Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What if it all came to an end? Would you be able to last a month in my shoes?

You ever feel like you are swimming, just trying to keep your head above water. You know there is a goal, a point to get to, but every time you start to swim, a big wave washes over you, and you get pushed back even farther from the goal. As you are struggling for your very life, you realize maybe no one can hear you. Some don't care to hear of your struggle. Some can hear you struggle, but turn their heads away at the cry for help. Some can hear, but can't help you. Some can hear, but can only wade so far into the water. You finally understand that this is it for you, you are drowning in the very existence called life and that it can be the death of you. 


Imagine feeling like this everyday. Imagine that you don't have your wonderful job. Imagine that you have don't have your healthy bank account. Imagine that you have absolutely no medical problems. Imagine that your spouse/ partner and your children never have get sick or have pre-existing conditions. Not certain what I mean or can hardly fathom that happening. Lets try some thing else.

Imagine you have a wonderful job. That job pays every single bill and leaves money left over each week to build up your savings account. Imagine that job pays for sick and vacation days. That job also provides great medical coverage for you and your family. You only need to go to that job 5 days a week for exactly 8 hours a day. If you go over your 40 hours a week, you get paid time an a half. Now, remember that job paid a nice wage to allow you to save up. You have money in your account for fun adventures with your family or maybe your car simply gets a flat tire. Either way, you can say, "I have that covered." 
Imagine that you have children and they came into this world healthy. Imagine while growing up they had no medical problems or if they did your health insurance covered it. Imagine that you and your spouse never get sick either. Imagine that no one in your family has pre- existing conditions such asthma, allergies, depression, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, autism, down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, etc... Imagine that you really have no worries. 

Now, imagine that I'm going to take it all away. That's right, I'm going to rip the rug out from under you. Your job that pays so well and has such great benefits. THAT'S GONE! You now work for minimum wage barely able to put food on the table. Your health care? THAT'S GONE, too. You can't afford to pay for there packages because then you can't pay your bills. Your sick and vacation days, you ask. Well, those are GONE, too. The company doesn't care about your health. All they care about is making sure you work your shift. They can't make money if you aren't working. But, you still have over time pay to look forward too, right? WRONG! Your job says screw you. Your job says nope. I need you to work 60 hours a week for minimum wage. I'm also not going to pay you for the 20 hours of overtime you did either. Oh, by the way, you might get 1 day off a week. Oh and forget about saving any money. You literally have no money left after your bills are all paid. Some bills might not even get paid because you don't make enough. 

Keep imagining I took your job, health benefits, sick and vacation days, and your whole bank account from you. Now imagine you have kids. Imagine little johnny falls off the slide at school and broke his arm. You now need to bring him to the doctor. Imagine being in the E.R. and the registration office says I'm sorry, you need insurance, or they treat him but you receive a huge bill a week later. Imagine you have a child who was born with congenital heart failure. Your child need health insurance, but due to his pre- existing condition, he can't get it or the premium is higher due to that condition. Imagine you or your spouse also have pre-existing conditions. Maybe you have diabetes and your spouse has asthma. You are still going to pay a higher premium or might be able to get insurance at all. How does all this feel to you so far? Sucks right about now, doesn't it?

So, that's all in your head, right? Now, imagine you try to get insurance and are successful but your monthly rate is $400. That might just be your individual rate. That rate could be $600 if for a family. Now imagine you only get paid $500 a week. You work 50 hours or more a week. Your check though will never go over $550. Your bosses make sure of that. Now imagine you have to pay rent/ mortgage, phone, car payment, car insurance, gas for your car, gas and electric for your house, internet, food, and your health insurance. All these bills add up to say $2500 a month, but you only make $2000 a month. Now, imagine bill collectors calling you wanting their money. Imagine your phone and internet being shut off. Imagine your car gets taken away, so now you longer need insurance and gas money. Remember though, no car means you now need money to take a bus to work. Imagine, not being able to put food on the table to feed your family. Now, imagine being homeless. Imagine you work so hard at your job it's just not enough. 


Imagine that you deal with all of this and try to put a smile on your face. Imagine, that you try to find a better job out there and get kicked on your ass. Imagine, that you ask for help and are repeatedly denied. Now, imagine that you are doing all you can to succeed and get ahead, but you get told that your situation is your own fault. Imagine, people telling you that if you didn't want a low paying job you shouldn't have taken it. Imagine people telling you, that if you couldn't provide for your children, then you shouldn't have had them.

Imagine everyone telling you that your best isn't good enough. Imagine people telling you that no matter how hard you try, you will never be successful. Imagine people telling you that they can't or won't even try to help out because you shouldn't have gotten yourself into this mess in the first place. 

Now, try to imagine you deal with all of that and you deal with depression. Take all of what was ripped from you and times the experience by 100. Can you imagine it now? It's debilitating. It hurts. To be told all you are doing will never be good enough. To watch as your bills pile up with no end in sight, while your bank account sits at zero. Watch as you ask for help, and very few people offer to help. The ones that do help can only offer words of encouragement and not help you financially. 

Imagine all this and more. If what you gained from this was nothing and a sense that this person deserves the situation they are in, then my apologies, to your parents for not teaching you about empathy. If all you gain from this is a deeper understanding of what poverty ridden people go through, then I did what I set out to do. I set out to help you understand what poverty really looks like and to always help those in need. 

Best wishes, Michelle

11 comments:

  1. Wow, this post should definitely make people stop and think. You did a great job writing it. It is true that this is what a lot of people go through. My dad used to have a Bible Study group that met in a poor neighborhood, and I learned a lot about poverty from them growing up.

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    1. Thank you. I really hope my message gets out there.

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  2. Depression is really hard, especially when things don't work out the way you imagine them.

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    1. If someone is struggling with poverty and they have depression on to of that, it definitely doesn't help the situation any better. It really can make the emotions you feel 10 fold.

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  3. Yes.... I don't have to imagine, that's my life too! Awesome writing Michelle!

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    1. Thank you. It's hard to imagine we still have poverty in this day and age, but the numbers don't lie. An estimated 43.1 million Americans live in poverty.

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  4. You got me thinking for a moment.poverty and depression walk hand in hand. You definately captured my attention

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    1. unfortunately these do go hand in hand. It's heartbreaking

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  5. We should always try to see other people around us not just ourselves no matter of our material and well being status. :)

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