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The Journey of Mental Illness: Taking Control

by admin on June 23rd, 2010

In many ways, this has been the hardest thing I have ever been through. The end of my first marriage was a long slow decline, and by the time it was over I was, truth be told, relieved. The path over the past three months has felt like one blow after another….losing my husband to mental illness, having my unemployment benefits abruptly end (I lost my job before I lost my husband), losing my very part-time grant writing job, spending $1300 in engine repairs so that I could pass my emissions inspection and renew my tags, having my husband’s son threaten to instigate a law suit over the blog, dealing with the sense of betrayal that my siblings have not been here to support me through this.

It has been a constant battle to not fall into self-pity and victimhood. One thing that has made a difference is to take control where I could, however small and pathetic the steps seemed. I am on an anemic budget and I micromanage my bank account….and I control my spending and prevent bouncing checks or running out of money for food and gas. I rethink trips of more than 10 miles, since my ten year old van gets terrible mileage.

Although I operated for a while from victim mentality, I put out 60 resumes in two weeks, landed multiple interviews with tutoring companies, and got five job offers. I now tutor six days a week, 18 hours a week, for a tutoring center. It’s not rocket science but it pays some bills and it’s pretty low stress. I am listed with two companies for in-home tutoring. I was offered two other jobs with tutoring centers that I turned down (summer only positions) because….by a stroke of fate a colleague who owns an insurance agency needs an admin 10-20 hours a week, slightly less money per hour but the flexibility I need to continue to scale up Homeward Deployed, which is going like gang busters.

It’s not the complete solution to my financial woes but it’s a start. I have narrowed the budgetary gap. And, I have a plan, which I control….I will continue to apply for writing jobs, which pay much better. As I am able, I will replace higher paying writing jobs, which also give me flexibility, with tutoring hours. It’s not a plan that will win awards AND it’s a start. I am not powerless. I can still create forward movement in my life. I can take care of myself and my son. And, that, my friends is a position of power.

still taking it one day at a time, gretchen

From → Gretchen's Story

2 Comments
  1. You know an odd feeling? Sitting on the toilet eating a chocolate candy bar.

  2. Well, never tried that one but thanks for sharing! shaking my head, gretchen :)

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