I live to avoid. I avoid to live. My Mantra. Was my Mantra. Not now. Not sure I have a Mantra. Right now. This moment.
It started when I lost my job last year. It was still livable.
I floated. For the first time in my life I had money in the bank. A savings. Comfortable. Unemployed and comfortable. Besides the creeping anxiety and blossoming agoraphobia I was comfortable living at home.
I move. I found a great deal. Bargain. A roommate. Money in the bank and unemployment checks. I was set for a while. A while comes fast my friends and enemies. I had enough money for a few months. The plan was to get a job when the money got low. Plan. Plans come and go. Low. Half assed job search. Job offer from a friend.
The face pain came back. Trigeminal Neuralgia. Over a 2 year remission it came back fierce. I lost the job on my second day of training. Pain held me down and kept me from working. Ego went down. Depression went up. The social anxiety got worse.
Since the end of 2008 I’ve been become more reclusive. More agoraphobic. More social anxiety. I was happy but didn’t . . . couldn’t go out much. I didn’t. I stayed home and felt better and worse. The money problems kept piling.
I applied for disability at the advice of my mother who is against people collecting disability. She read about bipolar disorder and trigeminal neuralgia. She understands it can be crippling and maybe just maybe I can’t work. I applied through an agency that takes a percentage of my retro pay if I am approved.
Somewhere along the line a few months ago I started feeling social again. I went out everyday starting off to save money on the air conditioning. Central air is expensive. Not cheap. Can’t afford. I’ve been begging and borrowing just to pay basic bills. Yeah. I was talking about socializing. I’ve been motivated to apply for other things, look for other ways of making money. I sell things. I sell my art. I do art for money. I sell my novels. I sell and sell and sell. Sold. I still have nothing. I have several web projects that will take a while to generate money. Nothing right now. Nothing. Nothing is my Mantra.
I neglected my car registration and a silly surcharge NJ issues if you get over 5 points in a year. I got 6 points on my license in 2009. Flukes. I’ve had zero points for over 15 years and now I am paying $150 a year for a surcharge. My insurance went up and up again because I live in a low-income town. Low income. Raise the premium. Makes sense. I was pulled over coming out of a store a couple weeks ago. I knew I had no registration. I figured I’d get a ticket for that and that would be it. I go get registered and bring it to court and pay a fine. Nope. My license was suspended for non-payment on my surcharge and it showed that my insurance was invalid.
I begged and borrowed the hundred to get my license and registration. The insurance company assured me that I was covered on the date I was ticketed. I went to court and asked for public defender just to have the date pushed because I have no money. Money. Ha. The Judge read each violation and told me the possible fines and threw in a possible jail time. Too fast for me to comprehend. I heard over $3,000 in fines and possible jail. I was freaking inside. I filled an application for a public defender. My next court date is in a week. No time to get money. Money. The even charge me $75 for the attorney. Isn’t that illegal? Should be. I have right to an attorney and if I can’t afford one then one will be appointed to me. Should I beg, borrow and steal to pay a real lawyer? Will it be cheaper? Run out of people to beg. Beg. Maybe Ill start panhandling. Busking would be better. At least I provide a service. A friend said to sell my body. Who would pay for me? Money. It all comes back to money..
Weird thing happened after I left the court house. I felt a rush of hope and happiness despite the stressful situation. Money situation. I still feel the stress and the usual anxiety but I am still in what I’ve been calling solution mode. I can’t come up with one. A solution. I might not but if I go down trying it’s better than waiting for more balls to drop. The balls. Drop. Life is problems and sorrow a lot of times and it’s my job as an American artist to work through them. Create. Produce. Sell. Maybe make money.
Today I am just worried about today. What can I do now? I’m doing it.