Good, Sweet Friend of Mine Needs a Hand Up….

My dear friend, Karen is a wonderful lady. She works so hard to run her business and take care of her hubby and kids. She is having to move her auto repair shop and needs some funding. She is also in the midst of planning her wedding…we all know what kind of stress she must be feeling. Please help by donating if you can, and if not…Please Share this post with your friends on social media or in emails…Let’s try to be the miracle she needs. Bless you!

https://www.gofundme.com/female-auto-repair-shop-relocation

My Wall of Joy and Christmas Spirit…

I just took an updated photograph of my wall of birthday and Christmas cards.

It’s funny cause I felt kind of “needy” asking folks to send me cards, but I’m so glad that I didn’t let pride stand in my way. This month of rushing to check the mail, and then opening all of these beautiful cards and gifts has made me so happy, and left me feeling blessed. I have not received this many cards in the past decade, never mind in one December!!! I am beyond blessed…I am joyful…I feel the spirit I was searching for, and it’s all because of you.

Forgive me if I don’t than each of you individually, but they have been coming so fast. Just know that each and every one of them is very, very special to me…Thank you…Hugs and much love to ya’ll!

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Panhandling, Surviving and Perspective….

I am still waiting to get approved for disability and it sucks. I have a place to live and less than $200 a month in food stamps, but no income. I have a dear friend who pays the important stuff for me…car insurance, internet, meds etc. I don’t know what I would do without that help. However, there are times when I wish I just had money in my pocket…not for luxuries, okay, maybe to just see a movie or something if I wanted. But, everything is about “survival” and “necessities” …there is no fun.

To make up for this I occasionally go out and panhandle.

So, Sunday I went out very early to panhandle. Now, just to be clear…I don’t beg. I simply stand on a corner with my sign that says, “Need Help. Please show some love. Bless you”. It is a humiliating and ego crushing thing to do, but I have learned this past two years that ego is bullshit.

Anyway, I stood out there with my sign for about 3 hours and did fairly well. It felt good. People were feeling generous… Well, except for the one lady who pulled over to roll down her window, dressed in her Sunday best, her bible on the seat and berated me for asking for help with a cigarette in my hand. (I quoted Matthew 27:1 and told her “God bless you”).

So…having stashed the money I collected in a can when I got home,  and feeling some sense of security about it, I decided to go out again yesterday afternoon.

I was only out there for about an hour, and it was going so well. One young man even went across to Dollar General and came back with toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant and other essentials for me. (Can’t get those things with Food Stamps). I planned on staying just long enough to add to my “stash” at home and put some gas in my car.

That is when the cop showed up. He pulled up and I approached his car…I don’t recall the entire conversation, but he tried to tell me that I couldn’t be out there doing that. That it is illegal here. Well, I’ve read the code and I was doing nothing illegal. As long as I am not impeding auto or pedestrian traffic…and I am not directly asking for money, I am not breaking the law. Mr. BigCop though said that he was doing me a “favor” by not arresting me. REALLY???

I came home so upset, feeling like now my ONLY way of getting any cash has been taken away. I cried…I cursed the cop…I cursed SS for taking so damn long…I cursed my ex for leaving me the way he did.

I was so upset I didn’t sleep last night. At 7 this morning I decided to take my dog Penny with me to McDonald’s, then go to Overlook park to share breakfast with her.

When we got there I noticed a man sleeping on a bench, his worldly belongings at his feet, his body curled up against the cool, damp air.

As we got ready to leave I grabbed a couple of the dollars I made panhandling yesterday, and walked over to the sleeping man. He woke surprised that I was standing there…even more surprised when I asked if he had eaten today. There was not ONE bit of judgement from me as I smelled the alcohol on him. I felt compassion and sorrow for him. He tried to refuse my offer…but I was more stubborn than he.

I gave him the money and the few cigs I had on me…and asked him if I could pray with him. We both cried as I prayed for both of us…

I sat of the ground and we talked for a bit. I told him about some of the resources I know so well, and asked him to come with me to a day center where he could wash up and get out of the damp, cloudy day.  He didn’t want to go at first. He was at his lowest…didn’t care what happened to himself he told me. I did not give up on him and he finally gave in. As I dropped him at the center I gave him a huge hug, and my phone number ….more than anything…I pray that I gave him some hope.

I know what it is like to feel hopeless, helpless…like no one cares. I wanted him to know that there ARE people who care and that we can all do something to help…without judgement, but with compassion and a hug.

I came home to my little apartment, looked at the food in my fridge and my warm bed…and I quickly got over my anger and frustration of all that happened yesterday.

I only wish I could do more for him or someone else. I’ll be okay…God’s got this.

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*Update* I have enough…

IMG_4516I can’t thank ya’ll enough for your caring, comments and concern this week. It has been a rough one for sure.
A good friend of mine brought me some money for food to last until Monday. Just didn’t want to leave you worrying about me. I am blessed.

Empty Anniversary…Empty Refrigerator…Empty Hope

Today I have been married for 13 years. My husband “ran away” two years ago. So much for love, honor and cherish till death huh?

I don’t get my food stamps until Monday…This is my fridge right now.

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I have been having a lot of issues since the doctor raised my medication level. The worst of which has been my radical sleep schedule. I fell asleep at 4pm yesterday and slept until 1am this morning.

I had intended on leaving the house soon to go panhandle, but after walking Penny for five minutes and coming in sweating…there is just no way I can go stand out there.

Thank goodness I see my therapist at 1 today. I best set my alarm in case I fall to sleep again so I don’t miss it. Sigh

I can’t see the med doctor until Monday to see what can be done about my side-affects. I am beyond discouraged right now.

When will I ever get some relief?

Net Worth, Self-Worth, Society Judges One by the Other…

Last night I put Penny in the car to run to the local convenience store to get a couple of snacks. I didn’t plan on begging, even though the night cashier there knows me, and has only warned me to avoid the cameras the few times I’ve been there for that reason.

As I walked in the store I held the door open for a cab driver with one leg. He smiled and said “thank you”. I finished getting my things, using what little food stamps I have left.(less than $20 until the 15th). As I walked out the cab driver was getting into his car, and for some reason, I ignored all the “rules” of begging and went and asked if he had a few dollars for me to get some smokes. I didn’t realize that his passenger was an employee of the store…She stepped right out of the cab, giving me a look like I was something she had just stepped in…”You can’t DO that here”…I just turned and walked away, my face red, the shame whelming up inside of me.

I came home and cried.

I don’t want to be like this.

I don’t want to have to ask others to keep helping me. My friend “D”…he pays my interned/cable every month, pays my car insurance, buys my shampoo, toilet paper and everything else that comes with everyday living. I hate asking him for money for smokes, he works hard for it and he doesn’t smoke. He also tells me every time I ask, that I have to quit. I love him for who he is and how he helps me, but I hate the lecture every time. So, I try to beg and panhandle for my cigs, and for whatever else I can get money for.

I hate the way people look at me when I am standing outside with my sign…I know what they are thinking. They don’t know that I have a mental illness. They don’t know that I have tried SO hard to be able to hold a job. They don’t know that I don’t want to be out there like that.

Then there are the ones who just look away, doing everything they can to not see me. I don’t blame them. I make them uncomfortable, angry, sad…whatever it is they feel/think.

I thought I would get up early today and head out with my sign. Maybe even make a new sign. But, I just can’t do it. My mind can’t do it. My body can’t do it. My pride can’t do it.

I am so sad. Everyone is celebrating with family or friends. Everyone is happy and grilling out, going to fireworks.

But, I know the truth. There are many people just like me who are just trying to survive. People who feel like shit every day…People who smile through it all…trying to hide the shame they feel. The shame they know their families feel about them…

We all know that society today is so materialistic, so driven by “what you have is what you are worth”.

Today, I feel like I am worth nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

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How Penny Lane Came to Live with Me…

As I explained in my post titled Homeless to Helpless to feeling Hopeless…Survival is Exhausting.  Back in October I rescued a dog that I named, Penny Lane.

I had been deep in the throes of a very bad depression to the point of sitting one night and wondering if the railing on my balcony would hold my weight. I made it through…THAT night. I knew I was in a seriously dangerous episode of my disease, so I made the necessary visits to my therapists, used what coping tools and meds I could, but I still struggled to come up out of the pit.

Even though the housing program that I am in is wonderful, it does not allow pets. However, after doing some research online I found that I could apply through my therapist for an Emotional Service Animal. I jumped on it as fast as I could. My therapist knew that the loss of my dogs, and my being alone constantly was really making my life horrible, so she wrote a “prescription” for a therapy dog for me.

I was so excited that night! I poured over the Humane Society site, choosing which dogs I would go visit the following day. When I got to the humane society I asked to see the first dog I had chosen. He was cute, but had as many issues as I, and I was afraid I was not up to the challenge of helping him. I walked through the kennels again, passing by Penny’s cage for the second time, she stood and reached her paw out to me between the bars and kissed my finger.

I asked if I could take her to the social room to see if she and I were compatible. Well, I never made it to the room with her. As soon as I held her I knew…I just KNEW that she was MY dog, and I was her “Mama”.

She had been brought in as an abuse/neglect case, and had spent most of her young life in a cage, but that didn’t stop me from loving her at first snuggle. I signed the papers and brought her home. It has taken a lot of work to get her to where she is now. At first she was understandably afraid of everything and everyone..except me lol. I took her out to crowded places, and had strangers hand her treats. I spoiled her with treats and a soft bed, and toys, and a ton of hugs and kisses. I taught her that humans can be good, and that love is possible, that life is amazing. And she taught me the same.

She is a totally different dog now. She still doesn’t really like men, and she has an aversion to baseball caps, but otherwise, you would never know she had such a rough start in life. She has also made my life so much better. She gave me company. She gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Most importantly she made me feel loved and needed. I’m not sure who save who…but, we are both blessed indeed.

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No Looking Back…A New Year…

I’ve pondered this post all morning. I have read many posts reflecting on and reviewing the past year (looking back), and many more on looking forward, people making resolutions and plans for the new year.

Looking back, or reviewing my past year, well, let’s admit, it wouldn’t be pleasant. I am only going to take the wisdom I gathered from that time, tuck it into my heart and carry it with me. Looking forward is wonderful, though I think that resolutions are just an unnecessary  pressure we put on ourselves. I’m not against planning on making improvements to ourselves or aiming for accomplishments, but the greatest gift I received from this past year, was a new way of looking at “time”. Time is an illusion…but, that is another post.

Whether we spend time reviewing the past year or planning for the coming year…we are using up the most precious moments of “now”.  Yesterday is done, tomorrow not promised. So, I will not look backward nor forward today…I will only look around me. THIS is the moment I have to spend…right now. I don’t want to lose it by pondering any other.

Wishing you all a wonderful, exciting and prosperous New Year…but don’t forget to just “be” in this day. The rest will come (hopefully), whether we plan it or not.

A photo I took while enjoying my tea this morning, and once again feeling so incredibly blessed with my life…

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My New Home on the Butterfly Highway…

Hello all! My desire to write, to let the millions of words and emotions tumble out onto the page is a bit overwhelming. There is so much to tell!

I am safe, happy and content. Wow, just saying that still surprises me. The past months have been beyond hard, and now, well, this is amazing. Starting over. I have had moments of grief over losing so much, but I remain in the present moment more often. There is no room for unhappiness or regret.

My new home is the most peaceful, beautiful place I could have imagined. I have wonderful neighbors, who are quickly becoming friends. This little apartment is so pretty, though still mostly empty lol. I am sleeping on an air mattress, and the only other furniture is a table and chair left by the previous tenant…oh, and a dresser given to me. It is enough.

I wake every day astonished and grateful…I walk around this place and keeping praising God for bringing me HOME.

The job search continues. I did land a job, but only lasted one day…the work being much too physically strenuous for me. No worries, the “right” job is just around the corner. I finally got my food stamps, so hunger is no longer an issue either.

I wish my thoughts were not so jumbled at the moment!

Anyway…I was sitting on the steps of my balcony a while ago, appreciating the deep blue of the sky, the warm breeze…and watching the “train” of butterflies that come through each day. It’s funny how they know where the “highway” is…they come through the same “path” each day, somehow knowing exactly where to go. I envy them this. I can learn from them…moving on instinct, not worrying about a thing..just moving forward. This is me.

I just recently got my camera and all my personal belongings back, and soon, I will post photos of the new place…of my new life.

Again, I must take the time to thank all of you for your amazing support, love and friendship as I went through this trial. I love you.

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Homeless, Scared, and Trying to Fund Home…

The title says it all…well, all I can say for now I guess. I’m scared. Am being evicted as of this coming Wed. Hubby is going his way, and I am going mine. I have a temporary place to stay, but it is not an ideal situation. My brother wants me to come back to Mass. He has stage 4 prostate cancer, and is on disability. He wants to pay for me to come home when he gets his next check, but I don’t want him to have to do that, so I am trying to raise donations to get me home. If I can’t raise enough to get home yet, the funds will help me to stay off of the street, and buy me some time. I know it is a lot to ask, and please, if you can’t help I understand. I want no one to feel badly. If you can’t help personally, it would help if you could repost the link for me on social media.  I am truly blessed by you all caring so much for me. Now, I guess you know why I have been so absent lately. Life is tough, but so am I. I will make it with God’s help. Hugs, love and peace.

http://www.gofundme.com/58zqnw

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