Sometimes the funniest among us are those with the hardest of problems.
This is her story:
So when it feels like life is dark, I have a hard time letting it be known. Of course, when the pain of staying the same outweighs the fear of change, I'll do something different. I'll reach out on Twitter, and sometimes I'll even post about it here with The Band.
It's one of those times.
Sunshine works in construction, which means that there can be great seasonal fluctuations in our household income. This year, we went beyond a fluctuation; the work dried up around Thanksgiving, which means the income went away. Literally, we have had three checks come in since Thanksgiving. Three checks that have not been enough to cover our expenses, much less The Christmas. We tore through the company's meager operating capital to survive the last couple of months.
I'm grateful that Sunshine has rubbed off on me. He firmly believes that the problems that money can solve are the good problems to have (if there is such a thing). See, we can always find a way to bring in more money; so if a problem can be solved by throwing money at it, it's not a bad problem to have. It's the problems that money can't solve that we don't want: health issues, heartbreaks, shit like that.
However, after around two months of being broke, it's starting to get scary. When I say broke, I mean broke. We are floating checks left and right (and the NSF fees for a business checking account make personal account NSF fees look dirt cheap), I am having to do fucking maths at the grocery store, we just put gas for our generator in my car for fuck's sake. We have no idea when the next money might come in, unless you count Sunshine's small quarterly check from the Bureau of Indian Affairs that's not due until the first week in April.
I could sit here and rail against contractors who use undocumented immigrants because they'll do the work for a third of the actual rate (because they don't carry the licenses and insurance coverages we do); I could scream and bitch about contractors that insist you act as their bank and do the work without getting paid for it until THEY get paid; I could gripe about homeowners that want you to rebuild their entire cracked & crumbling fireplace, hearth, and chimney but they don't want to spend more than $400 to do it (yes, somebody actually tried that).
None of that would do any good.
The first six weeks or so of this broke spell wasn't too bad. I've learned in recovery that if I just have faith, we'll be all right. This last couple of weeks, it's been getting harder and harder to stay calm. It's starting to feel like there is a pile of bricks on my chest; it's hard to breathe.
I'm scared, y'all. I'm a little bit angry, which is generally my response to fear or pain. Right now, it doesn't matter how much experience I have that tells me we'll get through this; the human psyche sometimes just does what it does. Right now, what it is doing to me is driving me batshit. And being so broke I have to do maths at the grocery store? Means that there ain't no stash of cookies hiding in the cupboard so I can eat my feelers. I'm stuck with them, which we all know sucks because FEELERS ARE BULLSHIT.
So I'm dumping this shit on y'all.
Because if there's one thing I've learned since I got clean, it's that pain shared is pain lessened. See, when I share my pain with others, it's like each person who I shared it with is now carrying a piece of that burden for me--making my burden easier to bear.
Now, before my sponsor can make me do it, I'm going to go ahead and make a gratitude list. And because you guys are gracious enough to help me carry my burdens, I'm going to share the gratitude list with y'all.
I am grateful for y'all. Y'all can't fix my problem, but y'all hold my hand while I walk through it. I am grateful that, in spite of the fear that grips my heart, some part of my rational mind still knows that this too shall pass. Walking through the fear sucks, but I know from personal experience that eventually I will come out the other side of it okay. Whatever doesn't kill me makes me stronger, right?
I'm grateful that, no matter how bad it gets, I am never alone. I'm grateful that most of you know me well enough to know that I really will get through this; that I am not completely lost in despair, I just need to get it off my chest. I'm grateful that we all know that I am a survivor, and when I sort of forget that y'all don't hesitate to remind me.
I am grateful beyond words that Sunshine spent most of 2012 paying shit off. It leaves us with pretty minimal expenses to have to worry about covering. Thank heaven we no longer have a truck payment, motorcycle insurance, a loan for his jeep, the tire company credit card maxed out, the forklift payment...
I refuse to think about the corporate insurance policies that renew in a couple of months with their monster down payments, I can't do that right now. I just can't. Instead, I have to be grateful that we are in that brief period where we're covered and the policies are paid in full. Denial isn't always a bad thing.
And maybe soon, I'll be able to be the class clown again. I know I could sure use some humor, and I would imagine y'all could too.
Thank you for listening, the Band. Now, I need to go put on my armor and head to the grocery store to do some maths.9 Comments