It's so hard to stare at long-term unemployment or underemployment and not feel like a failure.
The pain was mitigated for a while with the $276 a week I got in Unemployment Insurance. Then, I was able to work a blue-collar gig for a few months; that paid about $400 a week. Then came the move, and since then, I've not been able to land anything sustained. I've landed a contract freelance job that throws the occasional $60 per day at me. It's helpful, but really, it's just been a bandaid on a skull fracture.
And the bills have piled up. We borrowed a big chunk of change from her parents, a little from my mom, and still it hasn't abated. We've had more than $2,000 of unexpected expenses in the past five months, and now we owe more than that in taxes.
We don't have it. Austerity looms.
There's the tiniest part of my hope that flickers in the gale, refusing to go out. It's incredible in a way. I see a path to security regardless; if things stay the way they are, then it's just going to take longer. But it hurts me mentally. I just feel guilty. I feel like a failure.