Today marks exactly two weeks that I’ve been out.
I’ve taken the bus five times.
I walked 1.3 miles home in the dark of night.
I’ve crossed a major highway twice.
I navigated successfully through three different towns and only got lost for a few minutes.
I used Uber three times.
I had a phone conversation that lasted an hour and a half.
These may seem like small, insignificant things to most people. But for me, they were big steps…things I had never done before, actions I had never taken. And I got through them (though I admit, I did walk into a tree and tripped over my own foot during the late night walk home). I’ve managed to wake up every morning and drag myself out of bed, even when I didn’t want to. I’m trying.
Oh, yeah. I also managed to get a job. I applied to every place I could think of over the last month or so, and finally got an interview on Monday. I got through that interview with no problems and had my second interview yesterday with the general manager. He hired me on the spot, and started me with almost $3 more an hour than I was making at my old job, which I had been at for over 10 years.
I was so thrilled; it felt like I was finally on my way to getting established here. Then I came home to go over the paperwork and my excitement came to a grinding halt. I completely overlooked the fact that I would need identification. I have my State ID, but that’s not enough. I need a birth certificate, passport, or Social Security card. I’ve never had a passport, and my mother kept my birth certificate and SS card locked away – I was never allowed to have them in my possession. I just started crying. What the hell was I supposed to do now? Do I go home and try to get them? Can I really handle even going home?
I looked online to find information about applying for new ones. It takes at least four weeks to get a birth certificate; I also have no idea where I was born, so I don’t know if it’s even possible. For a social security card, it takes 10 days from the date of approval. That’s cutting it close. Luckily, my roommate’s boyfriend offered to drive me to the Social Security office today. We got there a half an hour before it closed…but…I did it. My application was processed and now I just have to wait to get the card in the mail. Crisis averted.
The most important step of all has been getting myself into therapy. I was fortunate enough to be in contact with a therapist from my online support group before I even made my move. Now all that was left was for me to actually show up. And I did. It may take me a half an hour to walk there, but I’m doing it. I may need a second job just to pay for my sessions, but I’m doing it. It may be hard for me to talk about shit, but I’m doing it.
I knew by coming down here that I was taking a lot of risks, putting myself in a position that I’ve never been in before. But I’m a fighter. I’m building myself back up after being shattered for the last 29 years.