Soul Doubt: 08/2009 - 09/2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Turning Over a New Leaf on that Old Worn-out Plant of my Life

So, reading over my last couple posts as I usually do when I summon up the courage and/or inspiration to spew out some verbiage on this blog, I even got a bit choked up at all the depressive negativity oozing out of the stuff.

Yeah, it might've been decent writing- heart-wrenching at least. But jeez, how many people wanna read crap like that repeatedly? I can't even stand to write it anymore, which explains my latest hiatus from blogging here.

Lots been going on though. I'm slowly but surely disassociating myself so closely with my church; not sure if that's a good thing or not but it is what it is. It started with signing up for a study or two, then finding reasons not to show. We stopped going to our small group, giving the perfectly valid excuse that Tony's work didn't allow him to make the night in question. Of course, we could've found another group, I could've gone alone, but it was just too easy to just blow it off. Next was missing a Sunday service here and there; no biggie, just on days that we slept in or had other stuff going on... but now, let's see- I think it's been 3 weeks since I've even stepped foot in His Place, when I used to show up two or three days a week for one volunteer position, study group, service or another. Oh yeah, dropped Nursery Volunteer duty too. Ask me why? I have no idea. I just can't seem to summon the energy to show up at 8:30 in the morning to watch a roomful of toddlers, smile determinedly fixed on my face, when inside I'm wondering just what the hell I'm doing there when I'm having serious issues with my faith.

And that right there's the root of it. I've gone back and forth on this, especially on those nights when I can't quite fall asleep and so run conversations and doubts and fears and memories through my mind until I'm about to go mad. What it's coming down to, is after reading through my Bible several times over the last couple years, I have issues. Issues that my pastor (brilliant and well-meaning man that he is) cannot answer- just gives me that stock answer: take the leap of faith. Well, faith is what I'm lacking at this point. So until I have a recharge on my God batteries, I think I'm going to keep flaking on my church attendance, not answering calls from well-meaning members, and trying not to drown in my sour-tasting cynicism.

Okay- on to brighter topics. Didn't I just vow not to drone on and on regarding sad and despairing issues in life?

I'm in counseling. I'm on an antidepressant that actually seems to work (maybe- maybe I'm just so sick of trying different ones that I've settled for an older, cheaper pill that I can pretend is making a difference so I don't have to keep spending fifty to seventy-five bucks every time my shrink suggests a new one. Of course I'm too broke to be insured, so all this guinea-pigging is costing a pretty penny. Some of the new ones are flat out ridiculous, and then when they don't do a damn thing 12 weeks later I'm out several hundred bucks- not even counting the doctor visits! But I've been on Trazodone for a couple of months now, and at least I have the wherewithal to get out of bed, get dressed for the day, care for my son and work. So maybe it's working, maybe not- maybe I've just plumbed an unknown inner resource I didn't know I had but am now utilizing for the better.

My job(s) suck. I clean high-end residents who seem to thrive on finding bizarre tasks for us peons to complete: "Dear, would you mind bleaching the grout on the patio this week? I seem to see a bit of browning... thanks, doll." Like that. Plus, scrubbing other people's toilets, no matter how rich they are or how massive their mansion is, is just flat-out disgusting. And for some reason, all these rich bastards seem to love to have multiple pets, many of which are poorly housebroken and behaved. Perhaps if I did a poll, the numbers would support my theory, but I swear the richer the homeowner, the lousier the pet(s).

But, it's money, which we sorely need these days- my doctor bills, Jameson's dental check-ups and well-baby visits/immunizations... all these things add up. And since Tony's killer-paying job he'd had for almost five years went out of business, he was forced to take a position at the warehouse the former company was supplied by, at almost half the pay. Sigh.

I do want to state that getting out of the house again and earning an income, however pitiful, is gratifying. Not only for my mental health, but as a woman in her 30's who has ALWAYS supported herself somehow or another (some of these ways we won't mention here!) the three months I laid around unemployed feeling sorry for myself were totally dreadful. So that's one thing high on my gratitude list- in today's economy, it's not so easy to find work, especially one that fits in with my schedule of free babysitting here and there from my parents and stepdaughter. I was lucky enough to respond first to an ad in the Nickel's Worth, then another on craigslist, and between the two I suppose I'm making a respectable contribution to our finances. Sure wish I could be using my brain instead of my brawn, though!

Which brings me to the best news of all: I'm officially enrolled in NIC for late-start Fall semester! And will be full time come Spring. I applied for my FAFSA on a whim, but once I was approved, I realized this was my chance to actually go back to college and complete my education- and end up with a freakin' CAREER instead of some grunt job!

Don't know if I've mentioned this in former posts, but when I was in prison, I worked in the Education Center helping female convicted felons get their GED's or at least make progress in more remedial areas. It was one of the most enriching, fulfilling vocations I've ever had- I absolutely thrived on it. From that point on, getting my BA in Education was my dream. Lately, I've considered Social Work as well, beings as though if anyone has the experience to speak with troubled youth/institutionalized individuals, etc.- that'd be me.

Lo and behold, after speaking with Financial Aid, I have nearly a full-ride Pell, with a pending academic scholarship as well. And it will be no problem to double major in Ed and Social Work. Cool, huh?

I'm excited about something (well, besides my son) for the first time in I can't remember how long. I have something to look forward to- I'm meeting my advisor next week to choose my first classes- many will be online- and I'm already dreaming about becoming Dean's List sweetheart, maybe getting more assistance because of my felony status (Vocational Rehab adores people like me wanting to make something of myself)... and you know, although I felt a twinge of guilt for taking advantage of all these programs at first? Now I feel like I'm merely taking a loan from Uncle Sam and whatever other foundations are out there: I will be giving something back once I have my degrees under my belt and am out there helping people- people who might have been like the former me or would end up like that me without hope, without help, without an education being taught by someone who speaks their language.