MOVING FROM MARYLAND
I was down to the end of my money from the sale of my home. I was getting nervous because I needed a job, and I could only think about tutoring children in the area. I ended up finding a job in Canada. I just wanted to get out of this area and start anew. I sold all my things, and just was able to fill the car with what I needed to start again. I drove to the border of Canada, and was told that I needed papers to prove I had a job waiting for me there. The people who hired me did not provide that to me. I couldn’t go into Canada for the job.
DRIVING AWAY TO THE WEST COAST
I was upset because I felt I wanted to start a new life, and now I had no plans. I decided to keep driving west and see what areas may be good to live in. Maybe I could get a job somewhere else. I had some money left in the bank, and I had a credit card to use. Something would pan out, right?
I ended up driving all the way to Washington state. I was not having panic attacks and was able to drive fine. But I was feeling very stressed about settling in somewhere not knowing anyone. I felt homeless because all my life’s belongings were in my car, and I was going from motel to motel across the nation just me.
I lived in a hotel for a week or two until I could find a room for rent. I found one near the water. It was a beautiful area, but the house was a mess. The yard was overrun with nature. I got a room and lived there two months trying to find a job. Money was getting low, and I was not feeling the west coast life. I wanted to go home to Maryland. But there was nothing there for me. I would have to drive back East and see if I could find a job along the way.
NEW YORK STATE
It was late fall when I embarked on returning back East. It was getting closer to winter, and I wanted to get to a new place before it started snowing. I packed up my car and headed out. I started to have panic attacks while driving. I had no meds to help me. I had a terrible time with the mountainous areas, and sometimes I just had to pull over and cry. I ended up in New York. I ended up in Rochester. I found a motel and started to look for a job. The place was awful. I was so lonely and depressed that my life was looking very bleak. I was living in a smelly motel and praying that I could find a job FAST. My funds were dwindling.
I spent a month or two looking for a job. It was during the collapse of 2008 that I was looking for work. Jobs were scarce. I finally got an interview with a company where I could use my engineering degree. I felt so positive about it. I told my sister I felt like I was going to finally make it. Then I didn’t get the job. That was the last straw. I had to return to Maryland.
BACK TO MARYLAND
I asked my sister if I could live with her a few months until I could get back on my feet. She and I had not been on good terms, but I really needed her help. She had a bedroom in her basement. She agreed to have me live with her family. I got a miracle just in the nick of time. I was getting very low on funds.
The house was full of boys and a husband. The boys were very young, and the house was stressful for me. Also, I was feeling like a failure and a loser. Every morning I woke up, I would recap my life, and I’d focus on how much I had lost. I was down to no money to pay the bills, no house, and had to be dependent on my sister. How long would this take??
Also, I had not admitted to the panic attacks having returned with my journey back East. I repeatedly was dealing with them while driving, and it got so hard on me, that I had to just take back roads to avoid the stress of a main highway.
I started to look for work. I looked into temping until I could get something permanent. I got a job doing admin work for a busy company in Washington DC. I started the job, and then the panic attacks came with it. Riding the train I got panic attacks to and from work. I had to quit the job. I was afraid to tell my sister that I was having problems with panic attacks again. I felt like a failure. And now I couldn’t cope on the job.
I had to get financial help and NOW. I had to ask for financial support from my dad. He agreed to help me. Then I needed to get help for my panic attacks and somehow move forward and out of my sister’s house. She had three little ones in the house, and it was stressful with the crying and commotion of the kids.
My brother-in-law had no job and was a stay at home dad while I lived there. I would wake up each morning and get out of bed and start the day. I MADE myself get up every day. I had to keep trying. I got a psychiatrist and a therapist to support me. Everyone was just wanting me to get a job and move on with my life, but I was in bad shape from all the panic attacks. I had panic disorder. I was depressed and having panic attacks and finding it hard to move forward into life. I was completely dependent on my family for money and a home. I could barely manage myself, let alone a new apartment or job. I was just trying to stay sane. As a family, we decided I might have to live in a special place for people like me that couldn’t manage their life anymore. It was looking so grim for me. But then once my dad looked into it, we realized it was cheaper to go to therapy, see a psychiatrist, and live with my sister for a while longer. I just wanted my life to improve. I didn’t see myself living alone ever again. It was like I reverted back in time to a child again; I couldn’t manage much responsibility, and I was depressed all the time. I was a mess really. How was I to have hope every day?