Everyday I battle the questions. “What are you doing?; “Are you working?” ;”Where are you working, now?” I spend far too much time thinking about these questions and their answers. I self debate whether I should answer truthfully or not. Each answer is congruent to the person who asks it. If it’s family, I speak as truthfully as I can, without divulging any of my secrets of mental illness. With acquaintances, well that’s more complicated. Mostly, I avoid those individuals so the questions can’t be asked at all. This is isolating, as you can well imagine, but currently it’s working. I embrace isolation; It’s safer that way. I’ve lost touch with many friends. Some have asked me out for coffee or drink, and I give them some excuse or another why I can’t meet them out. I don’t want them to know that -1- I can’t afford that drink, and 2- I have difficulty being around people. Just the idea of trying to make small talk about my life or their lives ,,,well, I just can’t. Yes, it hurts somewhat; the alternative, however, is something I just can’t face. I don’t want the pity or the self-serving understanding. It’s just patronizing to me. I can’t tell anyone the real truth: I don’t want to go back to work. Having this time off has made me realize that it was work that really made me anxious. Every job I’ve had, I’ve thrown myself into, to the point that I was the “Job:. I became obsessed with it and completely absorbed. And a part of me truly resented that. In the first stages of each of these jobs, I performed amazingly. I was recognized for my diligence and skill, promoted, and it appeared that I was going to finally succeed. That’s when everything turns to shit I soon find myself burned out; depressed. I dread going into work. I am anxious about every duty I am told to do. I become defensive and angry. Then I leave or asked to leave. It’s always the pattern. So why would I want to go back to that? I don’t have that dread or stress anymore and as long as I isolate myself, I have no anxiety at all. Only an insane person would want to go back to work, really. But still I have to deal with the questions. The questions. I’m just not ready to face the answers .