"I Am a Failure" ..... the Big Lie
Ok, this is beginning to bother me. Due to some lousy circumstances, I suffer from depression and have suffered a financial crisis as well. I became a member of dailystrength.com, it’s an online support group. It gives people a chance to interact with people that are in the same situation as they are. It also allows you to share experiences and offer advice and encouragement.
One of the groups I joined is “Financial Challenges”. What is bothering me is that when people get into a financial crisis, myself included, they begin to blame themselves and put themselves down. I begin to hear words like “failure, stupid, idiot”, ok some of those are what I say too. Not everything is our fault, not everything was caused by that person. Perhaps some are, but not all.
Today’s economic times are tough. We have employers freezing pay, and worse laying off or closing. There are more people looking for jobs than there are jobs available. Foreclosures have more than doubled and credit card companies are expecting an increase in defaults. We have the government giving our tax money to companies that should be bankrupt, and we have these companies giving 6 figure or more bonus’s. Credit card companies can charge up to 29.99% and until July 2010, they can lower your limits and raise your rates at will. They have high fees for just about anything. My point is that not all things are caused by us individually.
I live in the Midwest, the paper industry is our biggest employing industry. In September 2008, one plant here closed, causing 600 people to lose their jobs. A majority of these people were there for 20+ years. They were making upwards of $30.00 per hour, unions did a great job for them. Many of these people have accepted jobs at much less, if they found a job. I know one that settled for $12.00 per hour, because he wanted to pay his mortgage and feed his kids. These people did not cause their financial crisis and yet they blame themselves.
Which brings us to unemployment. There are obviously more people looking for work than there are jobs available. Because of this employers can be more picky, they can take their time in evaluating job candidates. They can also offer lower wages if they are so inclined. I have a friend who is college educated, articulate and once was a bank manager, and he has been hearing he is over qualified, he has been out of work for 6 months. He even applied for a teller position at another bank, but he was over qualified, “we think you would be bored” he was told. His reply was “I just want a job”.
So why are people blaming themselves? We are not failures or losers or idiots. We are good hard working people that have fallen on hard times. We have been beaten down by the economy and we blame ourselves. We are hard workers that are without jobs, through some event or another. We are responsible people that have a financial crisis. Here is the difference between us and companies, our government does not bail us out. If you read any of my other hubs you will notice I have some definite opinions about the government bailout, lets not get me going on that.
I know it is easier said than done, we have to keep our heads up. We need to keep the faith and persevere on. I have fallen on hard times and I will continue to work to make things better. Unfortunately, it will take me quite a long time, perhaps the rest of my life, I have a lot of debt, but as I was building my debt, I took care of my family. Family or credit cards, which do you suppose won out. There was a time where living off the card was not an option, it was a necessity. No job and no money, for some reason, the bank still wants you to pay the mortgage or the car loan. Credit cards want their money too, but if you have to make a choice which would you choose?
I called myself a failure and loser and idiot through this, but I wasn’t. I survived for 3 years through some of the hardest times of my life. I took care of my family. I did what was necessary and I am still doing it. I am still not winning; I still have more outgoing than I do incoming. Like I said I have a lot of debt. Overall though, I am not a loser or failure. I am college educated, a father, a grandfather, and still a hero to my son. I do what I have to do, and I will continue to do so. I will continue to put my family first and go down fighting if I have too, and I will do it with dignity.
All those out there that are in a similar situation, your not failures. STOP calling yourselves that, I mean it STOP it (and leave Brittney alone). You are doing the best you can, and no one can ask you to do more. You cannot give more than 100% effort in your life. Keep looking up and keep the faith. Once you hit bottom, you have no where to go but up. Put that dream in front of you and keep going toward it. Have faith in yourselves. I have faith in people and I have faith in you.
Good luck and God Bless.