Monday, June 1, 2009

Health or Wealth?

Six months ago I quit my job of 9 years. I was the 3rd shift supervisor at a banking operations center. The money was excellent, but the stress was killing me. I would have a migraine at least once a week, if not more. I asked my manager about stepping down, but kept getting the run around. I didn't want to leave a company that I had given 9 years of my time and effort towards.

The Tuesday before Thanksgiving I arrived early to work, packed up my desk, handled any outstanding obligations and sent an email to my manager stating I had quit and gave my reasons why. When I came in that night, I had a final written warning on my desk for my absences, which were due to my migraines. I was on the verge of losing my job anyways. My health was deteriorating. I was taking 150mg of Effexor for depression, Ambien to help me sleep and Zomig for my migraines.

My monthly expenses were around $1500 a month. This was not a problem because I brought home around $2300, not including child support. Devin and I had a pretty leisure lifestyle. We went to the movies and concerts, sometimes 4 or 5 hours from home. We would treat ourselves to CD's and DVD's and almost any ting else that caught our eyes. I was able to go on trips with friends, mostly horror conventions or an occasional weekend getaway. That all came to a screeching halt.

The first month after I had left my job, I was ok. I got my last check on November 30th so I was able to pay all of my December bills. Come January, I started to get stressed. This was not good. Because my insurance stopped in November, I had to ween myself off of my depression medication. That was one hell of a process. I felt like a drug addict must feel in rehab. The withdrawals were horrible! I had brain shivers and that is the weirdest feeling in the world. My brain felt like it was doing aerobics in my head!

Since the time I had left my job, I was working for a part time data entry company. I was only making between $350 and $400 every 2 weeks. I went to social services, during this time, to apply for assistance. That was a complete waste of my time! I could not get Medicaid for Devin because I made more than $400 a month. WTF??? I couldn't even get food stamps because I have 2 cars! So much for being honest!

My job search ended around the middle of January. I was contacted by a staffing agency about a job at another financial institution. The pay was only $10 an hour, but it was a 40 hour a week job. I started the last week in January. The job was very different from anything I had done before. The hours were from 6 am to 3 pm. This was extremely hard to get used to because of working 3rd shift for so many years. Also, I am not a morning person!

I took the job also under the impression that is was a temp to hire position. That was, not so much, the case. I started looking at other permanent positions on the company's website. I applied for all that I felt I was qualified for. About a month later, in April, I got a called from the hiring recruiter. I interviewed with 3 managers at once, only finding out during the interview, that all 3 managers had a position open. I waited, impatiently, for about 2 weeks before I heard anything. I was offered the position.

The position was in the department beside of my current one. They offered me position at the same rate I was making through the staffing agency. I questioned whether or not to ask for more money. I thought about it and considering that I would now be paying for insurance, I would be making less. I went through the "proper" channels and I was given a small increase. (Better than nothing!) That's where I currently am today. Great you might think, and don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for my job. (Here comes the but!) But... I am still not making enough.

I now get paid every 2 weeks and barely bring home $700. That's $1400 a month. Remember when I said my monthly bills were $1500? Yeah... I still work part time at the data entry place on 2nd shift, when they have work available, which is hardly ever.

I had to have my cable cut off, which means no internet too! My dad got a loan for me to pay off my house early, lowering my payment $210 a month. That may sound great but I would have had my house paid off this September, now I have a 3 year loan to pay. You gotta do what you gotta do I guess! I got so far behind on my bills that my dad had to help me get caught up. On top of all of that, my water heater is leaking and causing my power bill to be over $400 a month. My dad paid for a water heater and we put it in a couple of weekends ago. I should see a big difference in my power bill in the next couple of months.

I will have to pat myself on the back, because during all of this, I have been medication free. I am handling stressful situations a lot better than I ever would have imagined. I have also noticed that I have had zero stress related migraines. (Only menstrual migraines.) My health, for the most part, has gotten a lot better.

The reason I decided to share all of this personal information about myself is to prove that choosing wealth over your health is not always the right the do. Yes, I blame myself for the situation I am in, but my health is not as poor and I am not always yelling at my son or anyone else for that matter. I hate to tell my son "no" when he asks for things now. It is not his fault that I am the predicament. His dad has really helped with the things involving money for school. Devin has even offered to get a part time job to help, but no luck yet.

I am far from being rescued from the black hole of debt I am in. Without my parents helping out, I would hate to even think where I would be today. (Here comes another but.) But now how I am going to repay them, and I mean financially! Again, all my fault.

I would love to hear from any of you that have been through this and how you survived! Forward this blog post to anyone you think may need to read it or may can help. I have added a "Donate" button to the sidebar, not that I expect anyone to give me money, but it is there nonetheless.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post. Thank you for your honesty. This will help many people who are in similar situations to realize that they are not alone.