“Targeted individuals”…let’s be reasonable here

What do you folks think about the TI movement? Do you think anyone who claims to be “targeted” is psychotic? Or, do you think that these claims are totally valid given the current society we live in?

 

Here is an article defending those that claim to be TI:

Seth Farber, Ph.D: The Psychiatric Metanarrative, Targeted Individuals, and the Deep State: A Response to The New York Times

As you can see, the article is quite extensive and well-researched. Let me explain the issues I have with both sides of this debate.

I don’t think either side is based on rational thought, but to an extent, oversimplification of what constitutes “targeting.” It’s not that you are either a TI or not a TI. Nor is it valid to say that targeting doesn’t exist and is the product of psychosis.

Targeting isn’t something new. It happens on a micro-scale all the time. Let’s say a workplace hired a person like me, someone that didn’t turn out to be a blind follower, but a person with a mind of her own. Let’s say this worker found out about unethical practices of the company. Perhaps she discovered that men were being paid more than women. She has already mentioned this, questioned the practice, and even said something to a coworker. Word gets back to management. Management is unhappy because they think things are fine the way they are and they don’t want the female workers to advance to higher positions. Management believes only men make good leaders and that women are limited in their capacity.

Now, since word of this worker has reached the HR department and upper management, they take measures to fire the worker. This may involve interfering with her work to cause her to make mistakes on the job, giving her too much work to do, insulting her in various ways, even sexual harassment just to get rid of her. This may involve intense scrutiny of her work in attempt to find a valid-sounding reason to fire her. Other things might happen, totally illegal perhaps, such as vandalizing her belongings or her vehicle, anonymous bullying, altering of paperwork and falsifying records, withholding pay, and more.

This constitutes targeting, doesn’t it? And yet it’s an everyday occurrence that we are well aware of. Should the woman later complain to an outside authority, and then be called psychotic or exaggerating or simply told to drop the issue, we would see it as tragic indeed.

A couple of times I was approached by people who had been whisteblowers. Afterward, they were locked up in psych wards. Suddenly snapped? Could it be true? I listened carefully to these stories, listened to what happened prior to lockup, and realized these folks had been targeted. In these cases, none had actually “snapped” at all. They did not display signs of MI prior to lockup and their stories are coherent on this. In one instance the police arrived and took them away by ambulance without any explanation. In all instances, the consequences of lockup and drugging made these folks unravel or appear temporarily “unstable.” These claims of targeting (which they realized only in retrospect) are valid.

But should we believe all of these claims? Some I do not believe. I have tried but I can’t put two and two together because the pieces do not fit. Maybe I am not listening well enough, but as of now, I cannot.

Let’s say someone says they were mugged ten times in the past week. When I listen carefully, I note that every time the person misplaces his wallet, he assumes it was “stolen.” He still believes this even if he locates it again, say, in a different pocket. Then he’ll say the mugger moved the wallet, when in reality (as I figure) he simply forgot that he was the one who transferred the wallet to another pocket. This reflects irrational thinking, especially if the person is particularly tenacious in their beliefs.

Have you ever totally misplaced something of value and then, worried that it was stolen? You may have thought this temporarily, but then,  thinking things through and replaying where you were when the object got lost, you likely realize it’s someplace at home. You may have accidentally left it at work. You may then realize no one stole it. Rather, your own absent-mindedness caused you to misplace it. If you left it in a public restroom, well, then, you may or may not ever see it again. After you realize what actually occurred, you aren’t going to believe you were pick-pocketed or mugged.

There is the difference. Losing your wallet isn’t “targeting,” and yet, a few might twist the events around in their memories. Most of us will retain rational thinking (and regret maybe) over the incident. I think the initial panic of “Oh my god, someone stole it!” is a product of shock over the object being missing, reflecting our worst fears. It is not paranoia by any means.

On the other hand, I don’t think anyone can truly get inside another’s head. We need to be careful when making conclusions. We need to retain an open mind. We need to ask ourselves if we’re hearing things wrong, or maybe ask if something else is going on entirely that we have yet to explore. This is why MI labels are harmful. They shut down listening and dismiss the person’s claims as a mental disease. This oversimplification of a person and categorization into a class of people isn’t helping the person. I think we, as a society, can do better.

Am I making sense here? You tell me.

 

Avoidant behavior, true, but maybe there’s a lesson here

The following happened in relation to my Toastmasters meeting. Not that I want to explain the actual event, not right now anyway. I want to discuss the odd aftermath.

The actual event, the primary one, happened a while back. I am keeping it to myself because I feel it should stay within Toastmasters…to be respectful and honor people’s privacy. Then there was a secondary event, possibly related to the first.

I have kept it to myself, mainly because I don’t know how to express it. My initial reaction was to promise myself, “It doesn’t matter. I should just learn from this and move on.” I didn’t really react at first. Now, of course, I know in my heart I didn’t react because I was in a state of utter shock.

When something seemingly comes out of nowhere, was not in any way expected, and also, doesn’t jive with everything else you have known, then to react by feeling numbed out and shocked is to be expected.

For the entire two-hour bus ride home, I tried to process what happened. I tried to tell myself I wasn’t fazed. I knew I had shown no emotion at the meeting and tried to make a happy face to cover just how floored I was.

In Toastmasters we learn to do that. We learn composure, even under pressure. Oddly, I must have done a great acting job because later on I learned that no one even knew.

Maybe a week or two later I realized I had feelings about the event. Not anger, but disappointment.  Disappointment with my fellow Toastmasters. Disappointed in my club. Not only had they let me down, but no one approached me afterward to say they’d noticed what happened.  Or, I told myself, if anyone noticed, no one said anything nor indicated they knew.

I broke the promise, or rather, promises I made to myself. I didn’t want to feel anything and I wanted to just let it go. I realized, though, that there were some feelings there, and I need to acknowledge this. Furthermore, I needed to realize that this little event was far more serious than I had originally assumed.  Still, I was determined to continue calling it a “learning experience.”

While it’s true, I learned, and am learning, but not learning what I thought I would. I reached out to a friend of mine, another club member. I wrote about the event. I had forgotten that my friend was attending that meeting. He wrote back, telling me he remembered. He said that sadly, what happened was not unique, and that in his years as a member of many Toastmasters clubs, he has seen it far too often. He offered a viable solution. Part of it was to take a break.

I did. I continued to make excuses not to go, and I didn’t. Suddenly I realized these excuses were in fact due to feelings of utter dread. Since when could this make any sense? I have always looked forward to Toastmasters meetings. Now, I dread going inside the pit of my stomach and just can’t. I can’t do it. Something stops me.

While it is easy for me to speak up about, say, HIPAA violations, or speak up about changes in laws, or come to another’s defense (notably, I stick up for underdogs, don’t I?), I find it very tough to confront people I admire and see as friends. Here is where it gets sticky.

What I am doing constitutes avoidance. It is obvious. I’m not avoiding how I feel but I am avoiding confrontation. I am avoiding the discomfort of confrontation, not just mine, but the difficult feelings that others may experience. Almost like i have the need to protect others.

You can go to great lengths to protect other people when all you are doing is hurting yourself.

I also spoke with our District Director, twice, at length, about the dilemma. I was touched by this. Really touched. I am worth it. I was worth it to the point that she picked up the phone. You guys know how much that means to me, given my history.

Now many weeks have passed. Indecision isn’t a good thing, but that’s where I am at. I have now told my fellow officers that I very well may not return.

Oddly, I wasn’t asked why. Not at first. It was like “well I didn’t feel like coming for a while, too.”

I quickly wrote back that this wasn’t about feelings. I said that something actually happened at Toastmasters that shouldn’t have happened.

Being avoidant is common human behavior. Not always, just sometimes. People I have known would rather quit their jobs than ever confront their bosses about what bugs them. Abused spouses wait years avoiding taking action. This, though, is kinda not like me. I always speak up, and now I find I can’t. But I am not the only one.

After the meeting, where I was absent, other officers wrote to me. Oddly, no one has yet even asked me this very simple and obvious question. I bet you blog readers are asking it, asking yourselves, that is…

That question is so important. We humans don’t ask it enough.

“What happened?”

That very same question, or rather, avoidance of that question, is why communication often breaks down. With the exception of an attorney, who focuses primarily on events (not feelings), at least professionally, we humans don’t ask that question enough. Or maybe I should say we don’t ask it in our culture, not these days.

We focus far too much on feelings, almost as if feelings are more important than events. Feelings are plastic, though, changeable. They evolve. Events do not. The past is fixed. We can only change how we frame it in our memories.

I would drop it entirely except I want my club to know. I don’t want to see it happen again, not to another person. The answer to that question is paramount. And yet, not one person asked.

I received three polite emails saying everything but. “would like to see you back…” or, perhaps, “Hope your summer is going well.”

Did anyone even ask why? Odd. But not. I don’t think it is that they don’t want to know. Maybe they’re just trying to be nice. It is odd, though, don’t you think?

I don’t know about you guys, but when I write an email I try to hit the nail on the head the very first time. I didn’t this time, mainly because I wanted the first email to be very brief. But that somehow didn’t work very well.

Or maybe they are very aware of the event by now. Could they have figured it out and now just don’t know what to do?

Unlike some other people, I like apologizing and I accept apology. I think the person who initiated this should directly own the event (not the outcome afterward) and just say, “I’m sorry.”

I do not want to hear, “I’m sorry you feel bad.” This is not an apology. It is shifting responsibility. No one needs to apologize for someone else’s feelings. A real apology might say you are responsible for doing your part in the event, and you are sorry you did it. An expression of regret might be appropriate, recognition of the inherent wrongness of the deed done, and to offer restitution in the form of, “I realize now that you pointed it out and I will not do that again.” Or something along those lines.

Human compassion goes a long way, doesn’t it? Humans are amazingly good at compassion. We love our pets to the point of spoiling them, we pet them, coo to them, hug them, even invite them to sleep on our beds. We feed them and walk them (or they let us know as soon as we’re five minutes late!). Our capacity for caring for one another is almost limitless. I can say that only because we cannot measure compassion. We are creatures that bond, form societies, even marry, and do this completely weird thing called sexual intercourse.

And yet, we have these moment of discomfort. We don’t always know how to handle that. Avoidance or even silence might be easier, but not necessarily the best solution.

My review of AmOne

This company is deceptive. AmOne advertises that they are a “free loan matching service.” I decided to call but I was expecting a scam, and that’s what I got. So I thought I would warn you folks about AmOne and save you a call.

While I was on the phone talking to the first specialist I did a quick search engine search “how is AmOne funded”? What I expected to find was that they get a commission from specific loan companies and banks for referring borrowers to them. If this was the case, then, of course the recommendations would be biased. I kept my mouth shut for now.

I spoke briefly to the person who claimed “I will be your contact person from now on.” Suddenly I was transferred to a department run by Lending Tree.

This was some other guy, obviously reading from a script (at first until I started asking questions he couldn’t answer!). I was very firm about what I wanted to discuss and what I didn’t want to discuss. I told him I had no interest in working on a certain issue because I am already taking care of it via another service provider.

Attorneys have warned me about saying too much to folks like these scumbags. Anything you say could be held against you later, even things you think might help your situation. Two attorneys told me this.

The Lending Tree guy literally argued with me, got extremely pushy and demanding. I realized that this secondary service that AmOne has now transferred me to into was going to cost me. I asked him, “Your company stated that you provide a free service. Do you?”

It took several tries but finally he admitted this was going to cost me. I didn’t even get to asking how much.

He finally admitted, “No, the matching service is free, but credit repair is not.” I told him i had no interest in their “credit repair.” I happen to know anyone can repair their credit totally on their own.  I already have! I wanted to focus on other things that the first guy implied they help with.

(Actually, a government agency is already handling part of the credit repair….as I filed a report against a credit bureau just yesterday.

Filing this report was free. I hear AmOne charges in the thousands for the same service. Honest debt attorneys are not expensive, by comparison. (You don’t need to hire an attorney for bankruptcy. Don’t do it! You can file on your own.)

Meanwhile, this second guy continued to use pushy sales techniques on me. I continued to say “I don’t want to discuss it.” He kept at it, telling me that I should hire him instead. I thought, he’s starting to act desperate for his commission!

I have worked in sales and I currently do customer service. This was far pushier than I’ve ever been asked to be. Why was he wasting my time like this? He wasn’t going to sell anything to me!

I feel very sorry for the people who work for such companies. I am sure they are treated badly and aren’t well paid. Still, I wasn’t going to let any feelings of empathy get in the way of common sense. He ignored my demands that he focus on what I was asking for.

I have come to realize they do not supply what I needed done to my credit report and this accounted for his continuously changing the subject. I finally decided I didn’t want to be involved in this conversation any longer. I made an excuse (ones used on me by my exfriends) and got off the phone.

Afterward I read in a genuine review (many are fake and some obviously paid for) that this supposedly free company doesn’t charge the lender commission. They charge commission to the borrower. I am so thankful I ended the call when I did.

If you are ever harmed by a company, though products or financial services, it’s not hard to file a government report. I have always gotten action when I have filed.

I have filed against cell phone providers, utilities, and one bank. I did an anonymous report about a convenience store just in case I ever went back there (I did not!). Filing human rights reports against medical professionals and against hospitals usually won’t get you anywhere, but you can try at least.

Great article on benzo withdrawal that also applies to other psych drugs

3 Tips for Tapering Benzodiazepines/Z-drugs

This is written by Jocelyn Pederson. I don’t know if Brogan had her on as guest writer or if the post is cross-blogged. I tried to find the original post but I didn’t find one.

I am waiting to find some articles on antipsychotic-induced insomnia. I hear so many complaints about this among former patients, but where’s the research?  (Oh, wait, it means loss of revenue for the drug companies, so….) When is some hotshot journalist who has good visibility going to take on this topic?

Boston Globe article

Here is the article. I am subscribed to the Globe simply so I can comment there. My comment, which I posted, is below.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/07/17/long-waits-persist-for-children-mental-health-crises/iD2trxkXIlYtqmsuoqTWII/story.html

I am a first-hand witness to the horrors of psych ER holds. Some ERs separate out the psych area entirely. BMC is one. Back in 2011, when I was 53 years old, I was held there for three days. We were all strip-searched upon arrival, allowed to wear only a johnny. I wasn’t suicidal so they made exception and “allowed” me a pencil and paper. I used that to record everything I saw and heard. They held us in a five-room facility where we had only a bed, no pillow, and one guard watched us through cameras. My room was close to where the guards convened and I could here them talking. They had uniformed security there also. Is this any way to treat human beings?

Other psych prisoners like myself felt relieved to get off the ER and onto the wards, only to be shocked, dismayed and disappointed over what we then faced. The wards, too, were prisons. We were locked in, drugged, and many held there with no end in sight. I witnessed unspeakable cruelty in those places. During that time, I witnessed patients lose their jobs, their homes, or experience grave monetary loss. Most left off in the same or worse condition than when they arrived. Patients got injured frequently. Many told me, the day they left, that their issues were not addressed or were even outright ignored.

Human rights abuses were unbelievable. Patient rights laws were never followed. Never. I was one of the few that spoke up. Many patients/prisoners just resign themselves to second-class citizenry, which can last a lifetime since these diagnoses stay on your record unless you take drastic measures to get them off.

Many of us were even called Frequent Flyers. We were not seen as human, but as things, and even merely as a source of income for these institutions. We were held for as long as we made a profit.

People on the outside didn’t realize this, but being treated like you are subhuman does have repercussions. I know very few who weren’t traumatized by lockup, either by the severe abuse they endured there, or by being locked up long-term or repeatedly. Lockup ruins people’s lives. Many never recovered from the experience.

Word to the wise about meat and animal products

According to my naturopath, who is for sure an expert on this topic, “Range Free” and other similar wording you see on packages containing animal products is only a marketing ploy.

He states that these terms, along with “Natural,” are not indicators that the meat or other animal product is organic. He states that the animals might roam free (or might not) but this label alone won’t guarantee the meat doesn’t have hormones, steroids, and antibiotics in it.

I do not trust supposed “organic” meat from Walmart. If you see it at all. I do trust their organic eggs. I have seen organic meat at ALDI and I’d say that ALDI’s fish, furthermore, is decidedly better-tasting.

Do not buy frozen or canned fish! It is loaded with chemicals or added salt. I have yet to see frozen fish unadulterated, though you may see it in a higher-end store.

I can only afford fresh fish once a week or less often, as the cost is prohibitive. I see it as a treat and not a regular thing. I don’t eat canned fish as the salt content is insane. Puzzle can’t handle it, either. There’s only one place around here that sells unadulterated local chicken. I wish I could afford it unadulterated for Puzzle all the time, at an affordable price. I suspect that feeding her people food is ultimately less expensive than feeding her Grade B food, namely, dog food. The cost is about the same but since I switched her in 2012, vet bills and necessary visits have gone down to very few. She no longer gets dry skin or unexplained scratching.

Eat well and live!

Solved a medical emergency without an ER (and laughing)

This is what happened….

Yesterday while I was working I suddenly felt dizzy out of the blue. I told my supervisor I needed a short break due to not feeling well. I went and ate some food and drank some water. I was okay after a while. I went back and finished the shift.

Today, close to the end of my shift the exact same thing happened, only this time it was much worse. I was struggling to concentrate. I didn’t feel close to passing out the way I did yesterday but I felt incredibly woozy.

Now if I were still a mental patient I would have called 911. I know better now. Do not call. Do not call. Do not call.

I had to think about this to the best of my ability at the moment. I checked my blood pressure which read a little low but was not too scary-looking and was inconsistent also. I guessed that the monitor was wacko, maybe low on batteries. Then, I decided to test my blood sugar, and here’s what happened next….

I had three back-to-back phone calls that took up some time but I felt okay to talk.

Then, I took out my sugar kit which I have barely used. I stared at it for a bit. I have the instructions in there but I couldn’t make sense of them. I asked myself why I needed to check it when it made more sense to try eating and then, see what happens. I had a piece of whole wheat bread with ghee on it. I felt less hungry but even after ten minutes I didn’t feel relief.

I asked myself if it was even possible to be low on sodium. Is it, if your kidneys cannot process it? I have been sweating intensely. I knew that it was highly unlikely but I decided to eat two salted peanuts to see if that made a difference. I did. I didn’t notice feeling any better.

Then, I decided if this is “it” and I’m about to have a heart attack or something horrible is about to happen, then what should I do? I realized that there is a solution to that. Cayenne. And maybe Lobelia.

I drank a half glass of water and about a half teaspoon of Cayenne mixed with that. That and a minute amount of Lobelia extract. You bet it will give you a jolt if you need one!

Now, I knew right away I was dehydrated. I was dehydrated to the extreme. I realized I’d been subconsciously fulfilling my need for water while talking on the phone. I had been sipping on it. I was thirsty, thirstier than I realized.

The total amount I drank during that phone conversation, plus the rest I had once I realized what the problem was must have been three liters or more, likely over a gallon actually.

Don’t try this one at home as most of you will be in serious trouble if you drink that much, even in the summer. Due to a rare condition I have called diabetes insipidus, I really needed that much.

I feel considerably better! A trip to the ER would have led to their spending three hours not listening and not believing me, denying me the water I need, and possibly harming me.

I don’t notice any signs of electrolye issues currently but later today I might see a drop in potassium. Oddly, that happens. I had a half of a banana in a smoothie just now, just in anticipation. With ice, just to cool off.

I can’t keep a bottle of water near me while working as I have spilled it too many times. I can, however, take a ten second break now and then and chug it down. I am distracted by my work demands but body demands “trump” anything else, do they not? Maybe set an alarm to remind myself.

Ah, a day in the life, and once more, saved from the possible clutches of the ER. Sitting here thumbing my nose at Western Med and and its psychiatry gods.

Health freedom rocks.

Call for Submissions for an Anthology on Forced Psychiatry

Please help spread the word!

http://forcedpsychiatry.com

I am asking readers to actively share this site. Please help out! I have no money to pay for a publicist. Without publicizing there will be no submissions (that actually has happened to classmates of mine and they had to abort the project!). I am not profiting off of this and in no way does the project constitute self-promotion. I will likely take a financial loss, in fact. This is a service I am offering to the community, and will take time, money and effort on my part. Please help out by contributing and spreading the word.

Article on self-employment and my commentary

https://link.springer.com/epdf/10.1007/s11414-018-9625-8?author_access_token=PcPZYniILqkD-bM6z29TZfe4RwlQNchNByi7wbcMAY4UsmWinstYD5PttL-4EtTPB5yaH0kBBbnqsA1XDVTc5Oks45SMIW6t8A5mfC2hmDZigogjTzxw4MUlWkBWDYPc-8L-pAMnRfi39AHO4nlLtg%3D%3D

Let me know if the link works….

While much of what I see in the article is true, I cringe when I hear “psychiatric disabilities.” In the USA, if a person can work, they aren’t entitled to disability payments. In other words, you are supposed to get the payments only if you really can’t work. These payments are not designed for people who merely don’t want to work.

The gray area happens due to coercion. A person who is capable of working will be told he or she has an “illness” called a psychiatric disability. The people who determine this are authority figures. This determination may happen when the patient is a child or young adult.

This generally happens to patients after psychiatry has kept them out of the workforce for a while, long enough to get the patient worried about where the income is going to come from. Unemployment benefits have likely expired. The family may also be worried about the patient’s lack of earned income. The SSDI and similar checks offer the patient a Way Out. This happened to me when I was 26. It felt like relief, relief for me and for my parents, too.

This is how financially vulnerable, and often young patients end up on the disability roles. Once you are on those checks, fewer than 1/2 of a percent ever make it off the payments.

The relief is deceptive. While many are legitimately unable to work, I have personally seen far too many people who should have been working kept out of the workforce indefinitely.

It is possible to find employment even after being on the disability rolls for over a decade, but the struggle described in this article is very real. Here are a few things I have tried….

I got a college education even while on the disability payments. I did stellar work in my studies without using any accommodations. This caused me to question my status as “disabled.”

One day, after I’d graduated with honors and a few years later was doing fine in graduate school, I asked my therapist if I was still entitled to disability payments. I will never forget what she said…

“Don’t worry about it. Dr. Pearson and I agree that there’s no question you should stay on the disability payments indefinitely.” Still, I should let you guys know that SSDI asks on its forms whether you’ve been attending college and if you have (during the time of your reconsideration), the continuation of your disability payments will be questioned.

College didn’t get me a job. When I finally started applying for jobs, I tried lying on my resume by extending the dates of past employment to cover the “gaps.” My object was to get my foot into the door.

You can indeed lie, though it’s generally not the best practice. Some companies will catch you at it and others will not. I did indeed get my foot into the door and that was all I needed, though the first job was low-paying and not very rewarding.

You can apply for a job where you are sure they either don’t care about your work history or you’re sure they won’t check on you.  Or where your work history isn’t relevant.

Nowadays many places employ people as trial workers and then, weed them out after hiring. Trials last maybe 90 days, or as short as two weeks. It is easier to get hired at such places, then, “prove” that you will be a valuable asset to the company via your good work habits.

Getting my foot in the door helped me sort out what type of job would suit me best. I realized that the power structure of most workplaces was not a good environment for me. I didn’t like having a boss! I have heard of “nice” bosses from friends of mine who work at such places, but I suspect it follows the money.

Having a boss was traumatic for me. The power structure of the office setting reminded me of lockup. While I was there I recall I was triggered often by the ways the bosses and supervisors acted.

The bosses have the power to toss you out of there in an instant. I hated having that hang over my head.

I still hate it, hate the feeling that I could be disposed of on anyone’s whim.  Even if I am fired unjustifiably I would have no recourse, no ability to get my job back. Many companies are aware that if they dismiss you, your likelihood of challenging what they do in the courts is next to nil. They know you will simply move on. And I did.

I have now been employed for two months, working full time at this point. I am working as an independent contractor. This is not really boss-free but there are certain freedoms one has if employed this way.

I am wary of socializing on the job. But I am finding that schmoozing with my fellow workers is helpful. We share info such as tips and tricks, and clear up any work-related questions by butting our heads together.

The more you get your feet wet, the better. I don’t think anyone can just start up a business from scratch without some kind of financial backing or wide social support (like hundreds of people willing to help advertise).

Likelihood of getting a loan while on disability is next to nil unless your credit is very good. You are likely to succeed if you have a willing co-signer, though.

I suppose certain skilled workers might be able to start up from scratch. You could ask your neighbors if they want their grass cut, for instance. I am not sure you could make enough money going that route. Likely it depends on the neighborhood.

I gave up on EBay very quickly, realizing that the venue is flooded with big sellers who bump out the little guys. I couldn’t sell anything on there! I took my items off after a month. I had no views, no visibility, no chance of getting noticed by buyers at all. I doubt too many people actually make good money on Etsy, either, though you hear of some that do. Knitting, for me, isn’t profitable because of the time it takes to knit and the cost of materials. I would actually lose money if I made and sold dog sweaters.  Selling baked goods would also lead to the same issue (remember, baked goods aren’t durable!). My region is so impoverished that I would be better off just giving the stuff away. People cannot even spare 50 cents.

As a patient, I had no clue of this. I thought I could “sell stuff” or write a book and make money off of it. I had unrealistic ideas about making money simply because I had been kept from earning anything for decades. I had such limited exposure that it wasn’t possible, while I was still a patient, to set the bar at the right place.

Take, for instance, the average yard sale. People pull in hundreds in a day. However, doing a yard sale is exhausting! If you have ever done one you learn this. My mom put on a yard sale ages ago. I helped out and sold some of my stuff there. You need a yard or driveway, first of all. Many don’t have that. You need helpers such as a spouse, neighbors, or family. It is an all-day affair and exhausting to advertise, deal with early birds, and later, clean up. We made hundreds of dollars, which we split between us. Some of our stuff got stolen right out of the yard. Mom said she really never wanted to do it again. We hadn’t realized the work that would have to go into it. When you figure how much we made, and figure in the several days it took to organize and pull it off, I believe we didn’t make that much after all.

I know people who cut hair for money, providing a skill that requires training or extensive learning. You might make pocket change that way, but getting a business off the ground to the point where you are pulling in enough profit to live on is a totally different story. Patients are clueless about taxes and zoning laws! Had I continued to do life coaching I suspect it would have been similar. It was not a viable career for the grads of my class, despite the hype. They have either incorporated the training into a business they already have, or they’ve given up. The class taught us unrealistic expectations which I had to scrap after a while.

It took time for me to learn these things. It took time for me to see employment realistically. I am kinda sorry I shelled out the bucks for the life coaching class, and sorry that I believed the school’s promise of an instant career. I don’t know a single grad who ended up with an instant career. Not one. Pocket change for a few, total loss for many.

I have learned of a few well-paying careers that don’t require extensive work history. A few do not require a background check. I am not sure about Uber. Has anyone had experience with them? I have heard there is a demand for truck drivers and many of these jobs provide training for the license. You can hook into something like TaskRabbit, but it’s just about all yard work. If you are skilled and experienced at yard work, it might work out for you. There are classes in medical coding but you don’t actually need to take a class in it if you can teach yourself how. Most employers give you the training on the job because they want it done a certain way. Real Estate training is also short-term. If you can set yourself up it’s a lucrative way to earn money.

Most patients I know have unrealistic expectations. They think they’ll get a job in an instant, or that finding one is easy. This simply isn’t true. The market for decent employment is tough out there.

Inability to find work isn’t a disability, by the way…..It is a reflection of the job market, not a reflection on you.

Keep trying and don’t give up.