Such a simple thing to say, but it’s a powerful statement. If only you knew what it takes for me to say that right now.
In 2014, I was diagnosed with severe depression. Prozac and my bipolar medicine wasn’t working, and it was a pain in the ass to even get out of bed before 10 AM most days. The fog didn’t even begin to lift until I was hired by Sam’s Club in September 2014 to do carts. As much as I didn’t like the job, I knew it was the difference between being unemployed and employed, between having money and having no money.
2016 came, and I knew I had to let Amber out. This caused a lot of stress and angst, but I did. Granted, I only came out to 5-10 people, but it was a start. By 2017, Amber Marie was in the front seat of the car, but not driving. But later that year, I had socially transitioned, and I was on the path to medical transition as well. But I still wasn’t happy.
For the longest time, I was stuck in jobs that didn’t pay well and weren’t right for me. At the end with Tyson, I was making $14.90/hour, but no one was using my pronouns and it was a fight to use the bathroom. By November 2019, I knew I had to get out, and knowing most of the social work jobs I was looking at required an MSW and years of experience, I had to bail on Tyson. First I ended up with Developmental Enhancement, then I ended up with Centria. Centria is doing well with me.
In 2006, I graduated from Northern Michigan University with my BS in Psychology. But my BS in psychology and $2.53 bought me a large coffee from Biggby. Seriously, ABA therapy was established in 2006, but not prevalent, and the position of Behavioral Technician didn’t come about until 2014. There were no psychology jobs I could have accepted. Then in 2016, Maya, an old professor friend from Northern Michigan University suggested I get my MSW. I started applications at Grand Valley and Western, but I was so messed up at the time, I couldn’t finish. But 2018 came, and I knew I couldn’t stay at Tyson forever. Donna at Tyson flat out told me to get out of there. By November 2018, the application was submitted to Denver University, in January 2019 I was accepted, and in April 2019, I began. My student loans from my undergrad were in default though, so I had to take a long leave of absence to get those rehabbed. On March 30, I will be back in school.
So yes, my life is a story of you can’t get there from here. And it’s been a fight to stand up and say “I am here,” regardless of what life throws at me.