I have thirty minutes until it's officially day 18, so I need to hurry! Anyhoo, today was a day of reckoning, a day of putting my pride in my pocket and allowing myself to go where I swore I would never set foot. The social services office. Yep, I applied for food stamps...I mean "Food Assistance." Somehow the word "Assistance" feels better than the word "STAMPS". I envision myself stuck in front of a huge line at Wal Mart with a book of stamps, counting one at a time, feeling crushed by the glares of the onlookers. Ugh.
I never wanted to find myself in this office. It carries a stigma of POVERTY...POOR...SAD...PATHETIC...need I go on? Despite this debilitating stigma, I know that I can not support two kids and myself on my income alone. I am a hard worker, I have found myself in a very sudden, very tight financial situation...so I entered that room with my head held high. I know that every penny that is given to me will be well-spent to feed my little ones. I know that I'm not milking the system, and that when I am on my feet I will no longer accept government aid because I will no longer need it. I know that I will not abuse the system, and that the money given to me will be very well spent.
While I'm not proud to be on government assistance, it is my reality right now. It won't last forever, and it will help me keep food in my babies' bellies. I can go without but they can not. Things will look up and I will look back with gratitude that my government...my fellow taxpayers...helped me out. I will not disappoint.