Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 17 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Asking for Help

Why is it so difficult to ask for help? I know I am not the only one who finds the prospect of asking others for assistance distasteful. In fact, I grew up in a region of the country, among a nationality of people, who are known for, "No, no, I'm okay. Everything is fine." Meanwhile the barn is burning down behind them. (Anyone out there listen to Garrison Keillor on Prairie Home Companion? He's not making up that attitude!) The point is, asking others for help is not one of my strengths.

Unfortunately for me, despite my distaste for needing assistance from others, I am now in a position where I need help. Despite my best efforts, this depression episode has me in a precarious financial position. My financial reality is grim. My first hospital admission was September 30, 2013. I have not worked one hour since then. Unfortunately, as of November 1st, both my accrued vacation time and my employer-provided disability benefit were exhausted. In other words, I no longer receive a paycheck. I have been without an income for five weeks, and that is not going to change any time soon.

Let me tell you a little about myself. I am a very proud woman. I value taking care of myself financially. I have an almost perfect credit score, do not use credit cards, and have rarely, if ever, been late paying a bill. Unfortunately, I do have debt. My house, my vehicle, student loans, healthcare loans, Jet's surgery loan, as well as normal household bills keep me on my toes. Fortunately, I do have a small amount of money saved. Rather than use it for the new garage siding for which it was intended, I am now using it to pay my monthly bills. Soon, my pride will be tested, as all of my financial accounts hit zero.

Since it looks like I may not be returning to work soon, my social worker and I have begun the 3-4 month process of applying for social security disability. Whether or not I will be approved is any body's guess. I am trying to remain calm, to stay in today, but my stress as I look into the future has begun to climb. And this is why and where I need to ask for help.

Despite my value of financial independence, I have placed a donation link on my blog today. The link will take you to PayPal, and a donation in any amount can be made. If you are interested in helping out, I will humbly accept your good will. I will use the donations to pay my bills. That's it. Every dollar received will go toward keeping me in my house with the heat on and the lights glowing,  supplying groceries to eat, and paying my healthcare bills. I will be seeking deferments of my loans, but most of my bills simply must be paid, or I will lose what I've worked so hard to gain.

Placing a donation link on my blog was an extremely difficult decision to make, and I likely would not have done it without significant encouragement from those closest to me. But now it's done, and as I said, should you choose to use it, I will graciously and humbly accept your assistance during this difficult time. I thank all of you for taking time out of your day to read, comment on, and support me through my little blog. My gratitude is enormous.


A said...

Hi Etta baby! (Sorry if that is too familiar already, but I just feel so deeply for you because I am a ship rocking in this precarious sea of depression too, and I just feel so bad for you - and me - in this horrible journey we are on right now). Plus, I wanted to kind of give you an electronic hug because I feel like you need it. I need a hug too.
I'm so, so sorry you have the added stress of financial worries bogging you down right now on top of all your mental struggles. I am kind of in a similar position with money, too. Right now I'm trying to get through law school, and my debt is really piling up, and I just hope to God I can find some kind of decent job afterwards (that I will somehow be able to hold on to because maybe I won't be having a total mental meltdown at that point?? Who knows?)
I'm lucky right now because I have some financial support from my parents and boyfriend, but like you, I can't stand leaning on people. I like to be able to provide for myself - and others if possible.
I have always said I wish God would allow me to hit the Powerball or Megamillions, because I have absolutely never been one of those people who says they don't know what they'd do with the money. I know EXACTLY what I'd do with it. Sure, I'd make sure I was comfortable, and my family, too, but I would give so much to others in need (people, animals, organizations). I'm kind of an environmental nut too, so I'd give to those groups also. And believe me, I'd help you financially in any way I could if I had the means. But unfortunately, I am in debt up to my eyeballs right now, also. So I'm sorry I can't help you that way. :( I hope that my communications maybe give you a small amount of comfort in these tough times. I am thinking of you, and I will be praying that other people who are more financially stable will be able to donate as much as possible to you.
Also, best of luck with the SSDI application. I think you have a good chance at receiving some compensation, because your depression really does seem to be wholly disabling to you right now due to its constant effect on you and the fact that you have required hospitalizations and expensive treatments like the ECT.
I just hope that at some point you are able to reach some light after all your hard work trying so hard to climb back out of the hole, just as I have been trying.
Are you able to earn any money through your blogging activity? (I just ask because maybe you could rent out ad/banner space on your blog for a little bit of income?) I'm not too savvy about computer advertising, just a thought. I'm thinking of you and wishing you better financial times.

Chris said...


In life, we're all in this together. Remember that. There's no shame in allowing others to help you... Not any more than the truth that we shouldn't take arrogant pride in our ability to help others when asked. You clearly continue to help many people through this blog. I, for one, am happy to help you. And when I get home later today, I will!

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

There is no shame in asking for help. We all need help from time to time, and part of our purpose in being here, I believe, is to help each other. I'm sorry that financial worries are on top of everything else.

Anonymous said...

will share and spread the word

Anonymous said...

fellow runner, fellow depression sufferer, I'm very sorry you're going through this. I am currently having to ask friends for help because I am injured and can't walk or drive, and it's hard to ask but so many people are genuinely glad to be able to help. Good luck and take care.

Kelly said...

Etta- I think it is reasonable to ask for help, even if it is uncomfortable. At this time, I don't have anything to spare, but towards the end of the month I will and I will come back and help how I can then

Irene said...

I lost my job in october and I see people asking for help more and more

What I don't understand is how people keep wanting smaller government and lower taxes when we ought to wanting greater taxes to create a safety net for our society