At the end of December, 2014, I was forced out of my little duplex and sent scrambling for a place to live. My own mother had decided that she would take my son in, but would not take me in. This was not for any good reason that I could discern. I am not a user of drugs or alcohol, nor a gambler. I have always maintained employment. I do not abuse anyone and I get along great with my mom. She had just decided that she would rather I be homeless than help me. It hurt very badly, because we had always been close, like best friends, and now she was basically dumping me onto the streets if I did not find somewhere to live. A friend started a youcaring fundraiser to help me with moving and storage costs, but I knew I was skating a thin line between having a place, and living in my car or on the streets.
On the day after Christmas, a friend offered me a place to stay in the nick of time. I would be able to live in her mom's house while the mom was in the hospital. When the mom came home, I would be her nighttime caregiver in exchange for room and board. I was incredibly grateful and knew how lucky I was.
Going from a two bedroom, one bath duplex with lots of storage to one bedroom with no storage was my challenge. I had managed to get rid of a huge debris bin (dumpster) full of stuff the previous May (therein lies a whole other story), but still had years of accumulated stuff to go through. I was, of course, short on time, so I wasn't able to be thorough, but I paid to store what I ended up keeping. I budgeted $500 per month; it ended up costing me $319 (which I'm still paying).
I came to the new place with my bed, my desk, a dresser, and my computer, and a few boxes of clothes and minimal other items. I used the kitchen and jacuzzi occasionally and otherwise stayed in my room. I saw my boyfriend daily and went to work daily and otherwise I basically avoided people. I worked swing shift and spent many morning and weekend hours ensconced in my room, curled up in bed crying and depressed. The depression crushed me so badly I felt like I couldn't get out of bed even if I wanted to. I had my daughter with me on alternate weekends and even on those mornings with her I could barely get myself out of bed, which distressed her and worried my mom.
At some point... And I can't even pinpoint when it was... I came to the realization that I needed to see things differently. Living by myself, away from my kids, really sucked. But I had a boyfriend, friends and family members who loved me. I had a job. I was in relatively good health. I don't know how it happened, but I started thinking differently, making the best of my situation. My boyfriend and I cooked interesting new dishes that we found online, in the beautiful kitchen we had at our disposal. I started spending more time out of the house when I had my daughter over for visits. I went to the library. I made an effort.
I don't know why I turned that corner, but I am convinced that doing so saved my life.