A couple of nights ago at home, I looked up some pictures from 2004 and 2005. They were pictures of me (and former girlfriends) dancing, laughing, and having a good time in Chicago. Life wasn't perfect then either, but at least I was able to go out and have fun occasionally. Fun. The kind where you forget about your problems and just let go of everything for a while. These days I've been forgetting the fun and worrying about my problems. Not solving them-- worrying about them.
I don't know what will happen between now and when I move out of VA Transitional Housing, or what will happen after I graduate. Recover from depression and anxiety? I've done that before. That doesn't make it any easier this time, but at least I have some idea what to expect. Will being homeless just be another story to tell? More important: is the end of me being homeless now the end for all time, or am I somehow "at risk" of becoming homeless again?
The fear that I'll always be fighting to keep myself from being homeless sounds like something that will stick with me. Now that I know it's possible for me to end up on the street, I worry about it happening again the same way as I worry about World War III. I know it can happen, even if no one else around me thinks it will.
This is one of the things PTSD does to a person. PTSD makes you think that the worst can always happen again, because you've been in the middle of the worst that can happen. It's real. I've seen it, felt it, smelled it. The world really is an unsafe place. I can't have fun, I need to worry about the next bad thing...
Yeah, I'll stop adding to that paragraph now. You get the idea.
It is difficult some days, waking up and walking downstairs for coffee. The stairs are not the problem. It's the house. It reminds me that I'm homeless, and that I'm living in a government building. The coffee is usually shitty, because the kitchen reuses the grounds at least twice. Breakfast is the same every day, eggs toast hash browns sausage. Lunch is usually the same: sandwich with one slice of meat and one slice of cheese. Expired bread. One mustard packet, one mayo packet. A bag 'o chips. Cookies, or something similar. A can (or box) of fruit juice. And lately a container of fruit cocktail. Goddamn fruit cocktail. This is not the fresh cut fruit from the food bar at Whole Foods. No, this is the stuff that you put in the bin at the grocery store to feed the needy because it's cheap, or you've had a can of the stuff in your cupboard that you bought on sale.
Fruit cocktail sucks. Especially every freakin' day.
Don't get me wrong here-- I'm seriously grateful that I have food to eat. My point is that even though it's food and it keeps me from starving, it's not giving me a whole lot of positive mental energy.