I'm really bad at asking for help.
I also struggle with depression, sort of a double whammy. When I need help most is when I feel least worthy of it.
The last two months have been especially bad. My arthritis started getting bad over the winter, so I had to give up my part-time job doing landscaping on the weekend. It didn't pay much, but the $200/week left a hole in the budget. Then I started worrying about my mom and my wife. My mom fell and broke her hip, and she was in a nursing home doing her rehab for two months. She's back home now and doing OK but it's been a big adjustment. She can't do everything for herself anymore. My wife had a flare-up of her MS. Thankfully, just some paresthesia (her skin feels like its burning when anything touches it) and fatigue, but there's not really a treatment for that. And then we found out that she can get surgery to correct her vision - but Medicare won't pay for it. Only $5000!
I always stress about money - I'm self-employed - but I put so much pressure on myself that I started getting panic attacks whenever I though about picking up the phone to talk to a prospect. I'd do my research, come up with a list of prospects, and even send out emails, but become paralyzed by self-doubt when it came to following up with a phone call. As if that wasn't bad enough, I started getting panic attacks in the middle of the night. I'd wake up around 3:30 with my mind racing about all the work I had left undone, all the bills that were coming due, and dreading the coming day.
After dealing with all of that for most of April I finally broke down and went to my doctor so I could get back on antidepressants. Another failure, to my way of thinking. I had done ok without them since last October. But the relief was almost immediate. I still get anxious about the sales end of the business but I can deal with it now.
The problem is I let two months go by without getting any new clients. We've been able to get by with maxing out our credit cards and on my wife's SS disability ($900), but the utilities are past due, and my house payment and credit cards are due this week.
All told, I need to come up with about $3000 to get caught up, and I think I'll be ok after that. But thinking about all those bills feels like staring down the barrel of a gun. The thought has crossed my mind (fleetingly! briefly! I'm not in crisis anymore) that if I killed myself and made it look like an accident for the life insurance... but a) that's hard to pull off and b) I'm in so much debt that the insurance wouldn't cover all of it. Plus that would be a hell of a thing to do to my family. And anyway, I'm back on track - I have some good prospects in my pipeline now, but they probably won't close until later this month.
I feel like such a loser begging for money, especially since this situation is my own doing. What I'd really like to do is earn my way out of this mess. I've mentioned my business several times now. My marketing company takes testimonial advertising to a new level, using the internet. The latest piece of that strategy is video testimonials on YouTube and Facebook. (Here are some examples of videos I did for an acupuncturist and a heating and air conditioning contractor. Normally these are $297 but any Kossack can have one for half price: $147. And everyone knows an outstanding small business they've used. I'll take all the recommendations people can send me. I just need the business, the owner's name, and phone number. And permission to use their name when I call. Those kind of "warm leads" beat the hell out of cold calling, especially given my anxiety issues.
I'm going to get busy now to see if I can line up some work and whittle away at that deficit. I'll be in the office the rest of today (Wednesday) if anyone wants to reach me. Kosmail me, or my contact info is in my profile.
This has been difficult for me to write. As I said, it's hard for me to ask for help, and admitting how badly I've messed up doesn't make it easier. But as the old saying goes, beggars can't be choosers. I'll take whatever help is offered.
Mark Keating (turbonerd)
7:28 AM PT:weck pointed out that recs and comments will help get this diary more exposure, so please help with that, and by republishing the diary to any groups you're in on DKos. Also, sharing on social media if you're comfortable with that.
This is the link to my PayPal account, to donate any amount . (no PayPal account needed)
Or if that doesn't work, my PayPal-linked email is email@example.com
Any amount is appreciated.
9:26 AM PT: Thanks guys! especially broths - I have enough to keep my phone (and internet connection) on! (how bad would it be to tell a client that I can't check my email :-/ )
Thu Jun 11, 2015 at 9:40 AM PT: Thank you to everyone who rec'd, tipped, commented, and of course contributed. The members of this commmunity rock! Collectively giving over $300.
Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 11:29 AM PT: Diary updated - good news! - and reposted here.