Emmie Mears
SFF. Queer AF.

Sometimes the Hardest Thing is Asking for Help

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Sometimes the Hardest Thing is Asking for Help

This has been a hard year.

Not just for me; I think for a large number of people, 2014 sort of set fire to our backsides and roasted marshmallows while we shrieked.

This is a hard post to write.

Many of you probably have noticed that I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to. That’s not a coincidence, nor is it that I had nothing to say. I’ve said before that I’ve tried to start posts here and stopped. I’ve had a lot of things to say, and many of them weren’t great. I didn’t want this place to be a place of doom and cobwebby gloom, so I kind of left it at the door and ding-dong ditched the blog in general.

It’s a tough thing when you live even a little in the public eye, to know how much to share.

In April, I separated from my husband. We’ve had, as far as one of these things can possibly be, an amicable split. But for anyone who has gone through such a thing, you’ll know that divorce is neither quick nor simple. In the state of Maryland, especially not the quick part. This year has also seen some other tremendous setbacks, most of which I can’t discuss publicly. This fall especially has worn me down to a place where even tears have eluded me because of their futility.

I made it through 2014 with no skin left on my teeth. Last year at this time, I was making twice what I am now at the same job. That’s the fickle thing about waiting tables — depending on the generosity of strangers is both contingent upon generosity and an abundance of strangers. Without the latter, the former can be made a bit obsolete. I can get a 50% tip from two tables, but if they’re my only two tables, I still might walk out of a shift with only 20-30 bucks. That’s kind of been what’s happened over the past eight months. Where business used to pick up in September, it didn’t. And as a result my income has been halved. Literally halved, which I think for anyone would cause some…hardship.

I’m happy to say — overjoyed, actually — that I have just accepted a job offer at a local university. I start this week, which has me incredibly excited not just for the steady paycheck but also because it’s doing something that utilizes both my experience and my skills in a way I haven’t had the opportunity to do in a long time. So things are looking up.

The problem is that with my situation over the last eight months, I’ve fallen farther and farther behind. As it stands, my car loan’s maturity date is in January and I have $1300 remaining on it. So far I’ve managed to talk Honda out of repossessing the vehicle because there are so few payments left and I’m answering their (very frequent) phone calls. Now I’m looking at at least two weeks without income while I transition to my new job, and transit to and from plus frivolities like food for me and the kitties is looking like it will be virtually nonexistent. While after the car is paid off and my new paychecks start I will be in excellent shape, getting to February with my rent paid, my car still in my possession, and food on the table has become the priority.

I’m afraid to write this. I’m looking over what I have written so far and feeling a lot of things. Anxiety. Shame. Fear. Christmas for me as a kid was always that time of year that reminded me how poor we were. I still remember getting baskets marked “Girl” from local charities, and while I was thankful to get something, going back to school to see everyone else showing off their new gadgets and name brand clothes always made the quiet reality that home was a place where paying the electric bill was a luxury we couldn’t always afford just that much more evident. To be writing this now, at age 30, is…humiliating. But at this point I don’t know what else to do. Credit is no longer an option.

I need help.

For the past four years, I’ve been waiting tables full time and writing full time so that I could get my writing career started. Since 2011, I have written eight books, landed a publishing deal, and made some truly incomparable friends in the process. This year has been full of trials, and though I know the light will return, it seems almost annoyingly appropriate that the darkest hour is coming right before the sun makes its return to signal the coming of spring.

I’ve added a donation button* to this page that will link to my PayPal account. Because I am pretty much incapable of asking for help without offering something in return, anyone who donates $10 or more before January 1 will get the very first crack at my next urban fantasy novel, STORM IN A TEACUP. The book is going to be released February 3, but I will send copies to donors two weeks early on January 20 (.epub or .mobi files). You’ll also get the cover 24-48 hours before the cover reveal, and your name will be listed in the book’s acknowledgements (unless you wish to remain anonymous).

For transparency’s sake, I’ll update this post with relevant payment confirmations when any donations have been used to pay a bill or buy food. After the 15th of January, I’ll also update this post with a breakdown of donations and how they were used, because doing this at all makes me supremely nervous and frankly, I would like you all to see just what any bit of your generosity has truly meant to me in real terms.

If you’ve gotten this far, thank you. If you can donate, thank you, and know that I appreciate it more than I can say. If you can’t, thank you for reading. This time of year can be so tough in so many ways. To anyone reading this for any reason, I sincerely wish you joy and peace during this holiday season. That you are able to take comfort and find laughter with loved ones who are here and remember those who are not with the warmth and memories they left behind them.

 










 

*You might notice that the email address associated with my PayPal account is emilka.powell and not emmiemears — this is because Mears is my grandmother’s maiden name. Adding this for transparency.

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Author | Emmie Comments | 38 Date | December 8, 2014

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Rowanwolf

Bravo, Brave Girl! Asking for help is the hardest thing to do. What donation I can make will be sent with the utmost respect and love, and pride that I know someone as courageous as you. Keep your chin up and try to breathe easy. I wish lots of love and the best of all possible outcomes in all that’s troubling you.

December 8, 2014 | 9:09 am

    Emmie

    Thank you, Stacy. I’m not feeling brave at all right now.

    December 8, 2014 | 9:33 am

Amber West

You are brave.

I know how hard I find it to ask for help of any kind – it’s crippling – and I’m slowly (very slowly) learning as I get older that I have to be willing to put it out there. That there are people who care who want more than anything to be there when it’s needed.

You give so much to the community around you, I am certain there are plenty of people who would be happy to have the opportunity to lend a hand.

Sending you hugs, love, and that green stuff. 🙂

December 8, 2014 | 10:07 am

    Jenny Hansen

    Thanks to Amber for letting me know about this!

    December 8, 2014 | 1:44 pm

      Emmie

      Thank you, Jenny!

      December 8, 2014 | 1:45 pm

        Jenny Hansen

        You’re welcome. And I added some Merry Christmas “green stuff.” Believe me, I understand divorce and the resulting poverty factor.

        December 8, 2014 | 1:47 pm

          Emmie

          Thank you, Jenny. And yeah…it’s hard even in good circumstances, and this year’s work situation has not been good circumstances.

          December 8, 2014 | 1:50 pm

    CC MacKenzie

    Thank you, Amber, for letting me know about Emmie. I’m more than happy to help. It takes a huge amount of courage to ask for help. HUGE. Best of luck in the new job and keep writing. 🙂

    December 9, 2014 | 2:26 am

      Emmie

      Thank you so much! 🙂

      December 9, 2014 | 8:18 pm

monabliss

Asking for help when we need it is vital. Being willing to give help when we can is vital. I’ve been in your shoes financially and might be again. What I know is if I am honest and I am willing to work and my answer is YES every single time the Universe comes knocking then resources show up. That said…I will donate what I can this Friday, after I get paid. I firmly believe in paying it forward and I’m happy to buy your next book in this fashion. Blessings.

December 8, 2014 | 12:04 pm

    Emmie

    Mona, thank you so much.

    I believe that too. I try to help when I can, however I can. My family was always very poor and were it not for the kindness of people (often strangers), we never would have kept a roof over our head and food on our table. Sometimes a table at all.

    Thank you.

    December 8, 2014 | 12:08 pm

Fantasy For the Rest of Us.

<3

December 8, 2014 | 12:45 pm

Lucy Price

I just read your post and I appreciate your honesty I know how hard it is to ask for help! Even if we never actually meet in person please know that I care and that we are all placed in each others lives in some capacity for a reason. I first read your blog post after the Burbank Supernatural convention , another reason I love this show it connects us for one reason and somehow other reasons appear. I wish you a happy, healthy, and peaceful new year. I look forward to reading your book and sent my donation before writing this comment. Take care of yourself…….. Lucy

December 8, 2014 | 1:34 pm

    Emmie

    Lucy, thank you so, so much.

    And you are absolutely right…our Supernatural family is just amazing. I am still so amazed by what Ramona did for Kelly at BurCon. Truly special.

    December 8, 2014 | 1:44 pm

Jenny Hansen

Emmie, you brave wonderful lady. It is so hard to ask for help, and I hope you get tons of it. In the meantime, good luck on the new job and keep writing. {{Hugs}}

December 8, 2014 | 1:45 pm

Kelly Roberts

Hi Emmie: I learned about your post from Amber, like Jenny did. I’m so sorry to hear about what you’re going through now, but am also glad that there is light shining bright ahead for you. Asking for help is hard, so good on you for stepping forward and asking for what you need. I’m so glad to help a fellow writer. Best wishes for a more prosperous 2015.

December 8, 2014 | 2:18 pm

    Emmie

    Thank you so much, Kelly. It’s very much appreciated. 2015 will be better; I know it will. I can’t say how much I appreciate what people are doing for me today.

    December 8, 2014 | 2:23 pm

Jennifer Jensen (@jenjensen2)

Hi, Emmie. Amber West posted a link to our WANA group, so I came to read. I’ve been in the same financial situation in the past, although for different reasons. I can only imagine what you’re going through, and I’m happy to share some of the blessings we have now. Hopefully there will be enough sharing going on that you can pay the car off and have food in the house. And congrats on the new job!

December 8, 2014 | 2:47 pm

    Emmie

    Thank you so much, Jennifer. I really appreciate it.

    People have been extraordinary today. I will never forget it.

    December 8, 2014 | 2:58 pm

karenmcfarland

Oh my goodness Emmie, I know what kind of stress you are under in order for you to do this. It wasn’t too long ago that my husband and I were in the same boat only for different circumstances. And it isn’t fun girl. It was horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE!!! A time that I would never wish on anyone. I can only thank Amber for sharing your post on our Wana1011 page. Cheers to you for your bravery. This wasn’t easy for you to spill your guts out on the page. I totally related to your comment above, “I didn’t want this place to be a place of doom and cobwebby gloom, so I kind of left it at the door…It’s a tough thing when you live even a little in the public eye, to know how much to share.” So true! But in this case, if this will give you the relief you need, then you made the right decision. Hopefully this will help you sleep tonight! You will get through this! You are not alone! Sending lots of hugs your way!

December 8, 2014 | 3:33 pm

    Emmie

    Karen, thank you so much. So many people today have expressed that they have been in this place, and it’s just…humbling and heartbreaking at the same time. I really am touched by the outpouring of support and kindness I’ve received from our community today. It’s really tremendous and I am so grateful.

    December 8, 2014 | 3:55 pm

Elizabeth Anne Mitchell

I also came to your post from the WANA page, Emmie. I’ve had a crappy year, for different reasons, but being able to pay it forward helps me make it better.

You are braver than you know. Congratulations on the new job.

December 8, 2014 | 4:36 pm

    Emmie

    Thank you, Elizabeth.

    2014 has been a poopoo meanie pants to way too many people in way too many ways. 🙁 I hope 2015 is better for all of us.

    December 8, 2014 | 4:57 pm

prudencemacleod

I too came from the WANAs. It’s not much, but I hope it helps. Good luck to you and your kitties.

December 8, 2014 | 5:54 pm

    Emmie

    Thank you, Prudence!

    December 8, 2014 | 6:13 pm

Kassandra Lamb

Happy to help! Congratulations on the new job and please keep writing!!

(p.s. I use a pen name as well so my donation will be in a different name; I’d prefer to remain anonymous on your posts/lists. Thanks!)

December 8, 2014 | 6:23 pm

Ginger Calem

Hang in there! I’m humbled by your vulnerability. It will truly all be well. Believe that.

December 8, 2014 | 6:24 pm

Emma

There are a lot of people suffering in silence so I think you’re brave for writing this post.
Congrats on the job, Emmie. Hopefully this will be the start of even better things to come and 2015 will be a good year for you.
Merry Christmas from Ireland, Emma.

December 9, 2014 | 12:34 pm

    Emmie

    Thank you so much, Emma.

    December 9, 2014 | 8:18 pm

Michael Path

I had to ask for help for something almost a year ago to the day. People came out of nowhere. I was very fortunate. I hope you experience similar fortune.

December 11, 2014 | 2:39 am

    Emmie

    Thank you, Michael — I think it’s safe to say I have. 🙂

    December 12, 2014 | 9:36 pm

Cassandra Page

I sent you a little bit of money; turns out Paypal defaulted to USD so at least it won’t be a weird amound or anything. Big hugs. xo

December 11, 2014 | 4:48 am

    Cassandra Page

    PS My Paypal account has a different surname too. If you add me to any lists please use Cassandra Page, though. 🙂

    December 11, 2014 | 4:50 am

    Emmie

    Thank you so much, Cassandra. 🙂

    December 12, 2014 | 9:36 pm

Amalia Dillin

*hugs*

December 20, 2014 | 5:47 pm

Invisible Hands: Who Catches You When There Is No Net? | Emmie Mears

[…] beneath my feet was frayed and disintegrating, leaving rough bits between my toes. I cried out for help, and it was granted. Just as I slipped, hands came from around me, beside me — and caught […]

December 29, 2014 | 9:00 am

Why I Share: Living on the Fury Road | Emmie Mears

[…] spoken about past trauma, poverty, divorce, coming out, homophobia, sexism, and myriad lived experiences that are part and parcel of the […]

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