Struggle

Mar. 3rd, 2017 01:29 pm
[personal profile] carnivalnights
I don't know how many times we can say, "I don't know how much longer I can do this." Saying it out loud does not make the train coming toward you go any slower. But do we just keep saying we can't do it and keep going forever? When is enough enough? When do you get to that point when you can, literally, no longer do it?

I have been struggling financially over the last year and things have just gotten so bad. I hide it well, of course. Only my two closest friends know what has been going on, and my father only to an extent. It started after Salem had his surgery and having, permanently, the additional and hefty expenses of his prescription food and medication (Salem always comes first so in no way am I blaming any of that, or him). And it has slowly gotten worse from there. Things really took a nosedive around November, and ever since I have been struggling to pay my rent every month, going without food when I need it, panicking because I cannot afford my own medications, not even having enough to do my laundry sometimes, being unable to go to the dentists all year or get a haircut. It is rare I am able to treat myself to anything; I have mostly been relying on Christmas and my birthday for that. Any time I do treat myself I almost immediately regret it, no matter how much we need these "treats" sometimes. I kept thinking making it to March was all I needed to do because I would have a three-paycheck month and my tax refund (which is small compared to what I need but it's still something). But after going over all of my expenses and budget, I now realize this month is not going to save me. This has been weighing down on me for so long now, and it never gets any better. And I am completely exhausted.

As I was on overtime all of February, slaving away for crap pay at a job I hate, I realized I would never, ever be able to get a second job. I am so burned out and so miserable right now - physically and emotionally - and I have been informed we are on overtime again for all of March. I drag myself here every day. I congratulate myself for getting out of bed because it truly is amazing I can even do that. Obviously, this is for reasons beyond finances and being "tired." This is also my depression and my severe lack of personal time. The time people normally get to relax, I spend rushing around doing errands after work, without the help of a car which always takes three times as long, trying to clean my apartment, showering, making my dinner, prepping my breakfast and lunch for work the next day, etc. I have so little time by the time I get home and my sleep is suffering because of it. Sometimes I envy those who are with a partner and have help for all these things, especially household chores. I do what I have to do, but I am not in a good place or having a fun time doing it.

I honestly have no idea what to do or how to get myself out of this. Every piece of advice that is given to me, I just think, 'I can't do that. I'm stuck.' Like the second job, for example. Believe me, I cannot do it. I do not have the energy or the time to sacrifice. I am already spreading myself too thin. Salem is already left alone too much and I feel guilty. I don't even have enough time to sleep properly. And I don't know what I could do from home because that's still going to cause the same problem. How else do I get out of this hole? I just have no idea...

I feel like I'm flailing around in the water in the middle of the ocean, alone.

Date: 2017-03-04 10:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dex.livejournal.com
You're probably faced with the same decision so many are, if you're still where you were: the only realistic solution is to move somewhere with a lower cost of living, i.e. out of the GTA

Date: 2017-03-06 12:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] carnivalnights.livejournal.com
You're totally right. And I'm not particularly attached to the city anymore anyway. I'd probably move out of the city if I could, but without a car, with moving costs and the fact that it took me 10 months to find my current job... I'm sure you understand the hesitation at the moment. But I will likely end up outside the city at some point because I know the cost of living here is just way too high now. I'm at least glad I am no longer attached to Toronto like I used to be, or I could just imagine myself stuck in this position forever.

Date: 2017-03-07 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] symptosis.livejournal.com
It's astonishing you stay in there no matter how difficult things get and they certainly are bad. I've said this to you before but you deserve to be better and have an enjoyable, fulfilling life. Thanks for honestly sharing with us what just your close friends knew before.

Date: 2017-03-08 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] apori.livejournal.com
Agree with every word of this.

Date: 2017-03-09 10:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isaura.livejournal.com
First off, you're not alone. Even if most of the people in your life don't know the extent of what is going on with you financially, we can offer different types of support. I'm in the same boat you're in. No matter how much I work, or how much I hustle, it's never enough. And we get drained--emotionally, physically, spiritually. And then the darkness settles in. How much of this can I take? Is this the time I will get knocked down and can't get back up?

You are so strong, a survivor, a hustler. Even if it doesn't feel like it, even if you don't see any progress right now. Secondly, believe that.

This is something that has freed me: It doesn't matter how much you hustle, bills will always be there. That sounds negative, I know, but it isn't. Because when that clicks, you realize that there is only so much you can do, how run down you can become before tipping over and staying down. And with that freedom comes the knowledge that as long as you wake up another day and talk yourself out of bed, you'll be okay. Financial responsibility is important and as long as you are taking care of yourself and your immediate needs, there is always wiggle room.

Date: 2017-03-09 10:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] isaura.livejournal.com
There are many days I go without food, and the last time I got a haircut, I cried because it seemed like such a luxury, a luxury I couldn't afford. But sometimes, we need to splurge on that little luxury, on that burger, because otherwise, what is the point? Those little luxuries keep us going. Obviously, that doesn't mean to live too far out from what you can afford, but even though $30 sounds like a lot when you have nothing (or when your bank account is in the negative) but honestly, $30 won't make too much of a dent in your debt.

Accepting that has given me the fortitude to keep on going, month after month, through this level of anxiety and poverty. Because with that acceptance comes the tiny hope, the tiny flame of hope that you can fan, that it will be okay, and with all the hard work you're putting in, one day soon you'll be solvent. Not through luck, some prayer, or the lottery, but just the amount of work you put in, it gets rewarded. You keep working hard and looking for opportunities to better your situation, and you will.

<3

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