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The Abyss Diary: #1

By       Message Dan Mage     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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The awareness that there are billions worse off than me brings little comfort. I never understood the reasoning behind statements like "Be thankful for what you have, it could be so much worse." Yes, thank you, of course it could be so much worse, in fact in the past it has been a lot worse for me personally, and the continuing awareness of how quickly things can deteriorate contributes to a constant low level anxiety the occasionally explodes into full-blown "attacks." Sometime "flashbacks" to various traumas trigger these attacks. It's OK though, I've been dealing with this for a long time now, and don't wish to dwell on it any longer. I just don't understand how the suffering of others is supposed to improve my outlook. While I can place my day-to-day difficulties in a global context, label them as "trivial" while I do what I can to overcome them, the suffering of other beings, human and non-human is not a source of relief.

Similarly, as I watch the abyss and my own (for now) slow progress towards it, this movement can be placed in a social context --something not all that different from what millions of other Americans are facing- there is no relief. However there is cause to record it, and place it online; out there in cyberspace perhaps it stands a better chance of surviving than on an obsolete hard-drive, flash drives that always get lost, or even hard-copy to be placed in boxes of papers stashed in storage lockers, closets, sheds, and likely to be lost, forgotten and disposed of.

So I wait, for now unemployed, depending on the largesse of family members which we all agree "can't go on forever," and wondering if Medicaid or any portion of "Obamacare" will cover treatment of my Hep-C as it progresses, trying to make sense out of the rapidly changing socioeconomic landscape as it relates to me. Expatriation may be a solution; however how to make it possible is another daunting challenge.

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Can I go back to my seasonal job next spring? It will probably be there for me if I want it, but I don't know if I will have the physical strength left to do it; the summer of 2012 pushed me right up against new and non-negotiable limitations of physical endurance, that were not a problem a mere two years before. If they give me another raise I'll be making 8.05/hr (a ten cent raise was the best I could get for coming back last time).

However, due to its seasonal nature there are no benefits whatsoever offered by this job, regardless of the number of hours worked; the only thing good about it is that one can work 40 hrs per week and still qualify for medicaid financially. The problem I will be facing involves paying for expensive medications under the current set of provisions, and market conditions. If I am unable to solve this problem, I will rapidly become unable to function. It's going to be interesting.



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I was born in NYC in 1959. I grew up in the DC area, the product of suburbia and liberal parents with doctoral-level educations. I dropped out of the public school system in eighth grade, and from all schooling by the age of 16. My life rapidly (more...)

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