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Uselessness – why do we feel so useless sometimes

Posted Jul 11 2011 5:40pm

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Today is a bad day. I have no air conditioning and it is causing my nerves to go haywire. This doesn’t help my current mood of depression and sadness. Today I feel very sorry for myself and just can’t get out of the funk.

Sometimes it is so hard to get up and get going. For some of you, you know I design websites and blogs for people. I don’t charge people even close to what other charge and always do extra work for people without pay. I thought that might count for something. Apparently it does not.

I know that it does take me longer to get things done for people, simply by the fact that I can’t sit on the computer for as long as someone who is not disabled. I also am trying so desperately to get better. There have been days I vomit for 50 hours or cannot even get out of bed from sheer exhaustion in pain. However, when people have needed work, I get it done for them as best I can and in a good time frame. I also don’t charge close to what others do.

I state clearly that if someone needs to contact me – please CALL – as I can’t be on the computer for more than a few hours. Also, my computer is dying a sad death – and without me working full time – there is no income to replace it.

The darkness just seems to be closing in. I just had a client email me – I had done a logo for her years ago – and she had said when I need a site I will for sure use you. So, I gave her a logo at a significantly reduced price – another company would have charged her about $300. I just got an email – asking for more versions for someone else to design her website. WOW. I know people don’t know that doing graphic design requires about 15-30 hours for a design. She paid me $60 bucks for a logo that had 5 versions sent to her. Now she would like a resend – assuming without charge – to give to someone else to design a site. I had discounted her logo on the basis a site would be done with me. I don’t even have the software that I used for her logo.

So, here is my dilemma. For the first time in my life I don’t know what to do? I don’t know what I am supposed to do to make a living?

Pain has limited me in so many ways. Doing the Blog and websites has helped my creativity – but it also causes pain. Inside and out. I feel failure more than the average person right now. I can’t do it, I am not good enough, I suck. I am broken, bruised (ego and body) and so very, very tired of fighting.

PLUS – we just got hit with no air conditioner, leak (and subsequent replacement of oil tank) and I have to get a new computer (this is the only thing some days that keeps me from slitting my throat) – not to mention my gluten free diet – which makes a loaf of breads $7.99, my naturopath, supplements – hormones – prescriptions etc. all of which are draining our finances. AND now I have people nonchalantly telling me – ok – send me work you did revised w/o pay so I can go with someone else.

And I am not supposed to want to smash things all around me!!!!!!

Can’t anything, be easy for once in my life. Just easy. I am happy to make people happy and I don’t want to charge them. That is my downfall. I physically, can’t chase after clients, but I need money. The bills are stacking up – my meds, treatments, diet, equipment and not to mention the fact that I am not very good at being taken care of financially by other people. It just sucks and today I feel about as worthwhile as a cockroach. Wah me.

Thank you for listening to my self pity rant.

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Kathleen Hogg provides new and/or existing business with Creative Design and Business Consulting Services.

Posted on July 11, 2011, in Chronic Pain. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

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  1. Dear Kathleen,
    Please don’t feel useless! Your blog is such an inspiration and comfort for so many people who need to know that they’re not alone – including me. I know it doesn’t pay the bills…. I’m going through a financially tough time, as well. But the bills will always be there…… whether you’re rich or poor. Having a wonderful cyber-friend & fellow Painie, like you, gives me the will to go & try to inspire others. And THAT is invaluable! Loads of gentle hugs to you! Take care & keep your chin up….
    – Andrea. <3

  2. kathleen, Im so sorry you’re having a crappy time, and that people are taking advantage of your kindness. I wouldn’t give her anything extra. And I would tell her, in aprofessional way, how insulting it is.

    As for the vacation and doing everything a non painie would…I can really relate. I do the same thing and end up paying dearly for it. You need to try to explain to them all your situation and that you cannot do all a normal person can do…even if they already know…tell them again…as in my case I know people who I think KNOW how ill I am, still expect me to do everything I would do if I wasnt ill. Its hard. Its hard to depend on others financially/physically/emotionally. I resent it everyday.

    Im in the pits as well, seems everything is always going wrong…never a break. I’m trying to keep my head above water…reading inspirational books/quotes etc. Tryin to meditate….just breathing deeper helps sometimes.

    Anyway, keep venting…that in itself tends to help…just to get it out of your head. My thoughts are with you.
    xoxox
    Tammy

    • I know we both have been having the “poor me’s” but sometimes – dont you want to wallow for a little while? I mean cripes – we got dealt a sh&&y hand. Having said that, I watched that Primetime report on Jaycee- the girl who was taken at 11 years old and kept for 18 years – had 2 babies (by herself in a shed at the age of 14 and then 17). And her outlook is pretty darn good. So, having said that, I feel like I shouldn’t really complain.
      I guess, I am selfish every once in a while and have my self pity.
      Thank you very much for your support, your empathy and kindness do help so much. It makes a difference when you get a kind shoulder like yours from someone who truly understands what it is like to be us. xox

  3. You have no obligation to send this person anything! I’m appalled that people take advantage of you this way. It’s ridiculous for her to expect more work for free.

    And if you are going to contract to do logos or blogs or websites, you need to charge a fair price. Maybe it takes you longer, so you won’t make as much per hour as someone who can work faster. However, clients don’t (or at least shouldn’t) expect freelancers or companies to be instantly available to them. Maybe you spend more time on a specific job, but another freelancer has more jobs to do before they get to the new client, so the waiting time is the same or possibly even longer with the other freelancer. Just allow yourself plenty of time when you give a quote.

    If a job is worth $300 you should charge $300. And you should spell out exactly what that entitles the client to—including how many revisions and in what time frame (6 revisions with 60 days, or whatever).

    Also if you want to give someone a discount for two projects, give them a quote with your regular price for the first project, and a discount on the second project. It doesn’t have to be detailed, just something like: “Completion of this project will make you a preferred client, and you will receive a 15% discount on your next project.”

    I’m so sorry you’re dealing with thoughtless, greedy, selfish, and manipulative people in addition to your pain. That can only aggravate your pain. Please treat yourself better than that!

    Hope my unsolicited advice is helpful and not discouraging. You certainly have value and worth, and I want to see you recognize and expect other people to see it as well. If they don’t, move on to people who will value you for the special person you are.

    • Thank you for your comments and support. This client was like 4 years ago – so I was surprised that she asked for graphics that old. They degrade over time – so they need to be redone anyway. She also explained that it is her industry too that will help her bring a more common structure to her site. It just hit me on a bad day, when I am feeling particularly vulnerable and some days you feel like a little kid who got their lollipop taken away and you want to have a temper tantrum right?
      Thank you again for yours upport – I do appreciate it – it did make me feel better. Hope you are having a good pain free day.

  4. I was very moved after reading your blog, you’ve communicated your angst and pain very well. As an outsider looking into this very brief window of your life, I hope you don’t mind me offering a small piece of advice?

    It sounds like you’ve bottled up a lot – in an effort to be all things to all people. Perhaps you could do with communicating what you do here, to the people who are close to you? Explain to your husband how you feel, and definitely explain to your previous client – as you do in the blog – the situation with the logo.

    When we go through so much pain, daily, we often forget that others have no idea or forget what we’re going through. And it sounds like you’re especially good at doing your part and more, perhaps those around you may need a gentle reminder.

    • Your probably right, and thank you for your kind comments. However, my husband is about to explode w/ stress. Having all these major financial blows at once hasn’t helped our situation at all. He is pretty good about things and I don’t want to overwhelm him too much. I have to say – if I didn’t have you guys – I probably would explode.
      Thank you for your support – it helped alot. Hope you are having a pain free day. \

  5. Hi Kathleen:

    I was so moved by your post & plight. My main reaction to what has happened to you is this: If you don’t value what you have to offer, other people won’t either.

    Even though you know you’re offering this great deal, other people can be so dumb that the great price, to them, means that your work is not as valuable as that of other people.

    Years ago, I brought my watercolors to a craft fair, and wanted to keep them reasonable so I priced them all below $50. Well you should have heard people complaining about the prices! So then my work was displayed in a bookstore in the city and I though – heck with that, I’m pricing them at what they’re worth to me – changed the prices to $200 and $300 (I think), and I sold two paintings and got invited to a really nice exhibition too.

    Anyway, I understand the need to have a pity party once in a while. We’re all out here for you.

    Hugs,
    Jane

    • I hear you, you are right. I also have to take responsibility for the fact that as I have been trying to take this year to get better and not work – I shouldn’t be so cranky. My goal is to get back on the work ball in January.

      Isn’t it funny about Prestige Pricing? People do get fooled by prices. I think it is great that you sold your paintings for such a bigger profit. Good for you. And they are worth that price too!
      And yes you are right too = that once in a while I indulge myself in a little self pity – I will rally and having the support of this Painie Network – is certainly my best support.

      Thank you

  6. Sorry Kathleen that things have been so tough lately! I can really identify with your current situation. I really hope that things go more smoothly soon.
    I’m up to my eyes in things right now. And, as I’m finding out, dealing with the sale of Mom’s house, selling items in yard sales, other items through a free classified ad web site, people are continually trying to take advantage of me, my health issues, etc. And, I thought small towns were supposed to be the place where people still cared! I won’t bore you with the details. Now that mom is gone, I can start to disown members of my family (who had taken advantage of my mom, treated her badly, taken advantage of me, some I just plain don’t like). No new baby pictures, wedding announcements, Christmas cards/birthday cards — even though; and although the odds aren’t great I’ll ever see them again, I’m practicing my “I really dislike you you greedy jerk but you’re my uncle” smile. Ive started to no longer “play nice” with my husand’s family, and their obvious distain some of them feel are beneath them due to not having a big career, no children, etc. Sorry to rant on about my family issues; I really didn’t intend this email to be so much of a rant by me!
    For up-coming family gathering, could you rent a wheelchair/mobilty device for the event? I know it draws attention to you and folks will stare, but it might both bring home to folks that you are dealing with a health issue, keep you from getting too tired out, and help with your “chores” at the gathering. I believe that the Red Cross will loan mobility devices at very reasonable rates or for free.
    Will be sending you extra special good thoughts as the date of the reunion approaches. And, lots of (((((hugs))))); sorry you have so many physical conditions, and your mind is fragile at this point.
    My apologies for the self-centered rant. Really hoping things get better!
    phylor

    • Oh Phylor, I am so sorry that you are having a tough time too. Mine is nothing but self pity – the trip I should be ok – my walking/mobility is ok – mine usually is just raw nerve pain not mechanical – got my meds and will just pace myself. On a good note – I fit into my bathing suit – which I have not in about 4 years – so I guess this Gluten Free diet is working. My fat ass may be a quasi-normal ass soon.

      I have immense and true empathy regarding your family situation – my husband jokes that my family is not an Oprah show but several seasons worth of shows. I won’t bore you with my stories either – but he said once “If I didn’t see how these people behave with my own eyes – I wouldn’t believe it either!!” I don’t speak to many of my family members either. Here is my philsophy – if a stranger or friend treated you badly how would you react? Just because they are family doesn’t mean you have to be nice to them. You didn’t pick them – you got handed them. Therefore, in my opinion, you shouldn’t take crap or abuse from family just because they are family. Also, after seeing my family waive wills around like weapons – i.e. “I am going to write you out if you don’t play nice” crap – it is just a joke. I mean, why would I be nice to you – so I can get something when you are dead? If I like/love you – I do so without financial reward.

      With 15 years in the Life/Disability industry – I have watched the most horrendous, vicious acts between family members and for what? Money? Property? I mean seriously, money goes, property can burn or lose value (as we have seen in the past couple of years) things are things. You can’t take them with you when you go. People are strange about these things and I find it truly disturbing. Here is a funny one – when inputting an application I noticed that the birthday of one child was say June 10th, 1994 and another child was August 23rd, 1994. Huh? I called the insurance agent to inform there was an error – well guess what there wasn’t. How does that work – well if you are insuring the children with your wife and girlfriend at the same time – then those dates make sense – Did that bring a smile????

      I know the loss of your mother was extremely hard on you and still is. You can’t rationalize irrational people and you can’t change them either.

      As for small towns – jackasses live everywhere – and I am sorry that people are trying to jerk you around. It is not fair.

      I will say this - you are extremely valuable and have been a tremendous support to me and so many other Painies out there. So – tell your family to stick it where the sun don’t shine!!!

      I hope your pain is a little more manageable lately. Sending you big (yet gentle) hugs too!!!

  7. Kathleen,

    I have my husband read my blog and I think it might be a good idea for yours to do the same. When he reads it, he has a much better understanding of whether I am having a good day or a bad day.

    As far as the work goes – contract, contract, contract! Do not ever charge less than you are worth. People will try to take advantage – never let that happen.

    As far as the computer goes, can you possibly get credit from Best Buy and get a new laptop? They are really cheap right now. We just bought two new ones for our younger sons and the total was only $800, so you can probably get a good one for about $400 and then you can use it for making more money to pay the bills you are so worried about. And they offer no interest financing if you pay if off within a certain amount of time.

    Also, in your contract for the services you are being paid for, also spell out that there is a time problem and you will need X amount of time to do the job. Period. No negotiating. You are worth whatever you are worth and stop letting people have things for free when the cost to you is so high.

    Hugs,
    Chelle

  8. Thanks Kathleen. I didn’t mean to dump so much on you. I’m finding that I’m very angry which doesn’t do much for depression. There are issues I need to resolve; to learn how to let go.

    Glad to hear that the gluten-free is working — at least in the bathingsuit department, lol.

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