There comes a point in every job search where I actually think I will never work again. This is usually the point where I start applying for jobs at Starbucks and Target – which are fine jobs, but out of my experience and skill set. If they’d have me, I’d accept in a heartbeat, but they take one look at my work experience and know I’m only going to stay until my next opportunity comes along, so why sink any money into training me to begin with? Can’t really blame them there.
Here’s the thing – and it’s embarrassing as fuck to admit this – but we are scary broke. Like losing-our-home-soon-can’t-pay-any-bills-overdrawn-bank-account-only-purchased-groceries-and-Pull-Ups-because-I-wrote-some-résumés-for-cash fucking broke. It’s humiliating and demeaning and really makes my college degree feel useless. So why I am sharing about this? Because if I don’t, I will actually lose my mind. My relationship with money has almost always been feast or famine, but I have always managed to eek something out in the 11th hour. Now, however, I am in the 25th hour, I used my lifeline, and I am at the end of my goddamn rope. It’s not about me – it’s about The Juggernaut. I can skip meals and wear clothes from 20 years ago. I can go without. He’s just a little guy who needs food to grow and clothes because he grows out of everything in 20 minutes and he needs to feel SAFE. The last thing I feel right now is safe but I am trying my hardest and damnedest to make sure he never feels like the floor is going to fall out beneath him because that is the worst feeling to have when you’re a kid. I’m the mom and it is my mission in life that he feels safe.
So I keep on muddling through. I keep sending off script ideas and I hear, “Been there, done that.”. I submit my résumé and portfolio and hear, “You’re not exactly what we’re looking for.”. I try not to cry hysterically when I get five rejections before 9:00 am. I’m exhausted and doubting everything about myself, especially my talent. It’s a gift I have squandered at times, but it’s always come through for me. Now I’m full of doubt and it’s paralyzing, but I’m trying to…just. Keep. SWIMMING.
Here is my battle cry, Job-Yet-To-Be-Named. I’m coming for you and when we meet, you’re going to be my bitch.
I am not a patient person.
I sometimes think The Juggernaut was sent by the Universe to teach me patience and so far, I have a pretty even win-loss ratio going. Luckily, he’s an easy-going kids who knows when I’m being ridiculous and can laugh at me. I pray he never loses that perspective because I’m a handful. Ask Husbandito – he’ll definitely have some words about that.
I have sent many résumés out into the world and now I am waiting for responses. I have had a couple phone interviews and been asked to take a few writing tests and I am waiting for those responses. I have a producer reading some loglines that I sent over to him to see if maybe he’ll want to work on a project with me and I am waiting for his response. I’m waiting to find out if my previous employer is, indeed, going to pay me for the month of March as my contract states or if this is going to be a thing. I know it’s going to be a thing because, lately, everything I do feels like a thing. I’m waiting to see the doctor I want to see. I’m waiting for The Juggernaut to want to use the potty. I’m waiting for the dog to figure out the rug in our living room is not her personal bathroom. I’m waiting for Husbandito to close a cabinet or drawer behind him. I’m waiting and I am not a patient person. I am not a laid back person. I want to find a solution, implement it, and move on to the next task at hand.
Needless to say, I am restless, irritable, and discontented. And really sick of waiting. And not knowing how I’m going to pay bills. Or buy groceries. Or keep from crying 24/7.
So I keep taking the next indicated action. I ask for help where I can. I share with you to keep from isolating. I look at the world through The Juggernaut’s eyes and all is right once again.
But I am still sick of waiting.
I have a horrible migraine and will probably be setting my laptop down a few times to evacuate the contents of my stomach, but I haven’t posted in a few days and there’s a lot on my mind.
Husbandito and I are in a lot of financial trouble. Like A LOT. A little of it is of our own making and the rest of it is a direct result of my illness – it’s like a sister-wife that my husband had no interest in ever introducing into our marriage. See, I have a hard time working in an office right now and, as a writer, in order to make the big bucks (ie. a living wage), I need to be working in some type of advertising/marketing position. Except some days I am so weak That I cannot get out of bed. This is not my natural state. I’ve always been a hard worker and, sadly, this is not possible when I’m sick. The HILARIOUS part of this whole scenario is that stress makes me sicker. And I am beyond stressed, so I keep getting sicker.
I’m losing hope. I have to believe that other people believe and I have never been one to rely on the kindness of strangers. Or friends. Or even family members. It’s always been me against the universe.
And the universe is kicking. My. ASS.
There’s a part in the book ‘Peter Pan’ by J.M. Barrie where Tinkerbell is dying and the reader is implored to clap their hands if they believe in fairies. When I was a child, I would set the book down and clap my hands like MY life depended on it. My life depends on believing now, on having hope and I am just tapped out.
Last night was the series finale of ‘Downton Abbey’ on PBS. Unless you have been living under a rock or in a coma, you at least know that this show exists. Being a major history nerd, I watched the first episode before The Juggernaut was even conceived and I could not get into it. My mistake.
Fast forward a couple years and I now own a baby that I was not prepared to have, a massive case of postpartum depression that left me incapable of functioning, and a yet-to-be-diagnosed autoimmune disease that was making me sicker and more anxious by the day. In short, I was a hot mess.
So, I started watching ‘Downton Abbey’ on Amazon and I was instantly enamored with the manners and pomp and circumstance and tradition and the richness of the show. It made me feel a sense of order in all the chaos in my life. I was a new mom in a new home with a new life and it was all too much. Too…new. I needed something that was rich in history and completely outside of my current reality and the Grantham family gave me what I needed and then some.
I’m sure there are critics who are going to say it was wrapped up in a pretty little package at the end, but sometimes, that is exactly what an audience needs from a story. I watched last night with a great deal of satisfaction and a little bit of sadness. My Sunday nights will be filled with something else going forward, but I know I can always revisit the people who gave me so much comfort as I went through the darkest days of my life so far…even if they weren’t real.
Now, can someone please be a lamb and get me a cup of tea?
The interesting thing about blogging is figuring out a topic to write about every day. Yesterday, I had nothing. I was physically and mentally dehydrated. Some electrolytes helped with the physical dehydration, but what to do about my mental wasteland?
Stephen King says that good writers are even better readers and I will be the first to admit I have not been reading as much as I could be. And by “reading”, I mean books. I read articles all the time, but actual books that are not about taco-loving dragons or evening salutations to the moon? It’s been rare. I tend to re-read rather than explore a new author, so when my reading gets stale, I abandon ship. This is a trend in my life and may be a topic for another day.
I had The Juggernaut and I stopped reading for me. I am getting back to it with the help of my Kindle and a recent block of free time (see my first blog entry for recap), but I’ve been struggling to get back into it and it’s making me sad. Books were my best friend as a child. My home life was chaotic and I could completely escape it for hours between the covers of a book. The local library increased the numbers of books I was allowed to take out each week because I was such a voracious reader – I could easily go through 20 books at a time. To this day, I am still a speed reader with about a 95% retention. It’s a gift and I have been squandering. Well, not so much squandering it as having a baby, being sleep deprived, getting sick, and trying to manage life. You know – the usual.
I miss being a Constant Reader and doing what has always come so naturally me. It’s time to find her once again. I know she’s in there, but it may take some Neil Gaiman or Zora Neale Hurston to coax her out.
So I fired my doctors yesterday. Yes, plural. They were dismissive and not trying to get to the root of my problem even though I had told them 1,000 times that I understand my numbers are fine, but I’M NOT FINE. Today, I had a consultation with a doctor who specializes in autoimmune conditions and he knew exactly what was going on with me within minutes of our conversation. I shared my “numbers” with him and he was like, “They’re okay, but you’re not feeling better. That’s a problem.”. I wanted to burst into tears because it was the first time in THREE YEARS I actually had some hope. It’s not “just in my head”. I’m not going crazy. I do not have PTSD or GAD or clinical depression – I have two autoimmune diseases who are duking it out in my body and currently winning. But there was hope.
Until I heard the cost. Fuck me.
So, how do I find a way to pay for treatment when money is so tight and we are drowning in debt? What do I give up to feel better when there’s almost nothing left to give up? Sell my engagement ring? It’s a family heirloom and while I think it’s worth a million, it’s not enough and Zack won’t let me. How much is my health worth?
The Juggernaut is asleep next to me, fighting off something with a temp of 101. He’s a solid, healthy little kid, so when he has a fever, it just knocks the wind out of his sails. It’s the only time he ever wants to sleep in the bed with me, so as much as I hate that my little bug isn’t feeling well, I do relish listening to him breathe his raspy little breaths. Who am I kidding? This kid is snoring like a buzz saw. Still, I made him and it’s bloody precious.
I am no roob to fever. I have a low grade fever almost every day. I know it my body trying to fight itself, but it is exhausting. I think my Tylenol to blood ratio maybe equal – I’m either taking it for pain or fever. Or both. Those are the bad days. I’m not writing about this to complain or have anyone feel sorry for me – quite the contrary. I’m writing this to come to terms with my chronic illness. Even though I was diagnosed a few years ago, I never accepted the fact that I am, indeed, sick and I may never be in a state of homeostasis again.
That’s depressing as fuck.
So I’m sharing about it. Over the course of my life, I have found very few problems seem too big when I share them with another human being. It gets them right-sized. And it gets ME right sized…that’s more important. I know I’m never going to get well. All I can hope for is to feel better and that’s fleeting at best.
My mom -The Nurse – knew how to deal with a sick kid. There was non-stop attention and Popsicles and lots of fluids. There are days I just want to be laying in my mom’s bed, watching TV and sipping ginger ale, feeling safe and knowing I would feel better soon.
Isn’t that what we all want?