You know what they say about getting complacent?? Yes, it's damned dangerous ~ you relax and think that maybe, this time, it really WILL be ok. Cue cynical laughter please.
For those of you who know me, you will know that I have struggled on and off for years with the dark demon of depression and that I am also very good at hiding it ~ so good that last time I got as far as suicidal before anyone found out.
I don't know if it is a common theme but I am also very very bad at asking for help, it's a mixture of pride, stupidity and ADHD "Head in the Sand" mentality. A pretty dodgy combination when life is OK, and a potentially lethal one for a single Mother with no support. I have some amazing friends and they have been there for me in so many ways but still the little voices in my head stop me coming clean and saying "Help me please" because, as the little voices tell me, if I stop being good old Nicki then nobody will like me enough to stick around and help. Those little voices are terrible companions.
So, since I last wrote I have changed jobs ~ not getting paid month after month gets old pretty quickly ~ and have made an attempt to start dealing with my debts and the general chaos that infests my life. I also dropped my guard and allowed myself to believe that just maybe life would improve.
Can we spot the Schoolgirl error? The thing that I, as an ADHD sufferer, was unable to work out? The basic fact is that when the immediate horror is lifted my brain becomes caught up in the next thing and I lose sight of things that still require my attention ~ and funnily enough that doesn't mean the problem goes away, it means it comes back bigger and better after a time.
The current horrors ~ a letter from the Council telling me they have applied to a Magistrate for me to be sent to Prison for unpaid Council Tax, a Final Demand from the bank regarding my overdraft and several other unpaid bills that are rearing their heads. Ironically now I am being paid properly I am WORSE off than I was, because everyone can get to me for money now, and Oh Boy, are they doing so..
I have found out I can apply for something called a Debt Relief Order ~ effectively going bankrupt, but cheaper ~ and I WANT to do it, no, I NEED to do it, but in order to achieve this I need to organise the paperwork, find out exactly who I owe and how much, get in to see the Citizens Advice Bureau (no mean feat in Rochdale, no appointments means you start to queue outside from 8am for 10am opening and the hope you are in the first 3 or 4 people as they are the only ones who get seen).
Now, I know you are all saying "Well crack on and do it then" ~ and you're all right, I should do ~ but the pernicious nature of ADHD is such that I have totally frozen and cannot deal with any of it. Add in the fact that I know I am plummeting back down into the abyss of depression (Lord knows why!!) and maybe you can start to understand.
So, I continue to make jokes about "Oh this time next week I'll be in Prison" whilst not being completely sure that it wont actually be the case. I convince the kids it's fun to buy a weeks food, including packed lunches, for under £20 and that no, we really DON'T need the heating on (nothing to do with having no money to put on the Gas Card of course).
When I go out, I rely on the kindness and generosity of my friends; buying a bottle of wine is a distant memory and I have even stopped smoking (apart from the very odd slip up). I am even in the worst of positions that I owe dear friends money.. and that, above all, kills me.
So, I am going to do something I genuinely cannot do in "real life" ~ I am asking for help. Not "good advice" or "a shoulder to cry on" but honest to God HELP. The text of a letter I can send to the bank, information of how to deal with the Council, someone prepared to help by acting as my Mediator.
I am scared, really I am, and ashamed, I don't enjoy parading my inadequacies in public as a general rule. I know that this blog post will give certain people more ammunition but I can't worry about that now, my immediate problem is more important.
Please don't judge me for my failings, judge me on my sincere desire to sort this out and move forward. And always remember the saying "There, but for the grace of God.."