My health and energy levels almost completely collapse. I had been spending most of my days off in bed because I couldn't make myself care about anything long enough to stay awake for it. The answer finally turns out to be buproprion, an atypical antidepressant. After spending a couple of weeks as a batshit-insane, impatient, hyper-lucid speed freak, my neurochemistry levels off and settles down to a perfectly functional level.
Three months ago, almost to the day:
I quit my job. This is kind of a big deal; I've been working there off and on (but mostly on) for about four years now. (I don't really want to go into my reasons for leaving, but you can ask me privately off-line, if you like.)
I'm sure I'll be able to find another job easily enough, and in I do manage to keep myself focussed and actively looking better than I have in the past, but it's still fairly spotty. Bursts of frenetic activity interspersed with periods of apathy and despair, and occasional stretches of being "almost sure" I'm going to get some particular job, and therefore not really looking for any others.
I keep busy. I go on several interviews, most of them with recruiters rather than directly with companies. I work on a ton of websites. Aware that what I laughably call my "savings" won't last forever, I start building steampunk toy gun mods, with the intention of selling them on eBay. They look great, but I entirely fail to follow through with this.
Two-and-a-half months ago:
Thanks to wendolen (I owe you dinner for this), I land a one-shot paying gig -- building a demo version of a hush-hush new project from the guys who launched Manifesto Games. Knowing that I'm at least doing something that will eventually generate income isn't quite as nice as, you know, actually having money, but it does help to keep my spirits up.
Two months ago:
Months of unpaid electricity bills catch up to me, and the power to SIXBOX gets shut off. Aside from a few scattered nights spent at home in my very dark condo, I practically live with Ahna and Lars from that point on.
Two weeks ago:
I run out of money completely. I survive by selling off some books and some CDs, scrounging together every tiny bit of spare change I have, and eating mostly ramen and peanut butter sandwiches. (In fact, I've been eating a lot less in general for the past couple of months, and it's starting to show -- I've lost something like twenty pounds. Poverty apparently agrees with me.)
Friends start asking me, couldn't you ask your mother for money? Yeah, I'm sure I could. That's not really the point. I'm not going to be able to rely on her to rescue me forever; I have to teach myself that actions have consequences.
I start relying on Ahna using her credit cards -- since I don't have any -- to pay off the bills I can't ignore, like the phone and car insurance, with the promise that I will pay her back as soon as the check from Manifesto Games arrives. Ahna continues to be patient and loving and generally entirely awesome.
I have my second interview with a company called CourtTrax. They have a web service that provides real-time searches of court records, which sounds to me like a good match with my experience. Like the first interview, it goes extremely well.
The very next day:
They offer me the job. I accept. Go take a long, last look at their website -- completely redesigning it will be one of my first tasks. I'll be making three-and-a-half times the amount I was making at Blue Utopia. I'll have full coverage -- medical, dental and vision.
Four days ago:
I wrap things up with the Manifesto Games project and send them an invoice.
My first day at CourtTrax.
I will have everything I need for my life to begin again.