Author Topic: My life blew up. Still sitting in the rubble trying to figure this sh*t out.  (Read 17452 times)

Peach Fuzz

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I guess this is a two part info/advice seeking post.

Last year was literally the year from hell, absolutely canít get worse. All the other annoyances aside (house broken into, etc.) what rocked my world was the death of my beloved husband. After a ďsurgical errorĒ for a typically ďroutineĒ surgery, my husband horribly suffered for four months until the ďrepairĒ surgery with another doctor who made another ďsurgical errorĒ combined with horrible judgment resulted in my husbandís death. He died in September, the love of my life and my whole world. Just gone. Iíve been a mess and horribly depressed. I just canít get out of the funk and sometimes in a twisted way donít want to. This ordeal has been a huge mind-blowing thing and I still canít quite seem to deal with it. I was seeing a counselor for a while in the beginning. She didnít seem to be helping and at times even made things worse by pointing out stuff to be upset over I hadnít even thought of. Thanks. So Iíve tried to deal by myself and thatís not working out too well I guess. I usually try to put on a good face for everyone, but the above is what I really feel. So yeah. Part 1.

Part 2 would be the financial advice. After losing DHís income (about a 60% hit to the household income) I have been able to drastically alter finances and manage on my own. We used to live it up (extremely anti-mustachian) to the point of being in debt despite a 70-80k annual household income. Wish I wouldíve seen MMM earlier. Eh, we had fun, so whatever. Good times. But now that Iíve been turned on to MMM and ER/FI I really want that for myself.

The stats: 26yo, Bachelorís Degree in Environmental Science
Income: 33k

Bills:
Rent           725
Car Payment       185  (<3k left on the loan)
Car Insurance      76
Water/Trash      56
Cable/Internet      45
Gas            55
Electric         55
Phone         15
Gas (car)         100 (est. if I stay in town)
Groceries         150
Total:            1462/mo

Savings per paycheck (bi-weekly):
HSA             25
457b             100 (current balance ~4700)
Pension fund     65 (mandatory 5% contribution)
Total:            190 bi/weekly

No other debt. About 5k in the bank as an emergency fund.

So, after all deductions/taxes/savings come out, I get 768 every two weeks (1536/mo). Thatís bare minimum expenses, so the little in excess gets eaten up for when I want to go out/ need something random.

I live about 2 miles from work and drive, also driving home for lunch. (I know, facepunch. I have a new little dog who I worry will pee on the floor as I already have occasional issues, plus itís nice to come home for lunch. And I live in a hot and humid area. Complainy-pants! Downhill to work, big uphill coming home. At least I donít go out to eat for lunch? :)  )

Iíve thought about picking up a side-gig but worry about the crazy self-employment taxes that would probably come out. I would hate to put tons of time into something and not get much out of it, plus a tax headache. No experience with this though, so maybe a good idea?

Benefits to current job are: awesome benefits, nice co-workers, and super stable. Iím cross-training into a data management position that could potentially lead to a nice promotion but the guy has to retire first and heís said thatís not on his radar in the next 5 years, so who knows how long that might take. Kicking myself for not sucking it up in college and taking the classes to be an engineer. :/ 

Honestly though, I have nothing tying me to this area anymore and part of me wants to move to run away from everything. Family is about 3hrs away. Iíve thought of moving back in with my mom. She is in a decent growing area with options, but other than my mom (who is awesome) there is tons of family drama up there that I am worried Iíd get sucked into. I wouldnít be opposed to a move. Iíve been looking for a nice potential area but havenít come up with anything yet. The rational part takes over and says donít do anything crazy unless you have something else stable set up.

Iím in a paycheck to paycheck/depression pit and something has to change. I donít want or need any legal advice, but would love any other advice/ideas anyone has. Thanks for taking the time to read and for any comments.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 07:57:58 PM by Peach Fuzz »

Guardian

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I'm sorry to hear about your situation. It must be very hard!

My two cents is that you should follow your heart. Find happiness without spending much money. Work hard and think about how your loved ones would want you to live (happy, exploring, well, smart).

Best wishes

CarDude

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I'm so sorry about the loss of your spouse.

I'd suggest counseling before anything else.

totoro

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Oh my goodness. I'm really sorry to hear about this.

It is going to get better, but grief is something you can't skip.

You said your mom is awesome.  I know I would want my child to come and recoup if they had experienced such a big loss. 

Could you find a job where she lives?  Is the drama there too much?

MayDay

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Call a local nonprofit hospice (some are for profit, run away from those). Grief counseling is typically free, whether or not your spouse was a patient there. Also, they often have things like groups- I know my hospice has specific groups like women who lost a spouse, women who lost a mother, etc.

Glenstache

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So sorry for your situation and how your husband passed away. I can't even imagine how difficult and frustrating that is/was.

I'd suggest counseling before anything else.

+1 on this. The first one sounds like they were a bad match. It is totally acceptable to do a quick phone interview with them to make sure they are a good match before going to sessions. Sessions can be difficult and raw. This may be helpful: http://www.caring.com/questions/interview-grief-therapist

As to the finances, you may evaluate if you can sell the existing car and buy a less expensive used car. Cars are transportation, so reduce that cost as much as possible. Do not do a trade in at a stealership. This would free up money on a monthly basis and potentially also recover some equity to put towards your future.

You might try riding a bike for the after lunch work stretch. 2 miles downhill on a bike getting to work shouldn't be considerably different for time than a car ride. That will cut your commute miles by half and provide some exercise. From personal experience, it can really help mental state to get the blood pumping and get some endorphins pumping. 

As to moving... there are expenses in moving, but sometimes it can be really useful when you need a fresh start. Is there a reasonable/feasible path to becoming an engineer? Many larger consulting firms hire environmental scientists for remediation work, and could be a way to get into working in a related field even if you don't have the PE stamp.

Best of wishes in moving forward clearing the rubble and figuring that $#!+ out, as you put it.

rmendpara

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Sorry for your loss.

Some unconventional advice that may help you work through your loss and try to move forward (note: not move on).

Perhaps you could find a new job in a new town once your current lease expires? I'm guessing you have a decently marketable degree in environmental science and could find work elsewhere if you made the effort.

Regardless of the work portion...

I think personally, starting fresh and in a new place in a new job will help you feel like having something to keep your mind busy. I don't mean to forget your personal problems, but to introduce some change in a good way.

If you really want to move home, I say go for it; however, it's tough to move forward when you are around family a lot... plus if there's family drama, it just isn't the time for you to deal with all that.

As long as you don't go crazy and spend up to your credit card limit, your budget doesn't seem unreasonable.

Finances:

As far as money goes, I would look to move into a 2br and find a roommate. based on your monthly income of $1,500 after tax, you're spending over half on rent/utilities. It would be a HUGE help to lower this. Other categories could be shaved a little, but this is by far the biggest opportunity.

Good luck with everything.

ch12

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I live about 2 miles from work and drive, also driving home for lunch. (I know, facepunch. I have a new little dog who I worry will pee on the floor as I already have occasional issues, plus itís nice to come home for lunch. And I live in a hot and humid area. Complainy-pants! Downhill to work, big uphill coming home. At least I donít go out to eat for lunch? :)  )

Benefits to current job are: awesome benefits, nice co-workers, and super stable. Iím cross-training into a data management position that could potentially lead to a nice promotion but the guy has to retire first and heís said thatís not on his radar in the next 5 years, so who knows how long that might take. Kicking myself for not sucking it up in college and taking the classes to be an engineer. :/ 

Honestly though, I have nothing tying me to this area anymore and part of me wants to move to run away from everything. Family is about 3hrs away. Iíve thought of moving back in with my mom. She is in a decent growing area with options, but other than my mom (who is awesome) there is tons of family drama up there that I am worried Iíd get sucked into. I wouldnít be opposed to a move. Iíve been looking for a nice potential area but havenít come up with anything yet. The rational part takes over and says donít do anything crazy unless you have something else stable set up.

Iím in a paycheck to paycheck/depression pit and something has to change. I donít want or need any legal advice, but would love any other advice/ideas anyone has. Thanks for taking the time to read and for any comments.

Thegoblinchief is on SSRIs (we've definitely had the mental health discussion here before) and he bikes quite a bit. Don't think of biking as this horrible sweaty endeavor. It's fun. In your situation (which is very close to mine when I used to bike to my school while in college), I rode downhill (exhibiting possibly too much glee for someone of my advanced age) and I walked my bike uphill. That exercise is good for you, and walking the uphill part helped me not be terrified of falling backwards.

Start scouting for new jobs in the area where your mom lives. I'd also be careful about family drama (oh, I know about family drama), but you could move into the region but not so close that the black hole would suck you in.

hexdexorex

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My gf has been through a similar situation. Lost both her parents these past two years (she is about your age) so its been rough. Also she is a env scientist as well...

What I see helps her a ton is socializing. She is always happy around friends and the more she gets out the better she feels...

There is no silver bullet that will make everything better but overtime things will get better.

As far as the financial picture roommates help a ton...they split everything. Hopefully you can get that down to 400 a month (and have someone around more). Also sharing internet bill with anyone else in the building helps. 76 for car insurance per month seems a little high...have you tried to shop around?

Cpa Cat

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Don't be afraid of self-employment taxes. Yes, you need to remit both employee and employer share of FICA - but you get a deduction for the employer portion. Otherwise you also pay regular income taxes. This all comes out in the wash as being no more than wage earners pay.

In fact, you can justify all sorts of deductions as business-related when you're self-employed, so you generally come out better tax-wise than you do on regular W-2 income. Statistically, wage earners pay more taxes than self-employed individuals.

For the rest - move in with mom for a bit if you think you could use the support-system - you can always move again if family drama gets to be too much. But if you aren't sure, then maybe all you need is a change. Look for a new job - anywhere that has decent FI attributes (lower COL, low state income tax, whatever). A change of scenery and a fresh start might be the boost you need.

Bearded Man

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I am sorry for your loss and all the hardships you have been facing lately. Remember, those who fall the furthest usually bounce back the highest.

I would recommend you move in with your family for a while, that is if you can find work there. Because if you can't get work there as well, you will eventually spend down your emergency fund and be even worse off financially, especially after having been out of work for a while.

Peach Fuzz

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Thank you everyone for your advice and kind words.



I'd suggest counseling before anything else.

+1 on this. The first one sounds like they were a bad match. It is totally acceptable to do a quick phone interview with them to make sure they are a good match before going to sessions. Sessions can be difficult and raw. This may be helpful: http://www.caring.com/questions/interview-grief-therapist

That's a great link. I didn't think of a phone interview before hand. Those are some great questions to ask. It's already hard to put everything out there in a session. It's pretty exhausting. I hesitated going to someone new because of this. I dread going over it a third time. (I have actually been to two. One only once- she pretty much just stared at me and patted my hand while I talked. Then lots of dead silence.) I've thought about trying to get the last one's notes to give to a new counselor so maybe I won't have to go over all the details again.


move forward (note: not move on)
Yes. Some people Iíve spoken to donít understand this. Maybe Iíve been getting those confused myself. Thanks for the reminder.

As far as money goes, I would look to move into a 2br and find a roommate.
I have thought about this, as I actually do live in a 2br. I have so much STUFF is the only problem. I really need to de-clutter. It is on my list. There are perks besides money to a roommate. But I worry about the potential drawbacks. I had bad roommate luck in college so I guess Iím gun shy on the issue. But that is a good idea and something to keep in mind.

You said your mom is awesome.  I know I would want my child to come and recoup if they had experienced such a big loss. 

Could you find a job where she lives?  Is the drama there too much?
Iím pretty sure she feels the same way and wants me to come home. Weíve had quite a few talks where sheís said she misses me and wishes we were closer. My younger brother has gotten himself into trouble. Again. I feel the family enables his bad behavior by not coming down on him and making him step up. Iím afraid if I moved back, Iíd get sucked into all that. I want to help my mom, but I donít want to contribute to my brotherís mooching off of her, which is what would probably end up happening.

I know, my life could be a soap opera.

apfroggy0408

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Although I don't have any other advice for finances I'll recommend the book No Death, No Fear by Thich Nhat Hanh.

http://www.amazon.com/No-Death-Fear-Comforting-Wisdom/dp/1573223336#

Might be worth your time.

brewer12345

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Don't be afraid of self-employment taxes. Yes, you need to remit both employee and employer share of FICA - but you get a deduction for the employer portion. Otherwise you also pay regular income taxes. This all comes out in the wash as being no more than wage earners pay.

In fact, you can justify all sorts of deductions as business-related when you're self-employed, so you generally come out better tax-wise than you do on regular W-2 income. Statistically, wage earners pay more taxes than self-employed individuals.


+1.  Not only can you get away (legally) with a number of deductions, but if you want to save the money anyway a solo 401k is very flexible and low cost. Essentially, you will pay only self employment taxes (15.3%) of whatever you cannot find a legitimate deduction for as long as you tuck it away in a solo 401k.

I applaud your strength in soldiering on.  If my DW suddenly passed and kids were grown, I very much doubt the outcome would be me lasting more than a few months.

DollarBill

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Don't forget your Spiritual side I've always liked talking to a Chaplain instead of a therapist. I may help to volunteer some time, that makes me happier that I'm helping someone out and gets me to stop thinking about my own problems.

Maybe you can find part-time gigs like walking dogs, house cleaning, babysitting, yard work that pay cash.

I recently made a post on AIRBNB, if you don't do the roommate thing.
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/airbnb-experience/

Quote
So, after all deductions/taxes/savings come out, I get 768 every two weeks (1536/mo).

If I added your savings to your take home pay it only adds up to $20,712 per year. Where's the other $12,288? What do you claim for exemptions? If you visit HR and change it to 1 or 2 it will add more money to your pay check (About $40-80 per month). But will get less back when you file taxes. Good luck...it will get better!!

phred

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the grief and depression are normal.  Many times it takes a year to recover to "normal".  Any old girlfriends you can confide in - even over a lunch?

An exercise program frequently helps.  A bike ride early in the morning Sat & Sun if those times are less humid

Go to the bookstore or museums with friends just to be doing something.  Many times acting normal hastens emotional recovery, while hermitting makes it worse

look up paper training for your puppy.  It's easy as long as it's consistent.

Write a letter to your husband tonight.  Tell him how much you miss him, and what your future plans are

Koala0924

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I buried my DH when I was 27. That was nearly 9 years ago. Too young to say goodbye. My thoughts are with you.

I can only speak from my experience, and the grief journey is different for everyone, but I would recommend the most supportive and calm environment that you can find. Only you know if that means remaining in your current locale, moving to be with your mom or closer to other friends. I will say that I sold mine and my DH's house because I could not envision sharing that space with someone else. I never went to counseling; however, I was lucky enough to find an internet support group for young widows. We are a rare group, those that bury spouses before the age of 30. That group, along with family and friends, and time and grief work have resulted in me becoming myself again. I have a wonderful life these days, and remember DH1 with love and smiles more often than tears.

Please feel free to message me. I would gladly share my phone number with you if you would like.

surfhb

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So sorry

Not sure if this has been addresses but is there life insurance with his company or on your own?    Also,  I'd figure you're looking at several hundred thousand dollars in malpractice settlements ....you lost your husband!   

Be strong

Paul der Krake

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Nobody your age should have to go through what you did, and I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss. No matter what you do, please be easy on yourself.

Peach Fuzz

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ch12: Job scouting in momís area is a good idea. Work actually does take me up there for meetings sometimes. Iíll start poking around and putting out feelers. At least get some options.

Thanks for the self-employment tax info and tips. Thatís great to know. Now I can start a side hustle and feel like itís really worth the work. :)

That book sounds good apfroggy0408. Thanks for the recommendation. I identify as Christian but open minded. Meaning I think there is still a lot to be learned from other religions. Just because itís not marked ďChristianĒ doesnít mean itís not of value. The Buddhist theories/ ways of looking at life have interested me for awhile now.

DollarBill- Lots of good points. The Airbnb thing would freak me out a bit. After last yearís break-in Iíd be paranoid Iíd come home to an empty house.  I pay a little bit for dental and vision insurance. Taxes are crazy- at the extra paycheck month where I got the dental/vision break, that added $14 to the check but after taxes it was only 10. I think Iím only claiming a 1 on taxes, but I have a little extra withheld each paycheck for the extra bonus- come tax time. But maybe I should take that out.

Phred: Since I donít have a fenced yard, I walk my dog most days, so at least thatís been good for exercise. My dogís a 4yo rescue, so out of the puppy stage. Iíd say sheís mostly house trained. She has some issues with submissive peeing and Iím not sure how well sheíd be able to hold it for 9+hrs. Sheís held it for a crazy long time before (over 12hrs) but other times has went in the house while I was at work. Maybe it's spite- I don't know. I guess I should try it again. I can always clean it. I can try the pee pads, just havenít done it yet.

My gf has been through a similar situation. Lost both her parents these past two years (she is about your age) so its been rough. Also she is a env scientist as well...

What I see helps her a ton is socializing. She is always happy around friends and the more she gets out the better she feels...

76 for car insurance per month seems a little high...have you tried to shop around?
Socializing +1  I am this way too. After DH passed, the old friend group really just had ďhisĒ friends (I was new to the area) so my friend situation kind of fell apart too. Luckily I had met one girl earlier in the year and weíve since become good friends. Iím starting to branch out more and meet other people who are slowly becoming new friends. So thatís been good.

What does your env sci gf do? Consulting or govt work is typically what I think of, but govt doesnít always pay great and Iíve heard consulting work can be very tough (long hours, treated badly, have to work on bad projects for clients).

I havenít shopped around for insurance. I have to have full coverage per the loan agreement. I just figured that was expensive. Iíll start calling. Any good insurance suggestions?

Thank you so much everyone for your kind words and encouragement. I wasn't sure about putting this up on a forum, but I'm glad I did. I really appreciate your comments and advice.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2014, 09:06:45 PM by Peach Fuzz »

TheFrugalFox

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Personally, would stay in the job you are in - sounds like you are happy there. I would try take a long weekend once in a while to your mom's for a good chat, otherwise there is always Skype. I am not sure if uprooting yourself is the way to go - and sounds like if you did you might be opening up a whole new can of worms.

Have you thought about joining a club/ starting a hobby in a group? Getting yourself out and doing something is important - even better if you can do it with some new people.

Time is also a great healer - it does get easier, even if does not feel like it at times.

In Afrikaans we would now say - sterkte. Basically it means, I hope/wish you find the strength to get through.

DollarBill

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Quote
Phred: Since I donít have a fenced yard, I walk my dog most days, so at least thatís been good for exercise. My dogís a 4yo rescue, so out of the puppy stage. Iíd say sheís mostly house trained. She has some issues with submissive peeing and Iím not sure how well sheíd be able to hold it for 9+hrs. Sheís held it for a crazy long time before (over 12hrs) but other times has went in the house while I was at work. Maybe it's spite- I don't know. I guess I should try it again. I can always clean it. I can try the pee pads, just havenít done it yet.

Best site I found on dog training was Dr.P dog training.
http://www4.uwsp.edu/psych/dog/index.htm
It was 14 years ago but I'm sure it's still good. I started them off in crates until they could hold it longer. Then sectioned off the kitchen with a sheet of ply wood. It was great coming home because I cut two circles in it so they could stick their heads out and painted it with a sun/clouds and around the holes it looked like flowers...it was funny. This might sound bad to some folks but I swear by shock collars. You can train without them knowing your correcting them. After a couple of months never had to use them again. Never had to keep them on a leash and I have no fence. They can stay out for hours and never leave the yard...it's great having well behaved dogs. When I was in Japan I would leave them on the beach while I scuba dived. They would follow us out and hover above us then wait on the shore.

DollarBill

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I found that streamlining my accounts helped me a lot. Maybe it could help you develop yours too if your bank is compatible.

I don't know if this is a better system but it works for me, it's kind of like the envelope method. I just started tracking all my spending 4 months ago. During this tracking time I set up extra savings accounts (No cost and took about 10 mins) and titled them with a name and dollar figure (I also added the percentage but not necessary) . Such as Taxes/$220, Travel/$50, Bills/$250...so when I get my bi-weekly check I transfer the amount to those accounts (This can be done automatically but I don't do that yet). My goal is to have a little cushion left over at the end of each month in case I have an unexpected purchase or if prices go up.

Like others I pay all my bills by USAA Master Card for the award points (I use to do cash back but you get more money from award points plus it will help come travel time). I use USAA American Express Card for Food & Gas...It gives you double the award points for these two items. Plus it helps me track my purchases since they are separate. I pay these off each month and you can use any of your accounts to pay. Both cards are tied to the same awards points.

Bill Fund: This covers all my utilities, food, Dog food (two Med size dogs), personal hygiene, toiletries, kitchen supplies but does not include eating out (That's comes from fun money).

Fun money: I made this a separate account because last year when I was paying off my house I became a bit of a loner. I decided it was too painful to keep that going. So I decided to try to convince myself to spend the fun money anyway I see fit. I also use this account for some items that are unexpected. For example over the last 4 months of tracking I use the car wash 4 times at $7 a pop; Vet bill $28; target $128; Autozone $42; trash bill $48; and surprise tax bill for $87. I take out about $200 for cash a month and about $100 for going out to eat or out with friends. Some months I'm sure I'll go over but once I get settle into my budget I'll tweak it a little.

Taxes & Ins: House taxes, House Insurance, Car Insurance. I wondered if I would run into problems paying my house taxes electronically since this is a savings account but I had no problems.

Slush Fund: Emergency fund, newer car fund, car repair, unexpected purchase

Travel Fund: Ahhhh for travel, plus I have my awards points from Credit cards. If I just kept a checking account at a certain balance then I probably would not take a vacation. Now I see it build up and if something comes up then I go.

PS...if I owed any debt I would think twice about the Fun/travel funds but that's just me. I'm an all or nothing kind of person. I hate owing anyone anything.

Rylito

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I'm so sorry to hear about your loss.  It's just devastating to think about this happening to someone so young.  I really admire you for soldering on.

I work in the environmental field too, and thought your salary seemed a bit low for someone out of school for 4 years or so.  Of course salaries will be highly variable depending on where you live, but if you're currently working in a lower paying field like natural resources managment or for a non-profit or the gov't., maybe you should consider transitioning into the private sector and/or a higher paying field.  Depending on your background, planning, environmental remediation, emergency preparedness, or environmental health and safety (particularly in the pharmaceutical and oil and gas industries)  can all be very well-paying.  Also some school districts are desperate for science teachers and will pay bonuses and give emergency teaching credentials to science majors.

One side hustle you could look into is getting 40 hr. HAZWOPER certified at a community college and then doing household hazardous waste events on the weekends (call up some haz waste companies in your area and see if they are looking for folks first).

Good luck to you, and know there are a lot of us rooting for something good to happen to you now.

katalyn13

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First of all, so so sorry for your loss. To echo what everyone else has said--go easy on yourself, and allow yourself to take time to feel better. I'm only a few years younger than you and couldn't imagine losing someone so close to me, so my heart goes out to you.

I second what has been said about counseling--I tried it after the loss of a grandparent (granted, not at all the same as what you've gone through) and found it extremely helpful.

As far as saving money: It looks like you're paying a pretty low rate for your phone but you might want to look into Ting (if you aren't already using them) https://ting.com/rates. Might save you a few dollars each month. You also may be able to save a few dollars by auto-paying some of your bills, though you'd have to check with the service provider. And do try biking! It really is nice, not a chore.

As for the submissive peeing, my parents have 2 rescues that do the same thing! I definitely suggest the pee pads--they work great. Better yet, try the kind that are used in hospitals for people (either disposable or washable)--much cheaper and especially once your dog is used to them, you really don't need the fancy kind (you might not even need them in the first place. We are frequently gone for more than a full work day, and they work out just fine.

I really do applaud you for taking the time to try to sort all this out. You're obviously considering all the alternatives and variables here, and it does look like you're mostly making the best of your situation, including saving quite a bit. Of course there's always room for improvement but what you're doing now takes a lot of thought and effort--not easy when you've just lost someone. So good for you, keep at it. All the best!

kyanamerinas

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So sorry for your loss. Take care of yourself and be gentle on yourself too. I cannot imagine the pain for you.
I think a support group may be useful as even close friends can struggle to remember and realise how painful this will continue to be for months (and years) yet. Have one or two people who you can keep being honest and open with about how you're actually doing. We all know these things take time but if we haven't been there it's hard to know what support to offer and when.

Astatine

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Nobody your age should have to go through what you did, and I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss. No matter what you do, please be easy on yourself.

This.

I'm so sorry for your loss. Words are insufficient I think.

quilter

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I can't imagine your pain and loss.  So sorry.

Major moves when grieving such a tragic loss are not always the best idea.   You can think about it and move in three or six or nine months.  Family drama can suck the life out of you.

In the meantime, doing small things might help you.  For instance a new puppy takes a lot of time to train to walk on a leash, but nothing is more healthy than exercise so getting out and taking long walks can be helpful.

You mention you have a lot of stuff. What about setting a small goal every week, to clean out a drawer or a bin. Think of it as repurposing belongings that someone else might be able to use. It is surprising how small goals can add up to big accomplishments. 

If something feels right or good, move in that direction. Trust your instincts. If it feels wrong, move away from that direction.

Any chance of starting to take engineering classes?  Even one at a time can help you move towards your dreams.

Masha

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I am so very sorry for your loss.

My mother was widowed at your age with two children(I'm one of them), so my experience is a very different one, but I wanted to second what others have said about finding a good fit in a counselor/ therapist.

I needed to see someone and tried several before finding one who was a good fit for me. It seemed impossible to simply pick a name and keep retelling my story, so I thought of ways to narrow down my search--for me, that meant picking a nearby town that has a culture/vibe I really liked, and looking there. Sure enough, a little Googling in that town and I found the highly qualified therapist who was right for me. After finding her website, I did some research on her before actually going.  It was totally worth the effort to find her, and I am so thankful that I found some way to narrow the search.

The pain doesn't go away, but the ability to remember with joy begins.

Very best wishes to you in your healing journey, and may your husband's memory be eternal.

Roland of Gilead

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Very sorry for your loss.  I second the suggestion of looking into medical malpractice.  You do not sound like a person who would be trying to get a million dollars for a bad nose job but more like the person the insurance was designed to help (if errors and bad judgment caused your DH's death).

ace1224

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i am so very sorry for your loss.  and like others said, go easy on yourself.  to me you sound incredibly strong already.  i also agree with counseling, or even just someone to talk to. 

Erica/NWEdible

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I'm so sorry for your loss.

I cannot imagine what you are managing emotionally, but if you think you are clinically depressed please seek help - counseling, sure, but also medical - and please don't be afraid of antidepressants.

clarkfan1979

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I am very sorry for your loss. I would try to seek another counselor. I was seeking the advice of a counselor a couple years ago. The first counselor was not a good fit and I stopped going. I found a second counselor that was great and a lot of help.

Thegoblinchief

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None of your bills are high. Can you shave a few dollars here and there? Absolutely, but now may not be a great time to dwell on that, since it can easily feed into self-loathing.

Would education help keep your mind busy? Take a class you might be interested in.

As ch12 mentioned up thread, exercise helps me a ton. 2 miles isn't quite enough, but it is better than nothing. Walk the dog briskly. If you like biking, plenty of people do dog trailers. "Reward" your dog by checking out any local dog parks within biking distance.

Personally. I wouldn't move back with family. I'd hate the constant "walking on eggshells" treatment. A support group might help, but it really depends on your personality. Some people do best face to face, whereas I am more preferring anonymous Internet peeps.

FLBiker

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First of all, I'm really sorry for your loss, and grateful for your honesty.

I want to throw an idea out there, but I realize in reading some of the comments it may be completely wrongheaded.  As a lot of people have said, maybe seeking familiarity and stability is the way to go.

That said, another option is to change everything.  With a BA, you can get a very good job teaching English in a lot of countries (provided you're from America / Canada / England / other English speaking country).  While I realize the expat life isn't for everyone, it can be an effective way to clear your head and start over.

If you think this is something you might be interested in, I'd be happy to give you more info.

And I wholeheartedly endorse cycling -- I live in Tampa, and love biking to work, even in the summer.

I second the spiritual suggestion, too.  For me, meditation / getting involved with a Buddhist community has been very helpful.

dude

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Damn, 26 and lost a husband?  Very sorry for your loss.  If what you say about the "surgical errors" that caused your husband's death are true, I sincerely hope you've contacted a good lawyer.  As a husband myself, I know I'd sure as hell want my wife to be taken care of financially if I passed, and I'd want her to make those who injured me pay.  Sue those doctors, and consider the settlement/jury award your husband's parting gift to his beloved wife.

As for the rest, get away.  Move closer to family -- you seem to need that support network right now.  Find another job, start anew.  You are TWENTY-SIX -- you have your entire life ahead of you.  Move forward.  It's the best tribute you can give to your late husband.

JoyBlogette

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I buried my DH when I was 27. That was nearly 9 years ago. Too young to say goodbye. My thoughts are with you.

I can only speak from my experience, and the grief journey is different for everyone, but I would recommend the most supportive and calm environment that you can find. Only you know if that means remaining in your current locale, moving to be with your mom or closer to other friends. I will say that I sold mine and my DH's house because I could not envision sharing that space with someone else. I never went to counseling; however, I was lucky enough to find an internet support group for young widows. We are a rare group, those that bury spouses before the age of 30. That group, along with family and friends, and time and grief work have resulted in me becoming myself again. I have a wonderful life these days, and remember DH1 with love and smiles more often than tears.

Please feel free to message me. I would gladly share my phone number with you if you would like.

This made me cry. 

I can't imagine what you're going through, but my thoughts are with you.  What an awful thing to go through.  Lots of good advice on here from others.  Sending a virtual hug.  One day at a time.

MarciaB

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Hi Peach Fuzz,

My condolences for your loss. I too am a widow and understand what you're going through. You're doing the right thing by reaching out and I have every confidence in your ability to pick yourself up and make strong decisions. Eventually. When some of the shock of this body blow wears off.

The general advice to keep doing what you're doing and make no changes for the first year is good advice. I know that in my first year of widowhood I felt like I wasn't in my right mind. And I think this is typical. So be careful about making great big decisions (moving, quitting a job, etc.)

surfhb

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Lawyer up immediately and get compensated for your terrible loss.    You deserve it!    You shouldn't need to worry about money once a settlement has been paid

Good luck

Catbert

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I was widowed at 41, much older than you but still pretty young.  I agree with others some sort of counseling is helpful.  I went to a grief group sponsored by the local hospice. The group setting worked especially well for me since I had a hard time talking about it, but it helped hearing other verbalize my thoughts.  An on-line grief group would have been perfect for me although my loss was before the internet. 

I fall into the camp on making major changes the first year.  While at the time I thought I was operating at 100% during working hours, I realized later that I wasn't.  Not even close.  Since it was a long-time job, everyone cut me slack as I slowly got back to normal production.  If I'd moved to a new job 6 months after his death I might have been fired for incompetence! 

Given the situation with your brother I wouldn't advise moving in with your mother or in any other way getting more involved in his craziness.  You don't need it.

kmm

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I was widowed at 41, much older than you but still pretty young.  I agree with others some sort of counseling is helpful.  I went to a grief group sponsored by the local hospice. The group setting worked especially well for me since I had a hard time talking about it, but it helped hearing other verbalize my thoughts.  An on-line grief group would have been perfect for me although my loss was before the internet. 

I fall into the camp on making major changes the first year.  While at the time I thought I was operating at 100% during working hours, I realized later that I wasn't.  Not even close.  Since it was a long-time job, everyone cut me slack as I slowly got back to normal production.  If I'd moved to a new job 6 months after his death I might have been fired for incompetence! 

Given the situation with your brother I wouldn't advise moving in with your mother or in any other way getting more involved in his craziness.  You don't need it.

Widowed at 40 here, and totally agree (lots of us here, more than I thought). So sorry for your loss Peach Fuzz! My personal experience was that the first year was a haze (I alternated ruthless GETTING THINGS DONE efficiency with a complete inability to function), the second year was hard grief, and the third year I started to feel normal again. I could not have managed any big changes, though of course everyone is different. Please know that better times are ahead and you won't always feel this shattered.

iwasjustwondering

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I'm so sorry for your loss. 

phred

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Sheís held it for a crazy long time before (over 12hrs) but other times has went in the house while I was at work. Maybe it's

You can modify the paper training such that there is always some newspaper inside the house that she can get to

Peach Fuzz

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Thank you again to everyone for your kind words and great comments. I've really appreciated it. All the comments have been motivating. After my last post, I did go out and meet some new people through a new group I've joined last week. It was fun. For my personality, I need to get out and mingle. I know this, but I haven't been pushing lately and it's made things worse. So I felt good making steps to at least change that.


One side hustle you could look into is getting 40 hr. HAZWOPER certified at a community college and then doing household hazardous waste events on the weekends (call up some haz waste companies in your area and see if they are looking for folks first).


This is such an awesome idea! I used to have that certification. It's probably expired now, but I could get it again. I may still be in the renewal period. I had no idea you could use that for anything other than contaminant remediation for a field job. Thanks!

Winston

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One side hustle you could look into is getting 40 hr. HAZWOPER certified at a community college and then doing household hazardous waste events on the weekends (call up some haz waste companies in your area and see if they are looking for folks first).


This is such an awesome idea! I used to have that certification. It's probably expired now, but I could get it again. I may still be in the renewal period. I had no idea you could use that for anything other than contaminant remediation for a field job. Thanks!

From the OSHA website:

Quote
It has been more than 12 months since I took my initial HAZWOPER (8-, 24-, or 40-hour) training or 8-hour HAZWOPER refresher training? What do I do now?

Employees should stay up-to-date in the refresher training, although OSHA does understand that courses may be missed because of unavoidable circumstances. If you have missed a refresher training course, you should attend the next available course. If a substantial amount of time has passed since your initial or refresher training, then repeating the initial training may be necessary. The time frame within which it would be necessary to provide extensive retraining must be determined on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately, employees must be trained sufficiently to allow them to perform their expected job duties in a safe and healthful manner.

https://www.osha.gov/dte/training_faqs.html

For something fairly safe like HHW, you should be more than fine with a 8-hr refresher course (but the final decision is up to your employer).

Cred: I do EH&S for a living.

« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 10:58:04 AM by Winston »

anisotropy

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hmm wouldn't you be in a position to sue for massive $$ due to their mistakes? or did you sign away your rights.

Paul der Krake

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hmm wouldn't you be in a position to sue for massive $$ due to their mistakes? or did you sign away your rights.
Given that OP hasn't said a word on the matter after multiple prompts from other posters, it's likely that she's either in a lawsuit right now and can't discuss it publicly or that's not on the table at all.

skunkfunk

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IF you stay where you are - 2 miles from work is great. Sell that car, save $350 a month. Buy an e-bike if you can't handle the hill. You could take half a dozen cab rides a month and still come out ahead. Get a craigslist bike trailer.

fallstoclimb

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I am so sorry for your loss.  I can't even imagine.  That is my worst fear. 

I have extensive, morbid and absurd "Plan Bs" that I would enact if I lost my husband (basically taking my dog and running away from everything to work on a farm in the desert), because I don't know how I could stand anything resembling our life together without him there.  I wonder if that is one of the reasons you are now gunning for ER/FI?

If you are not tied down to much here, ER is probably much more attainable if you are willing to live in another country down the line.  I have an aunt who has always just scraped by, but has had an amazing life, and is now living in Nicaragua.  I'm not really clear on what she does for money but I think she just doesn't need much.  She may be slowly drawing from her mother's inheritance, which wasn't enormous.

Earlier in the thread someone said to slowly move towards whatever feels right to you, and I like that.  This certainly isn't the time to beat yourself up about your finances.  But, if you can stand it, I would encourage you to look into minimalism and getting rid of stuff.  This is a good time to do it, when you are trying to move forward.  You sound a bit overwhelmed by the amount of stuff in your 2-bedroom apartment.  If the thought of getting rid of stuff is too scary or hard right now, move towards something else that feels right, but if it is intriguing this might help free up some possibilities.

Or, just do the roommate thing, since you may feel safer coming home to a roommate.

Chuck

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So sorry to hear about your loss.

Not to be crass, but I didn't any settlement from the doctor's malpractice reflected in your finances. Are you pursuing litigation against the hospital? It sounds very much like you should receive a great deal of compensation...? Hopefully that will help start you on the right track.