general update: finances & vocation

I haven’t written on here recently about my vocational discernment, even though this is the primary purpose of this blog. I spent this summer visiting a Carmelite convent near me that has apostaltes in retreat work and managing educational systems for children (i.e. preschool, parroquial schools). I went for about three weekend retreats, and while I like the sisters very much and have spent many years there, I could feel myself settling a bit at the thought of entering. Yet, nothing in my mind/heart was telling me that my own misgivings to be insurmountable. However, the sisters discerned that I was not called to enter their convent. They said reasons which included not being a good fit, and that my career as a social worker stems from a gift for healing families, and entering Carmel would interrupt, disrupt this. So, for now, I’m not technically in discernment. I’m just trying to recuperate spiritually.
It’s just one more layer to the stinky onion that my life has become in recent months. This news is simply added onto the increasing awareness that I’ve gone on interviews and “they like me, but”. I need a different job. I love what I do as a school-based counselor, but I HAVE to leave my job in order to put food on the table. I’ve adjusted my bills so that I am with a different car insurance policy company with a slightly lower rate, but other bills continue to increase. The vast majority of food that I eat daily, I did not purchase, I’m eating food I have received from my friends’ pantries. Food banks are closed when I get home from work in the evenings. And I don’t qualify for WIC or SSI, since despite PTSD and a few other anxiety disorders, I’m able of working at least 40 hrs/week.
Whatever you do, never purchase and/or eat cheese from the 99cent stores, it’s not real cheese. It’s a whey product that does not melt and it has more flour and starch than laundry/ironing spray.
Emotionally, I cry a lot. Not being able to put food on the table and pay various bills (I play roulette with how late I can send bills in for LADWP, TWC, &c), while working full time and not even needing to provide for a family (it’s just me, the fish & the hamster), this is scary. It’s terrible. It’s just sad and depressing.
Physically, my body hasn’t been this deprived of food since 2nd year of college when I self-starved in response to leaving a cult/protestant group and losing my faith. I’m exhausted. I go to bed early and wake up early not because it’s good for the work schedule, but it helps me conserve energy. The food I eat is less than ideal and I want to throw up, but I can’t do that because I can’t afford to re-fuel my body until the next meal cycle. Additionally, the heat wave isn’t helping either. I sleep early to reserve energy, I cannot sleep because I am hungry. I have daily headaches.
And no one at work cares, of course. And they won’t give me a raise, of course.