As you all may have noticed, I’ve really pretty much gone completely dark. I’ve been trying to keep up with something–anything–and it just hasn’t worked out. So here’s what’s happened since the beginning of the year:
- Moved into my own apartment. This has been awesome in some days and decidedly not cool in others. I’ve never lived completely on my own before, and I think there’s been a greater learning curve on how to deal with it than I thought there was. But I finally have a space for my own that I’m making into something I’m happy with. It’s not perfect, but it’s nice.
- I started having trouble at work. At first, it was just adapting to the new environments and making sure things happened when they needed to. I was late a few times, which the boss wasn’t happy about, but I worked on. I got given a new responsibility which proved too difficult for me. I was sending things to the wrong place, and never quite got the groove of it. They ended up switching it away from me, and a fellow co-worker commiserated that she’d had a similar thing happen to her. A few weeks later, when I asked if I was managing better, my boss told me that she’d seen improvement, and let the president know that I was putting more effort into my work.
- Around the beginning of February, my medication for depression began to decidedly Not Work. The panic attacks were flaring up, it became harder and harder to get myself to work (though I was getting there on time now; I just had to wakes up incredibly early in order to fight the fight), and the depression was creeping in slowly but surely. I assumed it was something which would pass with a “lady cycle” or something, and didn’t put too much thought into it. This isn’t the first time that’s happened.
- Around Valentine’s Day the sh!t hit the fan. The days leading up to it had been difficult, I’d been flu-esque sick and out of work, and then it all came crashing down. I was in hysterics for no reason, I was panicking over everything, and I was full blown suicidal like I haven’t been since June of last year. I ended up on a crisis line (which was a joke and harmed more than helped) and then sobbing on a phone to a friendly acquaintance when I didn’t really want to be talking to anyone–but she knew better and got me to talk. I managed to pick myself up out of the pit over the weekend, but I was still on the edge of it. I’d told my boss why I’d missed those days of work, and she wished me well.
- A week later, on Friday, February 20th, at the end of the work day, I was called in and let know that my employment was being terminated. The reason given was that I’d never worked up to the expectations they had of me and never had, particularly since I’d been having such trouble the past month or so.
- Let’s look at that in focus: A week after I had been depressed enough to be suicidal, my work fired me, essentially for being depressed. Because remember, not a few weeks prior, my immediate supervisor told me I’d been doing better. When I was first hired, within my first month or two, I was commended for picking up tasks faster than anyone else who’d ever worked there. But as soon as my health and mental capacity slipped due to faulty medications, I wasn’t good enough and never had been.
- Needless to say, I spent a good fifteen minutes in the parking lot, with my box of possessions and I sitting in my car, shrieking and incoherently mad on the phone to my parents. I do not raise my voice commonly. I don’t like anger. But I was shrieking at my parents, because I didn’t know what I was going to do. I’d just gotten my own apartment. I’d been told by my doctor I needed to see a psychiatrist–which I couldn’t afford without the insurance the job gave me. (Which I’d mentioned to the man who fired me, to receive a “well, we’re very sorry about your personal situation, but…” answer.)
- Going to the store a day or two later to get my new meds, after going off the old ones cold turkey and beginning to suffer from SSRI withdrawal, I found out that the card my doctor had given me wasn’t actually what either of us thought. It wasn’t a card to make the cost $25. No no. I’d pay the first $25, then they’d pay $50. The rest was still on the table. It was a $50 coupon for a $250 bottle of pills. (Only $200 on the insurance! Hey!…oh wait.) I asked my parents, who fronted the money, just so that I’d have SOMETHING for the next month.
Needless to say, it’s been…not conducive to working on anything lately. However, I am trying to make steps toward returning to writing and whatnot soon, as I try to look for a job. But if nothing else, my last several jobs have taught me that I’m not sure I do well in a classic work environment. If I could work from home–doing ANYTHING–I would. I’d prefer to do it with something I love.
So I’m letting you know where I am, and how you can help me. I’ve set up a few things to help breach the gap while I hope someone will hire someone with an on-going somewhat severe mental disability. This is how you can help me, and earn my eternal gratitude:
- As of today (March 5th) we have 6 days in order to fund a Kickstarter for a crow-based anthology I’m going to be part of. If we reach our goal, the publisher will be able to pay us SWFA standard for our work, which would be a serious windfall for me, even if a temporary one. If you donate just $12–an average movie ticket, let’s be honest–you will get an e-copy of the book, your name in the acknowledgements page of the book, and a bookmark with an exquisite piece of corvid art on it. If you give $20 you get two books: Mobbing Midnight and the last book I was in, What Follows. $25 will get you those two PLUS the first anthology by the publisher, Fight Like a Girl. These authors are friends of mine, as is the publisher. We are up-and-coming authors, some never published before. The previous two garnered some impressive reviews. Help us make the next one even better.
- I have opened an Etsy for handmade jewelry. Crafts and making shiny things has been a hobby of mine for some time, but I’ve never quite had the impetus to get off my butt and sell it. Nothing like losing a job to do that, yeah? So I finally opened Azazel and Penemue–named for the angels who are told to have brought jewelry, cosmetics, and the written word to us humans. I have a great deal of fun with this, ship very quickly, and you’ll get a hand-written note from me with each purchase. Nothing up there so far is more than $20, even with shipping. (Unless you live in the UK. Then it might be close.) I have a line supporting LGBTQIA+ community, and donate $1 from each sale to the local gay community center, which has been integral in my life here in Richmond. Please consider buying something for someone, if not yourself. I will be putting up something other than earrings soon, particularly in the #WearYourPride line, for those who do not have pierced ears.
- I have started a Patreon. I feel a little silly with this, honestly, but as people have told me, there’s no punishment not to. So I put up this page. I don’t have much to offer back to patrons; it’s a monthly charge, but I will be posting snippets up on the Patreon page as consistently as I can, so that you can absolutely get something for your money. Pictures of my work, photographs I take out in the world, videos of me with my guitar singing songs for you–I don’t know. At the $5/month level, you get a special backers-only coupon code for my Etsy shop. At $20 a month, you have access to a backers-only story which I will post each month. If I happen to get more backers at higher levels, I’ll come up with something then.
- I am still working as an audiobook narrator. I actually just signed a contract for a new book last night, and have a fan project in the works for this month. If you or someone you know has been looking to get a story or book or something narrated, please let me know. I’d love to look into it for you. If you’re on ACX, so am I. Look for K Orion Fray on there.
- I am also a freelance editor. With 90% of an MFA in Creative Writing under my belt and several years of editing for friends and co-workers, I’m willing to give a look to anything you have as well. Get in contact with me, let me know how long the piece is and what kind of feedback on it, and we can talk price.
And I’m probably up for suggestions as well, honestly. Talk to me and we can see what I can do.
I want to be able to keep writing for you. I also want to be able to stay in my apartment, and hopefully get a pet someday to help fend off my anxiety and depression.
And I can’t do this without your help.
I have a fortune cookie message which lives on my desk that reminds me that you can have anything you want if you want it desperately enough.
I want this.