I had to stop working my main job in 2016 because of the sudden onset of a chronic illness, for which treatment options are very limited and hit or miss. So far, it’s been a miss for me. I’ve struggled to take on as much freelance work as I possibly could, but as the years have gone by, I’ve begun to experience more intense chronic fatigue and pain which have dramatically limited what I can do. I also have depression, which is treated with medication but still throws another wrench into things.
Again, I do as much freelance/contract work as I possibly can, since my health’s unpredictability means I can’t commit to set hours and can’t do much physically. But the kind of work I can keep up with is hard to come by. So I’m currently in the process of my appeal for disability benefits, which my attorney has said could take a year or longer. In the meantime, I’m caring for a dog who has, in apparent solidarity, also developed chronic health conditions. All of my money goes to her food and medication and vet appointments. I prioritize her above all else.
This means, however, that bills go unpaid, and so much else is neglected. I do have food stamps, which helps. But it’s all the little things that add up — I’ve been wearing socks with holes in them for months, my shoes are falling apart and I can’t afford to replace them (which is extra bad for my chronic ankle and knee pain), I’m going to need winter boots soon and can’t even think about paying for those, I can’t afford a winter coat, I feel this constant terror of not knowing how I’m going to make it through the month and the constant guilt of having to ask for help from friends and strangers. I feel useless, worthless, and impossibly rundown. I feel as though I’m trying to escape from this stupid mud pit of despair and it just keeps sucking me back in no matter how hard I try and no matter what small successes I have. I will also need to find housing within the year and I have no idea how I’ll do that if I can’t get disability benefits or get some kind of miracle cure.
I’m just plain exhausted. I try to stay hopeful and optimistic but I don’t see a way out right now. I’m doing all I can, applying to whatever I can, and everything just gets swallowed up by bills and debt I’ve accrued mainly from vet visits and groceries and other essentials. Anything you can give would help. Thank you so much for reading this.