Monday, January 05, 2009

Wallowing

I have had a very bad few days. I'm struggling to say the least. I'm also wallowing in self: self-pity, self-absorption, selfishness etc. I'm not exactly sure how I got to this point, but I believe that 2 weeks of holiday break, holiday expectations, holiday schedules and very little time alone with myself or with Dave largely have contributed to my state.

We are living a very stressful life right now. A brief and honest synopsis:
Dave changed careers 4 years ago. He went from making over 6 figures per year to making $24,000 per year (each year has increased a little bit, but that was the first year). There is much hope that comes along with the change to EJ, however, there is also much financial difficulty, too. We have been able to finance this switch via our savings, our IRA's and the equity in our home. It has been over 4 years since he switched and we have had only one month where his paycheck covered our entire month's worth of expenses.

Last year at this time, things were looking good. He was gradually increasing his production to the point where we were using a whole lot less of our supplemental funds to pay our expenses. He earned a big bonus last January and he earned that trip to Mexico last February. And things started slowing down from there - my opinion is that he put so much energy into trying to earn those things that he wiped himself out for the month of March - wiped out his own energy and wiped out his pipeline. But it still wasn't too bad throughout the spring and the summer. And then the economy took a dive as did his income. He has struggled to make even 1/5 of our monthly expenses for the last few months - meaning we're taking more out of our supplemental funds again.

And last fall we started to panic - we are now very close to running out of those supplemental funds. We always said we would take this Jones thing to the last penny, but it certainly did not appear that we would ever get that far. And now it is a distinct possibility. We have probably less than a year's worth of supplement left if things continue at this pace. We have scaled back to the extreme - ex: our grocery budget went from $600/month to $300/month. It isn't a pleasant situation by any means and one result is that I feel so much of a burden and so much guilt about spending ANY money - even money that is necessary.

I have a pit in my stomach almost all of the time. I feel like my chest is tight most of the time. I'm not having panic attacks, but there is a pretty high baseline of anxiety in my life right now. I'm not sleeping well even though I'm running a lot of miles throughout the week. I'm crabby because of the anxiety and because of my lack of sleep. I cry often and at dumb things - I spilled coffee on my carpet a few days ago and completely lost my mind. On Saturday - I hesitate to say this because I'll sound like a complete nutjob - I laid in bed for most of the day just staring at the wall because I couldn't find a reason to get out of bed. So I'm struggling. I'm much, much better today, but I still have much anxiety related to stupid stuff.

On Friday Dave asked me to start therapy. In addition to the general stress of life, there is a lot of crap in my past that should probably be dealt with at some point. I'm not eager to do it and I feel like I've been attacked in some way, but I recognize that it is necessary. I've argued and argued with him that I'm just having trouble because of the holiday break - and I still maintain that it has a lot to do with it - but he is asking me to do this and to get some help. The thought of it has brought up memories that I don't really like - in anticipation of digging them up, I suppose - which is causing even more anxiety. Ahhhh - its a vicious crazy cycle, isn't it?

So there it is - I'm struggling and I'm going to get some help. I'm not sure what it entails and I'm not sure how I will look on the other side of 12-18 months and I'm scared to do it and to face some things that I thought I had put to rest. But seriously, I need to breathe again. I need to sleep again.

5 comments:

Marissa 4:42 PM  

Jana, the financial struggles you are facing would put anybody in an anxious state. I'm praying that therapy proves to be something (though the process be difficult) that will help you in all areas of your life (as a wife, mother, and as an individual). You are not wallowing. You are going through a very difficult time and it is understandable. Peace to you, Jana. I wish there was more I could say.

Mommy Brain 8:38 AM  

Sounds like a terribly heavy time for you. Do you have a counselor that you trust or you still looking? I know someone who has helped me and so many of my friends. He is a strong Christian man who doesn't look at life through rose colored glasses but also knows the power of Christ and feel free to use it in his practice. Have you considered meds too? They really helped me...life is hard right now and has been for awhile and it's possible that your brain hasn't been able to keep your chemicals balanced through all this...praying for you Jana. Send me a email if you need more info.

You are not alone...even if you feel that way.

Christine

Amy 9:23 AM  

You are in our thoughts and prayers. Know you are not alone. I will pray for the financial situation as well. I know Dave has worked really hard and you guys have been dedicated.

About ten years ago (around 1997) I was dealing with anxiety and mild depression for months. I was not sleeping, eating crappy, and cried all the time. I even cried at one of my sister's bridal showers when I should have been celebrating with her. I found I could not even think straight. I got some help and my counselor and I set up a plan. It took 5-6 sessions to figure out one of the main roots of the problems I was having. Then I went from there to take a cognitive therapy course. I still use the exercises and I swear it put years on my life.

amanda 9:56 PM  

Jana, I can only begin to imagine the depth of all the emotions you're feeling right now. Thank you for your transparency. I will be praying for you as you work to sort through all the past issues as well as deal with these current things. It's hard work, but worth it. When I was at my lowest point a few years back, it didn't seem possible that things could get better, but God is so faithful. I will pray that God will give you rest and the grace that you need to get through each day. You are loved!

Brenda B 9:24 AM  

Jana, Wow the leap of faith you guys have taken is imense and I'm beliving with you that as you planned it will all be worth it in the end. I completely see how suggesting therapy feels like an attack but I think it shows great care and understanding that he sees that what you're going through is bigger than you and that you're not just crabby, crazy and selfish but that there are things that are weighing you down that you need help to overcome. He sees that you are better than this and he wants you to get the help you need to get around it.

I pray that you will have peace and steadfastness through this storm and I believe that God's people can be greatly blessed even though there is famine in the land, I'm believing that for you. That you'll not only get by in these hard economic times but that you'll continue to grow and increase your income and that the surplus will not only not run out but that you'll be able to begin to replenish them.

Praying with you!
Brenda

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