Amber

My levels of anxiety tend to lean my moods in the direction of melodrama or outright panic, so I take my own struggles lightly as I recognize the ridiculousness of my individual psychoses. 

There does come a point though where ignoring your own stresses becomes metaphorical stones in your pockets as you tread the dark waters of a financially and emotionally unstable life. 

I know what you’re all saying now, emotionally unstable? How can such an outspoken and brilliant mind be unstable? I get it, it’s hard to believe but it is true and it’s a truth I have to accept. 

Depression sweeps in like the waves on the filthy beaches we frequented in my childhood. Some roll in slowly and cover your feet with warm, medical waste, and seaweed-filled waters. Others come in a bit quicker, and further, destroying the disfigured sandcastle you’ve struggled for hours to build with your Dollar Store shovel and pail combination. The next may sweep you off of your feet and drag you to sea in an overwhelming riptide. 

My brain and the constant fist in my abdomen tell me I’m up to my ears in the riptide. 

I may no longer work my proverbial fingers to the bone but I do exhaust my mental capabilities, daily. While I love what I do, I was built to write, the love of the work doesn’t change the struggle I experience. 

This is not a dig at my employers, again I can’t stress how much I love being a Senior Reporter, it’s a simple expression of dismay at the entire “system” of indentured servitude in which we live. 

I don’t live extravagantly. Things that normal households consider essential items don’t exist in my own. There is no internet, no cell service, oftentimes there isn’t food that wasn’t a 10 for $10 deal at Kroger. No satellite or cable, just those 8 pitiful channels picked up by a cheap, every-day antenna. 

Don’t misread my intentions as I spill my sadness and venom onto this page. This isn’t a quiet call for charity. This isn’t a cry for help. This is just a statement of facts with regard to my own existence; an expression of the struggle felt by millions of people across this filthy blue sphere. 

The depression relates to the struggle in that I see no end to the fight to find an appropriate foothold. 

When paychecks don’t meet how do you save a penny? With no savings how do you ever own anything outright? Am I condemned to a rent-to-own life? 

Must I forever pay to live in someone else’s house? There’s no joy in that. I can take no pride in sheltering between someone else’s walls. I need my own walls, I yearn for my own foundation but because I must seek shelter I do what people of my financial status do. I pay someone else’s mortgage knowing that every dime is spent to ensure another person owns something while I’m still in the same situation. 

Still struggling, still sinking. Treading water in a tide determined to drag us all under. 

What’s the answer for the lower class? Where is the exit to this twisted, booby-trapped maze in which we survive? 

For those of you who have made some ground, and maybe better life choices, excellent work. For those of you whose dollars don’t have stretch-marks, congratulations. Myself though, I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, not even the freight train coming my way. 

And if you didn’t sing that last line in its full Metallica glory we can’t be friends. 

Amber Lollar is the reporter for The Henderson News. Her e-mail address is <reporter@thehendersonnews.com>. © 2019, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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