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I was recently laid off and my whole world is spinning out of control. I am so scared, wake with stress pounding in my chest, so depressed I can hardly move out of bed or off the couch. I am a 61 year old woman who supplied the medical benefits and most of the income for my husband and myself. I am too young for Medicare, too poor to pay the $700 a month COBRA payments for the next 4 years. And with little jobs out there, my age is way against me. Anyone else in this situation and how do you feel and how are you coping?
Both my husband and myself have been exactly where you are. But we've been there on and off since 1990 when my husband was 47 and lost his pension and job of 24 years. When he left his boss told him it was not the end of the world. But after 19 years, I have to say it was the worst for us (we've been married 45 years now). The following year I lost my job so for about four months we had no money, no insurance, and not much sympathy from friends or family. We have advanced degrees and were at the peak of our profession. But no one wanted to hire ether of us. At one point we were so low that it was necessary to sell most everything including our home.
We went through all that you talk about but we got through it; life has never been the same (lost our faith and trust in working/people). I actually can't say 'how' we did it; just the old adage 'one day at a time'. If the worry doesn't kill you first. But we did learn what is important and what was not. During the first three years, most of our friends no longer called or wanted to see us. Family had little choice, but we do have pride so we didn't complain or explain. We were open and truthful with our sons.
My husband was never able to find a job in his particular field again but was able to work at contract jobs. I found another job which provided us insurance. In between jobs, he was a subsitute teacher which he even enjoyed. But the fear was never far away. The ones I feel suffered the most were our sons just starting careers. With our experience, they have a different attitude about working. At this time my 2nd son who has a PH.D. cannot find a job so he is going back to school. We have retired and live in a 2-generaltional house with our youngest son. Our income is 1/4 of what it was but with our son helping, we're making out fine. My husband went almost a year without insurance (and didn't need it until ONE WEEK before turning 65 for an ear infection) and my retirement provided health care (if it can be called that! very slim coverage).
"Bad things happen to good people" is true. Get off the couch; get some counseling (you can find it free) and step back and take a good look at your situation without emotion or fear. You will make it through perhaps not as you expected but you will make it - there simply is no other choice. Good luck and keep in touch I would like to hear how you are doing. Believe me, you are far from alone.