There are times in our lives when financial pressures will be a heavy burden and discussing them will only add to the darkness so we say nothing.
I have been financially struggling since I became a single parent several years ago. When we have children, we rarely do so expecting to be tackling it solo someday. I seldom talk about my financial struggles due to the intense shame that I feel about it. The anxiety I’m feeling as I write this is hard to put into words, even for a writer.
Asking for help and support is difficult for most of us to do but so is accepting it, on the rare occasion it is offered, due to pride. I seem to go to the wrong people to ask for assistance, although I generally don’t recognize that they are the wrong people until it is too late and I am left feeling I shouldn’t have asked in the first place. I first approach those I feel have a responsibility to help and unfortunately receive responses saying that help is not going to be offered because nothing is owed to me.
There are also those out there we encounter who seem willing to help but want us to justify our entire existence before they help, those who want only to give with expectations and some who will do nothing more than shame and judge us for reaching out. With each negative response, it becomes more and more difficult to ask for help—it becomes harder to approach what could be the right person.
I began writing about two years ago—I’ve had many articles published and poetry published in two books. I love it and it brings me so much joy, but I have struggled to find a way to use my voice because my voice is something that has been suppressed for as long as I can remember. When there are also unique challenges like anxiety, social anxiety and depression, it adds to the difficulties of putting ourselves out there to ask for help in the first place. Challenges such as these are tough speed bumps to surpass for anyone.
I started writing for a specific blog because they offer a blogging course, which once complete I thought would result in a position as a blogger. I had mistakenly assumed that once I had accrued the required articles and views on those articles that the course was offered for free and because it seems that so much of our world seems to revolve around money, I should have known that just like with everything else in this world, unless you have money, you’ve got nothing.
Checking with fellow writers, I was heartbroken to find out that the course still costs several hundred dollars to take, regardless of having accrued the needed articles and views and for the first time in forever, I was honest about my financial challenges and assumed that this would result in an ‘I’m sorry to hear that,’ or some other generic response just like every other time I’ve chosen to venture past the grips of my shame.
Instead this time I was met with something different. A woman who has never met me in person, and who owes me absolutely nothing offered to help me to cover the cost. Unfortunately, I declined, not just because of shame in this case, but because I can’t afford to invest the time right now either. Days are fill with a struggle to keep food in my home and a roof over my head as I fight my way through the disability application process.
Regardless of having to decline, the offer did something that is truly priceless to me—It helped me to realize that there are those that will choose to support me, even when I feel unworthy of that support. I was reminded of the fact that we are worth more than the limits and barriers that we face and that we matter, even to a person who has basically nothing in which to gauge our worth by. This lovely woman that made the offer has brought light to the sometimes overwhelming darkness of my struggle—her kindness and compassion literally warmed my heart. She gave me courage when I most needed it, and the selflessness modeled literally blew me away. She empowered me.
Maybe the writing position I was hoping to break into isn’t the right fit for me, and being stonewalled is not the travesty I feel like it is, and maybe there’s another option somewhere I’ve yet to find. I would like, and I try to believe, there’s purpose behind even the toughest of struggles we face. I know that at some point, life will get easier, that there are always ups and downs, but I’ve been reminded that no matter how alone I feel in the down times, I am never alone, nor am I meant to force myself to suffer in silence.
There is always a kind heart and a helping hand somewhere.
So, if you’re struggling, whether it’s financially or emotionally, never give up hope, and never stop asking for the help and support you need—never allow negative responses from the wrong people to keep you from finding the right people.
Author: Amanda Dobby
Amanda Dobby is an artist, writer, poet and a free range mommy and wild woman. She loves adventuring and dancing with her two beautiful children, tenderly exploring and contemplating Mother Nature in all of her seasons and glory, cooking up storms in the kitchen, getting lost in philosophical books and passionately scribbling words onto pages somewhere in between all the magical madness that is life.