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Financial burden

For the first time about a year ago I started struggling financially. Today I live paycheck to paycheck and sometimes I cut it very close. Today my boyfriend made the decision to give up tickets to see his favorite band in order to help me pay my medical bills, and that just breaks my heart. I feel like I’m failing and that I’m a burden. He’s so loving and supportive, and tells me I’m more important but it’s still sad for me. The depression constantly tells me “if i just had this” or “if I just did that” then everything would be ok, but I wonder if that’s even true. I feel like every baby step I take I still don’t feel better. And knowing that my medical conditions aren’t ever going away fustrates me. After living with joint problems my whole life and narcolepsy for 4+ years you’d think I’d be better at managing it but I’m not. All I’m left with are the bills I can barely afford to pay, the pain, and the overwhelming need to sleep. I don’t know what I need to do to get out of this hole.

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Dear KatieRose,

I am sorry to hear that there is so much pain, bills that are hard to pay, and the need to sleep. It all sounds like so difficult. I am curious, because you are asking that question, it makes me wonder too how you can get out of this hole. What kind of things help you? Where can you start? Small and simple steps. We’re here for you friend, take good care, Warmly, Dot.

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Hey @KatieRose,

Your boyfriend is sharing their life with you. You’re not a burden to him and you’re not a burden in general. The things you are struggling with were not chosen. You didn’t ask for it. It’s not the product of something you’d have created. It’s not your fault. I understand how this feeling of being worthless and a burden can be hard to push away, despite others love, and this constant “if only I do that… everything would be better”. For me it was: “if only I had a job, we could finally have a life again”.

For 2 years now I’ve been relying financially on my parner and my own savings. I’ve been officially on disability because of my depression and health struggles, and I’ve been having a really hard time to accept that. I couldn’t help but feeling like a constant burden, someone only wasting the time and energy of my significant other. What I didn’t see at first though, is that judging myself in such a harsh way was only reinforcing my own struggles, the same ones I wanted to get rid of. It was fueling my own depression and making me even more stuck than I wanted.

If there is something we really, really need to remind ourselves while we are facing things that are mostly out of our control, it’s that we are still deserving of love, compassion and grace. Being patient with yourself, celebrating the steps you take even if they seem small, will bring you a lot more further that you can imagine right now. Focusing on the things that are in your control, even if some days it’s just making your bed and cooking something tasty, are steps that matter, because depression puts us in this dark pit where the smallest movement feels too much. The “if only” thoughts have to be considered in the light of the struggles you are facing too, and how it affects you. We wouldn’t expect someone with asthma to be able to take a sprint like someone who doesn’t. With any other struggle and mental health, it is the same, even if it’s not necessarily visible. The limitations are still there and real. Though we learn, with time, to extend them and make them less and less crippling to us.

We are our very first judge and critic. But once there’s a lack of confidence, hurt or depression involved, we can be very unfair to ourselves okay. Part of healing and managing our own symptoms is to learn to be fair to ourselves, and to refuse to give space for the thoughts that don’t serve us in a good way.

As for your boyfriend, it was his decision and it has to be respected. If you feel uncomfortable with it though, maybe there would be a way to reciprocate his gesture? Choosing to do together something he enjoys like a hobby. Having a nice at-home dinner with him. Going to a new place together or watching a movie on cocooning mode. It could be very simple, stress-free regarding money, but also just with the intention to make sure he can spend a moment he would appreciate. You’re a team. It’s okay to rely on each other. <3

Sending virtual hugs your way. :hrtlegolove:

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