Rent

[Trigger Warning: anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation]

On the first of March, I will officially be six months behind on my rent. My landlord has been very kind and patient with me thus far, but he can't afford to allow my six-year-old daughter and me to continue living here without payment. After losing all of my income at the beginning of November, 2013, I've kept up a relatively consistent job search. Up until now I've only been able to find a part-time job, and the most I've been able to do financially is avoid having my utilities shut off. I'm continuing my search, and I will keep applying to more positions until I get one, but even if I were to land a high-paying dream job tomorrow, it would still take several months for me to catch up on everything, and I need to make this rent situation right sooner than that.

I've been struggling with depression and anxiety for some time now. I'm better now than I was a little over a year ago when I took myself to Netcare (the local crisis center) for severe depression and suicidal ideation, and I haven't gotten quite that low since, but I am by no means well. We lost our public assistance benefits at the end of November, 2013, and I've been working on getting them back since then. Due to losing Medicaid, I am off-meds, and there are days when it is all I can do to pull myself together enough to function at work so that I can at least bring home a paycheck. My daughter gets half a parent on those days instead of the two I should be, and everything else sits on the back burner until I can function beyond the absolute bare minimum again. I've actually come pretty far in my climb out of the pit (I like to think of it as "the pit of despaaaair" ala the albino in Princess Bride, because laughing about it helps me hurt less), but I still have a long way to go before I'm out.

I've spent the last several years struggling to climb out, sometimes clawing my way up at a snail's pace, and though I've backslid more times than I can count, I'm much higher now than I was even a year ago. I've made it a point to keep picking myself back up after I fall down, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and still more overs again and again because what else am I going to do, quit?

I can't give up; I'm my baby girl's only mommy, and I could never take that away from her. She needs me, so I need to get better, but I need help doing so. Quitting life is not an option for me. That's the firm conclusion on which I'm basing this and future actions to get my life back on track. I lost control, let too many things go for too long, and I can't fix it all on my own, no matter how hard I try, or how ashamed I am to admit it. Of course there are things I feel that I need to fix myself, that no one else can or should have to help me with. This rent situation is not one of them, because it's hurting someone else who shouldn't have to suffer for my mistakes, not to mention putting my child (who really shouldn't have to suffer for my mistakes, yet does more than anyone else) and myself at risk of homelessness.

I can't promise to pay back any help that I receive at this time; catching up my rent is only one piece of the overall financial hole I'm in. A big piece, but by no means all of it. It's a big enough piece that paying it off will give me a strong advantage towards full recovery, both emotional and financial, but it's a boost up, not an airlift out. I can, however, promise to pay it forward when my situation improves. I already know that I'm capable of great things, especially where charity is concerned; before the breakdown that landed me in Netcare, I conceived of, planned, and organized a Flying Spaghetti Monster benefit dinner for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank that was so successful that volunteers were motivated to make it an annual event, and the second dinner was even more successful than the first (though I had little-to-nothing to do with the planning process the second time around, due to my mental and emotional state at the time). In terms of my recovery, I say "when," not "if," because I have no intention of giving up and for that reason alone I know that I'll get there eventually. I would greatly appreciate any amount of help that people can give to help me recover and get my life back on track. Please.
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Organizer

Diana Cunningham 
Organizer
Columbus, OH
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