Loosing my job did a good number on my mental state. Not that I was perfect ot begin with. I had always had social anxiety and self-esteem issues. The fact that I was in a new place where everyone looked perfect, coupled with no job and staying at home all the time made for some heavy duty anxiety. Of course the South Florida summer heat did not help. I have noticed that my anxiety levels dramatically increase in the summer. I sweat intensely which only causes more anxiety. I found it harder and harder to cope with this anxiety. I went through a very scary uniary tract infection which I thought was something much worse. Since I didn't have insurance at the time I had to go to one of those scary Hialeah clinics. All this culminated in what I would call the lowest period of my anxiety. While this was definately a mad time in my life, I knew that there was only one way to go, and that was up.
Interestingly enough, with my anxiety I never saw a therapist. I always thought that would be scary and that talking to someone wouldn't really help. I'm more along the lines of medication. It wasn't until I started working from home, that I started my insurance, that I was able to get anti-anxiety medication. And it has made a world of difference. I am happy to report that with the help of these drugs I was able to balance myself to be snap back into the person that I used to be. I know there is definate debate over drug use vs. therapy, but I have to say my vote goes to drug use. My friends can attest to this because I'm always trying to medicate them. And believe me, they need it!
WORKING FROM HOME
Just when I thought my life was down in the dumps along comes a great opportunity. Now I had been looking for jobs everywhere. I had another programming stint for about two days, but I hated the company. They all spoke spanish and I just didn't feel right there. I feel like a horrible person but I just stopped showing up. I also tried to work where Luis worked, but I have to tell you working the graveyard shift at IBill.com is no easy task. I don't know how Luis does it, but it definately takes a strong willed person to pull it off, and I didn't even last the morning. So just when I thought I'd never program again, my old boss Chad asks me if I am interested in doing some contract work for the people who bought our company. I agreed! At first I didn't know what to make of the situation. They were paying my $35 an hour and I got to work from home. It was a dream come true. I really didn't think it would last. I did contract work for about a year and half. There was one point where the work was kind of slow and I thought I was going to loose this job.
Luckily, Chad fired the two programmers and brought me in on the ASP side of things. I quickly learned the new technology and worked very hard at making my new employers happy with me. I think it paid off because January 2003, I became a salaried employee of the company. And that is where I stand today. I have gone from unemployment to a dream come true: a work at home job that pays very well. 411Web Directory wants me to eventually move out to LA, which I am willing to do, but I am holding out until they pay for it :) Otherwise, I'll just buy proporty in South Florida.
Dealing with all the anxiety that I had on the beach, I decided to try living in Fort Lauderdale for a while. I knew it had more gay people than Miami Beach, but I don't think you can appreciate it until you actually see how many gay people there are here! It's crazy! Mario and I decided to be roommates and I found New River Village. The rent was a little steep but I ended up paying ten bucks more than what I was paying at the beach and I had the master bedroom. The complex is awesome. We have a swimming pool, party jacuzzi, club room, billiards room, gym, and my favorite internet cafe with free coffee!! It's really a great place to live. The down side is that you never want to leave the complex.
I have to admit that at first I wasn't in love with Fort Lauderdale. It definately grew on me as I lived here longer. It's no South Beach. You have to drive everywhere and the buildings do not look as cute as they do on the beach. However there are so many gay establishments that it defiantely makes up for it. My favorite being JavaBoys for coffee and the bathhouses for those carnal pleasures. I go back and forth like a ping-pong ball deciding where I buy a house if I don't move out to LA. I definately think I'll be purchasing somewhere in Fort Lauderdale. I do want to rent a place in Wilton Manors to see how I like that area.
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