Writing for Survival

I’m writing while I can, as much as I can. For several weeks, each day has brought turmoil, including a HUGE decrease in my Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) leading to facing homelessness AND not being able to afford my best friend and life mate, Jireh (my Service Dog), news that my mother (from whom I have spent half of my adult life estranged) was in serious condition in the hospital, lost a couple close friends, had a cousin die from drug overdose, I fell in front of an oncoming car (hurting myself and almost getting run over), and the list goes on. Having numerous debilitating medical issues (most of which are exacerbated by stress), I truly feel like I can have a heart attack at any moment. For the past two weeks, my health has been chronically declining.

When I received the notice about the cut in my income with June being the hardest month as they were taking out their overpayments in addition to my reduced monthly income, my strong faith cracked. I have supported myself for the past 30 years as I have no contact with relatives. I’m a fighter as I am equipped with God’s strength and wisdom within me. Having the gift of writing, I assured my close friends if I can pay June’s bills, I can find writing jobs to supplement my income starting in July.

After all, Harry Potter book series J.K. Rowling lived in extreme poverty, receiving food stamps, until her books were published. Living in poverty changes people as Rowling states, The very best thing her wealth has given her, she wrote on her website, is the absence of worry. “I have not forgotten what it feels like to worry whether you’ll have enough money to pay the bills. Not to have to think about that anymore is the biggest luxury in the world.”

According to the website, http://www.businessinsider.com,

Living in a cramped apartment with her daughter, jobless and penniless, Rowling fell into a deep depression and admits she even considered suicide. She was forced to rely on state benefits and spent much of her time writing “Harry Potter” in cafés with Jessica sleeping in the pram next to her.

I’ve been there. I think I still am. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and Crohn’s have all held me hostage in the bathroom the past month with concerns about bills, losing friends who think I am a loser freeloader. I feel like a burden most of the time. If I hadn’t had my personal relationship with Jesus, I would either be on drugs, homeless or dead. Each day that I am puking my guts out simultaneously while losing my bowels day after day, all I can think about is I am losing time not writing. July will be here soon. So, today, I wanted to write about having peace beyond understanding because I trust God.

Instead, I am rolled up in a ball on the floor writing on my tablet so I can write how even Christians have mental health issues. And they cannot just be “prayed away” although prayer certainly changes things. In between my night terrors about being homeless and having to live on the street, I am writing AS MUCH AS PHYSICALLY POSSIBLE my book about being real. About following your convictions so you can look in the mirror, which is why I told an editor last night to take my article down because they changed my wording and it did not reflect my ultimate goal of giving all glory to God. (The byline included my personal blog where I could eventually generate income if I get enough readers.)

I’m not giving up I will write my books every day, all day, getting published and out of poverty. My God has never failed me, and never will. In fact, this post will be another chapter in my book, The Christian Bohemian, Not Your Conventional Christian.

Arm Yourself

At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.     Luke 4:42,43

Unfortunately, it is 3pm.
I say `unfortunately’ because I have spent the entire day in severe anxiety. Nothing could calm me down. I am ruminating over surviving with the SSDI decrease. Worrying is causing psychosomatic symptoms of a stiff neck, tactile hallucinations, and hopelessness. The “what if’s” keep rolling in. My faith is wavering, which surprises me since I haven’t allowed external circumstances to steal my peace for awhile. This situation is killing me.
After trying numerous remedies to calm down, I finally opened my Bible. There I found comfort as God reminded me I typically start each day studying the Bible for a few hours. Today, I went straight to writing in attempts to generate income. I didn’t make time with God a priority.
Jesus started each day conversing with His Father explaining He had to fulfill His purpose of being sent to proclaim The Gospel. He went to find His duties for each day, and I am sure The Father strengthened Jesus with words of wisdom, a vivid perspective, and encouragement. In other words, meeting with Our Heavenly Father gives us all we need to fight the world’s battles each day.

By neglecting my Quiet Time, I failed to receive the necessary tools to face the day. So my day was wasted, not to mention painful. I will go directly to Him every morning hereinafter.

Take it from me- don’t go into the battlefield without your weapons.

So Scared

I am literally feeling like I am having a heart attack over this financial situation. I found out my neighbor who is also on Social Security Income is gone… he’s living on the streets. This is becoming so real to me.

I know I am a good writer. Somehow, I feel insecure about my writing when applying for paid writing jobs. I have assured my friends who are helping financially that I will find a freelance job by July. I have a list of websites looking for writers. I want to write for Christianity Today and other Christian websites… now, I am adding Disability sources for which to apply.

Why can’t I submit my query letter and application? I’m so scared. I am scared I won’t get a job and my friends will regret helping me. I am of being viewed as a moocher. I am afraid of homeless. I can’t calm down.

I wish my old mom was still around. I feel so alone, and I feel bad not keeping my faith. I want to escape by getting Xanax and drunk. I know it won’t solve anything, yet I can’t calm down.

Severe Anxiety

Severe anxiety- couldn’t even write, Curled up in a ball, grasping my pillow tight. I can’t calm down, try as I might. Crushed with uncertainty, overcome with fright. Drinking Margaritas, I start feeling alright. Wandering in darkness, I can’t find the light. Needing my Jesus… He’s no where in sight.
Alcohol calms me, alcohol balms me. Trying all my tricks, for anxiety to fix. Shaking yet stiff, fear just won’t lift. I need an escape, no more can I take.
While just recently wired, alcohol makes me tired. Relief from this strife, escaping my life.

God is Never Changing

I found out my SSDI has been cut by $400 due to the changes in the Affordable Care Act. I have no family and cannot live on this decreased wage. While I’m filing an appeal, the decision can take up to 45 days to finalize. I cannot survive on this wage, yet if I can pay June’s bills, I have time to find a freelance writing job. I am humbly asking, if you can help me at all, even $10, please PayPal me at Shellyfsu@gmail.com. Please. I will give all glory to God.

Yesterday, I stayed in bed all day weighed down by depression and severe anxiety. Disbelief, numbness, helplessness, and fear overwhelms me. I know God Is in control. But when I try fixing things myself, I drive myself crazy. I can’t breathe. I can’t function. I become worthless. Staying curled up in a ball isn’t the answer. Nothing gets solved. And I am neglecting life’s mission of glorifying God. Sadly, the opposite happens. I have to stop, breathe, and put things into perspective. The last book I read, “She Reads Truth” prepared me greatly for this season of life. Authors Rachel Meyers and Amanda Bible Williams write how God is our only constant. The world is ever changing.

As I experienced first-hand last week, our lives can be turned upside down at any moment. We ultimately have no security on this earth. God and His Word are our only constant – yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The authors cite verses that should (and often do) calm the chaotic turmoil in my heart, with God’s promises including:
“My peace I give you” – John 14:27
“You will be My people, and I will be your God” – Jeremiah 30:22
“The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever” – Isaiah 40:8
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away” Matthew 24:35.
And the verses go on and on. The bad news is we can only fully rely on God and His Word. The good news is that is all we need.

My dear friend shared this video with me, reminding me how strong Our Lord is, and how foolish I am not to trust Him with details of my life. Here is the link – Comforting Video

One Step Before the Other

Didn’t want to get out of bed as depression has fully materialized.  All of my mental illnesses have taken up residence, along with Crohn’s Disease. It hurts to live. Reality is sinking in.  Before turning to Jesus, the world took over my thought process. Catastrophic “what if’s” swooping in. I can’t do this.

Seeking  comfort from friends by reading Facebook status updates only made things worse. For example, I checked on a friend who’s facing the anniversary of her mother’s death… oh, she’s fine… she’s counting down to a luxurious vacation. So many negative thoughts revolve around my mind, I decide to take Jireh for a walk before starting my day.

Remembering God challenges me to bring my grievances to Him as He says in Isaiah 1:18, “Come, let us reason together…” I start by complaining about my financial situation, and feel God remind me, Shelly, why are you doubting me? Don’t you remember all the times I took care of you by paying off your car, taking care of your student loans, moving you into a nice apartment when you had nothing and was living out of your car… what about when you quit your counseling job due to having a mental breakdown? How quickly you forget! Trust me, My child. As far as you judging your friend’s trip while mourning her mother’s death, aren’t you being hypocritical as you get angry when people don’t understand why you have unexplainable peace when going through major trials? And about your bitterness that you cannot afford luxurious vacations… I have commanded you to set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. – Colossians 3:2. Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. –2 Corinthians 4:18. Instead of focusing on temporary things, I want you to finish the work I for which I created you.  As I have said in Colossians 3:23,24 – “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”.

Of course,  He was right, as always. I watched Jireh spying on squirrels in the magnificent Tallahassee trees, noting God also provided the means for me to relocate to my favorite city. Admiring my neighborhood walk,  I thanked God for my home, then for Jireh being happy and healthy. Now you know why I didn’t allow you to get a new puppy… you would have had to give him up. 

He continued by bringing numerous situations to mind, changing my ungrateful,  bratty attitude to showing me tangible ways He is in control. Trust me, Shelly. You are ready for the next step. Now is the time to put into practice all I have taught you. 

I realized I have spent so many years talking and planning how to use God’s gifts to me, I haven’t followed through until completion. Now is the time. Face it, I don’t have much more time on this earth. I want my life to count.

Needing Help ASAP Getting Service Dog Puppy

Okay, guys. The breeder sold all her Golden puppies and can’t afford to donate one to me. I need a puppy asap to start training while Jireh is young enough. Without a service dog, I will end up in a nursing home and I REFUSE TO GO TO A NURSING HOME. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME GET A 8 -10 WEEK OLD PUPPY. It will be covered medically after 6 months of age, so I need money for it’s initial vaccinations and getting it fixed. Average Golden puppies costs $1,800 when AKC certified with proper eye, hips, etc. examinations, so if I get one donated, I won’t need $2,300. I have someone who sent me a scholarship form to try paying for the puppy. URGENT – PLEASE HELP!
https://m.gofund.me/help-disabled-lady-stay-independent