When you live in a constant state of distress, you literally lose yourself. You lose what makes you you, your whole personality and you become nothing more than reactions to the current most urgent stimulus requiring your attention.
At the moment my mind can handle nothing more than “Are the bins out?” and “Do I know what’s happening for dinner?”
It takes a huge effort and resolve to clear my mind enough to sit at the computer and write a job application, spending two hours telling some anonymous person why I’m the best candidate for their job, only to get an impersonal email two to three weeks later, with “Sorry, due to the unprecedented number of application and high calibre of candidates your application is not going to progress any further”.
I spend most of my time on my phone, playing games or watching YouTube. In the evenings, I allow myself a couple of hours of Netflix, like it’s some big reward for surviving another day.
The stress is overwhelming and debilitating. Taking a few deep breaths helps and that’s how I usually get into the flow of writing job applications, but sometimes I end up with a headache, if not a migraine, afterwards.
I’ve forgotten that I can be funny and creative. Mostly, I feel like a zombie just getting from one minute to the next. I’m thankful that the kids don’t need much from me, other than knowing I’m here and that I have things under control.
At least my financial worries have been temporarily addressed, with the early release of a lump sum from my super. We now have money to repair the cat damage to this house, to move and to pay rent in the new place for maybe three months. Oh, and hopefully I can pay someone to do an exit clean when we leave. There’s also some stuff that needs to be taken to the tip and my car just isn’t big enough.
I can finally move forward and do the things to make our move happen. However, the lack of employment means I have to be frugal when looking for a new rental. I know what’s on my must have list and those things are hard to find within my budget. Who knew that so few houses would have ducted heating and a decent sized kitchen, as well as a space to store my office furniture until I can rent a bigger place.
I feel like I’m running a hurdle race. Just as I leap over one, another one looms just ahead. I’m in constant problem-solving mode, hence the distress.
I’m so tired. I could sleep for a week and what I wouldn’t give to be finally free of this stress and anxiety. I envy people who have secure incomes and housing. I used to take those things for granted, but I’ve become one of those middle-aged women Jane Caro writes about, who are at the most risk of homelessness. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, get her book, “Accidental Feminists”. I don’t have the mental power to include an affiliate link, just find your favourite book place and get it.
What shall today bring? A job application or two? A call to a handyman? A quote for rubbish removal? Oh, the excitement, I can hardly bear it.
Also published on Medium.