I have been sad lately. I always feel that way when I have no money. I can't help it. I feel so powerless, helpless, and hopeless. I feel like things are out of control. When the refrigerator has nothing more than sauerkraut and ketchup and your kid is saying he's hungry, and you have to concoct something out of nothing it really sucks. It also takes me back to the days when I was struggling, I mean really struggling. I've had lights cut out...eviction notices...no food...no entertainment. Gawd, how did I survive?
I know this blog entry doesn't seem impressive considering I am trying to be a savvy businesswoman by getting my crafty business up and going, but I am real like that. Holla if you've had your lights cut out! I know some of you have and you can relate, so this story is for you and all you who care to listen (or in this case read).
Currently this is what botherates me-my finances. So since I have been sitting around for days in my apartment, taking breaks once in a while from knitting baby sweaters, I decided to get busy. I borrowed a friend's paper shredder and started going through YEARS of old papers. Old tax returns, bank statements, student loan agreements, report cards for me, report cards for my son, my father's death certificate, letter's from his wife's lawyer, and lots and lots of dust.
As I went through each paper a memory, no more like a feeling, overwhelmed me. These papers were evidence of my struggle. My struggle as a single mother, a working single mother, a single mother on welfare, a single mom who went to college, university, college again, a single mom who went to community programs, applied for daycare subsidy, fought delinquent home daycare providers, worked crappy paying jobs-more than one at a time. All of this while struggling with an underlying depression with many episodes of depression in between. Really how did I do it?
Depression is a thief. I am angry at depression. I remember flipping out when things were not going as planned. How hard it was to go to meetings with social workers, to talk to daycare directors about issues with teachers, ask my profs for extensions for assignments. I felt like I deserved nothing and my son deserved EVERYTHING. Honestly people if I did not give birth to that boy, I don't think I would be here today because everything I did I did for him. My love for him pushed me into action. As much as I cried, as much anxiety and fear that I had, I forced myself to do it for him. Depression stole from me my own happiness. I mourn the loss of friendships I would've had, things I would've experienced, the person I would've been throughout my youth.
The good news is, as my psychiatrist pointed out, look at all that I have accomplished even though I have had depression. Look at the strength that I have. It is amazing. I was a smart cookie. I looked at my high school transcripts. For heaven sakes I had a 98 in grade 12 math! I had many grades in the 90's. I got straight A's in college and in spite of thinking that I didn't do well in university my report cards told another story. I had an A in philosophy and B+'s in many of my psychology courses. I had old fliers mixed in amongst my old files in which my son was a model of department store clothing. I had T4's for many jobs I worked and the resumes I used to get them. I remembered the interviews for those jobs and in some cases the farewells at those jobs. All the children I worked with in the past. There was evidence of survival where my yearly income was $13,000 and I had a little son. I had manuals for stereos and cell phones and bicycles and cameras that I had saved and sacrificed for so that we could have something nice. There were notes and pictures from my son, my shining star. One note reminded me that the stomach flu sucks but I will be better soon.
Geeze this post has me feelin' emotional. It has been a hard couple of days and evidently a hard several years. I am so grateful that I am in therapy and getting help and have had this time off work to convalesce. If you are reading this and you even think you may have depression then get help. There is a better life out there for you, just like there is one out there for me.