue really is me overworking every single day to prove i am not a lazy, useless, crazy black woman who does not produce.

Every moment I am awake I am reminded that I am a failure. Having a mental health or physical health issue is a weak point that says you are not sufficiently productive and therefore unworthy.

Yes, I realize thinking that is unhealthy in itself, but our own figures of authority and power codified this in our laws and practices. I live in a city that rewards this sort of thinking–look at the pattern of COVID-19 and who really gained access to the vaccine and who’s being allowed to die off quietly. So, bottom line, I need my usual pain meds THC/CBD to ease the pain, but as usual, I have just enough to starve on till pay day so I don’t even get to ease the pain.

Just like hunger, I am learning to ignore the pain or exercise the pain away a bit. I am not very nice right now, but I’ll manage like I always do. It’s one very big reason I am dropping more weight–fuck fashion. I need to survive the next couple of decades without the costs associated with meds and excess food. Can’t do that if I’m overweight. Can’t clean up my so-called credit either. If I did not need cannabis for my brain, I’d just deal with the pain, but it literally helped me increase my work production, so I deal with the cost of living.

2019-2021 has been a series of moments where I’ve lost not just 100 pounds, but my ability to mask the pain, absorb the mistreatment in my workplace, negotiate with folk who do much to demean me, and laugh off the belittlement as a cost of doing business in hostile spots–all of that just gone, and I’m walking in no-man’s land with not so much as a helmet to shield myself from incoming fire.

Most of you reading me don’t understand that I’ve lived most of my life as if we are under occupation, in hostile territory, a state of war, the “we” being “I”. The “I” being bullied and yet not believed or taken seriously. The frustration of having it happen to you and knowing that you do pay a price for fighting back, or for submitting to it.

….the price of admission to life itself? Would I have been better off remaining obese and probably diabetic in five years and blind?

Maybe.

Right now I’ve pretty much alienated everyone I care about with my mental flare-ups the last month or so, and I’ve realized just how repulsive I am to most sane, successful people.

If I survive the year, it’s worth me writing a book about it.