In August 2015, I had what is colloquially known as a “nervous breakdown”, but clinically referred to as a “psychotic break.”
I prefer nervous breakdown, even if it’s not considered a real medical term. Psychotic break sounds like I lost touch with reality, when in fact the exact opposite was the case. Everything was really, extra real. Like, way too real. And I was nervous as fuck, so I’m sticking with nervous breakdown. It feels the most true.
It appears I’ve lost my job in what I now refer to as a fiery brain crash. For 22 years, I worked in a small town in the SF Bay Area. Even though I never attended college, I managed to work my way up to an executive level position in an organization I loved. A six-figure job, with excellent benefits and a PENSION for fucks sake. This was a grown-up job, a position with power and influence. Oh, and it was located 3 blocks from my house. Basically, your perfect job. Or, actually, my perfect job. Except, of course, there’s more to the story.
It took me 6 weeks off work to stop shaking. 3 months to laugh and cry a little. 4 months to get angry, and 5 months to get bored.
Crippling anxiety and boredom swirled together is a strange brew, indeed. It has led me to some strange places. The strangest (so far, anyway. Who knows what else I’m capable of?) is my interest in “make money from your own home” schemes.
Ever wonder what kind of person takes surveys for money? Obsessively enters sweepstakes? Downloads dubious software that tracks your internet habits? What’s your mental image of someone who is an extreme couponer? (It’s a Walmart Shopper, isn’t it? That’s who you thought of, right? Me, too!)
To see whether it is possible to actually make money working from home, I decided to investigate every conceivable, legal “opportunity” out there. I wondered, is it really possible for a reasonable person to make money by providing opinions on fabric softener and crappy Jennifer Garner movies?
As it turns out, the answer is probably no. I don’t think it is possible for a reasonable person. Only a crazy person would try this. In other words, I’m the perfect candidate. I’m sitting on my ass all day anyway, afraid to leave the house. I have the financial flexibility to goof around for a few months. I have an incredibly patient husband who is so desperate to see me back to some semblance of myself, he’ll put up with anything.
This experiment will be so inspirational, you guys! I think it could have the same kind of impact as Shonda Rhimes’ “Year of Yes”, but you know, decidedly down-market. And with lots more spam.
Next post: A list of all the ridiculous things I’ve signed up for on this adventure!