Ah. One of my favorite quotes from my favorite manically depressed robots, Marvin. Douglass Adams truly knew what he was doing when he created him. Truly Marvin is the most relatable of fictional robots.
It’s been just over a month since I’ve posted. It’s a combination of lack of blogging inspiration, lack of motivation, seasonal depression, regular depression, medical issues, financial issues, scheduling issues, family drama, and working on a writing project.
January 14th is the anniversary of my brother’s death in 2014. Throughout the holiday season, and onward through January and February, my mom goes through severe depression. She’s lost a lot of family members in January over the years, and despite my birthday being in the same month, she just can’t find the joy in life this time of year. Not that I’m complaining, because I love my mom. I’d do anything for her, have done. She’s one of the hills I’d gladly die on, because I know she’d do the same for me no matter the reason or cause. That’s just how we are. But January runs me ragged. I’m on egg shells, and dealing with my own thoughts and feelings towards things this time of year as well and this year… I just couldn’t keep up.
And then I got a notification in the mail that my husband’s disability case is under review. We had to fill out functionality reports. The last time I had to do that for someone was my niece (husband’s side of the family) and it didn’t turn out that well. Once they got the paperwork in, and I was able to relax a bit, we get ANOTHER notice in the mail. On date night. Now he’s got to go in tomorrow morning in Rome for a mental evaluation for additional shit to do with the review. And I’m just so fucking stressed.
This last week, my birthday week, has been especially trying. I had to deal with paperwork related to the appointment tomorrow morning. Reschedule everything I possibly could because someone at my mom’s job quit suddenly and she had to pick up almost all the shifts left open, which meant her hours changed, and I had to reschedule everything. Only there was an appointment on my birthday that I couldn’t reschedule because it was my son’s IEP meeting to set things up for the next school year. Monday, mom suddenly had to go to a meeting at work at the most inconvenient of times which meant I couldn’t take the car in to get worked on. Up to this point it had been stalling out on us pretty frequently but we didn’t have the time or money to get it fixed. My birthday – Tuesday – IEP meeting. I was then going to go take the car to the mechanic. But lo and behold mom’s hours got fucked up AGAIN and she had to be into work earlier than she originally did. Finally Wednesday, I can take the car to get worked on. Only to find out that part of what’s wrong with it will cost between $1200-$1500 to get fixed (and that’s if we get a used/rebuilt transmission instead of new). But my mechanic’s an honest guy, and he fixed everything he could fix for me. Car runs better but it’s only a matter of time now before the transmission finally goes. So I tell mom what happened and the situation. That we’ve got to save every penny. No more candy bars at the grocery store unless we really REALLY budget it in. And I mean every single penny. Mind you, I’m now operating on the hope that my husband’s disability case isn’t closed out, but on the assumption that it’s a possibility. So I’m working with a budget 2/3 what I normally work with. Just in case. Did I mention that since we were doing so well before all of this that I decided there was enough in the budget to treat my family with bumping our Comcast bill from just internet (which was costing us nearly $100 a month anyway) to a bundle with TV for $120 a month? Well… guess what I’m locked into for 2 years unless I want to pay a $250 contract cancellation fee? – This is the entire reason I kept off the contract plan for 3 years. Just in case situations like the one we are in now came up and I had to start dumping luxury bills. So what day are we up to now? Wednesday right? Okay. Well that was Wednesday. Thursday I could FINALLY get to doing laundry! Hurrah! Only half a week late. So I managed to get that done. But wait! In order to get it done, I had to take mom to work that evening because guess what I spent all morning doing! Grocery shopping and paying bills. Friday morning, mom got off at 7AM. So, I rolled out of bed when my son got up for school, got dressed and left right as his bus was pulling up. Didn’t even have my coffee yet. Managed to have a few minutes to spare so I could roll up to the RaceTrac and get mom coffee and some sausage biscuits. Got myself some croissants and realized I’d promised my husband I’d get him a coffee, too. Problem: we only have 2 cup holders in the car. So I got him and mom their coffees. I got myself a bottle of water. Told myself no big deal, I needed more water anyway. Mom had to roll back into work at 3pm. Husband went and paid rent since I didn’t get to it the day before (which is fine, it was only the 2nd. It’s due on the 5th.) He calls me not long after he gets there and tells me that the landlord sold the house. While we’re still living here. Knowing we needed time to get our credit in order because we wanted to do rent to own. We made this known right up front before moving in, told him it might be a few years because my husband had NO credit and mine was screwed from medical stuff. He said that was fine. Now we’ve got a new homeowner – same landlord company (as far as we know) and the person bought the place sight unseen. The last time I’ve been in this position the new owners knocked on my door and said we had 2 weeks to get out. My friend Crystal actually helped me move a lot of the boxes from our old place in Debary to our new place in Deltona between classes for a few days so it would be less that my mom and dad had to deal with. So I’ve been in full metal panic paranoia mode since Friday.
On top of all of this I am still dealing with my chronic pain in my back and now in both knees as the tendons and ligaments are literally deteriorating and my kneecaps are sliding out of place little by little as time goes by while my L5 is also disintegrating. The cluster headaches are getting worse but I’ve literally had no time to get to the doctor’s to get my meds refilled let alone adjusted.
So pretty much my entire world right now is being held together by rage, spite, and duct tape and I’m barely holding it together because if I crumble, literally everyone else will, too. I just hate having to be the strong foundation all of the time for everyone.
However! I’ve got a plan! It’s not a cunning plan, but a plan nonetheless! I’m still seeing my therapist every 2 weeks, and that’s been my lifeline. The main reason I’ve been holding it together as well as I have for so long like this. But I can’t rely on that alone.
I’ve been taking at least one afternoon a week, for a minimum of 3 hours, during a weekday. And for that time I am sitting in a quiet, quasi-dark corner of the library with my old clunky laptop. And I’ve got headphones. And I’m writing. Or I’m photoshopping, or both. The important thing is I put my phone on vibrate, pull out my laptop, and I have uninterrupted (save for emergencies) me time. I know that I certainly wouldn’t have been able to survive these last 2 weeks if not for my library time.
So, I’m going to keep it up no matter what life is throwing at me because it’s pretty much the only free thing I can do where I can get there regardless of if I have the car or not (we live a few blocks away and if I take my pain meds approximately 45 minutes before leaving the house I’m able to walk there if I have to. Take my anti-inflammatory about half an hour before I leave the library and I can make it back.
Anyway, I have a bit of writing to do tonight before bed.