Starved Anger

Sick of digging for scraps
Reaching the empty bag
Finding myself at the bottom for the last time

No more eating dog food
On the silver platter
And now there's only way to reclaim what's mine

The silverware rusted
The door hinges busted
A chained beast who only eats before bedtime

The battered prison bars
Are growing weaker
But I will not wait in your room with quiet time

No more shushing my screams
You are ripping at the seams
The smiling face masking your pain won't hide this crime

I will tug till it breaks
That is all that it takes
No locked door can keep up the act of your fake shine

Just try another rhyme
Wait for the bell to chime
But what you want is for this to be the last time

The Party Beyond

The fantasy of our existence might go beyond our comprehension as a species, all alone amidst millions of stars, only those of we can see. How selfish is it for us to think we are the only superior minds of the universe? Or how foolish is it to think there are others who have walked our same path? We are a pollen particle resting on the surface of Mars with just a small chance to grow something bigger than ourselves. Only if.

The words existential anxiety are not foreign to me and I was an outsider for fearing these questions or asking about the beyond, almost like it was a secret that everyone kept, a tru Fight Club situation. I have watched exurb1a channel’s for a while and it has brought me a sort of relief to these dreaded ideas, like it was not wrong to imagine the answers beyond that only add more questions. I appreciate his ideas and hopefully you can also find some existential relief listening to the hypothetical voice of those waiting for us beyond.

Sea Bottom

The water is cold
jet streams of submarine
volcanoes are the only thing warm
down here
In the deep darkness
even burning death has some Light
Drowning does not
Words are swallowed by the empty sound
of the glaring precipice
hope is left pitying from above
existence prevails but not Life
Light here is but a lure
a fishing net for lonesome corpses
organic material
with the wish to dissolve
Feed the abyss
the last ledge 
was 10,000 leagues above
no way to get to it
swimming is easier than sinking
but Scarier
dumping this vat of nuclear waste of self
where no current can reach it
that is much Safer
no way to be cleaned
no will for it either
the burning core below would
end this Descent
reaching a Dazzling explosion
the pressure breaking the
Impenetrable walls of this vessel
flooding the still-empty pores
Of the stowaway inside
where little spheres of thoughts remain
No use for them at the bottom
they will be stripped from the corpse
They can have a chance to get out
somewhere new
someone else
my last breath will climb the darkness
knowing it can float
leaving this corpse alone
Hoping
To see the horizon

and climb even more

Anxiety Hunting

Oh, what a day
No sun and no rain, no busy people along the way

The park is lonely 
the swings are empty
the grass is thirsty
the rusty decor on the fence is familiar 
opened gate and its ominous creaking

Whistling of leaves sing with tired breath
Sad eyes tracing the ground, seeking
find a pedestal with a reek of death
Behind a pair of eyes peaking
Footsteps squeaking
Time is ticking

hush

Careful steps
approach the crouched frame
The absent light unable to reveal
the figure buried under the trunk's shade

Only hint to its prescence here
Were shoeless feet covered in dirt
Curiosity drawing it near
showed a flustered face filled with fear

No chance to flee
No escaping from me
No getting away 
From your anxiety

What a perfect time
To find hopeless prey
What a petty state
A suicidal stray

Oh, what a day!
To meet up with you and play


Getting Hired with a Mental Illness

The words anxiety and depression ring differently to some people. There is nothing wrong about that but it will always be a secret battle that many people fight every day. Regardless of the circumstances, people will experience pain. Some people choose to show it and some don’t. Is there something wrong with showing it when there is always someone with snap judgement? 

With today’s dynamics with entertainment, we are more emotionally invested than ever in strangers who appear in movies or YouTube videos. Many creators look for outlets to open up their emotions and this has normalized the concept of mental health. Additionally, they have opened up a conversation that few people were comfortable having before about the daily struggles and pain that many people have to bear. I can write a blog post about my problems with mental health and still be considered a functional part of society. Although, not inside the workplace. After so many years of exposure to disorders and debunking of myths, why is it that a company would rather hire someone with no history of mental health issues? If you have a mental illness, are you completely inadequate for today’s high-pressure work environment? 

We have to thank Twitter, YouTube, Talk Shows, and other platforms for creating a space for people from all backgrounds to open up about their mental health issues. Not only are there people talking about their stories with mental health but many public advocates are trying to promote the concept of taking care of your mental health just as much as your physical health. Celebrities like Dwayne Johnson, Katy Perry, and Kristen Bell have talked about their struggles with depression and similar problems. There are thousands of videos and Ted talks bringing light to a variety of mental disorders. 

The information is within reach and there are examples of people becoming successful while struggling with a mental illness. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson had to save his mother from committing suicide at the age of 15, grow up with depression, and still become the best-paid actor in Hollywood! Yet, the “invisible job barrier” still exists.

The New Zealand media website Stuff  wrote an article on the “Invisible job barrier: how mental illness makes it harder to get work”. You can read on the struggles that Richard Stephens had to go through to get a job. He had two degrees and experience in policy work, but his bipolar disorder and chronic anxiety kept him from getting a job for more than four years. Richard explained how he had to answer long questions regarding his mental health only to get a “phone call shortly after to say [he] wouldn’t fit in the office environment”. There it’s also mentioned how “29 percent of respondents agreed with the decision to hire a less experienced candidate who had no experience of mental illness, rather than someone who had more experience but had battled a mental illness.” Every country has their own perspective on mental health initiatives, and the numbers might look better or worse depending on where you are from. The case of Richard Stephens happened in New Zealand but the stigma exists globally.

Personally, I have seen how this plays out. I have struggled with depression and anxiety disorders for quite some time. While I was working in Philadelphia as an engineer in training, I was going through a tough time and I was not taking care of my mental health. None of my coworkers or superiors knew about my situation; at the time I was afraid to show any signs of a mental problem. While I was efficient, proactive, and collaborative, there were days where I became a liability. The lack of attention to my mental wellbeing became a problem in the workplace. It affected my punctuality, efficiency, and concentration to the point I flooded a sink.

Another personal example comes from the employment I had in Ecuador. This time I was open about having issues, even though I didn’t disclose them in their entirety. I talked about the situation I was going through with the illness of my mother and my mental health backstory. I was productive and hardworking, but the behavior from my bosses was still different. The company had to downsize personnel so I was laid off even when I was part of the sales department and switched to part-time. Was I disposable because of my situation? I am still left with the question but there is no easy answer.

The faultless yet unfeasible solution to this invisible wall would be to observe only the performance and efficiency of an employee before thinking of their background. It is a difficult characteristic to measure at face value because there is no method for predicting an employee’s behavior. There is no right or wrong answer because it is not a black or white problem. Situations are different for everyone based on culture, type of mental health problem, and requirements for the job. 

A study was done by Janki Shankar, and 8 other authors,  for Sage Publications where they interviewed employers of workers with mental illnesses. The study was done to observe what was their opinion on hiring people with mental health problems and what would cause them to change their opinion. There were workers who said that even after not being able to work with someone with mental health issues, they would still consider hiring someone and accommodating to be able to work while handling a mental health concern. Additionally, there were instances of employers having trouble with these types of workers even after accommodating them to be able to work properly. Some employees underperformed or caused problems which then meant they had to be terminated. There were still cases of these workers performing well and staying working with the company after review from their employers. It seems that there is no easy way out of the stigma but employers are realizing that there should not be an issue in the workplace if the person is able to adjust properly. So the question still stands. Is it a good idea to disclose your mental health problems considering the hindrance that it might be?

Change is slow but it doesn’t stop. There are more things to learn about coping mechanisms, workplace accommodations, and proper examples of boss-employee dynamics with workers with mental health problems. While, as a whole, we are becoming more aware of these types of problems that every person suffering from various forms of disorders, there is also the growing concern that things have been unfair for quite some time now. 

There shouldn’t be people encouraging workers to stay in the position that they are in if they are underperforming because of a mental health situation. On the other hand, there shouldn’t exist a stigma to restrain workers from using our abilities on all the areas that would benefit from more people with specific abilities. Overall, the workplace will be a constant battle for mental well-being and some people might struggle more than others but it is our right to do something with the abilities, knowledge, and experience we were given. Sharing our story might bring about a change in perspective, but that has to be a personal decision; to bear the risk of others judging while becoming part of a more just, more open world.

Links: 

https://www.webmd.com/depression/ss/slideshow-depression-celebs

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/better-business/70971792/invisible-job-barrier-how-mental-illness-makes-it-harder-to-get-work#:~:text=A%20new%20survey%2C%20conducted%20by,they%20had%20a%20mental%20illness.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2158244014547880

https://www.who.int/mental_health/in_the_workplace/en/

About the Creator

Hi! My name is Daniel Gavilanes and I want to introduce you to this corner of the internet. Every person with an opinion wants to start a blog at some point and the concept comes from before blogs were even around. Our surrounding and circumstances are intriguing, and the best way to understand them is to see them with a reader’s eyes after writing them somewhere. Journaling, gossiping and now Twitter come from the same desire to express this well of information we have within. Some express it beautifully and creatively, while others choose the more hateful and self-righteous approach.

I want to create a space where my voice gains a body, where I can post my opinions, thoughts, and literary works. My background is in Environmental Engineering so I do wish to go in depth about environmental issues, but also give insight on our current situation. There is research and opinions that I want to post in regards to the entertainment industry, and I hope you can listen to it. Nevertheless, the backbone of my writing career has always been writing, therefore, I will always post some form of literature. I hope you can enjoy your stay.