Suburban Nanny, Accidental hustler

Had you told me two months ago I’d profit $1,372.20 from Facebook Marketplace sales and an Estate Sale, I wouldn’t have believed you. So glad I had greater faith.

When my Estate Sale the last Saturday of July felt quiet, though, I can look back now and see I had some grandiose expectations, a trusted family friend recommended I try Facebook Marketplace. I was trippin’ – hard. Who puts items for sale on Facebook, unless they’re selling to Russia?

So, I tried it. That was August 13th. It is September 17th. That means I have made roughly $40/day in 34 days. Ridiculous. More, there was a 9-day period from September 4th to September 13th in which I made no sales. So, if we subtract those 9 days, that means I made $50/day for 25 days. And I’m still selling.

What have I sold, you ask? Clothing, shoes, wall art, dry erase boards, clocks, book ends, a deep freezer, mugs, kitchen sink strainer, sewing table, bed linens, one couch, a recliner, coffee table, and oversized chair. I’ve sold a rolling kitchen island, 31-piece dining set of mixed dishes of teal variants from graduate school, and an animal print suitcase with hot pink pockets and inside lining. I’ve sold my medical transport wheelchair from last Winter when I first tore the tendon in my foot.

I sold a full bed headboard and frame in one transaction and the actual mattress with its box spring in another. I sold a file cabinet, Young Adult literature books, shoes and Bath & Body Works accessories bag – you, the giveaway bags you earn during sales events when you’ve bought an abundance of products at one time. Then, a decorative rug (I got for free), vanity stool from TJ Maxx, and plastic hangers that outnumbered my closet’s total apparel number. You get the picture.

It was an outlet that became 100% practical, necessary, efficient, and deepening a skillset: sales. Without Marketplace, the 9 total workdays in August would not have adequately earned what income supports my every day needs. I’d been coming home sick from a church nursery position every Sunday, 4 Sundays in a row, therefore missing a lot of work. Tuesday the 21st, sickness exceeded my limit and I called my own ambulance to the ER.

For those of you who know a little bit of my story, you know that the hospital is a relatively familiar space that I have grown to experience shame, because I only go to the hospital when I am unable to care for myself, and I have a lot of insight into how my body works, what medications work alongside self-care practices like hydration, massages, journaling, counseling, gentle movement, etc. Short of deathly ill circumstances, I know how to remedy most any sickness on my own. I am well-versed in medication management and was blessedly cursed with a high pain tolerance after developing adverse reactions to pain killers in adolescence.

That Tuesday, as a friend once said, “took me to the edge of consciousness many times” because I experienced 10 hours straight of vomiting, severe diarrhea, fevers, nausea, migraines, and an inability to keep food in my belly and water pumping through my systems. My personal rule-of-thumb is to only go to the hospital when I am unable to hydrate myself. Low measure for support? Maybe. But, like I said, I am generally quite well in “germy” environments like schools. I am a former teacher. I proactively use good hygiene practices and maintain as close to a consistent emotional wellbeing as possible. This is the girl who went 13 days without vacuuming – the longest span without floor cleaning since I first pushed a vacuum. (Now, that doesn’t count my clock time as a nanny.) And then there’s my built-in accountability from my dietitian, nurse practitioner, and primary therapist, all of over 3 years. When I’d arrived to the hospital having already finished EKG testing, half of a bag of fluids, and a dose of Zofran, I knew it was bad. When I spent the first hour crying at the hospital, I knew it was really bad. When Mr. Lead Doctor introduced morphine into my fluids, I knew I’d reached the worst I’d been physically since February.

9 working days in August. Nine. That $1,372.20 was a tremendous help. Now, I’m onto Poshmark.

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It feels, for the first time in my life, like I am really living. I don’t feel as though I am shifting my character depending on the environment as a means of physical, sexual, emotional, spiritual, psychological survival. I am enjoying myself, and sincerely. For the first time, I want for nothing. I feel okay. I cannot accurately communicate how good it feels to experience the fruits of 8 years’ labor after 18 years’ trauma. You don’t make it 26 years because you stopped believing your labor was fruitful, but I have recently shifted to beginning to feel that fruit in my body. My self-advocacy communication skills “click-in” more quickly because I’ve practiced them so many times. I can both feel tired and continue kick-butt as a valuable worker when on the clock. Do you know how good it is to be asked, “How are you?” and to be able to genuinely express “It is well with my soul?” without debilitating grief, poor kidney functioning, unemployment, and weighty fear in the same conversation? At 26-years-old, I feel a little closer to what “normal” people feel like – normal meaning those with steady rises in falls in mood, healthy attachment patterns, or bifocal glasses, hearing loss in her right ear, and zero short term memory. Let me be clear: It is not that these issues have dissipated, and August 21st measures less than one month ago. I feel as though I am really living because the work I’ve been putting in to appropriate guilt and shame that is not my own to the right spaces requires less energy, and I experience a lot fewer taxing emotions on an hourly basis that previously disrupted my quality of life.

Hanging up the phone and sending that last text message really irritated my previously constructed understandings of loyalty, love, forgiveness, strength, tolerance, sacrifice, and family. But it is well, Biblical, good, and necessary to set boundaries, because though my mental and physical illnesses are unlikely to go away, this sense of resolve in my spirit and fortitude in my mental muscles is too precious, too bloodily paid for, too incredible to exchange for what I now recognize as a manipulated, used self.

 

To report good news is such good news.

Now, to keep attacking this Mental Health Directory!