Saturday, January 16, 2010
warning: random and erratic babbling and venting ahead
I just need to talk. In my life I am always the go to gal. Friends and family call me for advice, with questions, and when they need to talk. My own attitude of "If it can be done, then I can do it," carries over into every relationship I have, and people are aware that I am really good at solving problems. When it comes time to solving my own, there is not usually someone I can go to. I self talk in my head all the time, navigating my way through life's obstructions on my own, but sometimes it gets lonely, and sometimes I really just need to talk, to figure out my own stuff.
Right now I feel weighed down with indecision. Procrastination is running rampant in my everyday life and it's negative effects are taking a toll on my emotional health. I have felt depressed for the first time in quite a while. As always, I keep mental awareness of my bipolar disorder and I am feeling like this period of depressed is lingering longer than usual. It seems to have taken on a life of its own, one that is resistant to my usual tools. I can see the cycle of procrastination ~~~~> negative consequence ~~~~~> depression repeating itself over and over, each time gaining momentum. So why if I am so aware of it, do I feel so immobilized to change my actions?
One of the biggest things going on in my mind is that I am not working or in school. I can't get back in school because I have a defaulted student loan. If you have student loans, you know that once they are taken out, they get transferred to other companies sometimes. There is a state agency that is supposed to keep track of them all for you. While I was homeless I called to find out all of the agencies that were servicing my loans so that I could get a forbearance to delay repayment. I was told they were all with one company. So I called that company and got a years forbearance and thought it was ok. Well it seems that another loan was in the process of being transferred from one company to the new one and was not listed in the states database and so it went into default and since I had no address and I believed I had done what I needed to, I had no way of knowing.
Now it is with a collection agency that blatantly lied to me and told me that if I made 6 months of consecutive payments it would go out of default status, and I would again be eligible for financial aid to finish school. Turns out that they just wanted to collect and that my loan will not come out of default until it is paid. I have about 3 grand left to pay. They will take my tax return and it will likely pay it off, but the semester started today so i am on hold 'til next school year. sigh.
I would LOVE to go back to work. Problem is that in my situation I would either just break even or would actually lose money to work. I get survivors benefits for my children because their father died. If I work, they lower my benefits. Add the lost benefit money, the cost of daycare, the cost of transportation to and from work and I end up back at square one, with other people spending more time with my daughter than me. I just don't understand it. If I was getting child support, it would not get lowered because I made more money.
We have no car payments, no credit cards, and we still cannot afford health insurance. Bryson has been at the same job for 3 years and just now is making $11 an hour, with no benefits. he gets one week of vacation a year that he has always just had to work through and take the extra pay because 1. we needed the money and 2. No one in that place can cover his shifts alone. It takes two people to cover a shift and do what he does by himself. The money that we get is just enough to provide the basics for our family. Something that I am totally okay with, except no health insurance. The kids are eligible for a state insurance program, but again the wonderful state agency responsible for administering the benefits messed up the application and did not update my address properly (another long and even more frustrating story than the student loans), but to make the story short, I had to appeal the decision which can now take up to 90 days to process and I am not allowed to reapply during the appeal time. I cannot just drop the appeal and reapply because I have hospital bills for the kids that would be covered if the appeal goes through.
I know these are just life things, obstacles that are a part of being an adult and that it is my responsibility to deal with. I would like to see a little more accountability on the other end, the end where it is their profession to efficiently handle these particular matters.
Bryson is 5 years younger than me and he is also a very passive person. We are opposites in a lot of ways, ways that compliment our relationship some times, and cause me a lot of stress at others. I handle everything that is not related to his work. Might I had that I am not the most structured person and so I do not have a schedule. I just do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Normally that works out fine, but I am starting to feel worthless and like my contributions are trivial.
My kids are getting older and more self sufficient (12 and almost 10). After taking a Love and Logic course, I learned how to start teaching them and letting them experience life instead of doing it all for them. It is working well... so well, that they don't need me for very much anymore. They are also extremely helpful with my 2 year old, something that I am very grateful for, but it leaves me with even less that I am needed for. I of course provide emotional support and we have open honest very communicative relationships, but as they are doing their own laundry, cleaning their own rooms, and helping around the house consistently, there is less for me to do. I know all of these things are actually positive, but I need more substance and meaning in my existence and I am having a hard time finding an outlet to get there. I would like the balance to shift, to allow me some room to nurture my own interests. I need some sort of structured activity on a regular basis and I think that maybe a couple hours a day, a couple days a week in daycare would be good for my 2 year old. How am I going to make this work?
I am procrastinating on working on my book. I have a plethora of time on the internet and computer, but I cannot focus and set my mind to working on it. If I could right now, it would be to be involved in a structured writing responsibility. By that, I mean being in a class or writing as a paid occupation, so that I had expectations and deadlines. I also really want to take a photoshop class.
I know that if I would consistently put forth the effort to make these things possible, then they would materialize, but again I keep procrastinating. WHY?
I do not live out of expectation that my kids think I mean the world to them or that they couldn't exist without me. I actually hope more than anything they know that they CAN live without me because of what I have taught them. I don't need anyone else to see my accomplishments to be aware of my self worth. So what IS my motivation? It seems like a huge contradiction that I do not live my life for what other's expect of me, yet I am failing to have expectations of myself and apply them. I know that contentment and happiness are my goals... or are usually my state of being anyway. It seems that it takes an outside motivation to get me going. It takes an action to get a reaction and since everything is relatively peaceful and life is happening along, I do not feel the urgency to act on my wants.
What do I need to work on to get my internal motivation in sync? How can I harness some of my creativity and apply it to my daily life so that it is more fulfilling? What role does my family have in this process?
Another facet of my life that needs attention is my weight. For those of you that might not know, I had weight loss surgery about 5 years ago. I was 360+ pounds. At the tail end of my weight loss related to the surgery came my addiction to math and I got down to a very icky and unhealthy weight of 150. (I am 6' tall so it was too skinny for me) Well getting off the meth got me back up to around 200, which was really comfortable for me. Now I have been falling back into my old eating habits and have managed to add another 50 over the last year. I am feeling uncomfortable in my own skin again (and my clothes because they are all too tight ~HA!) and I keep putting of the changes I know I need to incorporate. I really need to see my surgeon to see if my pain that sent me to the ER has anything to do with my surgery and again I do not have insurance.
I think that maybe I really needed to put this all down to make myself accountable. Since I am the head of household and decision maker in the family, I am very good at keeping everyone else accountable but there is no one to do it to me. This is my affirmation that I NEED to be accountable for the changes that I know I need to make.