This is my third attempt at writing down my gratitude to every single person that has read the account of my families’ descent from being happy, healthy and independent people to becoming depressed, unhealthy and despondent. My third attempt to try to capture the feeling of tightness around my chest and mouth leaving, the sense of a great weight upon my shoulders easing, the slow unclenching of the muscles in my stomach, the ever racing thoughts in my head winding down enough for me to have the first deep and unrestless sleep I have had for a year.
I opened my paypal account page with the hope that some very generous souls had helped me in my quest to pay my internet bill, and with a deep down secret hope that maybe there would be a little more to put towards getting my kids school ready. I never in my wildest dreams expected the amount that greeted me. My phone and internet bill will be taken care of. Not only is the fear of not being able to get the kids ready for the school year gone, I will be able to make sizable payments on both my electricity and credit card bills.
I have been walking around today in a kind of daze. I keep thinking about the messages of encouragement I have received and just how kind and incredibly thoughtful people can be. Tears of happiness keep filling my eyes and a lump has taken up residence in my throat. My renewed optimism has been contagious. The kids are singing and joking around more, the near silence that has enveloped the house over the past few months is receding. A few of their friends will be visiting this afternoon. Even though I have tried to shield them from the worst of my problems, I have not raised insensitive children. Semblances of our old lives are returning.
The consequences of my story being shared so widely have been astounding. I have sold a piece of writing! I have other writing jobs lined up. Paying jobs! The project I have been working on that includes writing about Aboriginal health, with someone I respect and admire greatly will still be going forward. I am embracing the tentative excitement I now have about the future. I mentioned to someone that ideally I would be able to make a living from writing alone, and even though a few writing gigs does not put me in that position, it has made me more determined to keep working on my writing, no matter what 9 to 5 I will hopefully land soon. I occasionally think I should pinch myself, this time last week I was less than an inch from homelessness and anxiousness was pushing me close to an emotional break.
I am very fortunate and privileged to be a part of a very vibrant and understanding Twitter community. A community that didn’t hesitate for a second to offer and extend help. I am very fortunate and privileged to have an online space for my voice through my blog when there are so many others who don’t. I hope that me sharing my story has bought some attention to the difficulties that others are facing. I hope the communities of people looking poverty in the eye are as generous as the online community I count myself lucky to be a part of. It is so much easier to hope when financial pressure eases. So many people say that money doesn’t make you happy. But I can say that in my case, and with the utmost certainty, it lessens the stress that contributes to unhappiness.
How do you even begin to thank people who have helped make it easier to regain your emotional stability? For helping to clear the path so your family can keep a roof over their heads? For helping you get some paid work while you try to rebuild your life and keep trying to get permanent work? What I have written here hasn’t even come close to describing the gratitude I feel.
In lieu of the thousand other words I can write, I will say simply, with the utmost sincerity, my family and I thank you.