Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Deep Explanation of High Stress

Yesterday evening was rough.  For some reason, about an hour or so before I left work, I started feeling agitated and irritated and my already low tolerance for stupidity got even lower.  I was stressed out because I already had a bank account balance of -$38 and I had rescheduled the payment for my health insurance to go out on May 2nd.  Anytime I have something scheduled to be taken out of my bank account, I do it for the day after I'm supposed to be paid so that I allow enough time to get to the bank and deposit my check since my work doesn't have direct deposit.  Well, as the 1st fell on a Sunday this month, I wasn't able to deposit my check until after work yesterday.  So I was expecting to get to the bank and have my account balance be somewhere around -$200 to account for the $140 that is my monthly insurance premium and the $30 fee for the insufficient funds. 

My plan had been to go home and grab Phoenix and then head over to the bank and then stop at my parents house for a little while.  However, because I was so preoccupied with doing the math in my head to figure out the next couple of months of finances, I accidentally got right on the highway instead of the back road to my house. I could have gotten off the highway at a certain point and made my way toward my house, but I needed to get to the bank by 6 and I was worried that I wouldn't make it if I did that.  So I just went straight to the bank and then home.

All this time, I was trying to figure out how I can save money each month - what expense I need to eliminate in order to be able to buy food for Phoenix and myself, and not have to depend on money from selling plasma (which apparently is not something to be depended upon, as something like high blood pressure one day can stop me from making the money). 

Going back to school is going to be an expense as well as a benefit.  I think.  From what I have researched, (and I might be completely wrong on this, I don't know) because no one else can claim me as a dependent, and because I made so very little money in the last couple of years, I should be eligible for the maximum amount of grants and student loans to help me pay for school.  Before, when my dad was claiming me as a dependent, student loans only covered part of my tuition and we had to pay the rest of it out of pocket.  But I should be able to get at least $4,000 in grants and I'm eligible for like $7,500 in student loans.  So I am fairly sure that I won't have to pay anything out of pocket for school, including books.  Plus, once I'm back in school, I can stop paying on the one student loan I've been paying on consistently for the past couple of years, and I can get the school's insurance, which I think can be paid for with grants and loans.  So in theory, I should have about $200 a month extra in my pocket.  However, in the long run, I'll be paying about $50 a month more on insurance than I'd be paying if I just kept my private insurance, I just won't be paying for it right now, out of pocket.  I'll be paying it with a student loan, and then repaying the student loan with interest in a few years.  So it's not super economical for me to do it this way.  There's a chance that the insurance will be paid with a grant, which I won't have to pay back, but I'm not counting on that. 

But here's the hang-up on that: I need to enroll in school in order to get all this stuff sorted out and set up, and there's a $200 enrollment fee, which I simply cannot pay right now.  My dad offered to pay it back in like March, but I told him I didn't want him paying for anything for me anymore.  I meant it, too.  I don't want their money.  I'm going to have to bite the bullet and ask if there's any way he can lend me the $200, though.  He almost certainly will be able to, but then there's a chance that I will have to wait until the middle of the month to get it, which is fine as far as enrollment goes, but then I'll have already paid my insurance premium for June, and then paying for school insurance on top of that will just be a waste.  So I sort of need to try and get this all figured out as soon as possible.  Which is the part that's stressing me out the most. 

I've already committed to working every Friday in May to make some extra money, and when that comes in, it will be great.  I will maybe even have a little bit of extra money to buy food.  Or a plane ticket to San Diego.  Or new contacts.  Or the Lupron depo shot I need to manage the endometriosis.  But until then, I'm really hanging on by a thread - or not even a thread - a hair, or a spider-web thread (which can be surprisingly strong, thank you National Geographic channel).  But until then, I'm struggling.  It's only May 3rd, and I have to wait until the 16th to be paid again.

The other thing that I'm sort of already trying to work out in my head is my Peace Corps plans.  I can't foresee any issues with my getting accepted (aside from having to do all the damn paperwork again), since now I have the experience they want me to have and I'll have the degree to go with it.  I know that I'll eventually have to start seeing my therapist again just because they're going to need a recommendation from her that my depression is managed to the point where I can be gone for two years without any risk.  I don't really think that should be a problem, either.  The problem is that I'm already trying to plan things out, when there's no real assurance that I will be accepted without any hiccups.  I'm going to be terribly disappointed if it doesn't work out for some reason, and even more disappointed when I have to (once again) re-evaluate my life situation and make new plans.  I've already started thinking about when I'm going to have to move out of the house I'm in now, and that I'm probably going to have to get a storage unit all my own for my stuff, and that I am going to sell my car and give my parents the money, and I'm going to sell all my other big stuff just for extra cash to give my parents (or to put away or invest) so that I am starting fresh when I come back.  I really shouldn't be thinking of this stuff yet because like I said, nothing is for sure.

Anyway, those are the things I was really working hard on in my head yesterday afternoon that put me in a terrible mood and made me feel extremely stressed out.  I thought about just letting it take me over and panicking and crying for a little while to see if that helped at all, but I managed to stifle that thought.  When I got home, I changed my clothes and took Phoenix straight over to Walmart to pick up my birth control (which I have to refill every three weeks instead of every four).  I had to use money I've already allocated elsewhere for the $9 it cost, which is going to throw everything else off now, but I didn't have a choice.  I had already missed one day and when I miss even ONE day, I start getting cramps and bleeding more heavily.  When we got back home, I had a couple of choices: I could do the usual thing and sit on my bed and watch TV all night while thinking about all the other things I could have done, or I could take Phoenix on a walk.  I have been really avoiding walking Phoenix ever since I moved to this house, because Lafayette is very strict about it's dog-leash laws (or so I've heard) and I hate keeping Phoenix on a leash because I feel like he doesn't actually get any exercise (and also he's not leash-trained).  But I said, just fuck it, and took him up to the little park that's a couple blocks from our house.  Off leash the whole way.  And it was fine.  We didn't run into any other dogs (when we do and he's off leash, I show respect by putting his leash back on because even though I know he's friendly and submissive, he's big and not everyone else knows that), and he got to run and sniff and we even found a couple of dead squirrels for him to sniff since he's not been able to catch one yet and he loves to chase them.  It gave me some time to think and breathe and be reflective and relax.  When I got home, I didn't feel tons better, but I did feel a little bit better.  And today I'm taking some pride in making a good decision in managing my mood yesterday.  I could have really broken down.  I could have let it consume me and I didn't.  I think that's progress.

So I'm in a much better mood this morning.  I really didn't want to get up, and I hadn't showered last night or planned what I was wearing or done anything in preparation and usually that makes me late, but somehow I even had time to do extra makeup and accessorize, and I made sure Phoenix ate some breakfast before I left, which is a chore in itself (he eats so slowly!!).  When I was leaving my street, I saw Pancho, who is the sort of manager of the entire Trebol soccer club - which is the club I used to coach for and Pancho also is the manager of the adult recreational soccer league I play for.  He was driving out of the neighborhood and I realized that we must be neighbors!  Also, it was a really pretty morning, and then I heard a story on the radio about a guy in the town where Kate used to live and I got all reminiscent of visiting her there.  So by the time I got to work my mood was pretty decent.  Hopefully nothing else happens today that will change it significantly, but I never know, and I try to stay open minded.  Even though I generally HATE Tuesdays with the fire of ten thousand suns.

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