While on blogus hiatus I didn’t publish, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t write. Here’s a draft from mid-August:
I am in a world of pain today.
The kind of pain delivered bedside, on a cold platter, following a night of alcoholic indiscretion.
My breakfast of regret consists of humble pie baked with the fruits of worry, stress and fear. Weeks before, I planned a night out with friends* that did not happen because hours earlier I could not access my bank account. Today, I opened a stern letter from the IRS explaining everything.
The letter says the games are over. Since I didn’t pay up like they asked, they have my lunch money and they’re not giving it back. Oh, and if I don’t comply with all their terms, they’ll come back and take more toys.
Life feels very unfair. We work hard. We live very frugally. If we go on vacation, out to eat, do anything, it’s with cash, and planned with careful consideration of our household budget.
Simply put, our brown rice days are rarely spiced with spontaneity. We landed in trouble a few years ago when the economy severed our main sources of income. I tried for almost a year to find work. Here and there I had odd jobs with expiration dates. We drained our savings and retirement accounts to keep our home. We relied upon the help of family and friends and the food pantry at our community center until we could get above water.
Then, my daughter with asthma lost her medical insurance.
I’ve gotten really good at reducing, recycling, and the wonderful world of resale. (Really, we have some fabulous second-hand shops around here.) We grow vegetables. We take part in clothing and household item swap parties and freecycle with our neighbors.
Slowly, things have gotten better. I found a solution for my daughter’s health care. Things are not what they once were and won’t be until I find full-time work to replace the lost income. We’ve made good on most of our problems except one. And that isn’t an easy fix. Finally, it seemed we had a solution. All we needed to do was sign the papers. But before we could uncap our pens, they swallowed my modest little bank account.
*Meanwhile, I live in this wonderful community of people who really do hold one another up. Many of us are paddling the same straits. That is why we often go out, not expensively, to boost morale. Most of this spring and summer I’ve been too preoccupied or sick to join the group outings. I so badly wanted to go out on this night. Most of all, I wanted to save face.
And I almost made it. But I didn’t get past the ATM. My shame and fury sent me home that night.
Five days later, at book club, I am a raging river. I want to apologize for not showing up the week before. One thing led to another. Suddenly I was really drunk.
Usually I go to the gym or ride my bike or meditate or clean.
Usually I know better than to hit the bottle.
I was too drunk to drive, to make any rational decision. The host sat with me for an hour after the meeting, on her couch, talking, while I sobered up enough to drive the few blocks to get home.
I woke this morning to a cup of hot coffee waved under my nose and the worried faces of my family.
I suffered through this day without taking so much as a Tylenol to ease the throbbing.
I sat with it, with what I did, what I said, all of it.
This is why blogs are important.
This is why I am back.