Bitterest of them all. 

There is some type of indignity that comes with being broke. Especially since in my entire life of education I was never broke. My parents were and still are staunch believers of ensuring a child has peace of mind when studying. And pocket money contributes to that, so every start of a new month or week, my pocket money was sent. It wasn’t a lot, but it was enough to cater for my needs. 

Now imagine jumping from that into joblessness. Having no money of my own and not studying brings some shame into it when asking for financial assistance from my parents. At least previously I only needed to say some necessity needed repleshining before I got it. Now I only ask for the extreme bare needs and even those it takes me to be in the worst possible scenario for me to ask for them, and even then, I can feel the lethargic way the money is sent if it is sent in the first place. 

Lacking money and having no source of looking for that money is extremely undignifying. I just can’t find another word to describe the feeling of hopelessness in the face of need. It strips me of the worth I thought I had. 

At first its about the ego. I have a big ego. Scratch that. I had a big ego. There are lows I wouldn’t scoop to get what I wanted. They aren’t average lows necessarily, but when you have plenty or enough and an independent mindset like mine, then asking anyone for money besides my parents was a no-go zone. Until now. In some situations, I have had to strip my ego and ask for help from unlikely quarters..and the cringing that happens in that process is enough to grind a full sack of maize literally. 

And the worst part of being broke and jobless at the same time, is that borrowing money becomes a landmine. I only borrow money when I have a payback plan in mind. And I can’t be looking for a job with an mshwari loan and lots of debt. So I brave this burning winter alone. 

And then there is meeting up with friends. That’s a whole topic on its own. You can’t dictate people meet up in free parks because of you. And on the other side, you can’t request someone to cater for your bill when everyone else is footing their own end. So you struggle and find ways of ensuring you attend social events, the bare minimum that is, like the ones you can’t afford just to not go. There is the whole debate that goes on with people saying they wouldn’t let their broke friends suffer when they go out, but the catch to that is that that broke friend needs to tell them first..because how else will they know their help is required? 

That’s the hardest part. I’ve finally understood why depressed people give off this ‘I’m doing good’ demeanor on the outside then go home to cry themselves to sleep alone. If explaining something to your own mother is hard, then how about a friend with their own problems too? Especially an age mate? 

I’ve gone through many things in life, but being broke with no hope of a rescue, was the only thing that got me thinking that regardless of what, I would never ever let any young person I’m related to in any way, go through this. 

You see with mental problems like depression and stress, its a little personal. You only let in the people you are comfortable with like your close friends and therapist maybe. But with being broke? You can’t help yourself at all. And there is nothing as painful like looking at your hands and admiting to yourself that there is nothing you can do. Helplessness and hopelessness are a recipe for disaster. 

All in all, in life , there is asali( honey) and shubiri( something bitter). I’ve taster various types of honey. I’ve had my share of shubiri. But so far this is the bitterest of them all. 

9 Comments

  1. Mwende I will tell you for free i am in the same boat. When i briefly had a job it alleviated a bit of stress off my dad. Even though it was so meagre it was barely enough to save.
    But now that i am not… well we have gone back to what you phrase as ‘undignified’ asking for money from my parents. And yes, they too now hesitate, or give it completely half-heartedly. This irritation of surely you are still asking us for money at this age? So take heart. I have decided to stop feeling guilty, it takes time and practice, but you will get there. Stop feeling guilty why? Because i am doing literally everything i can, and i trust you are too. And a reminder, we are so so many. I have decided this is the state of things, and essentially they have a responsibility to take care of you till you are on your own feet. Its a countrywide statistic, so many of us are relying on our folks for longer and longer. What also consoles me is i have friends who are not even trying or looking for jobs or business opportunities- they are sitting at home, or hanging out at bars, being given 50k plus and a fuelled car by their folks. With no guilt at all. I dont know how they do it..i would feel terrible. I decided to start volunteering nearby to keep busy and you never know who you will meet (its been hard coz of the depression-i dont quite enjoy being around people). If you ever need to talk..feel free to just send me a msg on my blog (or i can share my email if you want).Sorry if this is super long!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aaaaw..thank you so much. We totally relate on this one. Depression plus being broke and jobless is heartbreakingly hurting to say the least.
      Hardest place I’ve ever been. And it makes looking for a job even harder, because unlike before I don’t have the enthusiasm for it. It feels like a hopeless cycle.

      Anyway, thank you for your words. At least I know I’m not alone( on a light note, misery loves company 🙂 But when I was writing that I felt so defeated in life.

      When i’m in bad situations I avoid human beings…but should it become too much..i’ll reach out to you. And I extend the same gesture to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. Lol yes misery loves company but its also comforting to know you have a support system with people who are going through similar situations. I know… this job search is so hopeless. I went from applying to like two a week, to one every other month because it just feels like whats the point?
        Anyway, I hope you’re well. (Sorry for the latest reply ever)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am well. Found a kasmall hustle that though doesn’t bring much, some days it doesn’t feel as hopeless.
        I’m actually doing more than well..my depression took a break( does it ever disappear completely?) So i’m in a way much better place.
        How are you? ( on a light note, should I wait an year for this response 😉 ? )

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hi Mwende. Gosh im sorry for the late reply! Haha waiting a year was a joke but it seems it actually almost became a reality. My laptop was having serious issues and i realized i dont have my wordpress password on my phone so i thought ohwell i will log back in when i manage.
        I am so so happy to hear about your hustle!! I am still looking for one. I am also glad days dont seem as hopeless..it is a step. As small as it may seem. I like to believe that depression CAN go away. I hope mine does because the thought that i might continue like this for the rest of my life is…depressing. I am ok, volunteering somewhere as i look for a job or a proper hustle. It doesn’t pay but the people are great so its brought lots of laughs into my days, which is nice. We must be grateful for the small things. Sorry again for the latest response ever! But i hope August is treating you well? *Hugs*

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hello there, sorry about your laptop. But about you replying after one monsoon season😂 …by then I was well, now I am not. But that is life.
        I’m really glad you spend your days doing something that makes you laugh at times..that can be rare( simple things like laughing that is). Its the simple things that make our days lighter.
        We were discussing with my friend on whether depression ever goes away fully…sometimes it just seems like a never ending cycle of darkness followed by some light then some darkness etc. But I hope we’ll one day be over with it completely or at least have it under control.

        My August isn’t so well, but things are looking up ( the goodness of being at the rock bottom is that, the only way out , is up).
        But hope yours is turning out okay? ( please reply in August😅😅)

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Hey Mwende. I have replied in August!! I feel like this may need a moment of celebration. Can we just pause. Yes the simple things do make our days lighter so we must appreciate them. There was a time three months had gone by and i couldn’t remember the last time i had laughed. So i am grateful.
        I definitely know what you mean, iv’e been there. Just darkness everyday, and it feels like it will never ever lift. I can also only hope that we have t under control one day and are able to live absolutely normal lives.
        I am so sorry about your month 😦 I hope things turn up soon. I really do. I wish ock bottom wasn’t an option to reach at all. I am okay..i guess. Starting an unpaid 3 month internship next month that i honestly did not want to take.. but parents you know. There is no possibility of extension after the 3 months and its super far from home. It will be a long few months so i am not looking forward to that. But one day at a time i guess.

        Like

      6. You deserve a commendation for this🤣🤣😂.

        Well..I started seeing a therapist. Its one session in, but besides being brutal..I think it will help me immensely. Or rather, its helping already.

        I don’t envy you at all. I know how starting/doing something when your heart isn’t in it can be such a daunting task.
        But what do you have to lose anyway (3 months of your lifetime if it goes wrong) or you might end up gaining something valuable from it…as you say..just take a day at a time. Who knows? I know you’ll have a story to tell after it all…anyway..i’m here in case it gets too much or you just need someone to talk to( mmercymwende@gmail.com or 0700543542)

        One day at a time..

        Like

  2. Oh one more thing..don’t go for plans with friends unless you absolutely have to. Those who love you and want to see you will make an effort to look for you. They have your n.o yes? And they know where you live.. so they know how to find you. I realized sometimes we overstretch ourselves for people who don’t remotely appreciate it. So i stay home a lot more now. If you have siblings/close cousins see what low investment business you can start maybe in the neighbourhood.

    Liked by 1 person

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