Just so everyone is clear on this, the only feedback I expect when I post about being poor or feeling lousy is to not be complained at for schedule slippage. I was taken to task several years ago by some people who pointed out that I am one of those prey animals who tries to avoid being eaten by bluffing health right up until the point where I drop over dead. Since nobody is trying to eat me anymore, this is a very stupid way to handle things, and it was further pointed out that perhaps I could avoid the dropping-over-dead part if I let people know I needed some breathing room.

I concede the logic of this. I'm working on it.

I also feel like a colossal black hole of uselessness when people respond with anything beyond not shouting at me. This is nobody's fault. People who send thank-yous and donations and pictures of rats hugging teddy bears are wonderful. Thank you all. I am working on this one, too.

The fundamental problem is that I still believe that the set of things I am capable of producing, in a mostly-reliable manner over a long period of time, has no points of intersection with the set of things that are considered valuable in human society. I'm even catastrophically bad at being a retail drone, for fuck's sake, and that's a job we give to incompetent teenagers whom we fully expect will shoplift random crap before leaving for lunch one day and never bothering to come back. I even have something of a social life now and I still feel as if I'm on the wrong planet.

I am uncertain how to fix this. I have tried conforming, and I fail so hard I end up in the ER. The consequences of failure have gotten worse over time. I am still surprisingly reluctant to give up on this plan. We are all told we deserve nothing in life, and must suffer for success. I feel that it is a defect in me that makes me collapse from the 'suffering' before 'success' ever hits.

People who tell you to follow your dreams are inevitably the kinds of people who can hold down a job as a barista while insisting they're going to be famous someday.

The tinkering with my neurotransmitters without any medical supervision is business as usual, but I find myself increasingly frightened by the idea that I might manage to get myself as functional as I can possibly be, and it still would not be enough. That I can present myself as the very best me to social-Darwinian scrutiny, and I will not make the cut.

I do not need to be rich. I do not need to be famous. If necessary, I could even do without being liked. But I have absolutely no idea what to do if I'm simply deemed unable to earn my place even on the fringes of society. Even asking for a temporary reprieve seems like entitlement. As I am reminded repeatedly, being unable to do something is no excuse for not doing it. I can reduce it to the fundamental logical contradiction that it is, and I still don't know how to resolve it.

None of this is anybody else's problem. Society ticks along just fine whether I am in it or not. I do my best not to take anyone else down with me. I figure that just because I'm having a terrible day doesn't mean anyone else has to. That's what the rats are for, really. No matter how hard I fail at everything else, I can make their day wonderful by sticking an entire banana inside their house.