My Story – Part Five

FALL 2011

During the summer I was off, but in the fall of 2011, I decided to start branching out on my own with tutoring.  I put an ad in Craigslist.org and got a customer.  I started to work three hours per day picking up two boys from school, driving them home, and then working with them with homework.  That was perfect for me.  The first day of pickup was anxiety-ridden though.  I almost had an anxiety attack, but worked through it.  Then I got other people wanting me to tutor for them based on the Craigslist ad, and so the business had begun.  I was able to cope and do the work, and I was curious to see where it would go.

I found a niche for myself with tutoring.  I always was interested in teaching, and this worked out better for me than in the classroom setting.  After a year of this, the business just kept growing.  I was learning more about having a business, and I was getting more and more clients.  It got to the point where it had a life of its own.  I put up more ads and was buying business cards to hand out in neighborhoods.  I was knocking on doors and pitching my services.  Yeah, I was blossoming!

I was still dependent on my dad financially.  He fully supported me in the business, and was so happy with my growth.  I had come such a long way, but I still had bills to pay and not enough money coming in to pay them.  I was becoming more and more independent though.  Baby steps!

Then in the spring of 2013, my roommate wanted me to move out.  She was getting married, so I had to find another place to live.  I was saddened, but hoped for a better place to grow.  I found another room for rent in the area, and moved into it in June of 2013.  After living there only a couple of months, the roommate told me she was going to work in Iraq, and I had to move out by the end of the year.  What a shock to the system!  I really wanted to feel more stable in my living situation, and this was not helping me.  Not another move!  I was so sick of moving.

SURPRISE

When my dad heard that I needed to move again, he was disappointed.  He knew I was upset, and then he later had a surprise for me.  He and my stepmom wanted to buy a home for me to rent from them, so that I had stability.  I WAS BLOWN AWAY.  I was so happy!  Tears of joy!  I would finally have a home and stability.  I wouldn’t have to worry about how long I would be able to live in someone else’s home!  I truly needed that.  I needed stability.

JANUARY 2014

I was moved into my new home in January of 2014. I did not have much to bring into the home.  All that I owned just fit into my car.  I did not have furniture for the home.  I had clothes, a laptop to do my work, a small desk, a small tv, and clothes.  That was it!  How would I fill this new home?  And, how would I cope with this new responsibility?  Could I live by myself?

I had a lot of fears.  But I was SO READY to live in a permanent home without crazy roommate drama.  It was my next step to independence.

My business was plugging along before I moved in, but with the stable home environment, it seemed to help me to grow my tutoring business even more!  I was now working several hours a day, having a lot of customers to manage.  I still was not making the amount of money I wanted to make, but I was working and coping.

The thing was that I was being VERY supported by my psychiatrist for meds, my therapist for getting through challenges with anxiety and changes, and I had a supportive family who was truly there for me.  I exercised regularly, and I really just kept imagining more and more for myself.  I still lived with the disorder, but I had gotten better at coping in life bit by bit.

2017

It is now June 1st, 2017, and I am so happy to be here.  I have lived in this home for three years.  I learned how to live in a home by myself and paying bills.  I learned to balance my life with all that it takes: home chores, dating life, family to enjoy, working on a flexible schedule, and growing each day to manage my anxiety disorder.  I still deal with difficult situations.  I still see a psychiatrist and take meds.  I still have a therapist.  I still have troubles with driving on major highways; actually I avoid them.  I only drive around my area on less travelled roads.  I still want to earn more money in ways that I can manage in my life.

Fear wants to hold me back so hard at times, and it is scary as hell, but I get through it one step at a time.  Again, I am not dealing with this alone.  I have support that keeps me going.  I get encouragement.  I have a disorder, and I have to cope each day.  That is that.  But I have to say, I have emerged from a very LOW PERIOD OF DESPAIR to a much better place since 2009.  I am much more independent, and I can cope with daily living and responsibilities.  I don’t see myself being able to have a desk job with high pressure work, but I am finding my niches where I can cope and earn money still.  This is the new me.

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For more information on mental illness, please contact NAMI.org.

If you or someone you know needs immediate help, please contact 1-800-273-TALK. The hotline is open 24/7. If you have questions about mental health, please contact the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI.

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