I Can’t Fix It

It’s not my problem. I try to say that to myself but it doesn’t do much good.

My therapist tells me it’s not my problem to fix but if it doesn’t get better it will become my problem. So I have to basically just watch my world crumble beneath my feet. Anyone have a cigarette?

This past year has been troublesome, one thing after another has fallen apart. I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve laid awake with anxiety about what the future holds. I’ve never felt so unsure about what lies ahead, some people live this way and I don’t know how they do it. I like to know where the next check will come from and where we will be living.

I sound dramatic and believe me, in the past year I’ve tried to look on the bright side and that is the only way I made it to where I am now. I don’t know how much of that is optimism or denial, either way, whatever gets you to the other side.

I try to think of how we can cut down our life. We hardly ever go out to shows of any kind and we rarely ever go out for dinner, if we do it’s just breakfast at a little diner. The only bills we have are what everyone else has like electricity, mortgage, cable, food and of course credit cards. What does one do in this kind of situation? Do we start to live off of peanut butter and jelly and macaroni and cheese? Do we give up the internet? Do we live by candlelight?

These are the things that run through my mind and have been for a long time now. I’m afraid people look at us like it’s our fault, like it’s my husband’s fault he can’t find a job. I would give anything to go back to a year ago and have his job safe and sound. I would give anything to go back to living paycheck to paycheck. But what he’s trained for is just not in existence anymore, that is a fact. He’s really not trained to do anything else.

I only hope he can get a retail job and we can keep things afloat but how long do we do that? Surely that can’t last forever. I keep hoping that things will work themselves out, however that is. I’m just glad to know that in the end I can still come home to my husband and my 2 furkids.

At least I have that.


  1. Amanda

    February 4, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I’m sorry, honey. I’m sure people don’t think it’s your fault, obviously the economy is bad. There are a lot of talented people out there who are jobless, through no fault of their own

    1. Robin

      February 4, 2010 at 12:30 pm

      @Amanda, I know, I’m so sick of the immensity of the whole thing weighing me down.

  2. Jennifer Lynn

    February 4, 2010 at 11:13 am

    I have only had to experience that once. I know what you mean by “I don’t know how people do it?”…..I had a full blown panic attack just trying to figure out how to pay the bills. This sucks for you. I am sending good job karma your husband’s way!

    1. Robin

      February 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      @Jennifer Lynn, thank you so much. I feel oddly calm but I think I’m just keeping this calm so I don’t totally lose my mind.

  3. Barb

    February 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    You don’t at all sound dramatic. Your situation is very real and is common to many and is not your fault. Don’t get me wrong — I’m not downplaying it; just want to let you know it isn’t anyone’s fault, least of all yours. (((hugs)))

    1. Robin

      February 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm

      @Barb, I know girl, thank you so much. I just needed to vent and really share with everyone what I am going through right now.

  4. Barb

    February 4, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    I understand. E-mail me if you want.

  5. metalmom

    February 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    I feel your pain. We are discussing whether to cut back our phones (we actually have ‘bare bones’ plans.) I am sick of mac and cheese and last weeks “Meat sale” was a Godsend. With Holly ready for college, I am scared to death that I may have to speak the words, “maybe not now”. It would kill me.

    Chin up girl. I keep telling myself that my grandparents made it through the Depression with 11 kids. And they didn’t have near as much as we do today. We will get through it.

    1. Robin

      February 5, 2010 at 8:45 am

      @metalmom, I so badly want to get rid of our landline but the damn company keeps having these bundles where if we get rid of it it’s MORE money to get rid of the phone. I just don’t want to have anything we don’t need right now. Technically we don’t need DVR but I think I’d die without that. I keep telling myself we made it through his 3 year long divorce so we can make it through this.

  6. Maureen

    February 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    I think that what we’ll all learn during this recession is how to see the strawberries in our lives. Not just counting our blessings, but actually enjoying what is really beautiful right now, in spite of all that’s out of our control.

    A Parable

    Buddha told a parable in sutra:

    A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.

    Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

    (link above to blog I started a few weeks ago, but haven’t found time to build yet…)

    1. Robin

      February 5, 2010 at 8:46 am

      @Maureen, We keep telling ourselves, whatever happens is out of our control and is meant to be. if we lose the house then we do. We just have to deal from one moment to the next.

  7. Rachel

    February 5, 2010 at 8:40 am

    Bleh…I understand. You sound very calm and reasonable about the whole thing, though.
    We’re not exactly in the same situation, but Ryan is a student for another year and a half and I’m a teacher so we’re struggling. I got up the nerve to ask my landlord if he had any wiggle room in the rent last weekend and he said “For you, yes”. So, that was amazing! (He likes us because we’ve been here 2 and a half years, take care of the place, are never late with rent, don’t have parties, etc. in the middle of a lot of college kids who give him more trouble).
    We’re picking through our budget cutting $15 here, $20 there. We took a chainsaw to our grocery budget. I’m putting one student loan into forebearance and changing another to graduated payments. Sigh….
    Hope things start looking up for you soon.

    1. Robin

      February 5, 2010 at 8:50 am

      @Rachel, We’re definitely going to be cutting down on our food budget, which means I can’t be AS healthy but it also doesn’t mean I can’t cut back on food and try to make smart choices. My main issue is to try to come to terms with the entertainment to give up on. We have cable, dvr, phone, internet and netflix. Netflix is so cheap, it seems a shame to give that up and it’s cheaper than renting all that stuff but we can’t really cut back on any of the other things. I really need to sit down with our expenses.

  8. Tug

    February 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    It’s tough out there, that’s for sure…I took a good paycut last year, and as of Monday I’m taking a 20% cut; not sure how I’ll do it. Things have GOT to turn around; much luck!!

    1. Robin

      February 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      @Tug, they really really have to. i keep telling myself we’re in this for a reason.

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