Life Update

Well, I’m back with a bit of a life update. I wrote my last blog a couple weeks ago now, and wanted to let you all know how things have been going since then. I’ve been extremely busy, I feel like this month has flown by and I haven’t had a moment to catch my breath!

I left off telling you that I was on a deadline to pay the back-rent that I owed, in addition to the current month’s rent. I had been working really hard to come up with the money, though I hadn’t saved enough at the time I wrote the blog. After I posted it, so many people wrote to me with words of encouragement, many ordered jewelry from my shop, and some even sent me money through PayPal without asking for or expecting anything in return. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the response I got – I didn’t think many people would read the blog in the first place, let alone care about the mess I had gotten myself into.

I had spent months feeling completely alone, like no one in the world really cared about what I was going through, and I was too embarrassed to admit I was struggling, let alone reach out for, or accept help. I was so nervous about opening up and showing my weaknesses that it took me several attempts to even write a blog, or record a video. I thought everyone would see me as a failure — I didn’t expect for people to embrace me, to lift me up, to offer help and kindness and friendship. I’ve been rejected and let down so much in the recent months, that I had all but given up on humanity… But I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad I decided to open up and vent about what I was going through. It not only lifted a great weight off my shoulders, but it let me know I wasn’t alone, because so many people reached out to me offering support.

I can’t put into words just how touched and grateful I am for the love I have received. Reading your messages, emails, snaps and comments gave me strength, made me feel better, and kept me going when all I wanted to do was hide.

Because of the people who so generously purchased jewelry from my shop, and the people who donated money to me via PayPal, I was able to walk into my landlord’s office with enough leverage to convince them to let me stay. Without you, I would have been homeless right now, and that is no exaggeration.

The landlord agreed that if I had all of the back-rent AND current rent paid by the end of July (which is soon), that the eviction notice would be ripped up. I am still saving to pay rent at the end of the month, but after that is paid, I will officially be out of the huge, huge hole I dug myself in and have been slowly being buried alive in for the past 5 months.

The good news is that I had one interview yesterday for a work-from-home job that I have had my eye on for a while, and it went really well! I am supposed to be hearing back from HR by the end of the week! Not only that, but I applied for another work-from-home job that I am hoping to get an interview with as well, I think I have a pretty good shot, and it’s another I’ve been eyeing for a while and waiting for the right opportunity. If I am successful at securing one of those jobs (I’m confident I will! Positive thoughts!) then I will make a new, updated blog post and YouTube video about working from home, and how to find legitimate work from home jobs. It’s been a couple years since I made that video and I have a few new tips and tricks.

I have also been working really hard at re-vamping and ramping up my jewelry business, Ancora Jewelry. One of my passions is working for myself and I do hope that my jewelry will take off and I’ll be able to support myself solely with my jewelry business and blogging/vlogging alone, but until that time I will still need to supplement my income and that’s why I am applying for various jobs that I can do until I am truly back on my feet.

So, I’m not out of the weeds yet, but I am going to keep going until I am. It’s been a hard couple of months with a lot of sacrifices (I even had to go to the food bank and wait in line for hours to get some free food being handed out, because I hadn’t eaten in days! This has all been a lesson in pride, let me tell you.) I do think that I have learned from this and hopefully one day I can look back and know that I grew from the hardships – but I could have never done it alone… No, without you all, I know I’d be homeless right now. I don’t know what would have happened to me. I owe everything I have right now to the kindness and generosity and goodness of other people, some who I have never spoken directly to in my life… I don’t know what I ever did to deserve such support, but I am grateful for it every day.

Before I go, I also wanted to let you know that since I relapsed about a month ago, I have not self-injured. I made the video and somehow that did help me to feel accountable to people who are rooting for me. Sure, I have had self-harm urges, and lots of rough patches where I didn’t handle it the best I could, but I did not resort to self-injury to get through it, and that is a win. Even when it feels like I’ve been fighting a losing battle, I KNOW that is a win. 🙂

I just uploaded a new video to update those who have not read my blog on some of the details I left out of my relapse video – I talk a little about the eviction, I talk a lot about the outpouring of love and support I received after blogging about my struggles, I even mention how I’ve had falling out with friends and tell you guys something I’ve never talked about before… It’s a super awkward moment in the video but I didn’t edit it out – I figure that it ties into why my life has been a nightmare lately… So if you watch it, I hope you enjoy it. I have a few more videos recorded and they should be up soon.

As always, leave any suggestions or feedback you have, I love to hear it! And again, thank you so much for the support, for everyone who simply read my blog or watched my video, thank you for taking the time to listen to me vent. Thank you for caring, when it felt like nobody did. Thank you for being there, when it felt like nobody was. Thanks for always having my back, and for holding me up. Hell, thanks for digging me out of the hole I dug. You all are amazing, and I am blessed to have each and every one of you in my life.

Sending you love and positive energy xoxoxox

-Christie

 

 

 

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Self Injury Relapse, Eviction …and Catfishing?!

Hello, blog readers! Welcome back, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I like to use this blog to write longer updates and more detailed posts than what you’ll see on Facebook, so thanks for being here.

Many people have asked me what’s been going on in my life, because I’ve been really down lately, and only post bits and pieces about it on social media. I’m sure some of you are wondering what actually led to me getting an eviction notice, and why I relapsed and self-injured for the first time in over 5 years… So, let’s talk about it:

First thing’s first – I was laid off from my [work from home] right before the new year, and coincidentally my rent was raised right after that. Long story short, I wasn’t able to pay my rent one month, and my landlord agreed to let me make payments, since I’d never been late or missed rent before. My payments were fairly small – $20 here, $50 there… But before I could get another job and repay it all, the landlord started demanding the full amount immediately, even though we agreed that I could make payments when I was able to, and there was no set-date or time to have it repaid. At that time I was just making it by paying my current rent and bills, and could not repay the entire amount in addition to that. I was completely overwhelmed and started to suffer really badly with anxiety and depression, and I basically shut down.

Fast Forward to the middle of last month, and I received an official eviction notice. I’d been working so hard with my jewelry business, and trying to find another job (which is harder when you are only able to work from home), but it felt like nothing was enough. My family doesn’t believe in mental illness, so I couldn’t explain to them what I was going through – every time I tried to confide in them, I ended up feeling worse about myself – so I shut them out, too.

I felt like I had nowhere to turn to, and felt like a burden to everyone around me. I was mad at myself for struggling so badly with anxiety and depression, mad at myself for not being “normal”, and for getting myself into this situation… So instead of reaching out for help, I reached for a razor.

The decision to self-injure wasn’t something I planned, it was almost instinctual. I received the eviction notice in the mail and not 5 minutes later and the act was already done. As I sat there in a daze after I’d self-injured, I realized that it was my survival instincts kicking in. Part of me was so angry I wanted to confront my landlord, but I knew that wasn’t a good idea and wouldn’t help anything in the moment, because I wasn’t rational. Part of me also felt like such a burden that I considered briefly how I could kill myself and not only relieve my own pain, but the burden I cause to everyone around me when I get this way… I believe that the act of self-harming calmed me down enough in the moment so that I could think rationally and not do something I regretted even more… Although the guilt associated with self-injury is pretty strong, too, so there was no positive outcome to that situation.

I was ashamed and embarrassed to be in this situation, and still am. It’s taking all I have to let go of my ego and talk about it online, but that’s because I realized bottling it inside isn’t helping, and I need to accept that asking for help or admitting you’re struggling isn’t a sign of weakness – we all need help sometimes. I would never look down on someone for their struggles, and I know I do all I can to help people… Why can’t I give myself some of that same understanding and comfort? Why do I feel like a burden, when I’m constantly reminding people that they aren’t burdens? Why don’t I afford myself the same understanding  and compassion? What makes ME so different? 

Maybe it’s the fact that I don’t receive a lot of compassion and understanding from most of the people closest to me. Maybe it’s the fact that everyone I love ends up abandoning me… I don’t know, but whatever the reason, it’s very hard to care about myself in the same way that I care about other people.

I was able to get $200 together and took it into my landlord, begging to be given a chance to repay the remainder of the back-rent owed… It took as much courage as I could muster to go there alone and humble myself enough to beg. I felt pathetic, I felt like a child and not the responsible adult that I am. My landlord proceeded to berate me for over 15 minutes, and managed to make me cry in the process, which led me to having a panic attack and looking even more foolish. The landlord laughed at me, and it was humiliating. I haven’t felt real humiliation in a long time, but I felt absolutely and totally humiliated. Still, I was able to plead my case well enough that I was given a deadline to not only repay the back-rent, but also pay the current month’s (July) rent, by July 5th – that was only a week and a half, but I took the opportunity I was given, because I have no other choice.

I’ve been working as hard as possible with my Jewelry business, while selling off any possessions I could manage to find that had any value. I don’t have any family that can (or who are willing) help me or give me a loan, so I’ve felt pretty alone in all of this. Luckily, I do have a good IRL friend and many friends online who have offered their support and been there for me, trying to help in any way they can. Without them, I don’t think I would have gotten though all of this, without them, I don’t think I can continue to get through this – because my fight is long from over.

I posted about the eviction notice on SnapChat, and have been really overwhelmed with the supportive messages, and the fact that people keep asking me for updates and genuinely seem to care about what’s going on in my life… Most people have been wonderful and really have helped me to not be so hard on myself, and for that I could not be more grateful.

Unfortunately, I also had someone who I’ve known online for many years send me a message and offer to help with the back-rent,  this person went out of their way to make me feel at ease, comfortable and to make me trust them… But in the end, it was essentially an elaborate “catfish” situation, and when I realized they were being dishonest and stopped responding to them, they went out of their way to contact me elsewhere to tell me that I am a vile, disgusting, pathetic human being and that is why I have no one who cares about me… I told this person things in confidence about what was going on in my life and felt I could confide in them, and they used my weakness and honesty against me to say exactly what they knew would trigger me.

It’s really hard for me to trust people, or to confide in people, and over the years I have become more protective of myself because of that, more private and reclusive. I don’t make many videos anymore, I am not open about my struggles anymore, I don’t ask for help or seek it, I bottle it up and pretend I’m fine and suffer in silence.

Though I know that person wasn’t ever truly my friend, it makes me so wary to trust people… To be honest and real with anyone… But in the end, who is that hurting? Me. It’s just making me more lonely, depressed and isolated. I can’t live in fear all the time, I can’t let other people’s opinions define me, I can’t obsess over what people think of me, I can’t do this alone… I know there are lots of genuine people out there who truly do care, and I need to let go of my insecurities and fears, or they will eat me alive.

That is why I made this video today. That is why I am writing this blog. That is why I am taking the risk to be open, no matter what anyone thinks of me. Maybe some of you out there are struggling too, and don’t think you’ll make it. I’m here to tell you that you WILL make it. I need to tell myself that I will make it, too. Anyone who looks down on me for struggling isn’t worth having in my life, because we all struggle in our own ways sometimes. We all need help getting up off the ground, we all have good times and bad times. This just happens to be one of my bad times. I remember back to this time last year, I was doing a million times better than I am now, so I know that good times still lay ahead for me, I just need to try my best and allow other people to love me and give me support. Deep down, I do know I am worthy of that… Just as I know you who is reading this right now is worthy of that.

I can’t say for sure what will happen in my near future. I am still struggling with self-injury urges and working on coping in a healthy way. I am still working on finding a stable job and working on sustaining the business I have created for myself. I am still working on my confidence and self-worth, but I know I will get there. I have to get there. I don’t want to succumb to all of this, as much as sometimes the little tiny voice in my head urges me to give up.

I’ll never give up, because I want to show everyone that when you don’t give up, things get better. Because in the end, I do truly believe that things get better… You just have to keep on fighting and stay strong.

Thank you to everyone who has been with me over the years. Thank you for your support, your love, your advice, your acceptance and your strength. Thank you for caring about me when I don’t care enough about myself. Thank you for being my family when I felt like mine did not understand. Thank you for being my friend when everyone else disappeared.  Thank you for sharing your struggles and your successes with me, because they help me realize that we are all the same, and that I am never alone. I hope in being brave and sharing my story, even though I am ashamed, will help someone else out there feel not alone, too.

Thank you to those who have supported my jewelry business and my entrepreneurial spirit, because of you I am able to do what I love and also take care of myself. Without that support I wouldn’t have a chance to keep this roof over my head, to stay in the home I have lived in for so long and love… So thank you, thank you for watching my videos and visiting my blog and for everything. You are all amazing and a blessing that I never take for granted. I hope I haven’t let you down too badly.

Many have asked if they can do anything to help support me during this time (even though I have essentially ignored the requests due to my own selfish pride), but I have been too embarrassed to accept any help… But a friend recently messaged me and told me there is no shame in reaching out for help, admitting you need help, or accepting it when offered. I have to remember that, and humble myself… So I will say that any jewelry purchases would really help at this time, I hesitate to accept donations without giving anything in return, so my first choice would be for people to browse my jewelry shop and let me make you something! That way, I can feel like less of a burden or charity case.

I set up a special pop-up shop especially for this occasion, because I want to include special goodies like letters and cards in the jewelry orders made by my online friends… Of course, orders on my other sites work just as well, but this pop-up shop will help me to differentiate the orders from my friends, between the orders from regular customers.

You can visit my shop here: Ancora Jewelry Pop Up Shop

Please feel free to contact me if you want something custom-made for you, or someone you love! I love making custom items and can pretty much make anything you dream up.

If jewelry isn’t your thing, you can donate directly to me using this secure, verified PayPal link: paypal.me/xsullengirlx

If you donate, please let me know if you’d like me to make you something, send you a personal letter, have a chat online, or anything you can think of. I’d really like to help you if you help me, that’s just the kind of person that I am.

And if you cannot purchase anything, that’s okay! If anyone knows anything about not having the funds to spend on anything extra, it’s me! I don’t expect financial help, I am just giving the option to those who asked for it.

You can help support me in lots of ways! One way is to just stop by one of my social media sites and say hello! Send me a snap, a tweet, tag me in a post, send me a message, leave me a comment on YouTube, email me at xsullengirlxbusiness@gmail.com and I will be sure to respond to you. All of those things make my day and help me to carry on when things get rough. Don’t underestimate the power of positive and kind words, they can make a huge difference in someone’s life, and each message I get fills my heart with positive energy and love… So don’t be shy, feel free to say hi if you want!

Just reading this massive blog is supporting me, and for that I am forever grateful. I hope to never let you down in the future, I hope that I can go on to show that these setbacks can be overcome, I want to inspire and help others – that is my mission in life, and I will never give up on it, or on you… And I am working on not giving up on myself, too.

Thank you again for reading and for caring, and for all your support. Until next time, take care and be kind to yourself. Sending you love and all the positive vibes I have!

xoxoxox,

-Christie, xsullengirlx