In an earlier blog, Martyr, I wrote about the challenges of accepting well meaning gestures when I’m trying to live within my means and not accept the fact that I have no money.
I’ve been here before and survived, which is part of why I think its so hard to accept that I am now a Nillionaire*. I grew up without money, and I’ve gone back and forth between times of wealth and plenty, and times of zero income. I’ve always managed to survive and get through, and meet all my obligations.
So, it was particularly heartbreaking to open my mail last week to find out that the dental bill that had been in dispute for my crown from about May onward (the work was done in April, when – supposedly – they received permission from my insurer to do the work), had come full circle and landed on my desk.
Just after I blew a tire. Ca-ching$$$ !
Oh, as well as get a report from SSDI that I’m getting an $8 a month increase in my benefits (oh, be still my beating heart!). I especially loved their promotion of their “ticket to work” program, which I would love to pursue… but cannot until my case against my employer is resolved one way or the other.
So, after all that, I was going through my bills, trying to juggle expenses, and it was clear that I was now over $1,000 behind the 8-ball with no end in site. (I won’t repeat my drama here. I’ll just say that COPD is expensive, and that’s before we add in the fact that I’m supposed to have more to live on than I’m actually being paid each month).
One of the things that is making me the craziest is that things are going well. I got approved for federal disability. I bought a house. I’ve done everything I need to do to survive, financially, and yet I still don’t have any money because I haven’t mastered the art of self-control. Regardless of whether or not my employer owes me money for paid into benefits, self-control is something that I lack. Or, find the hardest to maintain.
Honestly, I don’t have a money problem. I have a self-control problem.
Because of this fact, I’m used to donating to charity, to getting what I desire when I wish it, and on and on and on. I lived beneath my means and saved my cash. But now, there’s no way to live further beneath my means. And it’s Christmas and it’s killing me to not be able to donate or share with others. (Not that I would do that with money intended for bills, but you catch my drift, I hope. When I have it, I share it. When I don’t, then we’re all miserable together).
So, I sucked up my pride and talked to a friend to whom I GAVE money, free and clear, a few years back. She’s been trying to pay me back now that she’s gotten back on her feet, and I kept telling her to pay it forward, being too prideful to make that money a loan vs. the gift that it truly had been.
Well, I finally bit the bullet and asked her for whatever she could spare. She was kind enough to provide $1,300 to me (I hadn’t realized that I’d given her that much, as I tend to wipe it all out of my mind), and I’m grateful that I worked up the courage to go back on my own position and ask for help.
I hated having to ask, but I feel better having done so.
So, now I’m busy paying my end of year medical bill surprises (and I was very pleased that Firestone had a hidden warranty on my new tires, charging me only $13 for the replacement vs. the $113 anticipated), and trying to still live like a miser as there are still 3 possible months of cold and freezing weather coming before I don’t have to stress over the heating bill anymore.
I’m not going to say that my problems were solved when I swallowed my pride, as there’s still plenty to do around this house that will continue to nickel and dime me to death, but I have a momentary silver lining as I wait to hear news about whether or not I’ll be terminated at the end of this year, or if my lawsuit will go on and on ad nauseam.
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