I went to the doctor yesterday for a continued follow-up appointment on my stress levels. I’ve written numerous blogs on that, so feel free to browse if you haven’t already. Since my husband has basically been out of work since the beginning of November, I have remained relatively optimistic about our situation, and my stress has felt quite low. In fact, I’ve been quite happy given our situation, and just going with the flow of things. Therefore, I had planned on going to yesterday’s doctor’s visit with the intention to finally ask my doctor to start weaning me off of my Prozac prescription. Then this past weekend hit.
I guess you could say Friday was the first truly stressful moment for me during all of this – when I went to pay our monthly bills. Up until Friday we were doing alright. As I wrote in my blog Changes, we have been selling our belongings to help get by. That tiny bit of profit has helped us do just that….get by. But now I fear I am running out of things of any value to sell. When my husband was working, my paycheck made up only one-third of the household income. So now having lost two-thirds of our income, with my bills laid out before me, and the realization that I no longer have much of anything worth selling, the stress began to creep back in. We have been as proactive as we could be. We cut the bills we could cut. Sold the items we could sell. My husband had applied for unemployment and was approved; however, we are finding that the system appears to be setup to keep anyone from actually receiving it. Before he even received one unemployment check (which, by the way, is only 10% of his previous salary), he had to wait because his former employer gave him severance (even though he was approved with that severance). That severance check locked him out of the unemployment reporting system. Each week, when he was supposed to try to report online, he was directed to call a phone number instead. Day in and day out, that phone number has remained constantly busy. So then he went in person to the unemployment office. Once again he was told to call this particular phone number. Yes, the same one that was always busy. So then he was instructed that he must start trying call it 10 minutes before the office opens in the morning. After two days of calling 10 minutes prior to the office opening as instructed, he finally got someone on the phone. Everything was sorted out on the phone and he was told to continue trying to report weekly online again the following Monday. Then Monday came, and we were back to receiving that F*ing messages telling him to call THE phone number. Three more weeks have passed now, he is still trying to report online with no luck, and still trying to call that number with no luck. Two months after being approved for unemployment, not one check has come in.
Continuing to be proactive, I tried applying for free school lunches for my kids. Because my husband was supposed to receive unemployment, we didn’t qualify for free lunches or food stamps. Again, that money has never appeared. I was instructed by the school to apply for free lunches again without including his unemployment income since we had not received it. I’m still waiting for feedback. I also have attempted to apply for food stamps. They say your living expenses are taken into consideration on the application. God I sure hope so, otherwise I just BARELY make TOO MUCH money for a family of four to qualify. That’s a laugh. My salary won’t cover the costs of our living expenses let alone put food on the table. I’d sell my house if it would make a difference; however, I have already checked around and it will be quite hard to find anything to rent much cheaper than our house payment anyway.
So I spent the weekend sleeping, watching TV, sleeping, then sleeping some more. The end result, my doctor has denied the reduction of my Prozac at this time, and with just cause. Today I am somehow back to being my happy normal self again – even though nothing has changed. I am happy that I am blessed with such an optimistic disposition. When that waivers, I am also blessed with some truly fabulous people in my life. People who laugh in the face of adversity and are happy to tackle any challenge that comes their way. People, who remind me of all the good that there is in the world, you just have to look to see it.