• Lexie

Starting from Zero

There are certain things that this particular lady needs in life to stay well balanced and happy:

  • My family, pets and friends- have I spent quality time with all of my loves and important people/ animals? Do they feel loved and appreciated by me? Do they know they can come to me if they need me? Do we make time to watch Outlander on the regular/ sing our special songs down the phone to each other and discuss our lives in every minute detail?

  • Good health- under control anxiety, no migraines, feeling springy and awake and ready for the day ahead, having enough energy to cook and exercise and feel well.

  • Enough money to be comfortable- to pay my bills on time, to be able to treat myself to things or go on day trips, to buy a friend a present or piece of cake, to buy healthy food, to be able to save a little bit each week.

  • A sense of purpose- does my job make me happy? Am I contributing each day? Does what I do make a difference to someone else? Am I learning and moving forwards?

If the heavens align and all four important areas of my life are harmonious, I couldn't ask for more. If one or two elements are out of whack, it's uncomfortable, but manageable and it doesn't take long to get back on an even keel. Lately, the only thing that's been constant are my family and friends; my support network of incredible loved ones who are there for me always, through thick and thin. Thank you loved ones, you are entirely amazing. That includes you Pollyanna, Jessie and Juno. Fur babies are life.

Shall we have a little metaphor? You know how I love a good bit of wordsmithery. So, you're building sandcastles with your little ones; you're digging a hole and the sides keep caving in and you just have to dig faster to try and stem the relentless flow of the sand, but the sand is running faster than you can dig... that. For quite some time I feel as if I've been running on empty. Actually, running on a deficit. Like, minus empty. Life has been quite stressful for about two years and I've slowly been descending into that giant, ensnaring sandpit that is anxiety and depression. I say depression, but it's only the last couple of months I feel I may be going down that disagreeable path. So I decided I'd better do something about it before things got out of control.

It's no secret that I suffer with chronic migraine, M.E. and severe anxiety. I've written about it many times and I'm not one to bottle things up. I've struggled for years with bouts of ill health; I've seen specialists, taken all the medication, tried and failed to strike a comfortable balance in life and just, you know, tried my best to stay busy and positive. But (and it's taken me YEARS), I've come to realise that I do have limitations. I cannot work full time. I cannot take on too many things at once. I need to be more forgiving of myself and find a way to live more gently. Which isn't easy when I desperately want to be a teacher and run around with children all day, thinking up wonderful lessons and creative things and doing all the paperwork that comes with the job. I just can't do it. Not right now anyway.

I've been living in a deficit for so long; a deficit with money and a deficit with health. I have debts going back to when I was 18 and living the student life, debts from loans and overdrafts and more recent debts that I have accrued through not earning enough money to cover even the basic costs of living over the past few years. Which SUCKS let me tell you. Poverty is no joke. The stress of not being able to afford food, to keep my car on the road, to pay vet bills, to heat my home has taken its toll. I've been so stressed that my health has suffered and now I'm struggling to even get out of bed each morning. So, I've asked for some help; from my GP, from the local mental health service and from the Money Advice Team, who have helped me get a Debt Relief Order (more on that in another post as it may help someone else who is struggling financially).

I feel lighter already. As of today I am starting from zero.

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