When the Woes Start Adding Up

Cling to your community for support

These are difficult times.

It’s no secret that the last few months have been very trying for my family. My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly 10 years. When we first got together we honestly thought that both of our financial struggles would be improved by our working together.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Shortly after we got together I began to have some health issues that coincided with difficulty finding work. The end result is that I haven’t been able to work for the last few years which leaves him holding the financial basket.

Robbie’s career has finally found some footing, and as we waited to hear about a promotion to management for him — instead that company closed its doors unexpectedly. After three years of investing in that position to hopefully move his career forward, he was out of work. He was forced to accept the first job he could find which was making $6 less per hour.

Here we are a few months later and about $1,500 behind in bills and rent payments. The drop in pay has been devastating.

Other things that added to the stress seemed to pile up at the same time that Robbie lost his job and we lost our family income:

  • I had to have emergency surgery — a surgery we had to crowdfund to pay for and adding the stress of my healing into the equation
  • My oldest son, who lives with us, totaled his car so we are now carrying him back and forth to work

The current situation is bleak, but not without hope.

Yesterday a dreaded call came. I was driving Robbie’s car to the chiropractor which is an hour away because the air conditioning in my Volkswagen Beetle had started messing up this summer.

Robbie informed me that the computer in my Beetle just went absolutely haywire and he was having to tow the car home. It was a punch to the gut.

Thank you AAA tow-truck driver.

We ran a diagnostic on the car and basically the computer seems to be completely fried. Which means our $6,000 investment in a hopeful future has is a total bust.

A little background on the car, we bought it from one of those Buy-Here-Pay-Here places that reports to Credit Agencies with the hope that we could build credit and eventually get out of this mounting debt slum that we are in and hopefully buy a home. We paid more than what the car was worth. We paid off the car 2 weeks before Robbie lost his job.)

Paying off that car, we thought would be the beginning of our potential home buying season. The next thing after that would have been to pay off a few small credit cards and work on a down payment. But then came the job loss and that plan went down the drain.

Struggles. They come in waves, right?

Sometimes life throws you one struggle after another for a season. Sometimes these seasons come back to back to back without enough time for recovery. It can get overwhelming, disheartening, frustrating, and exhausting.

One stitch at a time

As a cross Stitcher, I am working on a project with a group of other people that should have eventually make the Guinness Book of World Records. It is a daunting and huge project and can be overwhelming if I think about the total number of stitches I have to do on my panel and the number of years it will take me to complete it.

I tell myself that I’ll get through this project one stitch at a time.

This philosophy applies to all aspects of life. We get through a troublesome season one breath at a time, $1 at a time, one prayer at a time, one step in front of the other at a time.

The key to remember is that giving up is not an option.

Why am I sharing all of this?

Because perhaps you too are going through a season of misfortune and I want you to know that you’re not alone. I want you to know that it’s okay to be discouraged but that it is not okay to give up.

You just have to keep doing what you can no matter how frustrating it can be — and just keep trying. That’s all that matters.

Just keep trying.

Christina Ward is a poet and nature writer from North Carolina. And she never, ever gives up.
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