The DVR Trigger

Tossing and turning, the night is a blur of nightmares and tension eating up at me. The alarm rings, causing me to jolt up off the bed, reach for it and groan at the same time.  He reaches out to me to calm me down and then hit snooze on his alarm.

My head hits the pillow again, eyes closed, not wanting to face the world. Some days, I stay awake to talk to him as he’s getting ready for work.

Not today.

I fall back asleep, if you can call it sleep, as I wait for him to leave. I feel him going back and forth, getting ready for work.

Sometimes he’ll linger longer because he’s worried about me.

Today is one of those days.

He gives me a kiss on the forehead and leaves.

I doze in and out of sleep for another hour or two and then get up to attack the day.

“I will have a good day” I tell myself.

A bowl of cereal and my laptop accompany me to the same spot on the couch. The dreaded couch.

I check e-mails, open up the saved job listings and work on another e-mail to another job.

A wave of optimism takes over me as I talk to friends.

“I can do this. It will all be OK.”

After an hour of being productive, I decide to take a break. I put my laptop to the side and grab the remote to watch an episode of ‘Supernatural’ on my DVR. (I’m addicted you know).

Within 30 seconds, my DVR reboots. For the next half hour, I battle with the DVR as it refuses to work or constantly reboots.

I can’t even get my DVR to work.

How can I fix my life?

An overwhelming feeling of doom and failure overtake me. The more I try to throw it off my shoulders, the heavier it gets.

I sink deeper into the sofa, into dusk, into my nightmares until he comes home.

Another day wasted.

He holds me close until I drift off to sleep.

Let’s try again tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “The DVR Trigger

  1. Oh my god. You just wrote about my day. Step-by-step, word-for-word. Okay, more like every day I have had for the past two weeks. Is there a support group for this sort of thing? There needs to be. Last night I broke down into a totally uncalled for fit of tears. And it wasn’t the first time either. But it sounds like you’re getting somewhere, right? I’ve discovered that wine helps with the weepies. And imagining the new wardrobe I can buy when I finally get a job helps too. Looking at my pile of bills and my bank account, however, sends me running for the remote (go Supernatural!), the ice cream, and the bed (the love seat is too small to comfortably nap on).


  2. Girlfriend!! No, no, no!! Don’t despair — you can make this time actually fun and worthwhile. Sorry for this long comment of unsoliticed advice but if anyone knows about unemployment, it’s me!

    You gotta get out of the house. While I do have a job now, I was unemployed for quite some time. I’ve been unemployed in DC and unemployed in Ohio. Let me tell you, DC is one of the BEST places to be unemployed!! While it is horrible to not be making money, I mean absolutely wretched, there are SO MANY cheap and FREE things to do in DC.

    About 3 weeks into my last unemployment stretch, I fell into a serious depression and my parents threatened to force me to move home if I didn’t do something for myself and so I gathered ALL OF MY energy (bc I had practically none) and every day I set out a plan for myself. I would get up around 8 like a working person would, then I’d apply for jobs from about 9-12 and REALLY apply… not watch tv, not surf the web, but I would focus on applications and spend time on the cover letters and then at 12, I’d close up shop and not look at any job stuff for rest of the day. Then I’d put on normal clothes (read not sweatpants or soffe shorts and tshirts) and go seea museum, the botanical gardens, the zoo, monuments, etc. Sometimes I’d take my journal and just stretch out on the mall or sit by the WWII memorial. A visit to Arlington Cemetery is always good too. Sometimes I’d even visit churches, temples, etc… Other things to help with it — the library! You can get TONS of reading done while unemployed. Taking your camera out into the city and capturing some good photos can be fulfilling too. Lots of gym/dance studios/yoga places offer one or two free classes to potential new members at all times of the day. I would suggest avoiding areas like K St, the Hill, E st, etc where you will see lots of people in business attire — it just drives the point into you that they have jobs and you don’t. It hurts.

    Some ways I found to make even just a little bit of money: you can find some random babysitting gigs (I used, taking clothes you don’t want to a secondhand store (I know you have your ebay thing but sometimes immediate gratification is better, haha), on Craigslist there can be really random things like dog walking or paid studies (one time I got $45 to go to drinks with a girl who interviewed me about my love for Sex and the City for her doctorate thesis) and finally there are some freelance opportunities that are so easy it’s scary (Demand Studios is a good one.. you can get $15 an article for writing things like “how to find a prom dress”).

    Another thing that helped me out was to think “what would I have REALLY wanted to doing when I was stuck in my cubicle behind my desk at this time of day?” and then do whatever that might be — sleep, snack, drink wine, call my parents, whatever! Then revel in the fact that you CAN do it, you can do anything WHENEVER you want!

    Finally the last and most important thing I think for me was to meet with at least 1 or 2 friends a week, even if it for something cheap (coffee) or free (a powerwalk together).

    I guess the SUPER final thing I will say is that you might consider applying for some jobs you don’t really want (retail, waitress or even like me, at a pet place!) and then working part-time while you continue to job search. It at least pays the bills and gives you a sense that you have something to do!

    Ok sorry for SUCH a long post of unsolicited advice but I feel you girl and I want to help! Let me know if you want to meet up anytime! xoxo


  3. I forgot to mention that after I started doing all the things I mentioned I felt A LOT better and didn’t even really mind the fact that I was unemployed. (side note: I always referred to it as “temporarily unemployed” or “in the hunt for a new job!” even though I didn’t have a job lined up, haha)


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