Thursday, May 16, 2013

Unemployment: Making it Work

Unemployment is a weird little monster. Some days are good, you apply for jobs, you clean the house, and you work on projects. Other days are not so good; those are the days when you feel useless. When you don’t want to do anything but sleep and you are sure that you are never going to work again. For me the bad days are even harder. For me, on the bad days, it is not just the stress of the bills that still need to be paid, or the loneliness of the days spent by myself. For me, each day that I am unemployed it feels like a threat to my Independence, a threat to everything I have worked so hard to overcome.

Independence is a capital letter word in my vocabulary; growing up it was the most important thing, and to some degree still is. It was the reason for everything; for the hours of physical and occupational therapy, for the almost countless surgeries, for the IEP’s and the other three letter acronyms in my life (MRS, AFO, SSI, CIL). Independence meant that I had made it, that I had shrugged off every doubt, every low expectation and I had made it. I had survived, I had overcome, and I had beaten my disability.

Now on the bad days, I feel like that independence is slipping away. I know it has only been a month, but I am starting to worry about what I will do if I don’t find another job; if my unemployment runs out and I find myself depending on Tom for everything.  I depend on Tom for a lot already, he is my main source of transportation, but I have always had my own money. I have always paid my own bills and been able to buy the things I needed or wanted without having to ask someone else for it. 

I am also starting to feel trapped. I cannot drive, I live too far to access public transportation and my interaction with others is now limited to the ladies in my weekly quilting class, Taden, the cats and my husband who has been working as much overtime as possible to make up for my lack of income. On the bad days, I feel lonely, friendless and pathetic.

In order to keep the bad days at bay, I am trying to stay busy. I drag myself out of bed even if sleeping all day seems much more appealing. I have my coffee. (I am quickly becoming an addict, something I never managed to do while I was working in the traditional sense.) I spend the morning writing and looking for jobs. I am currently working on a Children’s book as well as a narcissistic, non-fiction novel based on this blog, both of which I intend to e-publish. In the afternoons I focus on my other creative endeavors. I have set up a website where I can sell my photography, and I am working on new quilts along with setting up an etsy site to (hopefully) sell them.

Of course there is still that little voice in my head telling me no one will buy any of my work and that all this time will have been wasted; but I took a crutch to her teeth last week, that voice is mostly garbled now.
I have no idea if any of this will amount to something, but it keeps me in control of my situation, it keeps the fear and isolation at bay. Plus, if this does work out, what better way for me to define Independence than by making a living on my own terms, my own talents?

If you are interested in checking out my photography please click here. If you can’t buy, leave a comment. I would love to hear your feedback.


  1. Is your link to your photographs current? When I clicked on the link you gave, it shows the domain being for sale. I could not bring-up your photographs searching the site.

    Well-put of the battles that being without a traditional cash-providing "job" entails. The term "unemployed" is the oxymoron to top all oxymorons....

    Stay strong, focused, and best of luck! :)

    1. is the correct link for you. Hope that helps!

    2. Thank you Christy. That link does work.

  2. Hey, my name is Lisa and I want to get in contact with you. I would like to discuss with you about possibly blogging for us. Email me at If you want, you can check us out at and read about how we got started. Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Hi Melissa,
    Totally unrelated blog here, but you seem to be the girl who may be able to offer me some advise. Firstly, I have no disability (which is why I need help!).
    A few years back, being an engineer, I was asked to strip down a wheelchair, clean it all up and spray it especially for a bride. It did look very good and after some recent research (discovering a total lack of availability), I was thinking about starting a rental business for wedding chairs.
    My question : Do you think this is feasible or would most chair users opt for the own? There are obviously loads of different variants but I was thinking a standard self propelled to start proceedings and see where it took me. Any thoughts or advice would be fab and gratefully received.

    1. Hi There,

      Renting blinged out wedding wheelchairs would be great for brides that, unfortunately, injure themselves before their big day. Brides who already use a wheelchair would want to use their own chair. However, you could look into ways to bling out existing chairs the way I did for my wedding and market that as another option. Check out my chair here:

  4. Love your blog because I can relate with what you write; I have CP,too. I nominated for a Liebster Award. For more info check