Life can be unpredictable, which can lead to amazing moments, but it can also lead to tough and challenging times. Tough times often build tough people. However, getting through that tough times can seem too big of a task. When life gets tough, it is essential to remember that it is okay to ask for help, that tough times happen to everyone, and you are stronger than you realize. These are things I had to tell myself in 2017. The summer of 2017 was one of the hardest times of my life. I was broke, depressed, and ashamed to ask for help. Get ready because it is storytime.
For some back story, when I graduated college in 2016, I was determined to go off and live this fabulous life I dreamed of. I was going to graduate with my degree, get a fantastic job in the city, have a fly ass apartment, and live my life like a fab sitcom. And I did…or attempted to…
I moved to Raleigh the day after I graduate with a "promising" job at a "marketing firm" to my "fly ass" apartment to begin my "fab" life.
A LOT of quotation marks, right? RIGHT!! So here is the real real
I moved into a cheap apartment in a questionable neighborhood – I mean a lady got mugged in my apartment complex parking lot – with a job that ended up falling through THE DAY I SIGNED MY LEASE. Luckily, I found another "promising job," which was me standing in a retail store (Walmart, Sam's Club, Best Buy. Etc) for HOURS multiple times a week, asking people if you would like AT&T cable service.
I am not saying that job is horrible but it not for me!
So, I quit! In my mind, I have this brand-new business degree, meaning I can get any job I want, right?
After applying around in July 2016, I ended up getting a job at a call center working for Blue Cross Blue Shield as a tele-insurance agent. After a few months, I got an offer at a logistics firm for a sales/marketing position with great pay and excellent benefits. Sept 2016, I started at the logistics firm; everything was going well. I was making good money, being social, things we great. UNTIL...
Feb 2017, I GOT LAID OFF!
Never in my life would I think that at the age of 22, I would get laid off. I thought that shit only happened to people in their 40s.
This is where I think my depression started, and everything went downhill.
I applied to be the marketing assistant at an amazing nonprofit that tutors low-income kids. I loved that job. I got to use the marketing skills that I developed in college, BUT I was making peanuts. It was a nonprofit, so they couldn't pay me a lot, but I loved the work, so I got a second job at Target to help with the bills. Whenever I wasn't at the nonprofit, I was at Target and vice versa.
I was not social, I was BARELY making ends meet, I was paying bills with my credit cards with no idea how I was going to pay that bill either, and whenever I did have a day off, I would stay in the house and play video games. I WAS STRUGGLING.
BY THE WAY, I was lying to everyone that I was doing great. Whenever I talked to my mom, granny, or friends, I would tell them EVERYTHING IS GREAT knowing that was a whole ass lie!!!
I did this for 4 MONTHS! Crying in my car from being so tired from working multiple jobs and side gigs to make ends meet, only eating two times a day sometimes because I couldn't afford three meals that day, lying to my family and friends. I remember crying on my MF Birthday.
I WAS DEPRESSED AND BROKE AND FELT SOOO ALONE!!! My life wasn't supposed to be like this.
Then I broke down
In July 2017, I could not afford my rent. I had maxed out all my credit cards, I had only a few hundred in the bank, and I had no idea what to do. I balled up in my closet crying my eyes out thinking about how all I wanted to do was disappear, I wanted to leave and hide where no one could find me, and honestly, I wanted to die. Death felt easier than telling my family I failed.
BUT THANK GOD
Something in my heart told me to pick up the phone and call my family. I called my Godmother, who was with my grandmother, and I just started crying and telling them the whole truth about me struggling and being broke.
My grandmother called my mother and told her to leave work right now because they were coming to Raleigh to get me. THANK GOD FOR MY AMAZING FAMILY.
I moved back SC feeling like a failure and honestly being a bit depressed there but with my family and friends' support. I made it through. I got a new job, saved some money, and got back on my feet.
That summer was one of the toughest times in my life, but it was in those moments that I figured so much about myself and learned my most valuable lessons. I learned that it is okay to ask for help, that everyone struggles and I learned hard lessons about finances.
I realized I am stronger than I give myself credit for, and most importantly, my friends and family will love me NO MATTER WHAT – not everyone can say that.
Tough times are difficult, but having a support group in your corner, you can get through it and come out stronger on the other side.
Share some of your tough times and tough lessons in the comments below. Let's support each other!!
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