I’m stressed as all get out. I’m about 3 seconds away from “testing” prostitution as a mean to get some funds…and I don’t think I’d made a good hooker.

I get paid next week, but that money (and then some) is already spent for late bills. My school loans have kicked in, but I don’t have the money to pay for them. I’m actually considering going back to school sooner than later so that I can hold off on paying my loans. Doing that will take me away from my writing, and that would defeat the purpose of me taking time off from school.

What I need is a roommate that can afford to pay half of everything. My sister is living with me, and I adore her and love her, but she’s not working, hasn’t worked, and so basically I’m doing everything I can to pay my bills and to help my mother. This is the first time in almost four years where I feel I am 100% broke and have nothing. Even when I was only making $9,000 a year as a grad teacher (2001-2004), I somehow made it stretch. I think for the most part that’s because I was the only one here for 2 of those 3 years, and now I’m not. Now I’m helping me and my mom. And I’m trying to do this with a job that pays me nothing and yet asks me to teach 5 composition courses a semester, among other school-related activities.

It’s made this semester very stressful for me. Oh, how I miss Paxil and Buspar!

About 3 years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I think I’ve always been a depressed person, but I was action-oriented and having action and doing things and accomplishing my goals made me not THINK about the depression. I got here to Louisiana, and all hell broke loose. Three years, 80-100 counseling sessions, two prescriptions later, I decided to stop taking my meds. This was last October. I didn’t want to be dependent on pills. I was young, well, if you call 32 young. I meditated, I read the Bible, I used the inner Shonell to constantly review everything I said, did, or thought, so I could change the negative thoughts. It worked, for the most part, and I was proud of myself for working through my issues naturally.

Then 2005 came. My mom and younger bro moved here. My sis still lives with me. My best friend and her kids moved down. We had become a family, working together to help out, make sure everyone was doing okay. For the last three months of 2004, everyone lived in my apartment. It was crowded, but we were happy. Everyone moved into their own places in January 2005, and other things happened, and it horrifically rocked my world. I have battled very hard this semester to keep from “going under” and I made it to the end of the semester fairly bruised up but still breathing. As soon as the semester ended, my mentality switch flipped to insanity, and I’ve been dangerously depressed. I worked so hard to keep from being depressed and now when I actually have time to sleep in or write, I have had time to THINK, and thinking has brought up all the pain I’ve felt this semester, all the wondering of what I’m suppose to do with my life, who I’m suppose to be, learning to make myself happy and not worry what others think about my decisions, wondering if I can even be a good judge for what it IS I may want to do with my life.

There I was, thinking that many of my darkest days were over, that maybe God had decided that I needed to be relatively happy for a while. I trusted the feeling in my heart that told me I would be okay, and I shouldn’t have. I should have kept taking my meds, kept building drugs inside my body to help me make it through this often wretched thing we call life. But I didn’t.

And so now all I have is ME to help me through all of this. My counselor, the woman who knows ALL my dirty secrets…the ONLY person on the planet is ‘truly’ knows the most about my inner thoughts has gone to private practice. There is no one else in my life to talk to. I love my mother. Adore my sister. Cherish my best friend. Don’t know why I can’t talk to them, but I don’t. I think the biggest reason is because it doesn’t help. Okay. So I let out my feelings. You know what? They are STILL inside of me and talking about them just makes them BIGGER and more painful to deal with.

I’ve been thinking about getting a second job because I don’t think I’ll make it unless I have more money. Of course, a second job will mean I will have no time to write, will have no chance of getting published. If that was the case, I should have just applied to Ph.D. programs and started in the fall like I had originally planned.

Nope. I always have to make it difficult for myself. Life wouldn’t be funny without the bumps and bruises, without the ups and downs (way more downs than ups), without the surprise (good and more often than not, BAD).

You know…I’ve never been a person who was big on money. I didn’t care about fashion. I didn’t care about keeping up with the Joneses. I just wanted to be able to maintain and hopefully, someday, be able to help my mother buy the house she always wanted.

Over the last few years, I have realized that life IS money. People say money is the root of all evil. To a certain extent, I would agree. Without it, you can’t really “have” anything. Yes, you can have love. You can even have your loved ones, but can you have your home to live in? Can you have your food to eat? Can you have your gas for your car? Your clothes to wear? Your books for school? Your glasses to see? Your TP to wipe your ass with? I think you get my point. We do need money. And because, for most of my life, I’ve been a person with very limited resources, and because I’m starting not to believe that if I have faith and patience and love and take care for everyone and do everything I can to succeed (in the right way of course) someday God may bless me, I HUNGER for money now.

Almost everything out of my mouth is about money. Whether it’s to pay for my rent. My phone (and now I have no long distance because of a late bill). My mom’s monthly furniture payments (people need something to sleep on sometimes). My food. Mom’s food (it’s good to eat unless you like the hot anorexic look that’s sweeping H-wood these days). My postage for submissions. My ink cartridges. My cable and internet (how else can I vent my pitiful existence without it?). Even my most frivolous expense: chocolate caramel lattes at Joe Muggs.

I’ve been tempted to just go. Where? Who knows. Somewhere where I can get back to the basics. To need the very bare necessities and to live off the land, or to live in a cave. Something that’s NOT this. But I can’t. I’m too entrenched, too threaded into the fabric of this whole world. Besides, I’m sure the Sallie Mae Mafia would be after my ass to collect my school loans. What can I say? They made me a financial offer I couldn’t refuse and now, years later, they want to collect on the debt. I just hope I don’t end up sleeping with the fishes.

1 Comment

  1. I pray that things get better. In reference to Sallie Mae, go to their website and fill out the “deferment” application. That will hopefully keep them quiet for at least 6 months.

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