October 24, 2023

Disability and Poverty Depression


The year 2014 was difficult for me. So much uncertainty, insecurity, sadness, and helplessness. I didn’t know what to do. I felt lost and scared. It was a time of questions: would I get approved for disability, would I be homeless, would I have food to eat? It was also a time of the worst money situation I’d ever lived through.

The below entries from my journal are personal, giving you a peek into my despair and lowest moments.

April 7th 2014,

I got a letter from social security about my [disability] case. It mentioned sending in more information to help my case, so I emailed my volunteering log, pain log, and educational transcripts to my attorney. I called her today, but she said she’d have to call me back tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully, the social security decision will be favorable or my court date will be scheduled soon. I’m scared because I’m afraid the judge will say, “No.” If the judge does, I won’t know what to do. My life is practically in his/her hands. If I get approved, my life will literally change. And for the better. That’s what I need. Otherwise, I’m going to remain stuck in my life.

Mom and I were talking about dreams, and I told her about my dreams. It’s nice talking about dreams, but afterward, it makes me feel depressed because I’m worried my dreams won’t ever come true. I hope they do…

April 9th 2014,

Yesterday I got an email from my attorney basically saying that since I don’t have medical evidence from a doctor that I can’t work that my case will be hard to prove and the judge will most likely deny it. […]

When I read her email, it felt as though my whole life crumbled at my feet. I could see all of my dreams falling from the sky. I literally felt defeated. I cried. And not the pretty kind of crying. The snot-running-from-your-nose-non-stop kind of crying.


There’s just been so much bad luck in my life recently. I really need something good, something amazing, to happen.

During this time, my dreams were really up in the air, and soon my sense of security vanished. Every single day I was stressed and full of worry. I didn’t know where to look for relief, because relief couldn’t be found anywhere. There’s a saying “one thing after another.” That’s exactly what this was. One hardship after another. One more thing to try to break me.

Break, I did.

April 16th, 2014

At the end of May we’re going to be bankrupt. Right now, we have a little over $300 in the bank. After [bills] in May, the account will be negative.


We have to find somewhere to live so […] we won’t be homeless. We need to do this by May 1st. May 5th is the latest we could move out. But the thing is, we don’t have money for a security deposit and all places ask for one…

We are screwed!!!!!!!!! 

We’re literally going to be broke and unable to pay rent and bills. We have two weeks to find a place where there are no jobs. Two weeks!

I don’t know what to do! Nothing is working out. I feel so lost.

I’m butting into this entry here to say, yes, I really did use all of those exclamation points. Not knowing how you’re going to pay for rent and bills and food is one of the most stressful things anyone can go through, especially if you have other people, or even pets, depending on you. Having a dwindling amount of dollars in the bank and no incoming money is a terrifying experience. Then add in the possibility of being homeless and you’re in a real nightmare that you never thought you’d experience, but here it is, staring you in the face with gnashing teeth and slimy drool and blood-shot eyes. The worst part is the uncertainty, the unknown. Will I have enough money to feed my family and/or my pets? Can I afford to buy a roll of toilet paper? What will happen if I can’t get government support for my electric bill? Will my landlord allow an extension on my rent?

At night, your dreams are dark, influenced by your daily worries and fear. During the day, you’re stretched thin, spending hours trying to find a solution and coming close to giving up but knowing you can’t. Giving up isn’t an option.

What I’m going to share next is one of my lowest points. I remember this moment vividly. It comes back to me a lot when I think about my depression and breakdowns. This one sticks out as one thing that normally wouldn’t impact me but was a drop in an already full bucket that caused an overflow. All you need is for a tiny incident to push you over the edge when you’re on the brink, and this one was mine.

I had a breakdown tonight. Milo and the other cats have been destroying the tulips my sister and her family got me for my birthday. There were literally three remaining. I put them in my pretty, small green vase and was throwing out the ruined flowers when I heard the vase in the bathroom get knocked over. Milo knocked it to the ground and ruined the last three tulips in seconds. I was so mad that I just broke down sobbing. I said that I can’t even have anything, and I seriously feel like that. Not once in my whole life I’ve ever had anything to call my own. […]

While I was taking my bath, I wanted to scream, “I hate you, God!” That was the second time today I had that thought. […]

I have asked God for help with our current situation but haven’t received any help. I’ve done all I can. I’m…done. I’m…

That’s how my entry ends.

Looking back, I know why those tulips meant a lot to me. They were a gift given to me by my sister and nephews in a time when I had nothing. Nothing to look forward to. Nothing to call my own. What I did have rapidly vanished before my eyes. But I had those tulips. They were pretty. Orange and yellow and pink. They brightened up my dreary world. They gave me a reason to smile. Seeing them get pulverized by my cats was like a knife to my gut. I wanted to keep them for as long as I could, even dry them and save them, which is something I’ve done to flowers for as long as I can remember. When the last ones were destroyed, it was equivalent to my happiness being torn to bits. I couldn’t handle it.

Depression does that. It sucks away happiness, every last drop. When you try to cling to a fragment of it and something happens, depression swoops in to bring you to your knees. That night, I did fall to my knees. I lay in a ball on the bathroom floor among the shards of green glass and mangled tulips and cried.

April 19th, 2014

Every day all I do is search for jobs, apply online, and […] call places to see if they are hiring. We can’t find a place to move to because you have to have a job. A monthly check is not enough.

I’m so exhausted physically and mentally. I fear a major breakdown if we are still in this exact situation come May 5th.

Please pray for me.

I know that’s silly because you’re a notebook…you’re me.

April 20th, 2014

Today was a good day. Not because anything changed but because I needed a break. It was Easter, so most stores were closed, and I resolved not to apply to anymore places. […]

Not only was it Easter, which gave me a break from the job hunt, but it was also Sunday, which gave me a break from the April Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I also allowed myself to sleep in, and if I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have my newest story idea, which I started today.


If only I could get paid for story ideas alone.

Tomorrow my struggles will begin again, but I’m hoping for good news soon.

I was right to hope—I did get good news soon. A change occurred that brought us a tiny bit of money. I also earned some recognition in the blogging world and found ways to have fun, like taking a walk around my local library, located close to the river, and taking pictures of beautiful sceneries.


  1. I pray for goodnews for you. I pray you get all you desire positively.

    Thanks for sharing

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  2. My heart goes out to you. Financial insecurity like you were going through will make you depressed if you aren't already. I'm glad you got some good news at the end of it. That was a super hard time for me too because I had just lost my late husband.

  3. That is the worst. And so stressful, too. I'm glad you found the other side of it, and that things are better now.

  4. This was hard to read and I can't imagine how tough it was for you to experience. I found myself wanting to send you tulips, which I doubt are available in the fall. I hope you are far beyond such a place today.

  5. Hi Chrys - life can be so challenging and unfair at times - and you've had so much to deal with ... and I know 9 years on things have changed ... I'm glad you've posted this here ... with thoughts - Hilary

  6. Reading your story transported me back into my past where the darkness of depression and hopelessness embraced me like an obsessed lover from hell, suffocating dreams of not even happiness but normalcy. But the past passed and from it I have learned to appreciate the little things of life. The showmanship of a sunrise. A peak at an orchid budding. A leisured walk through a park on a cool morning. Sipping coffee at my favorite coffee shop. The passing of the bud into a full bloomed orchid. A friend who carried two umbrellas in the event I get caught in an emotional storm. The little things that slowly build a sense of normalcy and contentment. Thank you for sharing your darkness moments.


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