Yesterday 3 new people became patrons. One has become a supporter in other ways, despite not really knowing me. Another I only "met" through Facebook in the past week, and yet another I did not even know of, until yesterday. It means so much to me when people I do not know/barely know are willing to step up on my behalf, especially since that is the exact reason many would not be inclined to step up.
When I decided to go public with what I am dealing with it was with the hope that if I put myself out there...my name, my image, my business name, it would give support to me and my story. It would provide a form of validity. The more people knew, the less they might be inclined to think me fraudulent. It hasn't exactly happened that way, though.
People often question every single piece of my experience from whether I am actually legit to how I interact regarding my experience dealing with cancer and its ramifications. What others haven't said to my face, I have heard via others. And there has been much that I have still received directly.
It has been beyond hard. Quite frankly, going public was nothing I wanted to do. But I knew I needed help. I also knew that I could never play the game most do in our culture. I knew I had to tell it all, even if I was uncomfortable, and even if it made me look bad. I couldn't do the cancer dance trying to be someone I wasn't, and trying to look good in the hope that people would like and help me.
I knew it probably would not be easy, but I underestimated just how hard it would get, especially when revealing myself did not open the financial floodgates. I still do not want to ask for help, but I need it more than ever. It is one of the suckiest paradoxes - ever. EVER.
I have tried to refrain from asking for money directly. I have tried to put stuff out in the world that people can make an exchange for with a donation. Over the years of working for myself, I have created MANY things, and have shared them, and of myself freely. I have often helped others - sometimes at my own expense.
If there was a Karma Points Bank, I'd like think myself a wealthy woman. I have gotten incredible joy in being able to contribute to others. I was also extremely self-sufficient and independent, dealing with cancer has knocked me for a huge loop. It has brought so much good, and so much not good. It has been a smorgasbord of life experiences and emotions and perspectives, and amplified any aspect of life, both "good" and "bad" that you can think of.
Many people have no clue the range of stuff I have had to deal with. My guess? Many don't want to know, and I can't say that I blame them. But the thing is, a lot of what I deal with isn't exactly cancer-centric. I see parallels to so many others dealing with so many other types of things. I see how we are treated in similar ways. I see the negative notions people have, and the misconceptions. I see the judgments. I also see the unexpected kindnesses.
I am very clear this journey is not just about me, nor is it "just" about cancer. This is about something much bigger, much broader, and much more important than"just" me, although I, and all the others who struggle in big ways are very much important. Each piece of the puzzle of life plays an important role, even though we tend to forget that part, until it becomes something we need to face for some reason.
Ironically, perhaps, the less help I have received, the more verbal I have become. I have nothing to lose by speaking my mind at this point. If there was ever a plan, this feature would seem to be a worthy part. So many people never say what they truly feel because they feel it would cost too much to be honest, not realizing the significant personal cost of not speaking up.
While perhaps worthy, it isn't something many - if any - would logically be willing to sign up for. It is incredibly exhausting. It is demoralizing. It is very hard to be seen as inferior, deficient, invisible. Yes, "seen" as invisible,
It is hard to keep going at times. A lot of the time. It is made worse by the fact that much of my life currently is more about survival than actual living. As much as I wish money wasn't an issue/consideration, since it is for those I need to deal with, it needs to be for me, too. I have exhausted myself in exhausting ideas of what I can do to help myself.
Many have ideas of what I can do. While I am appreciative, I don't need ideas. I need actual, tangible help and support. I need others to act on my behalf. I need money.
I am laying in bed as I write this. I do a lot from here, especially when my body feels so heavy, and I can barely function. At a distance I may seem just fine to you, but you only see a sliver of who I am these days. You only get to see the pieces of me that show up publicly, and if you are like many, the less than pretty ones tend to be ignored in favor of the stuff not so unappealing. Better to think me OK, than not, especially if not inclined to help. It certainly helps to alleviate any signs of possible guilt, don't you think?
I know much of my experience has value to others. I know that because people show up and tell me it does. I know, too, that there are silent lurkers. I know this, too, because there have been those who have also shown up, and let me know how my Words and journey have impacted them.
I am asking that if you are reading this, and especially if you are hanging around, that you give me a Vote of Support via $1. It would be a way to let me know that you are not only listening, but are appreciative of my life, and its message. It would mean a lot at any time, but now in particular, as I am greatly concerned that I could be out of money within a month.
I would love it if I could continue yesterday's momentum. I have 12 patrons at $120. That is an average of $10 per patron. If I could keep that average, I would need just 88 more people to get to $1000. While it won't solve my problems, it will help me breathe a bit easier. It is really hard to have my main "job" be trying to find ways to fiscally survive.
As I have said, I do offer a number of things, so if you want something for your donation/support, just say the word, and let us try to work something out. I sometimes get scared if there ever gets a point that I really can't do anything what that will mean, but I have to hope that will never happen.
You likely have no idea how difficult it is to be a shadow of your former self, to have to rely on others when you'd rather just keep going on your own. It is difficult to live with the fear of things getting worse, and the uncertainty of what comes next, especially since I do not own my own home, have the ability to rent somewhere, have no husband, and no family supporting me.
I would much rather you join me because you believe in me in some way than you feel sorry for me, or want to "help" me. But the fact is that I need whatever I can get right now, however I can get it.
There may be a better approach to use. There may be better words to say. But this is what I got at the moment, and I can only hope that on some level anyone who sees this will have an appreciation for that fact.
I can also only hope that people will listen to their hearts, and act accordingly. It doesn't mean, by the way, that everyone listening to their heart will help me, but perhaps they will extend a helping hand to another in need somewhere else, at some other time.
The world is full of opportunities that way.
If, however, your heart says to help me, Patreon.com/Jolope is a possibility, and heartsgiving.com gives you other options.