Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Friends are gold and LRB rules.
Yesterday, I knew that my mood was not stable as it had been the day before. I would say I was hovering around the minus 4 ( remembering that hospital beckons at that level). I felt that I could not face even getting out of bed. Even the shower seemed like too much effort, and I am one of those people who needs to shower whenever I feel stressed or just plain tired. My skin itches and feels like I want to scratch it off... and only hot streaming water, or a seaside dip can make me feel clean and alive. BUt this seemed pointless yesteday.
I knew I had arranged to be at a friend's house to help her with some writing for her PhD, and to work on something of mine. But I had nothing I could work on with a partner, and really felt just plain lethargic. I also had NO money for petrol. Well I had $10 but this wouldn't do the trip (110 ks return) an always ashamed to tell people how broke I am.
The words of my son and another girlfriend always resonate in my ears when I am broke. You SHOULD put money aside when you have it and not be in this position. Budget better!
There is that word again.. the bloody SHOULD!
Tell me oh wise ones.... how do you prioritise the budget to meet the shoulds of saving? And here I will publically lay it out. I receive (note not earn!) $600 per fortnight from Centrelink for a Disability Payment. My medication alone is $10.40 per week, without vitamins or mineral supplements that also help my mood states (fish oil, multis, B complex, and flaxseed oil). Then there are the few meals... say $80 pw (which includes personal care items also).
Next priority is keeping the car paid... as without it I am marooned and cannot escape AT ALL. That's $215 per fortnight. Add fuel $60 per week.
Now what's left? Well there is that little extravagance called an Internet. $45 per fortnight, plus a mobile phone pre-paid $20 per week.
Then let's add that ridiculous move I made to borrow money from Cash Converters to get to and from Uni (and attend the PhD colloquium) just so I could feel self-esteem and a sense of belonging with my co-students and ex-colleagues. So at 24% interest for the whole huge $500 my payments are $50 per fortnight. What a waste... how could I be so outrageous and ridiculous! Yep, I SHOULD HAVE stayed at home, felt disconnected, unempowered, isolated and totally worthless.... of course.
That leaves the princely sum of $10.
Now would anyone like to work out how I pay the thing called a Funeral Plan... at $37 per fortnight, car insurance $26 per fortnight, family health insurance at $115 per fortnight, and that other ludicrous extravagance Chrisco at $40 per fortnight... just so the household can feel normal at Christmas with festive fare and no huge debts afterwards. Let's add to this a waste of money through my last mental meltdown... an $80 library fine, and an outstanding student loan of around $600.
I am going backwards without work. Yet with work, my study time is eroded and I do not finish. Without finishing the PhD there will be no work. Catch -22.
Is it any wonder my self-esteem and my mood swing lower when I am financially pressured? How can you attend to the SHOULDS and save when at these moments YOU ARE NEVER SURE THAT THERE WILL BE A TOMORROW, OR NEXT WEEK???
That is not an overstatement. I have promised myself that I will not give up and just call it quits but deep in my psyche I still doubt that I can in fact 'pull it off', face down the demons and actually live or simply survive.
Living to me entails all the joyous wonder of the emotions, the social life, the glamour of the theatre, music, art galleries and restaurants. My life on DSS is simply survival. It brings a paucity to the spirit. My soul is in pain without affording me the beauty of 'living' at present.
So my SHOULDS go out the window. My common sense just can't win out.
So I guess for those reading this without BMD, I am (like my son and some friends seem to think) a selfish, immature little wastrell full of self-inflicted drama.
Oh, how I wish my words could allow you to empathise... if not agree with my thoughts and actions.
Luckily for me yesterday there is one friend who can and does empathise.
I am so pleased she convinced me to humble myself and borrow $20 just to get to her. To shower, dress, drive the 50 ks and walk along the beach, feel the sun on my face and the sand between my toes. How can I capture in words the pleasure of stroking the heads of two magnificent dogs across a fence; animals that accept a stranger's touch... and thus reassure me that I am an inherently 'okay' person?
I was able to drive home with 1970s and 80s pop music returning me to a time when I felt valued and with the future stretching ahead with all its promise.
Although not jumping up the mood scale, I think today I am stable again. I know the hospital is there in the background... but only when I catch up on the bloody health insurance payments... so maybe December??
What are those lyrics again... LRB? Hang on Help Is On The Way?