First of all, I am very grateful for the kindness and support received from those leaving responses the past few days. I will try and comment on your individual responses but am still feeling sick so may not get to it today - I'll try for tomorrow afternoon.
There is finally some good news. I called the State this morning and have been advised that I can still maintain the insurance - it renews and has to be re-qualified for in a year. So that is the biggest load off my shoulders! Having insurance for the boys has no doubt been the biggest worry I have faced the past couple of years - and it is the number one worry I have had. At least that can now be put to rest for the time being.
I've thought long and hard about this job. It is not the best fit for me but I need to work. It is also extremely physically and emotionally draining. For that reason, I called in today and requested that I go down to part-time hours until the boys are out of school. Then I can reassess the situation and go from there. This way, I can work and it will be less physically and emotionally taxing on me and the boys. And I can use some of the days off to look for another, more suitable position. And I can devote the time to clearing out the storage sheds once and for all now that the weather is warm and mild enough to do so. I feared that if I continued to work full-time, I would end up a basket case and be so exhausted I'd have no energy for anything on my days off but catching up on my sleep.
In a way, making this decision was one based totally on what I want and need. I don't love this job. It is difficult for me to motivate myself to go. But at the same time I want to make an effort at it - hopefully I'll feel more comfortable with more experience. I've never not worked in my life. I have worked since my preteen years. Actually, my first job was in second grade selling seeds and Christmas cards door-to-door. I worked for almost all my own clothing in high school and put myself entirely through undergrad and grad school. I did not receive a penny from my parents for my undergrad college! So, I have been working hard for a long time.
It is just when I was widowed that it became hard to work and parent on my own. Just not enough hours in the day and too much to do. Working part-time is my preference if possible because I have trouble doing it all on my own. My requesting part-time hours is the one concession I can give to myself knowing how hard it is to run a household and parent solo. I know myself and my limitations. It will still be hard working part-time. But at least not as hard. and maybe once I get into the swing of things it won't be as hard increasing my hours. Or I can work more over the summer months and cut back again when the boys go back to school.
I am glad I stood up for myself but feeling upset at all the anguish that has existed in my heart and soul over the past days worrying about this issue. Part of it is the fact that I live alone and don't have an adult partner or even family member to turn to when this stuff comes up. It is bearing the brunt of the unknown alone. And that increases the anxiety and stress. No one is around to say, "Hang in there. It'll be okay. Let's put this to rest right now and watch some mindless t.v. to take our minds off it." Sometimes it is impossible to distract oneself despite the best intentions. This is one of the advantages of living with someone. Having someone around who cares about you and to physically and emotionally lean on is worth its weight in gold.
For now, I am working hours that I think are manageable and I have insurance for my family. My hope has been restored. The new L. L. Bean catalog came today and for a moment I let myself imagine buying a bright lime green blazer and short blue chino skirt that I'd look good in. It has been so long that I've allowed myself the luxury of such fantasy. And that felt good - no it felt great. Much, much better than the dismal feelings of failure, doom and gloom that have been floating around in my mind the past days!
I think being sick has not helped and I am still fighting whatever it is I got. I just do not feel myself or up to snuff. It doesn't help going into work and trying to orientate to a new job when you don't feel well. And it has probably contributed to the worry and anxiety. I am sure being under the weather increased my feelings of despair and depression. I hope I will kick these lingering feelings of malaise in the days ahead - I still have to work but I think the relief I feel knowing that we still have insurance will let me relax more and deal with going back to work better. I would say that when you're sick there isn't much spare energy left to boost your mood and morale up. You're already physically down and that is where your mood kind of remains too.
Thank you all again for listening and caring. I hope if anything, that what this has accomplished is for others out there to realize how desperate and necessary the issue of affordable health care for struggling families and individuals is and has become.