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I am totally stressed out

I’ve had a fair level of stress since the fire, naturally. While I don’t try to make myself miserable, I do accidentally think about the things I don’t have anymore pretty much every day. Something will remind me of something else. Today I almost burst into tears in the middle of Wal-Mart because they have Christmas stuff out, and I don’t have a home to decorate for Christmas or a kitchen to make cookies in or a table to build gingerbread houses on.

I’d been doing better recently. I have, for the most part, settled into life at the in-laws’. It’s not perfect, but nothing is. I’m doing my part to cook and clean and otherwise stay out of the way, and it’s going okay–pretty good, actually, since Mom got me the laptop desk and I got myself a bike. Having those things lends my life a sense of normalcy. (Plus the bike’s good for working off nervous energy.)

However, I still don’t have a good schedule for myself, and I still don’t have a job, and those things are worrying me more and more.

You’d think with all the generosity of our friends and family, and with the fact that we are living rent-free, that we’d have a sizeable sum saved up by now, and that we’d be well on our way towards buying a house. This morning Sean said to me, “We’re not managing to save any money. We might have to go back to an apartment.”

Where is all the money going? This is what concerns me, because we lived on Sean’s salary in the apartment for nine months of our marriage–we were able to pay rent and utilities and still feed ourselves, though we couldn’t do much else. Now we have far fewer expenses and more money (Sean’s had a raise since then), so why are we struggling?

Part of it is that we bought laptops. Last month we used much of Sean’s paycheck and some of our savings to pay them off completely…which of course meant that rather than saving money, we spent it. This month I bought my bike.

To be fair, I did some freelance work that covers both the bike and a small but unexpected medical bill. The deposit hasn’t cleared the bank yet, so maybe that makes it look like we don’t have very much money. I don’t know.

What I do know is I am growing more and more unhappy and feeling more and more like a loser. I do “contribute to the household”: if I didn’t cook, Sean would eat nothing but ramen and fast food. And I run all the errands and do all the shopping. But I’m not doing enough…what I really need to be doing is working.

So I’m feeling more and more stress about finding a job, even though I have been sending out applications left and right. Meanwhile, I’m having trouble concentrating on my three new freelance projects.

Hell of a time to try to write a novel.