I think we've hit it. We've hit rock bottom. Aside from being homeless, I feel like we're on the verge of losing everything. We have worked so hard just to stay afloat, only to have it all come crumbling down any day.
Ever since my husband lost his job last year, and since I lost my job back in April, our lives have fallen deeper into a financial abyss. Last month, I had to sell a piece of jewelry that meant the world to me. Given to me from my husband over 6 years ago, was the only piece of jewelry from my husband that I had left. A year and a half after we were married, I lost my wedding ring. Although it was immediately replaced from our insurance policy, I still no longer had that original ring that he placed on my finger on our wedding day, so as a reminder, I felt like I lost my wedding ring all over again.
I received a decent sum of money to help us through, but as that sum has trickled down, I fear we will be back to struggling once again. I know what we have left, it most likely won't last more than a month; maybe even a few weeks at the most. My husband still hasn't found an acceptable job, something that will sustain us each month, and for now, I am only working part time as a preschool teacher. I wanted to do something different with my life, and although for the most part, I'm happy with it, I miss doing what I love most, graphic design.
I've been able to have fun with the kids as I collaborate new and exciting art projects, but the feeling of accomplishment only goes so far.
Back in April, I was fired from my job—a job that I held for a year and a half. I was overworked and underpaid. I came home everyday feeling more stressed than the day prior. Everyday was an emotional struggle but I knew, as unhappy as I was at my job, at least I was making money. The entire time I worked there, I had never received a raise, even though I was promised one. Finally after a year and a half, I was fired for reasons of making errors. I admit to these errors, and for that, I blame my disease. I know what my mind is capable of, and for the past few years, my mind has slipped.
Suffering from bipolar disorder makes your mind wander. I couldn't concentrate and as a result, dealing with orders, numbers, etc. was just too much of a challenge.
I hated that job. Hated it more than anything. I dreaded going into work everyday and I dreaded dealing with customers/clients. When I'd get an email asking where their order was, I wanted to scream! It was the same thing each and everyday. Someone always complained about something, and it never seemed to end.
I was underpaid, but I grudgingly showed up everyday like clockwork. Like the rest of society.
Ironically, since that day, I was awarded unemployment insurance, which even today, still surprises me since I was fired. Because I never received any written notices or warnings, they considered that a valid reason. Although my employer fought it, I still won.
That was the best feeling, knowing I had the last word. So for now, albeit temporarily, I have money supplementing my part time job.
Now, I am working half that time and making the same money per hour. Less stress of course, but because I work with 3-5 year olds 5 days a week, it's a different kind of stress. Regardless, I don't go home wanting to pull my hair out and running for the bottle of wine.
After all of this time, and all of this heartache with our lives, I try to look at the positive—we have each other. We're all healthy (knock on wood) and we love each other. I look at my daughter everyday and think, where has that time gone? She is starting high school in a few weeks, and I want her to have the best high school experience that any teenager can have. Even though she is now on the free lunch program, I just look at it as one less stress to worry about. Wondering if she'll have enough money in her lunch account to get a hot lunch at school. Her sports are paid for since she qualifies for the free lunch program.
She doesn't seem to mind, at least that's the impression she's giving us. For now, I just don't want her to worry about what will come next. I just want her to be happy and enjoy her high school experience. After all, it only happens once in our lives.
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