If you’ve been following my blog you know that life has not been kind to me lately. Just when I thought things were finally turning around for me with a job, albeit the worst job I’ve even had in my life with the worst company I’ve ever had the misfortune to work for, Stream Global Services, I was wrongfully dismissed last November.

At the urging of my employment counselor at Goodwill, I submitted a detailed report of all the horror stories I had encountered with Bell Satellite TV customers directly to the CEO of Bell, hoping to get a job with them. I got an email from a VP asking if she could share my report with her “very good friend”, a VP at Stream. I was obviously concerned about possible ramifications of doing this, and said so, but she took it upon herself to share this confidential information anyway, and I was fired over it. I have been desperately trying to find a lawyer who will take my case on a contingency basis, but they all want money up-front, which I obviously don’t have.

Shortly after my dismissal, two weeks in fact, my car was broken into for the second time and they destroyed my steering wheel column trying to steal it. The damage was more than the car was worth, so I’m back on the buses. It took three months of fighting with my horrible insurance company, Belair Direct, to get a decent settlement, but it’s still not enough to buy a decent car.

All this stress has taken a toll on my health. My sugars are off the charts and my diabetic neuropathy is so bad that I’m now using a cane. The pain is 24/7, so sleep is very difficult. My diabetes specialist put me on a strong narcotic, a generic version of Oxycotin, Oxycocet. I had no idea of the horrible side effects when I started on it.

At the same time my application for my disability pension was denied on the basis that I had failed to submit my application within the fifteen month deadline. The issue was that it took me almost three years to find a family doctor in this town to complete the medical reports. I had done everything possible to find a doctor, but it is well known how impossible it is because no doctors are accepting new patients. At one point I followed up with a doctor I had applied to and they said they hadn’t had time to look through the “hundreds” of applications. The only way I found a doctor was because she had just moved from Montreal and was accepting new patients. Now I have to go through a lengthy appeals process to get my pension. I had been researching moving to Ecuador, but this was based on receiving my pension, so that’s on hold for now.

There are many reasons why I was considering moving to Ecuador, not the least of which is that, after an incredibly frustrating process of trying to obtain a pardon for something stupid over twenty-five years ago, I discovered I have an outstanding fine to pay before I can apply under the new “record suspension” program. I also learned that after I pay my fine I have to wait TEN years before I can apply. I’ve lost track of all the jobs I’ve lost when they ask for a criminal record check, which I can’t provide. I was short-listed for my dream job, covering Kelowna north to the Yukon. Company car. Good base. Unlimited commissions. Expense account. Good shot at earning at least a hundred thousand a year, and they couldn’t understand why I passed on the job when they asked for a CRC. So frustrating.

Also part of the reason I was considering Ecuador was the horrible situation with my kids. It’s a very long story that I’ve blogged about before so I won’t repeat it all here, but my son and I reconnected over a year ago. I was so hopeful that I would get to meet my three grandkids who don’t even know I was alive, and maybe even my daughter, who has two kids as well. After I asked my son if we could meet somewhere, maybe Wasaga beach so I could spend some time with my grandkids, he blew up at me and blocked me from Facebook, where we had reconnected in the first place. The hardest part for me was when he said my ex’s new husband was his “real” Dad. That cut like a knife. I guess he’s forgotten all the sacrifices I made for twenty-three years as his Dad. My daughter has not made any attempt to respond to me. Breaks my heart. The point is I am here not that far from them and it hurts so bad not to see them. I figured if I was in Ecuador I couldn’t see them anyway, so maybe that would be better.

Why did I call this a “friends” post? Well, one of the horrible side effects of Oxcycoten is suicidal tendencies. I had no idea how dangerous this was. I had gone from working on the computer all day to lying on the couch all day on the verge of tears. People have always marveled at how I keep calm with all the stress coming at me. Even my doctors can’t figure out why my blood pressure is low. Even lying in a filthy bed in oppressive heat in a men’s shelter, fearing for my life, I didn’t “lose it”. I knew I had hit rick bottom and I had nowhere to go but up. This medication changed all that though and I found myself extremely depressed. My seventh floor balcony was looking pretty inviting.

The saddest part of all is that I knew I was in trouble and couldn’t handle any more bad news. My doctors were useless at dealing with my health. My job prospects were bleak at best. I was alone in a city I loathe with no friends. I couldn’t even escape to Ecuador or go back West, with no money. I would never get a decent job now that I had to wait ten years to apply for my record suspension. I probably would never see my kids or grandkids. It was all bearing down on me and I knew I was losing it. I reached out to friends I had known for years, many of whom I had helped in so many ways before. I just needed to talk.

What was the response from my “friends”? Not one called. They kept making false promises that they would “get back to me”, but that was months ago. It really shocked me that no one cared. I wasn’t asking for money. I just needed to talk to someone and know that someone in the world cared if I lived or died. I believed in the Golden Rule. I believe in Karma. I didn’t help anyone expecting them to return the favor, but I did think they cared enough to spare me a few minutes of their time. It saddens me that I was so wrong.

You can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life. Never underestimate how important a few minutes of your time can be to someone in need. I am thankful that I was smart enough to realize what this medication was doing to me and I got off of it. I don’t know what would have happened if I had not. Today I am better, but I am still saddened by the lack of caring by my so-called “friends”.