(Thanks for all the help so far. I'm reposting and updating from my diary on Wednesday). Thank you to everyone who rec'd, tipped, commented, and of course contributed. The members of this commmunity rock! Collectively giving $360, which paid for the phone and water bills . But I still need to make my house payment this weekend.
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. (Actually, we'd be fine now if not for that.)
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 $1,500 to get caught up, and I think I'll be ok after that. 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. update: Got a new client yesterday! $1,000 closer to the goal!) If I can make my house payment today ($970) I can save the $15 wire-transfer fee my shitty "loan servicer" will make me pay.
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 (Friday) 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.
And I have to say, again, that the support and response from this community has been amazing and very very gratifying.
How you can help:
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.
If you can donate:
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.
If you own a kick-ass business:
How about a kick-ass testimonial video? Guaranteed to rank in Google for the company name within 3 months! (usually faster - Google "rj mechanical cleveland OH review" to see the results!) Special Kossack price $147.
Know a kick-ass business?
Doctor, lawyer, chiropractor, acupuncturist, contractor? Only $297.
Again, thanks to everyone who has already donated, offered support and advice, rec'd/tipped/commented in the first diary. My family and I really appreciate the help.
Mark Keating (turbonerd)
1:25 PM PT: Again, so much support from this community - $330 contributed today!
2:42 PM PT: WOW you guys are amazing! Over $600!
psyched pointed out in a comment that if you want to send a donation (and save me the PayPal processing fee), you can do that IF you have a PayPal account and "Donate" to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since I use PP for my business (and have a business account), even "donations" sent with the link in the diary still get hit with the 3% processing fee.
2:57 PM PT: OK the good vibes are working! a $10k website build that I thought was a dead deal just reached out. It's not signed yet, but keep your fingers crossed!
4:20 PM PT: over $800 now! you guys are AWESOME!
6:27 PM PT: $900! I can scrape together the house payment! woohoo! good thing too - "Ocwen" (hint: read it backwards) website and payment portal is going to be down for maintenance tomorrow and Sunday. So yeah, they just found a way to screw God only knows how many people out of a "late" payment.
("Ocwen" was formed when the former GMAC spun off its mortgage service division, some equity vultures swooped in and bought a few other subprime servicing companies and overnight became the largest mortgage service company in the US. And they suck balls. GMAC was bad, "Ocwen" is terrible. I'd refinance if I could through HARP just to get off their ledger but my town made it through the housing crash relatively unharmed - I have too much equity.)