Pranksters – I’d planned on telling you a hilarious story about my roadtrip, but some nasty divorce shit came to light yesterday and instead, I must write this post.

Hi, my name is (Your Aunt) Becky, I’m 32 years old, and I have never lived alone.

(hi Becky!)

/hangs head in shame

I guess that’s what happens when you get knocked up at age twenty and move back home, proverbial (sadly not real) tail between legs, only to pop out an infant. Then, I was lucky enough to live with my parents until I met and got married, shortly after I’d graduated nursing school and passed the state board exam.

I was 24.

And while, for the past ten years, I’ve learned some stuffs about running a household, Dave and I had handily split responsibilities, which, while easier at the time, meant that I’ve not learned how to do it all. Not that I can’t, but that I simply do not know how to off the top of my head.

In totally related news, I am moving out to my very own apartment. It shatters me to tell you that, but for now, it is the right thing to do. Unfortunately, due to some circumstances – namely that is nearly impossible for both Dave and I to live together and be healthy – I will have to move soon – much sooner than I’d thought. But it is now impossible for me to recover and get healthy in my current living situation.

This is not because Dave is abusive or mean or that he’s giving me the old boot, just a matter of practicality, and I am planning on staying through August in order to get my finances in proper order and build a bit of a nest-egg. I have also found the name and number of an attorney in town.

  • Do you have any necessary items for survival sitting around collecting dust?
  • Is it worth it to take some of my purses to one of those eBay places to sell? I mean I have a shitton of great stuff that’s not going to be necessary any more and I’d like to sell it off where I can.
  • Do you have any assvice for living on a budget – and how to create one?
  • How to live alone when you haven’t, well, ever?

orchid picture

I hope that this is a chance for renewal, growth, and at the end of all this bullshit? I’ll be better for it all; for doing it myself and for saving myself. There’s no white knight out there to save me; I will save myself. But for now; for RIGHT now, I’m feeling pretty damn defeated. In three short weeks, my entire life changed.

In the end, I know that this change will lead to bigger and brighter things in my future, being self-sufficient and making it alone will make me a stronger person, and I will never again put myself in a position wherein I rely on anyone but myself.

Because I know I can do it – now it’s a matter of making it all happen.

Hope. I have hope. A week ago, I didn’t think I’d be able to ever see a light again.

Comments are love, or some bullshit like that. Either way, they make my heart happy. leaving a comment and SUBSCRIBE to my RSS feed or I will send my Chicago "friends" after you, yo.

455 Responses to The “D” Word: Just Like Starting Over

  • Momanonymous says:

    I would sell the purses in eBay, myself, if I were you. You can get a decent amount of money. You can get cookware and coffee makers at Walmart for close to nothing. I had to do all this stuff recently because my husband and I had a roommate who owned all the necessities. After we split, we had no pots, or pans… Not even a can opener. As far as a budget goes. The easiest thing to do is make a list of all your expenses. Have a hard copy of all you spend in a month minus groceries and ‘entertainment’. Then you’ll have a good idea what to spend. Your grocery bill will be significantly less. Everything will be fine once the dust settles. Good luck!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Okay, this is awesome advice. Will be looking into eBay. Thanks, girl!

      • nekkidknitter says:

        I agree that you should sell your own stuff on ebay, just keep in mind that between ebay fees, PP fees, and postage, you’ll lose a good 20-25% of the final value, so plan accordingly. Also, limit shipping to US only so you don’t have to fuck around with customs. I use and love Priority Mail, and you get a discount if you print the postage online via PayPal’s shipping tool or via usps.com. You can also get free Priority Mail boxes/shipping supplies delivered to the address of your choice at usps.com. (The cost is built in to the postage, just keep in mind that you’ll always have to pay at least the 1 lb. rate even if the package only weighs a few ounces.)

        I’ve shipped a ton of shit, so feel free to email me with any related questions.

        • Your Aunt Becky
          Twitter: mommywantsvodka
          says:

          What about (odd as it sounds) Craig’s List? Know anything about that?

          • Aimee says:

            I have sold a lot of things on Craigslist, even high-ticket items. The only thing about CL though, is that most people on it are looking for a good deal, so it may take you a bit to sell something for what you know it is worth. If you have a moment, take a look at diamondbistro.com and forum.purseblog.com Both will be good resources and DB is a great place to sell things that cost a decent penny, because only people that have pennies to spare even know about it.

            As for the pots and pans and such. WALMART. When I moved out with my then-fiance, we both had literally nothing. I spent $100 at Walmart and got dishes, flatware, a cheapo set of a pots and pans, a can opener, a set of those big spoons and spatulas…all the things I needed out of the gate. You can always replace them with the good stuff once you have established your houehold.

  • Allison says:

    Yes you need pots and pans. Actually you can probably get by with one saucepan and a frying pan. (the one that holds water and the flat one) ; ) Having lived by mylself i’ll tell you that you can survive on cheese, tuna, ramen and the occasional real meal from friends or family. If the emptiness gets to you turn on some music.
    Also there are awesome thrift stores, or places like Deseret Industries, and Goodwill where you can get gently used needed items. They are cheap and you won’t feel bad about ruining them when you forget you have a pot of water on the stove and it scorches the pan. It will take a while to get used to being by yourself, but i enjoyed it after a while. You might want to think about living near someone you know so when you have bad days you have a friend nearby.

  • silvertrish says:

    I can’t speak for America, but thrift stores, and yard sales are an awesome resource for used kitchen stuff. You do need to eat SOMETHING.

    Living alone starts off as scary, but it fairly freeing… I can walk around naked whenever, nothing gets moved when I put it down, sadly the dishes don’t do themselves, but you can’t win them all. Get comfy sheets for your bed. My cheap-ass wal-mart sheets were awesome when I first moved out on my own, because they were as cosy as an old t-shirt, in the totally comforting way. The first room I decorated at all was my bedroom. It is MY place, and while the apartment is all mine, I still like my bedroom best.

    Get an apartment with heat and lights included. Makes budgeting a shit-ton easier. If you never have to think about your heat/hot water/electric bill it is a few other things off your mind.

    What else…. Budgeting isn’t easy, nor is it easy to follow, but it is doable, Figure out hwo much you make, subtract your fixed costs (rent, internet, cell, hydro, and heat…), the yo take what’s left, and guess the changable stuff… gas, food, etc. I can try and give you an hand with that if you want to e-mail me (fire.elf.fey at gmail.com), I’m not too bad at looking after myself, it just takes some time.

  • ragemichelle says:

    You will be stronger. It’s not easy, but you will be stronger. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

    Get a magic eraser, they clean shit when nothing else works.

    Get a decent set of pots and pans at a yard sale. In fact, get EVERYTHING you need at yard sales. Don’t spend money on new stuff…stuff doesn’t mean shit.

  • Kizz
    Twitter: Kizzbeth
    says:

    I broke the coffee maker I would happily have given you. Sorry. It was a spectacular break with shattered glass reaching far and wide, if that’s helpful at all.

    Most important, though, EAT. Don’t care if you have pots, pans, microwave, whatever but you have to eat. If you can’t fathom liking the taste of anything then just pick something sensible and eat it a minimum of twice per day (stock up on greek yogurt and buy grilled chicken sandwiches).

    I am an only child and I’ve lived alone a lot. Even when I lived with my parents I lived alone a lot. It’s a good thing and it’s a great thing to learn about because it can make you better at living with other people. (Or worse, you might fucking love living alone like I do and screw anyone who wants to ruin it for you!) Anyway, here’s my practical exercise for learning to love living alone. As soon as you’re able (make sure it’s after your new apartment has curtains or at least blankets over the curtain rods) spend an evening all by yourself in your apartment. Take off all your clothes. Get yourself a frosty beverage. Watch whatever you want on TV. Surf the internet while watching TV. Eat something decadent if you feel like it. Clip your toenails while you’re sitting on the couch. In short, do whatever the hell you want and revel in the fact that no one is thinking you should be doing otherwise. It’s not good to be totally unmoored from responsibility but it is good to enjoy that tetherless feeling once in a while. It teaches you what you love. Also, you get to watch some awesome TV.

    xo

  • Cindy DuBois says:

    I think you should let one of your in-town friends host a Starting Over Shower for you. Then you go to Target and JC Pennys (both have excellent home stuff that isn’t too expensive) with someone who knows about these things and you register for the things you need – sheets, towels, pots & pans, mops and brooms, all that stuff that the cost adds up. Then you tell the pranksters where you are registered and we will buy things for you shower and have them delivered to you. It can be an Internet Shower. I don’t have any extra money but I could afford something for your house. When I moved into my own apartment after being married for 25 years I took virtually nothing out of our beautiful home. I enjoyed picking out towels and a comforter at Target that were just mine.

    I wish I knew how to advise you about a job. I know nothing about your field but the best advice I’ve gotten is Network, Network, Network.

    You haven’t said if you’ll have the kids on visitation or part custody. If so, you’ll need things for them too. Don’t forget to register for that stuff too.

  • wasnt_serious says:

    You can do this Auntie Becky! You are just moving out after college a little later than most of us but earlier than some of us. Living on your own is a little eerie at first, but you will get the hang of it.
    Here is my advice;
    8) Raid your parent’s house for the extra pots and pans and other cookware. Seriously, they probably have a ton in the basement that is just sitting there and do they really need five saute pans. What you can find is good enough for starting out. (Yard sales are also great!). And yes, you need them. To get healthy you need to eat healthy…

    7) Remember that no matter what you do and where you go, there will always be people who knew you from “before’ that love you and will support you always.

    6) Living alone is fun. You can eat when you want, what you feel like and no more having to watch someone else’s tv shows. Also, you can shower whenever you want and there is no waiting for the bathroom.

    5) No advice. Just make your lists of what you HAVE to pay (rent, utilities, food) and what you earn and the rest comes along.

    That is the end of my advice. I have never sold things on eBay, I just purged everything a year ago and I don’t live anywhere close to you…but I will keep sending happy thoughts and if you make it out towards me, I have a couch for you to crash on.

    YOU CAN DO THIS!

  • JTook says:

    When I moved out on my own with the kid, the BEST place I found stuff was the Habitat for Humanity Resale store. EVERYONE knows about Goodwill, but the Resale store is sometimes an overlooked jewel. I found a decent couch, chair, dining set, kitchen appliances, and everything I needed. At a cheap price. Talk to the people who volunteer there and find out when they get deliveries. That’s when the best stuff will come in.
    Goodwill is awesome for clothes and sometimes kitchen stuff.
    Check out Craig’s list as well, some people will advertise their yard sales.
    If you have really good stuff to sell, take it to a consignment shop, they can tell you how much you can expect to get for it. Either from them or online. Or find an online yardsale group. You can post your stuff there and people will buy it. See if there’s a local swap meet and set up a table. You can sell your stuff there, but they will keep a percent of it.
    I think that’s it. Good luck to you, my friend. If there’s anything I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to ask.

  • You’ll get buy without many pots and pans. Get one of those high sided pans, and you can pretty much cook anything in those. I agree though, get that shit at yard sales. Who needs a $90 pan, when you go down there street and get one for a dollar. (OOoh, or thrift store it!)

    Coupons. Do it. It sucks but you know what, when you’ve got a good little stock going, it helps. Especially when you’ve got a lean check here and there.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Adding to my spreadsheet – coupons are awesome. Do you get them from any particular place?

      • 'cuz I'm the mommy says:

        You know I went through this while back, and although things are still squirrelly I’m finding “me” in there againg. For coupons I find that http://www.coupons.com is pretty easy to use. You need basic housewares, if there is no division of what you and he have duplicates of I really like the idea of a shower registry. Yard sales, flea markets, Salvation Army store, and the “curbside market” are always winners (figure out when trash day is in the neighborhoood and check out the funiture & such people throw out on the curb, preferably before it rains). A good recipe book is handy too, or check your local Health Department’s website, many offer recipes for healthy and inexpensive meals, which is full of Yum. If you are thinking ebay, I would do it myself (that’s what I do), a decent digital camera and a Paypal account are all you really nead, search ended listings to see what similar stuff sold for.

  • Ugh. Lack of sleep…

    You’ll get BY without a bunch etc..etc.. *sigh*

    <3

  • Cindy DuBois says:

    While I buy most of my stuff at consignment stores, etc. I think in your case you should have some new stuff to get started with. It will feel less like you have been kicked to the curb. Other people’s castoffs sometimes come with their own vibrations. Get new, stimulate the economy, and enjoy the hell out of beginning on your own for the first time. Sell everything that doesn’t make you feel joyful when you look at it.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I read somewhere that one should only keep things that are practical or beautiful. I love that idea. I’m looking forward to moving on with this.

  • Erica says:

    I do live with someone else but it helps to write down every week on a calendar how much you brought it and then deduct what you owe in bills. We do it at the beginning of the month since we bring in about the same amount every week. But then every week we go back to it to see how we are doing. We’ve saved so much money doing that. So when something expensive happens (for me it was a car accident where I had to come up with $500 deductible we knew we had it) We also save 10% from every check and stash it in cash and that helped us come up with $220 of said deductible in just a few weeks. Craigslist has good things on it for household use. Also like Allison said goodwill. Look for sales they always have sales at like Kohls and places like that. You might already know all of this, but if it helps at all it was worth writing. I hope you find happiness .

  • Amanda says:

    Becky -
    From a practical perspective Goodwill and thrift stores will get you what you need but DAMN IT WHY ARE YOU LEAVING WITHOUT HALF OF ALL YOUR SHIT??????????

    I’m yelling. I know.

    I love you so I am going to tell it you straight. You are making mistake rushing this. Unless of course there is some sort of physical abuse going on. Then call the police and DAMN IT MAKE HIM LEAVE!!!

    You know that I’ve had to rebuild my whole life because I for some reason thought that it was my fault that my ex was a dick. It cost me plenty.

    You don’t HAVE to so anything so fast. You are stronger than you think you are right now. There is nothing that you HAVE to do. All that you have to do is find yourself a lawyer (TAKE the money from Dave if you have to. It’s half YOUR money regardless of what he says) an slow the hell down.

    You’ve been a good friend Becky. Let me be a friend back. If you think you can’t do it lean on all of us. We KNOW you can.

    You would tell any of us the same thing. You would kick our ass for making rash decisions.

    Love from Georgia.

    • Maggie says:

      I love this and thought it myself – I don’t know the details -but please Becky don’t let the grief & guilt you feel rob you of what you are entitled to.

      That being said;
      In reading this – I agree with all the comments about visiting thrift stores/salvation army for all your needs. But I wonder if you need big things like furniture – it might be worth it to run the numbers and see if it makes more sense to try to find a furnished apartment for a 3-6 month period while you get your feet under yourself rather than move in with nothing and spend a lot of time and perhaps a lot of money looking for stuff that you need but don’t necessarily love.

      The numbers might not make sense doing it this way – but if you can stand it or find a friend to help with the whole numbers/budgeting crap it might be worth putting a pencil to the equation.

    • Yeah, what she said.

    • steph gas
      Twitter: stephgas
      says:

      +1. a divorce involves splitting shit. seriously, get your lawyer on the horn and say, hey, aunt motherfucking becky deserves half of the kitchen shit, maybe a broom and dustpan, and at least a few towels. even if you’re leaving yesterday – that shit is half yours. living room furniture, dining room/kitchenette stuff, guest bedroom thingies, desks – all of it is half yours. you built your home TOGETHER, and you divide it in half.

      my mother left my dad with little but our clothes and a couple of very meaningful pieces of furniture. we had to find everything else ourselves and it was hard. i can understand feeling like you need to get the hell out of dodge, but it’s half yours. get what you need, get someone to come with you, call the police and have them come with you – but it’s half yours.

      also, if you would like to come to long island and pick up a gently-used slow cooker, as well as some of my extra pots and pans, you’re welcome to them. as long as you’re not allergic to cats because i have three and they get hair EVERYWHERE.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I love you – I love you so much. We’re going to have to chat soon – end of story.

      I’ve decided that rather than being hasty, I’m simply going to put together a gigantic spreadsheet to go through the things I need to do to be able to leave the house without any issues. Dave and I have begun dividing our shit up – it’s been okay, if not emotional for me.

      And there is NO abuse going on – not even a little. Just two people who have lost their way.

      • Michelle says:

        I’m so glad to hear you aren’t being hasty! I have a dear friend going through this too, and I keep telling her not to rush out of the house.

        Becky – anytime you want to visit Canada, let me know. We have a couch too.

        • Your Aunt Becky
          Twitter: mommywantsvodka
          says:

          September – October I’m targeting as my “move out” date. I sign the lease for the apartment (3 minutes from my home) on Monday. So. Damn. Nervous. About. Money. I hate that feeling.

      • Amanda says:

        After the dust settles get your ass to Georgia and visit me!! We can make pretend cocktails and be pretend drunk. Ha!

        Seriously though. THANK you for being my friend. You are part of of what made realize I WAS worth it.

        Hasty? Bad.
        Pissed off? Deliberate? Good.

  • Stacey says:

    Craigslist is your friend. You can get tons of stuff cheap or free there. I also second the habitat for humanity store. Tons o great stuff there.

  • Samantha says:

    Here is what my parents have told me:
    rent should be no more than 1/4 your monthly salary … I’ve done 1/2 before and things got way tight for a while
    10% of each check should go into savings … again higher rent means no savings
    ramen noodles do not equal balanced meals
    any job is better than no job … truer words have never been spoken try every temp agency you can find

    As for the rest of it pots and pans aren’t needed if there is in fact a microwave, living alone is hit or miss as some don’t really like having to face personal demons face to face but I love it and have lived alone for several years now, purses/shoes/old clothes can be sold easily and when starting out on your own $5 makes a big difference in the wallet, and staring over is way scary but when else can you try on any facade to see if it fits.

    Just take each step as it comes and you’ll do great … how could you not I mean there is no one more you-er than you. (oh Suess just turned over for me saying that) You’ve been given a chance many have not; you have the chance to rediscover yourself after child birth. It won’t be easy (though as you know life typically isn’t) but I can guarantee it will be rewarding.

  • Katrina says:

    When I needed kitcheny stuff I hit up the Goodwill in a wealthy suburb and found everything I needed. It was awesome. I’ve also heard many good things about the ReSale store, as JTook mentioned.

    I wish I had some job resources for you, but unless you want to move to Minneapolis I’ve got nothin’.

  • Carol Anne
    Twitter: NJdreaming
    says:

    Buy a good toaster oven. It’s a little pricey to start but you can cook, and broil, and toast. It’s just right for small decent meals.

    • Joy says:

      When we moved a couple provinces over, and had no appliances or furniture, we did buy a toaster oven. And, a 6-muffin pan totally fits in there, so you can bake muffins, or quiche, or muffin-shaped omelets. Also, baked potatoes with chili on top. Good meal, even just from a toaster oven. But don’t leave your loaf of bread on top the toaster oven. It melts and makes a big mess. ;)

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I love those things! Maybe I’ll try an amazon registry.

  • Yes, you will survive. You will learn how to live alone, just as the rest of us have at one time or another–you’re just not doing it at age 18 or 21 or whatever. Now, to answer your questions:

    1. Unfortunately, no. My last (and only) paid writing gig paid for shitsnacks.

    2. I do not.

    3. I do, but I don’t think you’re anywhere near the greater KCMO area, so they probably won’t help.

    4. Fuck ebay. Take them to a consignment store.

    5. Yes. Make a list of all your monthly expenses–and I mean ALL OF THEM, right down to the last pack of gum you bought. Add them up. Now add up your yearly expenses (property taxes, etc) and divide the total by 12. Add that to your monthly number. Then subtract that number from your monthly take home pay. If it’s a positive number, YOU WIN! If it’s not, you need to start finding things to cut. You can also find ways to save on everyday things–buy groceries at Aldi. Shop 2nd hand. Get on level-pay plans if your utility co’s offer them.

    6. Again, you’ll figure this out. The hardest part is boredom. So you may want to find a hobby, a 2nd job, a social group, or something to get you out of the apartment when you’re the only one there.

    7. Whatever you do–DON’T take any money you get from a settlement, or from a 401k, or your credit cards and blow it on the standard of living you’re used to. Learn to pare down to the bare necessities. Think of it not as being “broke” but as “living within your means.” And moving away from the obscene materialism us Americans are guilty of.

    7a. Don’t leave ANYTHING you even sort of want in that fucking house. Fuck him and the horse he rode in on. If you leave it, you’ll never see it again. This includes kids. Trust me on this one.

    7b. Learn some automobile basics. Eventually you’ll have to hire a mechanic and they think all broads are stupid. Even if you just know enough to throw out certain references, it’ll make the point you’re not a total idiot. (And you might learn something.)

    8. Pots and pans…you can get by with a minimum. You probably won’t be hosting any dinner parties anytime soon, so just get what you need for a basic meal. I assume you’ll be cooking for the kids at some point.

    Remember–thrift stores are your friends. They are awesome.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      All of this is noted on my brand new spreadsheet. Trying to break it all down so I can get a feeling of what I need to do in all the categories of my new life.

  • Dana says:

    Becky, get involved with Freecycle (http://www.freecycle.org/ ) Freecycle is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. You would be AMAZED at what people are willing to part with. When I left “husband” 2-1/2 years ago, I was able to get everything from TV sets to a kitchen table. The only think it cost me was gas to drive down the road a piece. It’s a WONDERFUL organization and in St. Charles? I’m guessing the quality of freecycled items will be amazing.

    • Glenna M says:

      I was going to recommend Freecycle! My aunt and my mother have had great success with it– we got a couch, and my aunt has gotten everything from skis to a television using it.

    • Jenbug says:

      I love freecycle.org! I give and get all the time. I usually ask for non-essentials on there first before I go to the store. It’s saved me countless dollars!

      Good luck, lady. Let me know if there’s anything at all I can do from Maryland.

      ~ Jen

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Just joined. This is an amazing thing and I think it’s a great way to work this out!

  • melanie says:

    when i moved out on my own I scoured clearance racks and outlets for good things cheap… I also think you can survive with just a few pots and pans, as I ate a lot of grilled cheese/ bowls of cereal/ mac n cheese when I was living alone. I can’t really help you much with the job except that perhaps you would be a good candidate to be a school substitute nurse? I know my local school district is always looking for both full-time nurses and sub’s and perhaps the sub would allow you the flexibility to keep writing and working towards that goal??? Also in most school districts you do not need a degree in education to be a regular substitute teacher. I am currently looking into school district jobs just so my schedule can line up better with my kids (and summers off of course).

  • FFW says:

    I have no doubt you will save the shit out of yourself.

    In the meantime, craigslist, Ebay, and goodwill will see you through.

    And Google “household budgets”, and pretty much everything else.

  • AmoebaMike says:

    Wow, this is a shock. I’m sure even more-so to you, but I will help where I can. And I assume answering some of these questions is the 1st place to start.

    Stuff you need: if you want stuff cheap go to your local target or meijer, but if you want stuff really cheap go to Goodwill and/or check out craigslist and garage sales for locally available used stuff. This is actually the best time of year if you want new stuff because cheap quality stuff is on sale with everyone going off to college in August.

    Do you need pots and pans? Well, you need to be eating and obviously, it’s hard to do that when you’re an emotional wreck. Eating out will break your budget faster than anything else. So if you can live of fruit and salad, and some cheap protein like eggs or beans, that’s the best way to go. Cereal, rice, and pasta–any grains, but preferably whole grains are going to help fill you up. You can nuke just about anything these days, so you might skip pots and pans until you’re feeling like yourself or unless you can find a deal. Of course, I would caution that you don’t need a 16 or 25 piece set. 1 decent pot and 1 decent pan will be super helpful.

    A budget: The best thing you can know is how much money you have and where you spend it. For example, you think “I only eat off the dollar menu” but say 5 days of 3 dollar lunches with tax will be what $16 after a week? Do you know that you can buy a loaf of bread, peanut butter ( or other protein), and some fruit or veggies for less? Prioritize eating at least 3 times a day to keep your metabolism from forcing you into OMGIMHUNGRY-mode where you’re more likely to eat out and spend more. (Also, never go shopping in OMGIMHUNGRY-mode.)

    If you use cash exclusively, it’s easy to know when you’re reaching your budget limit. If you use cards exclusively, it’s easy to track how much you’re spending and where you’re doing so. Your bank via online banking will have tools. There’s also Mint.com which is a site where you can track all of this stuff across multiple cards & accounts. You can put alerts so you know when you’re going to go over you’re budget in any one category, for example (to continue with the theme) let’s say dining out.

    Selling stuff: Each time you move is a great time to get rid of stuff you don’t need. Just decide if you need the money or the time to do it more. If you have time (for example, unemployed or don’t sleep due to heartache) then sell the stuff yourself; likewise if you’re out of time and willing to pay a percentage to get your crap sold, have someone do it for youj.

    Work: I recently saw this piece on the Today Show on how to make a little extra money: http://video.today.msnbc.msn.com/today/48224824#48224824 A different segment on the show also recently recommended SnagAJob in a money 911.

    Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you. You mean the world to so many people, Becky!

  • Teresa says:

    You can do it! You can do it!

    This seems really cliche – but I turned to books. Being in a similar situation to yours, I only knew of a couple gals who had been there, done that.

    This is a good resource – and worth the $.
    http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Separation-And-Divorce-ebook/dp/B001PBSDSO/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1343158328&sr=8-6&keywords=surviving+divorce

  • Jenn says:

    Dont bring your bags to a we sell your stuff for you store. They take Way too much of your money, and Ebay is easy, so I have no doubt you can figure it out.

    As for the house hold stuffs… the Salvation Army or Goodwill has all the plates and cups and dishes you could ever want. But get your pans from the Targets, the .50 cents yould save arent worth it.

    The alone part gets easier with time. You learn to leave the radio on so the whole house isn’t so quiet. You figure out things to do with your time. It’s not so bad.

    Google coupon deals and what ever grocery store you shop at. Buy a Sunday Newspaper. I know it seems a little strange. But do it. I save a ton by useing them. ( you dont need to buy 6 frillion head ache meds like those nut bags on tv.)

    Also please eat something. ANYTHING! … you have to eat. Your going to need your strength.

    HUG!

  • Michelle says:

    Love the idea of an internet shower!!! It would enable those of us who are far away help you too.
    Sending virtual hugs and support – you WILL be stronger through this.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I will put together something…on amazon? Is that what the cool kids do?

      • Andra says:

        I know what its like to start over too. I did it at 32. I left a affectionless/sexless 16 year marriage…. And I had nothing. Places like Goodwill, DI, and other thrift stores became my best friends. Boredom was the enemy. I eat when I get bored. You will need to find something to occupy your mind more than anything. A bored mind can be a dangerous one. It takes you to places better left alone. Even if its something that just occupies your hands…. you will need to find something. I am all for the internet shower!!! And would highly suggest you register at Amazon, Walmart… anywhere you think of. The Pranksters would love to be able to help you out… You have made such a difference in so many lives. Brought light into so many dark places. You, more than anyone else I “know”, should not feel bad about it either!!! Just post the link!

        Also, if you cant find a better hobby… I have a 5 month old, 75 pound St Bernard puppy that I hate taking for walks! She drags me everywhere she wants to go.
        Sending you tons of hugs from Idaho!!!

  • Tiffany says:

    1. Re: stocking your apartment with necessities. Don’t be afraid to ask Dave for stuff. It’s your house too. Not everything in it belongs to him. Take some of the things you want/need.
    2. Craigslist is your friend. Lots of stuff sells on CL for cheap, and for free. Check out garage sales too, especially in affluent areas. Super nice stuff for cheap. Also, keep in mind that you can trade stuff.
    3. Regarding jobs, watch Craigslist there too. There are a lot of scams, but there are also a lot of legitimate places who are looking for writers and bloggers to write articles for a set amount. And don’t just watch the Chicago CL, check out other cities too. A lot of them are all over the net.
    4. You’ve entertained us, you’ve supported us, you’ve shared with us. Let us do the same for you Aunt Becky. Put a donate button up. We can at least help you get set up and on your feet.

  • Choosy says:

    See a lawyer.
    Please.
    please.
    please.
    Before you move out.
    Talk to a professional – you can make a stupid mistake here and lose all custody rights.

    • KT says:

      I totally agree with this. In spite of many of the mistakes I made, the one thing I knew was that I should not leave my kids without parenting time/plans in place. Thus, I did not lose any rights to my kids. My ex tried, but he failed, to keep them from me at times. If you walk out he can claim abandonment and you could be in for a long legal battle once you are ready to start being mom again. Call a lawyer before you leave. Get your facts straight!!!!!

      And take half of that stuff with you when you go! The posessions in your house are half yours.

      And you might be entitled to support so that you don’t have to work a totally shitty job. Get a job because it’s good to have a purpose when you get up, but with some support from your ex you will not have to take a crappy job or work horrid hours.

      Please call a lawyer first.

    • Kristina says:

      So true. We are all unaware of the impending circumstances – but you and Dave ARE married. You are entitled here. If it’s a domestic issue, of course, safety is number 1. Please think before you act. Play smart, not hard – best advice I can give you.

      • Your Aunt Becky
        Twitter: mommywantsvodka
        says:

        Absolutely – and I am fortunate that there is NO abuse going on – just going to be hard for awhile. I plan to work my ass off in September so as to move out without any really huge scary things.

    • This, too. DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT YOUR KIDS. In many states this is considered abandonment and will count against you when the custody agreement is worked out.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I have found a local attorney to speak with regarding all of this. Seems wise.

  • Tiffany says:

    Oh, and as for living alone. It will suck at first. A lot. I never lived alone until my divorce either, and a funny thing happened. A couple months in, I realized I loved it. Accept that it’s going to suck at first. You will spend some/many nights crying by yourself. But you will adapt. If you have the financial/mental resources for it, a pet might help. My dog and cat were my rocks during my divorce. I didn’t roll over to an empty bed, I rolled over to a purring, snoring, drooling cat.

    Boy, I’m really selling that cat idea aren’t I?

  • Chelle says:

    I’ve never lived alone either, so I understand your fear.

    Everyone in the comments above have given you great advice. I would give you something else. Go to the local animal shelter and adopt an adult cat that takes to you. You will have a companion and someone to talk to and something that will be fairly independent if you need to be out for awhile and will crawl up beside you and purr when you are lonely.

    If you get an adult cat, the expenses are minimal. Don’t get a kitten because they need shots and vet visits and all. Petsmart or Petco are also good places. I found our big orange lover cat at Petsmart. Their fees are higher than the shelter though.

    If you decide to get a little companion, just make sure they pick you. I don’t know if you are an animal person, but every pet I’ve adopted has actually adopted me. You will know if it’s the one in your heart.

    Also, jobs, there are lots of writing jobs for other websites and such on the internet. Just google freelance writing jobs. There is a site that I can’t remember the name of that puts up jobs that people need done. I think you can actually make a living and do it from the comfort of your home.

    And I agree with whoever said why are you not taking half your stuff with you???? A marriage is 50/50, so 50% of that stuff is YOURS.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I will totally begin the job hunt – I started a MASSIVE document that outlines all the things and advice you’ve given me. I won’t forget it. Thank you for everything.

  • LS says:

    It’s the middle of summer. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday there are going to be garage sales scattered throughout every residential neighborhood. Over the course of a month you can easily stock an entire kitchen with pots, pans, plates, and even appliances for just a few bucks.

  • Suzanne Roupas says:

    You can and will do this, and come out the other side all the stronger for it.
    Work? Go back to nursing. Find a job with an insurance company reviewing records and case plans – an easy day job that will pay you enough to live on and it won’t be bedside nursing. Be a sub school nurse. Do case management for pregnant women through your local health department. Teach nurses aides in a local vocational program. I know you hate nursing but for right now, suck it up – it’s good money. (I’m a nurse and have done most of these things at any point in my career). THEN, go volunteer somewhere. And all the advice about thrift shops is right on. Don’t spend any extra. You will get resentful of this of course. That’s where your friends come in to help you; treat for a movie or dinner, a pedicure.
    Sell that shit on Ebay. Don’t EVEN think of dating for a long, long long time. This time is about falling in love with YOU.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’ll look into nursing ONLY in the cases in which I will be able to work without going balls nuts. I hated being a floor nurse. “Hated,” is not a strong enough word, but it was soul-sucking and I am leaving my life of being miserable to enjoy life again. I wish I could go back to it easily – it would make life so much easier. I’ll check into the opportunities for stuff I wouldn’t hate.

      • thill says:

        Think about same-day surgery centers. My husband had his knee done at a place like this, and I remember looking at the nurses and thinking…. This might be okay. (My sister’s a nurse. I know there are tons of sucky nursing jobs.)
        But these nurses got healthy patients who came in that morning. They prepped them for surgery, got them back fast. They were groggy from anesthesia for a while, and then they got sent home.
        It might be kind of boring, but it didn’t look soul-sucking.

  • Tracey says:

    I’ve started over more times than I care to admit. First, take a deep breath. The things that you SAY you don’t know how to do aren’t even important. You have the internet, right? That’s all you need. :)

    Second, if you have a nursing background and have seemingly expert-level computer skills, why don’t you look into being one of those call center nurses? I don’t know anything about them other than hearing something about it on the radio the other day.

    Third, as far as “necessities” go…you don’t need your apartment to be perfect right away. If you go out and blow all your cash on things you won’t even use and you’re broke, well…HELLO MORE DEPRESSION. Don’t do that to yourself. Buy what you know you will need, and keep your money in your FAVORITE purse or 3. Yes, sell the rest. Duh.

    We don’t know the specifics or details about your split or why this is happening, but it IS happening and it’s NOT going to break you. It’s going to be weird at first, but believe ME…you’re going to be dancing around your new place soon enough with your favorite music and favorite drink soon enough. Trust me. Home is inside of you, not where you park your car.

  • KT says:

    Becky, not sure if you remember me. I have been following you for a few years. We emailed a bit about depression etc when I first found you, as I was going through my divorce at the time. Our childhoods were fairly similar. My mom = batshitcrazy. I used to have the “when did I become a grown up?” blog. then shut it down. Anyhow…

    First let me offer my all my love and hugs. I know you are going through a very tough time. Feel free to contact me. You helped me a lot through my divorce. I’ll be forever grateful.

    I know of no opportunities in the blog/PR/writing arena. I’m in IT. In Detroit. Probably of little help to you. But I can say that when you first move out on your own (I did for the first time 4 years ago at the age of 35) you do need pots and pans! It’s cheaper to cook than to order. Seriously. And frankly, you can take some of the things that you and Dave have accumulated over the years. It’s not all your responsibility to start over. Split the furniture, appliances etc and move on out. He can go shopping.

    Not sure what you have done legally…but let me tell you, as someone who trusted her husband to be a sane and understanding person, don’t do what I did. Do not assume anything. Do not assume you will agree on anything. Do not assume he will be easy to deal with. Do not assume he’d never use your mental illness against you. Do not assume he’ll allow you access to your kids whenever you want. Get a lawyer. Get one now. Do it before you move out. My ex turned out to be a fairly narcissistic sociopath who has turned everything into a battle. I had to get a court order forcing him to actually sign the divorce papers 6 weeks after he was supposed to. I spent $10,000 trying to get the $25,000 out of the house I was supposed to walk away with. He’s refused me access to my kids on birthdays, fought me over taking them to a concert, his sister has lied to me about their whereabouts, he is sure that because I’m on one anti depressant that I am destined for a rubber room and the worst mother on earth. All this in spite of the fact that each and every time we go to the friend of the court referee to settle our disputes, he’s repeatedly told he’s being difficult and out of line. I would consult a lawyer before you leave your home or your kids. Unless there’s just no way around it. You might be entitled to some spousal support since you were not working during the marriage. He might be required to help you until you can get a job ad back on your feet.

    If you must leave now, see if you can get some things in writing with Dave about the kids, house, posessions, money etc.

    I’m horrible at budgeting and struggling financially. I spent too much on the divorce because it got very contentious and dragged out. I was unemployed for 8 months just after the divorce. I was never taught proper finances as a kid, and have made tons of mistakes and spent money when i should not have. So I have no real advice, because I’m still learning to be an adult in this area. But I recommend you attack that right away. Don’t make the mistake I did and just figure a budget will work itself out. It doesn’t and it stresses you out if you don’t figure it out.

    I too have/had tons of purses and cool stuff. I’ve sold much of it. Sooooo worth it. Sooooo worth it. Definitely do that.

    My comment has been long and not full of tons of great “life will be peachy” advice. It was a long road for me. I had a nervous breakdown. Then I got better. I got stronger. And I’m very happy now. You will get through this! I just want to see you stand up for yourself. I did not and I think it was harder than it needed to be because of that. Keep working on getting healthy. I didn’t realize I needed to do that until I’d practically lost my marbles. It all worked out for me, but it would have been easier if I had taken the time I needed to take care of me.

    Hugs. You can do this. Millions of women have and you will be stronger and happier on the other side.

    • Tina says:

      I’m completely with KT on this…she has some great and realistic points. I’d like to add one thing…when/if you do go to court over this, wear one of your “I’m with the Band” tshirts under your “court duds” just as a reminder that we are all behind you and thinking about you.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      How did you sell your purses? And we’ll get it all in writing BEFORE I move – no doubt.

      And of course I remember you – you’re rad!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I love you. Of course I remember you – you make some awesome points, dude. AWESOME.

  • Fallah says:

    Regarding the budget, Consumerist has a great Excel-based template for budget noobs. Take a look: http://consumerist.com/2007/03/consumerists-9-step-beginners-budget.html

    As far as cookware: minimum you need (imo):
    -one pot, at least big enough to make pasta
    -one shallow frying pan/skillet
    -one wooden spoon or large cooking spoon
    -one big spatula
    -one cutting board
    -one serrated knife
    -one chef’s knife
    -one paring knife
    -possibly a small colander

    Appliances:
    -Coffee maker? French press?
    -Small slow cooker can be very handy
    -If you aren’t one for a lot of stovetop cooking a small-to-medium electric griddle may work better & be more versatile
    -small microwave

    You should be able to find dishes and flatware pretty cheap via Freecycle, Craigslist or yard sales.

    Other household stuff:
    Wastebaskets
    Towels
    Lamps
    Place to sleep
    Seating
    Cleaning supplies: broom, mop, rags, soap

    You can do this. I know you can. It really sucks that you have such a short time window, but people can survive with remarkably little ‘stuff’ when they need to.

  • Melissa E. says:

    Becky, I usually don’t comment on your blog, though I’ve read it for several years now. But I wanted to let you know that I do have some of the items you might need, including some pots and pans, and a few basic things for setting up a household. They’re just taking up space and I wouldn’t mind giving them to you. I live in the Chicago area, too. Let me know if you’re interested.

    Be strong.

    Melissa

  • Mom of Bug says:

    DO NOT LEAVE YOUR STUFF IN THAT HOUSE WHEN YOU LEAVE!!!
    My hubby’s lawyer told him to leave all the heirloom furniture and stuff his family gave him in the house so that the divorce will be easier on the kids, and the judge will look kindly on him.
    THIS IS A LIE.
    I know the rules are different here in Canada, but the end result was that the ex got full custody of his kids and she sold everything he left there “for the kids”.
    Not only did the judge not go easy on him, but he had to start from scratch with a pot, a bowl, a plate and a spoon borrowed from a friend’s Mom.
    By the way, as well as asking your parents for stuff, ask your friend’s parents!
    You can do it, one meal, one day, one spoon at a time.
    Love & Martinis!

  • Joannie says:

    I scope out recipes that I can eat leftovers with because I fucking hate cooking/washing dishes. These were some good/cheap ones.

    http://family.go.com/food/pkg-budget-recipes/cheap-dinner-recipes-pg/

    I save money on groceries by planning my meals in advance (or else I end up just eating Reese’s ice cream and tortilla chips).

    All you need is the Internet. No TV. Every show is online, basically. You already have a highlighter vibrator, so fun.

    You could look into becoming an expert at editing theses. A friend of mine is getting her doctorate and is looking for an editor. She has found a *cheap* one charging in the *low thousands*.

    You could ask local businesses if they need someone to make them a web page/to update their social media pages/market for them.

    Can you write resumes or stuff like that? You just need a fancy page to market yourself, I think.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      That’s perfectly awesome – I bookmarked your link.

      And maybe that’s a good place to start – I’ve got YEARS of editing experience. It’s all about scouring the papers and applying. Which, unfortch, requires like 37 different resumes. But it’s all for a good outcome. Money scares me.

  • Tracey says:

    Oh, and find out if you qualify for government assistance until you can find a job. Don’t let anyone here give you facts about whatever…find out for yourself. At this point in your life you need to empower yourself, not let other people do things for you. There are going to be really fucking hard ass days, knowing you accomplished little things will set you up with the strength to handle yourself later. I recently went through something and was so discouraged, and let others’ opinions further discourage me from doing something that could make my situation better…well guess what? THEY WERE WRONG, and my letting all that time go by shot myself in the foot. So, guess what I’m saying is…when it comes to your personal business…handle it yourself.

    • Sarah says:

      Government assistance, yes. I lost my job and still had to, you know, eat, so I went down to social services and signed up for food stamps, although I think they call the program something different now.

      Best decision ever. I don’t know how I would have survived otherwise.

  • KT says:

    I might still have some divorce books I can ship to you. I’m getting ready to move, so now is the perfect time for me to send them to a new home.

  • Dawnie says:

    Dearest AB, I have no goods to donate, but would love to help. Is there a way folks like me can donate $5 or $10 here or there to help you replace the goods you’ll be leaving behind? (Or the goods you want new so they don’t remind you of what you’ve left behind.)

  • What everyone said. After I got divorced (when I was 21), I haunted yard sales and thrift stores. I got a job in an office and didn’t own a dress. I was able to go to Goodwill and buy four dresses for the $25 I had. Sure, I had to wear one more than once until I got paid, but who the hell cares. My sofa came from a yard sale, my kitchen stuff, and I used that for years until I remarried and worked my way up to where I made decent money.

    If you can find an all bills paid apt, that will make budgeting easier.

    Best of luck to you – If I lived near Chicago, I’d bring you some stuff.

    Oh, and sell your purses and stuff yourself on Ebay. Those stores that do it for you will rip you off.

  • Rho says:

    You can do this. If I could do it and get through it, you can too. Thankfully, I had some money to buy the things I needed. I took very little out of the house and now could kick myself for it. Remember you are entitled to marital property too. That includes sheets, towels, etc.

    I really like the idea of having a Starting over internet party. Register at Target/Amazon/Bed, Bath and Bedamned. My money is tight but I’d be more than happy to send you a housewarming gift.

    I don’t have any words of assvice since I’m still dealing with my own crap. I just hope it helps to know you aren’t alone.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’d love that! Anything! Just write your name on it so I can know who it came from and see it and think of you. Wow, sounds creepers. I’m TRYING to set up an amazon wishlist and sucking royally.

  • Kate Donahue says:

    I’ve started over on my own with kids in tow more than once – you can do it. Craigslist it for cheap stuff, Goodwill and buy odds and ends dishes and call yourself ‘eclectic’. You’d be amazed how little you can live with and still be happy. The sense of peace is worth more than anything you have to replace or buy and learning to live on your own is an important skill that will only develop if you go through something like this. Hold your head high and walk out gracefully on the other side a better person, a stronger person, and a more self-reliant person.

  • Kelly Fox says:

    Ok. What I hated hearing were the words “well if I were you” Because no one is you. You are. This is the time to do what YOU want. Get cheap paper plates for a bit. Do NOT back down from saying that you are entitled to get whatever recompense you feel you need from the end of this relationship to start fresh and new on your own.
    Enjoy every tiny victorious moment that you will feel. Whatever it is.
    Such as: No one nagging at you, or snoring, or farting, or bed hogging, or bitching, or whining, or whatever it may be at the moment you realize that it’s not occuring and you LIKE it. Let yourself enjoy that moment. This is now YOUR time. Try Branchout on Facebook for jobs, and network the shit out of it. Then Linked in. And just keep plugging away, and don’t feel discouraged. Just keep focusing on it being YOUR time. Because if you don’t it will keep being scary as shit, and it will keep you down, and you are bigger and stronger and braver than that. I know, I’ve been there. Hold that head up! As corny as it is, and you’ll laugh at this shit, find yourself an F you! song. A song that you can play when you really feel scared or down, etc, that instead makes you feel like screaming F you to everything and you feel better, and strong. Then play that LOUD alot until you get sick of it of course and have to find another.. *cough* ahem.. I recommend Bulletproof by Steel Magnolia today for your first pick. You. Are. Welcome! lol

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I love you. This is all fantastic advice. I hope you realize I’m making a GIGANTIC spreadsheet with info you guys are giving me. It’s really helping.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I love you. This is all fantastic advice. I hope you realize I’m making a GIGANTIC spreadsheet with info you guys are giving me. It’s giving me a happy in the pants.

  • Vanessa says:

    Gail Vaz-Oxlade is my budgeting/money maven.

  • Lisa says:

    OK, so most people hit on most of my ideas, like freecycle.org, the ReStore, etc. but you could barter: http://www.barterquest.com/ I remember reading about a guy who got a house after starting with a pencil (or some variation of that). You can barter services, stuff, etc. for other stuff that you need. Not only would you be getting rid of what you don’t need and getting what you DO need, you would also fill lots of time up getting creative.

    As far as employment, go to temp agencies and register the hell out of yourself. Many companies try before they buy and while it may not be the job of a lifetime, it will put food on the table (which you MUST eat, dammit), and keep the internet humming.

    Put a God Damn DONATE button on this website tonight.

    Go to a divorce attorney and get a free consult to make sure you aren’t giving up rights/property by being the one to leave.

    And finally, if you email me I have a shit-ton of househould stuff I don’t use that I could ship to you. Just say the word.

    Love you tons.

  • DJ Young says:

    First off – contact your local Dept. of Health/Human services and see what you qualify for in terms of financial/health/food/housing assistance – they can be a great resource in other ways as well, including helping you find legal aid.

    Second – prowl Freeshare sites – or sites like Craigslist where people often give things away (free section).

    Your state will have a job search bulletin board – better than Craigslist or your newspaper and it’s free to use (if you have trouble, contact your local library – those librarians will know everything to help you – and, again, free).

    Use your library (or Google) as well for finding local support groups – you need people around you and there are safe places you can go where you’ll find compassionate folks who have been through it before.

    Please don’t panic. It’s all a rut now, but focus on what you want to accomplish for yourself and your family, write it down if you need to – writing can make it concrete and doable.

    Yes, you can sell your purses on Ebay – but it may take time and if you’ve never used Ebay before, it can be a hassle working with Paypal (you’ve got to ship the purses out, too). You could put an ad out in local venues describing what you’re selling and what you’d like for them – you may find a collector or someone else interested and this maybe a bit easier.

    Finally – keep in contact!
    X

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’ve gotten an awesome buddy helping me out with selling my shit on eBay – I have a rad computer I’m selling that I’m (gulp) trying to sell on Craigslist – unless someone else wants a 2008 iMac in great shape.

  • Pansies and Sunflowers says:

    Two things: when grocery shopping, think “How many meals will this make?” Box spghetti and jar of sauce equals dinner for several nights. Also, MAKE PLANS, even if it’s a weekly chat with a friend. Living alone can be great, but when going through a hard time, you need something to look forward to.

  • Sue says:

    Been where you are. Married at 20, divorced at 34, and it was my first time on my own.

    I’ve used Excel to track my income and expenses. There is software out there that can help you figure out how much each expense should be of your monthly income. Quicken comes to mind.

    Cheap pots, pans, plates, silverware, basic cooking utensils, a toaster oven and a microwave. At’ll get you started, for when you’re back to eating. Stock up on this stuff at discount stores.

    Get a small tool kit (basics – hammer, screwdrivers, duct tape, and WD40).

    As you come upon tasks that you haven’t had to do before – breathe deeply. Take a shot. Breathe some more. Then decide:
    Can it wait?
    If not, can someone help me?
    If not, can I hire someone? (The answer is almost always yes.)
    If not – take it a step at a time. Don’t panic. Whatever you’re doing, you’re not a pioneer; someone knows how. All else fails, ask Google.

    Or write a quick post. Someone’s gonna know.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Got it – I can use Open Office or find a cheap copy of Quicken – for now I’ll budget from my ginormous spreadsheet. Good call on the tool box. I’ll put one together before I go. Every girl should have a toolbox.

  • amy says:

    Hey Aunt Becks – it was only three short years ago that I embarked upon a whole new life, not by my own choice initially, but then you know what? I thought, I didn’t choose for him to leave (specifically) but I get to choose anything else I want from now on. I get to choose to be happy there’s no one to impede my future happiness. I don’t have all your answers right now. Not practical ones anyway. But I’m in your army, sister, aunt, friend.

  • tara (aka IWantThursdays) says:

    I have never lived alone either. I moved out just over a year ago and the divorce was final last December. I guess you can say I live alone on those days when my kid is with his dad. I actually kinda like being alone and it’s odd that I never did live alone before. Hmm.

    Ok, I too left lots of stuff (purchased with my own money may I say) when I left. Write this down –you need much less stuff than you think. Truly. Madly. Deeply.

    A few essentials can be had at Goodwill or free on Craigslist. You really only need one skillet and one pot for now. No Joke. And honestly, you can live with one plate, one bowl, one spoon, one fork and one knife. Yes that means you have to wash them every time you use them, but it also brings a mindfulness to act of eating, which can also help calm your mind and your racing emotions.

    A bottle of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap can clean everything from dishes to the bathroom to the floors to your whole body.

    After my initial panic and uncertainty started to lessen, I learned that I was happier with less stuff. I started to find ways to repurpose things that I already had instead of focusing on what I didn’t have.

    And simplify. I have found that to be one of the greatest things I have discovered in this uncomfortable and sad journey. Less stuff, less clutter = less stress, less cleaning, more focus on healing.

    You can do this. You are not alone. You are not weak and you will find a way.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I will find my way. I will be scared, I will have fears, and I will come through the other side a better, stronger person. I know it. It’s just the fear right now. And it is MIGHTY.

  • ellie d says:

    ::said in my least stalker-ish voice:: COME LIVE WITH ME!

  • Beth says:

    Hey I just sent you a Facebook message to keep somethings private (my phone # and email) give me a call and I can hook you up with stuff, advice and friends. Oh, and vodka!

  • Beth says:

    Forgot to say in my other post and FB message that I’m an ebay veteran and will be happy to help you sell your purses.

  • jeri says:

    First of all, don’t despair. I found myself living alone and totally self-sufficient for the first time at 35. It totally sucked at first, but then it actually became fun. I made myself a girly-girl bedroom (inexpensively, since I was poor as well as cheap by nature). I could cook anything I liked without considering anyone else, and the remote was suddenly ALL MINE.

    The temp idea is absolutely a great way to go, especially since you have both office skills and nursing creds. The economy sucks, which is good for temps. And it will give you a chance to explore options while still making an income.

    Another plus of the sucky economy is that foodstamps and medical insurance are much easier to get than they used to be. The whole qualifying process is horrifying but nothing compared to some of the experiences you’ve had. And they can also hook you up with career counseling. And don’t forget the blogs. There are budget-themed blogs on just about any topic you can think of.

    And if you need some really quick cash, try a yard sale. No waiting time, no commissions,, no taxes. Can your parents or a friend lend you their yard if you really need to make that quick of a getaway.

    And if things get really bad, look up your local Salvation Army. They’ll probably try to “save” you, but they are sincerely generous, and as an organization their case workers really know their shit. All the best. Keep us posted. I wish I could send you something, but we’ve had mice issues, and about all I have left is my crock pot.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      You poor thing! Mice? Blech! I’ll begin looking into all of the social services available and see what (if anything) I qualify for. I’ll be asking (read: begging) for advice for where to look, but I’ve got some fairly solid leads so far. That’s something.

  • Gwen says:

    I haven’t lived alone either (except with a small child but that’s not REALLY alone LOL) but I have started over with nothing a few times. First of all, I agree with what someone else said, don’t leave anything you love, sorta love, sorta want, sorta need behind..this includes photos of kids, baby books, stuff you hung on the wall because YOU liked it. I made this mistake 6 years ago when I Chose Unwisely and STILL mourn for those things. Take what you need from the kitchen too, just because you’re getting divorced doesn’t mean some of that stuff isn’t yours. Unless you’re moving somewhere out of the state and flying…there’s no need to leave anything you want/need behind. Like I said, I’ve made that mistake and lost cherished things that could never be replaced.
    So proud that you’re reaching out for help, there’s no shame in needing help or in asking for it.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Thank you, love. I hate (loathe is probably more appropriate and even less strong a word than I’d like to use) asking for help. I appreciate you giving me the sounding board. I will choose VERY carefully.

  • Lindsey says:

    1. There are websites that show you how to add a “donate” button right to your blog. You have given us so much throughout the years with your inspiring, and ridiculous, words. Let us give YOU something in your time of need.

    2. I absolutely love the idea of a “starting over” shower.

    3. This may be something you are totally against, but have you considered a roommate? Living with someone else would allow you to split bills, and most likely live in a nicer place than you could afford on your own. Absolutely look on craigslist. Write your own ad for a roommate, and see who pops up. Hopefully you won’t find someone with a duffel bag of decapitated heads in their trunk.

    4. Living on your own can be lonely, but you are so lucky to have so much support here on the internet. CATS! Get multiple cats! Like 10! Also, when you’re bored you could….oh, I don’t know, post here 6 times a day? That would make us readers lovers you oh so much.

    5. Another great way to pass time that also really kind of kicks ass is exercising. Buy some cheesy workout DVDs. That shit actually works if you do it consistently, and another bonus to living alone is you don’t have to be all embarrassed about jumping around like you are having a seizure. Hello, thighmaster?

    6. Have I mentioned multiple cats?

    7. Indoor hydroponic gardening? I know you’re all into the plants and shit. I am an expert at growing marijuana indoors….but……you could totally have a roomful of orchids with right equipment. And, if I remember correctly, aren’t orchids kind or pricey? Grow and sell some goddam orchids, lady!

    8. As for your purses, I’m sure some of your readers would looooove to own some genuine aunt becky shit. Throw up some pictures and prices, I guarantee there are readers that would be interested.

    9. We could set up an “Adopt Aunt Becky For a Week!” list. Where, like, you could travel around and live with your readers.

    alright, that one was kind of a joke. But…..

    Have you considered burlesque dancing?

    We love you, Becky!

    • Cindy DuBois says:

      I like #8 – put pictures up and let us see some of the awesome stuff. I’d like an Aunt Becky purse and #9 – go on a road trip to your readers who have an extra room or a comfortable couch. Austin is awesome, you could have some serious fun here.

    • Cynthia Medina says:

      “3. This may be something you are totally against, but have you considered a roommate? Living with someone else would allow you to split bills, and most likely live in a nicer place than you could afford on your own. Absolutely look on craigslist. Write your own ad for a roommate, and see who pops up. Hopefully you won’t find someone with a duffel bag of decapitated heads in their trunk.”

      I have tears in my eyes – too funny! Dear AB – Skip the roommate portion of the “program”. LOL! Heart you muchly Becks

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’ll be adding a donate button to the sidebar – I hate doing it, but it’s necessary at the moment. I hope to take it down, soon.

      I’ve considered the idea of a roommate and have – for the moment – ruled it out. But that stands to change at any time.

      I’ll ask the readers on Monday if they’d like to buy my crap. I’d happily sell it if I knew someone would love it as I did.

  • Hi Becky,
    I actually have never been where you are – I have been on my own since I was 16 (2 decades ago) and have lived alone much of that time. And…you can do this. And…I believe you know more “off the top of your head” than you think. Everyone has lovely suggestions – personally I love yard sales – so much NEW stuff can be had for pennies, it’s lovely! Although, depending on price I would definitely check out a furnished place – so much less stress in the beginning.
    But I imagine it’s the money situation that has you much stressed. I have learned how to make money daily but like you – I work hard for it. So here is my advice…
    Take your PR kit and start hitting up those companies that you have a relationship with – pitch, pitch pitch. Whether it’s a one-off promotion – a sponsored post – a social media strategy, reach out to those that already know you.
    Reach out to small-mid-sized businesses – these are often the groups that don’t have the funds to hire a full-time Marketer – put together a quote to build them a blog, manage a few of their social media channels for a reasonable monthly fee (working with their hopefully existing marketing plan).
    Mystery shopping – you can write and that’s what matters – sign up for mystery shopping – if it’s anything like Canada they don’t pay a tonne but they often include meals which sounds like something you could use!
    Find your closest research Marketing firm and ask to be on their focus group lists – here in Canada, they pay cash on the day of attendance – great opportunity when you need liquid currency.
    Have your contacts send you any work at home job opportunities – there is a really great site for the US, can’t find it right now (new computer, no more bookmarks!).
    Temp agencies – get your name on the lists, get daily employment often paid at the end of each shift.
    Do use consignment stores – much more $$ for your goods plus much less hassle than ebay.
    These are a few of the options that I have used when I needed to make money and it works for me.
    Wishing you all the best in your newest adventure.
    Felicia

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      These are all amazing ideas and yes, unfortunately, the whole situation with cash scares the bejesus outta me. But these ideas I’ll take and work on! Thank you!

  • I second, third, fourth, etc, all of the people who say to get info before leaving. Even if you sleep on the couch or whatever in the interim.. unless, of course, it’s an abuse situation.

    Also agree with the people who say to write everything down that you need to spend (bills, etc) to make a budget. Don’t leave anything out. We like to split our checks between rent and bills, so I always know what I need to pay on each check. (I manage our household finances.) If you don’t already have your own bank acct, I highly suggest opening one just for yourself and having your paypal point there.

    I’d suggest hitting up Walmart or another similar store, Big Lots, and dollar stores for kitchen gear. Whatever you can’t get at the dollar stores and Big Lots (and they have a lot), Walmart will have cheap (including a decent knife for chopping–I got mine for less than ten bucks there and use it daily). You can also find things at yard sales and thrift stores; I found a food processor at a thrift store for fifteen bucks.

    I would suggest a basic set of: one saucepot (big enough for pasta, small enough for rice if you want to eat rice), one skillet (I have a 14 inch nonstick from WM that I cook basically everything in), a basic set of plastic cooking tools (spoon, spatula, spaghetti spoon, these sets are cheap), a strainer, a chef knife, tongs, a baking dish, and maybe a whisk. If you can afford it, add a stockpot and a cookie sheet.. if not, you can get them later, along with other nonessentials ^_^ But eating home-cooked food is WAY cheaper than eating prepared meals, so you’ll save in the long run if you invest in a few tools. Plus, I find cooking therapeutic. There’s something nice about providing for yourself, too, instead of eating food that you know is probably not that great for you.

    About the purses: I’d hang onto any that you absolutely love, even if it means hanging on to ALL of them, until you really need to sell them. You might mourn them later and not be able to replace them.

    Finally, I just want to say I’m sorry that you’re having to go through this. We’ll all be here when you need support. It’s okay to lean on us :)

  • Frubs says:

    I’ll repeat what others have said re: legal advice and future custody battles…I’ll also repeat that stuff at the house is half yours, take what you need and you should be entitled to some support. That said, you know your own situation better than we do, so do what you think is right.

    I can’t offer you advice on living alone, unfortunately, as I’ve never done it :( When I crash landed from a relationship, I was kipping on my ex(ex-ex)’s floor. There was a lot of not eating and crying and not much impetus to pick myself up, if I’m honest. There didn’t seem to be any hope or any point. I’d love to say that I got through it all independantly and became stronger, but I don’t think I particularly did…just got into another relationship and began to feel better by virtue of that.

    Which in a way is a very happy serendipity as I’m much better in myself now but in another way I’m a bit disapointed that I wasn’t strong enough to find a way on my own.

    That doesn’t mean YOU aren’t strong enough to find a way on your own, however. I have every confidence in you, from the strength and warmth you’ve shown in your posts and projects. It’s just…going to be tough at first and difficult to adjust to – no question – but remember to give yourself a break. And as others have mentioned, look towards the positives – i.e You answer to NO ONE.

    Living alone can be liberating (so I’ve heard from people close to me who have!) and you get to prove to yourself that you can. Beware of spending too much time by yourself though – make sure you’re socializing outside of whatever work you get…I know someone who lost a lot of confidence because he basically stopped socializing day-to day outside of work. So don’t become a recluse! Or at least, not long-term. (Taking some time out for yourself is FINE).

    On the cooking front…
    I think you probably just need the basics. Eatin’ irons, knives to chop, saucepan, frying pan. Maybe toaster, kettle and microwave if you can. Curries, chilli, and pasta sauces are easy to make and you can freeze the rest to have later in the week. Stir fry is also really quick and healthy and you can scale to 1 accordingly. (1 noodle nest + veggies!)

    advice on budgeting: the bf uses the ‘balanced money formula’ as that works for him (30% wants 20% savings 50% needs) more info here: http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2011/05/02/how-to-build-a-better-budget/

    I wish I had better advice to give or something inspiring to say :( Other than you’ll make it and we believe in you.

  • Christina says:

    Please please please see a lawyer. Research about public aide. Thrift stores. Donate button. Much love and strength coming your way.

  • Sandy says:

    Oh Becky, I have to tell you that this brings up soooo much of my past. I’ve been through the “D” word before (with 2 little babies I might add) and it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. I have so many things that I could share with you to help you through this time, but I’m afraid that I’d be writing a novel and boring all your other readers. I will give you these offerings, though: 1) You tell ME what you need to survive, and I’ll see if I’ve got it laying around the house; 2) If you need to get out of Dodge for a while and clear your head, have a shoulder to listen to ya, you’re welcome up in my neck of the woods. Hey, we got a camper you can stay in!; 3) Remember that YOU are strong and YOU can get through this. All of us are here to help you, and you WILL get better and stronger. This is a time to rebuild yourself, and the only way to do that is to start over. It is a new life for you, one that you will start from the ground up and be much stronger for it. Take this opportunity to send out emails to us, your family, and let us be there for you and help you along the way. We love you more than you could ever know.

  • Jamie says:

    I’ve lived alone for three years and still own only one frying pan and one sauce pan–these are plenty. You’ll definitely want a coffee pot. A couple good lamps–because I found that good lighting can change my mood. A vase–spend the extra $10 week and buy yourself an inexpensive bunch of fresh cut flowers–they will add joy and color to this situation, I’m telling you, it’s worth it.

    I agree–find a place with utilities included–I pay a flat rate rent every month no matter how much water, air conditioning, heat, internet, etc. I use–it’s glorious.

    Hold your friends and your pranksters close, AB. We’re here for you.

  • whitney says:

    I want to help; I will gladly donate. We’ve got your back.

  • Christine says:

    After I moved out of the house I owned with my then husband, I bought a book called “Any Bitch Can Cook” and it saved me, or I wouldn’t have eaten for a year. It’s fucking hard, but then you’ll have moments when you realize that all these little perks start springing from out of nowhere and before you know it, you’ll ENJOY the time you have to yourself. Email me with your address, I’d love to send you the cookbook. xo

  • thill says:

    Search Craigslist for “moving sale” which are the best. Tons of good stuff goes cheap this way. Almost the end of the month, too. This weekend, there should be great moving sales. Next for “garage sale” and “yard sale,” but moving sales are the best ones.

    Thrift stores are also great. Go to the ones in the good neighborhoods or nearest the good neighborhoods. Much cheaper and stuff may be even better than Wal-Mart stuff.

    Good luck.

  • Glenna M says:

    Dear Aunt Becky. We love you.

    As for transitioning into living on your own, I recommend *definitely* taking some time to get to know you on your own. Being lonely is probably the last thing you need, but you do need to find your independence. And taking some time, even though it’s hard, to be alone will make you stronger in the future.

    Also, I highly suggest going to the library and asking the librarians for book suggestions. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you’re going through and what sort of literature you’re looking for– they’ve heard everything before! And any good librarian a) knows not to judge anyone’s reading preferences and b) will have fantastic suggestions for you. A good book, especially one that *speaks* to you, can do wonders.

    Good luck! Stay strong. We’re right here with you.

  • Heather says:

    Dammit, I can’t get the previous comments to load completely on my phone, so I’m going to hope this isn’t massively redundant, but check out Freecycle.org. You can post “wanted” ads as well as check out what people are just offering. It totally rocks, and is free.

    My sister has made a serious amount of money selling things on eBay. I say unload the purses there!

    I might have a lead on an actual, paying writing gig. I’m going to investigate as soo as my kid is fed and in bed and if it is something possible, I’ll email you ASAP.

    (((hugs)))

  • Yvette says:

    I am so sorry for what you’re going through. I can’t agree more with what KC wrote. Please see a lawyer before you move out.
    My daughter left her husband last year and pretty much left him everything to get out. The condo, the business, most of the furniture. She now regrets it.
    As for the babies, you need to get custody arrangements in writing, or he will claim you aboandoned them. Please don’t trust him to act in your best interest, he won’t.
    I’m in Chicago, while I’m helping to support my daughter and don’t have much to spare, please email me when you need help.

  • Lynda says:

    The first time I lived alone was last year. I lived with my parents, then my ex husband, then my parents again. Finally, I lived alone and then I met my boyfriend, so it didn’t last long.

    I buy a lot of stuff at thrift shops. However, my parents moved out of the house, and let me live in it for a while, and they left me the cookware they didn’t need anymore. Sometimes a friend is upgrading, and if they know the situation you are in, they may offer you some cookware. I have done that for friends in the past. I also love the thrift shop, garage sale, Target, etc. ideas. Those are some of my favorite places to shop. If you ever see a big cast iron skillet at a thrift shop, pick it up. That thing will last FOREVER. The blacker the better.

    To live on a budget, I gave myself a cash allowance for fun stuff. So, if I didn’t have cash, I didn’t go do the fun stuff. Sure, sometimes I fudged it. Sometimes I missed out. But the system worked for me.

    I would sell your purses yourself on Ebay, because an Ebay place is going to take a percentage, and that’s a percentage that you need. I never have used Ebay, but I think when my mom did, she said she could add a cost for shipping. Just don’t make it so high that people know you are ripping them off.

    My biggest advice for living alone is not telling the people you sign up for services with that you are living alone. I had a slightly stalkerish thing happen when my internet got set up. I still should blog about that. If you can, have a friend or your parent or someone be home with you. Also, enjoy living on your own. Don’t be paranoid, just be cautious.

    With my divorce, I finally took some time for me to do some “selfish” things, similar to how you got a tattoo. (For example, I bought an iPod.) It’s important to focus on yourself for a bit. You need that. If you want, you can email me and I can share some of my experiences with you.

  • Linda Sand says:

    If you do leave without any preparation at least bring a knife, fork, and spoon. Get tuna/salmon in packets and use the fork or spoon to eat right from the packet. Get fruits and vegetables that can be eaten without preparation more than washing and/or peeling. If you like them, also get a bunch of nuts to get the fats your body needs. Then you can just eat without having to make any effort until you are ready to cope with more than that. We need you to eat, Becks.

  • Margo says:

    I know that Cracked.com hires writers all the time. I don’t know how much they pay, but it might be a good fit for your writing style. Here’s a link for you. http://www.cracked.com/write-for-cracked/

    I agree that you should see a lawyer. Protect, now, your financial health–do not let pride get in the way of this. Also protect you relationship with your children. I am praying for you.

    You will get through this–STRONGER.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I will be better – I know it. It’s just getting from here to there is so scary.

      Got the awesome link for cracked and I’ll begin exploring it. I won’t let any opportunity go un-stalked.

  • Melissa says:

    ‘Tis the season for yard sales, and I suggest you take a good look at them. You can get some pretty useful shit for next to nothing – just don’t get caught up in the ACTUAL shit. ‘Specially the glittery stuff. The glittery stuff ALWAYS gets ya.
    These are tough times but I know you can get through them. Lots of hugs your way from all the way up in Canada.
    My only other advice is to pick up lots of eggs and rice. Both are versatile and rather inexpensive, and easy to stretch. Good luck!

  • Laseule says:

    I don’t have much to add that others haven’t already said, except:

    A) Make sure you’re doing something social at LEAST once a week. It’s very easy to let depression pull you down when you don’t have anyone to, well, be happy for/notice when you’re down. So even if it’s the last thing you want to do, go out and talk to people!

    VI) I totally agree that you need a place to donate. Post a wish list here and on Facebook, and use kapipal.com for $$ donations. You’d be surprised at how many people are willing to help if you just let us know what you need!

    42) I do believe cracked.com (a less-than-mature comedy site) is hiring writers. Ideal? No. But doable? Yes.

    Love and hugs to you, AB.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’m totally pulling together a wishlist and adding it to my sidebar (along with a donate button which makes me feel UGH), but whatever.

      And I think that I should maybe try and sell some of my shit here? Like an internet garage sale?

  • Mandy says:

    Aunt Becky: please see my email!

    You’re getting a lot of good advice here! Email me if you need anything.

  • kellzzz says:

    Becky, I’ve seen your newest tattoo pictures, so I know you’re a fucking badass. You can whip this shit.

    My advice re: your purses and any other high-end type stuff you might want to sell is to look into consignment stores in a rich bitch neighborhood. They’re likely to sell faster. Also hit those snootier ‘hoods for Goodwill, other thrift stores, and yard sales. The stuff is generally in good shape and sometimes brand new.

    Small housewares, kitchen stuff, and cleaning supplies can get pricey, so my broke ass bought most of that stuff at 99 cent and dollar stores. Everyone is right, though–the biggest budget buster is takeout so you have to get into the habit of eating at home…unless you can worm a dinner invite out of your friends and family!

    Protect yourself and don’t make any more snap decisions than you absolutely have to. You’ve helped so many of us so very much, Becky; there has to be some good karma headed your way. XOXO

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      NO snap decisions. And as far as karma goes, I’m probably making up for some REALLY bad shit I’ve done in a past life. Seriously.

      Anyway – do you think selling my stuff here like an internet garage sale would be okay? Or is that weird?

  • Kristina says:

    Hey Becky –

    I don’t know if you remember me, I worked with BB2G for a while before I stepped aside because of another organization I was working with. Anyway, I haven’t commented in a long time but I’ve been reading and I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    I probably have some assvice for you – I spent 4 years working as a social worker in a domestic violence shelter and my job was helping women find the resources – financial, emotional, legal – to get their lives back on track. I know some decent tips.

    Also, a year ago I walked away from my 9-5 And launched a freelance writing and editing career. Shockingly, I’ve done well. I can definitely let you know where to look and my best tips.

    Email me if you’d like to talk. I’m far from an expert in anything, but would be happy to share what I know.

  • Sara says:

    I am a goddamned professional at being single and poor, and will also recommend Goodwill. Everything I own is secondhand and it’s awesome. I will also suggest a slow cooker for easy, cheap eating. I am a big fan of tossing ingredients into a crockpot, turning a dial, and then walking away for a few hours. I make big batches of soups and stews that way, and then freeze portions for later.

    This is a good website for eating well and cheaply: http://www.poorgirleatswell.com/

    And since I am also a professional at being too depressed to eat, I will also recommend multivitamins and protein shakes, if you aren’t taking them already. Food is preferable, of course, but sometimes you just have to choke down your nutrients any way possible.

  • pbpdesigns says:

    Ok, everyone has some really great advice. I’m sorry I didn’t get here sooner to be a comment farther up in your list! Ha!
    Anything else I say would just be rehashing what everyone else has said, so….

    Hi, Have we MET? Do you remember the first post I submitted to TheBand almost a year ago? Do you remember what you said? Go read it. (#1369).
    If I can do this (twice) you can, too!
    Text me or call me if you need ANYTHING! Support, a shoulder to cry on, someone to help cary the shovel, whatever!
    Hugs! and Maple Bacon Cupcakes!!!
    Pammi

  • Jaime says:

    I’m so sorry…. being on your own is scary as shit… but it’s also fucking amazing. You can do what you want, when you want and HOW you want.

    I recommend planning out your meals in advance and doing the grocery shopping with that plan in mind… it really does help save money. ALSO coupons.. I know those women seem insane but they have the right idea.. why pay full price for something when they are giving money off on it for FREE…. all you have to do is cut them out … and now you can even go online and find GREAT websites for coupons.. I live in Canada so I’m not sure that the websites are the same as for the US… google is your friend.

    All I can say is you have an awesome support system with blogging… we are all here for you… if you ever need it.. :)

    you’re smart and funny… you’re going to be ok!

    *hugs*

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Bwahahahahahaha. I’m going to find some coupon sites and scour them for ideas. Gotta do what you gotta do, right?

      I love you. It’s hard to be brave when you’re so scared – which I am. Terrified.

  • Craig says:

    There is a lot of good advice here. I would read it, then read it again. A lot of people care about you, and not just because you are funny, or pretty, or honest about things good or bad. They write because you are worth caring about. You have worth, right now when you feel worthless. You have strength, this moment when you feel weakest. You have courage, this second when you are most frightened.

    Most importantly, you have people who are out here. All of the ones who have written, and hundreds of others who just didn’t know what to say but care as deeply. You are not alone.

    Now, take your first step forward. Eat something. I know nothing sounds good, or even tastes good to you. If you have to, just grab some food with a nice texture and chew on it. You will feel better once your gut has something besides itself to work on. Not tons better, but this is a process, every little victory counts.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I did eat a little yesterday! It was a victory until today. When it wasn’t.

      But I am so glad to see I’m not alone – I’ve felt so alone; so isolated for so many years. Sounds hokey, but it’s true.

      I love you to pieces. Thanks for your sweet words.

  • Mel says:

    put the purses up on your site for auction!!!

    Are you moving with the kids? Be careful with the abandonment classification. Get a lawyer STAT!!

    I have a friend who works for Patch and loves it. Go to Patch.com and search by geographical area.

    A group of friends had a “starting over” party for a friend in a similar situation & it rocked. We had a great time and everyone was happy to pitch in.

    Let people help even though it may seen odd and uncomfortable, do it! Let your friends do for you like you would do for them.

    Peace & Love,
    Mel

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I think I’m going to sell some of my purses here – is that weird? I feel like it’s weird. Either way – I’m going to go ahead and try it. And try to hope that I don’t seem TOO desperate.

  • katrina says:

    I can’t help but add to the chorus……do NOT leave your kids. In fact, make him move out. If you do move out,…..take everything that you want. Do NOT assume that he will not use everything against you, because more than likely he will. I have been there, and i wish someone had told me, before i rushed off in a panic.

    sending you hugs and love~*~

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’m going to be taking it NICE and slow – I HAVE to if I want to make it. Everything will be cross-checked and re-categorized and checked again. I’m not going to be all Hasty Pudding on this. It’s too important.

  • Chris says:

    I totally agree- do NOT leave your kids, do NOT assume he won’t use everything and anything against you. If you have to wait so you can have a lawyer, or wait to get him to leave, DO IT. Do not assume what he says now will be what happens when this goes to court. Find a tense way to be in the same space. Sleep in the family room, be awake different hours, but do not risk losing your kids.

    Next, have you considered work at home jobs? There are tons! I’ve worked from home for almost 8 years. You might want to check wwwr.ratracerebellion.com and wahm.com and read their forums. There are tons of options depending on your skills, and many are flexible hours.

    And you need to eat! Hang in there and good luck.

  • Jessica says:

    The D word has been bouncing around our house as well. It’s scary to think about, and I’m trying to fight it. I am new to your blog, and am just now working through your older posts. I have no advice, no leads. But I want to wish you well, and to let you know you’re not alone. The previous posters are right on the money with their advice. I have none, but I can donate a little. Good luck an keep you head up!

  • Stephanie Hobson says:

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a few weeks, but I may be your oldest (in age) follower, so my advice has to count for something. Please… find the meanest lawyer you can! And then listen to him/her! It will be much easier on you to use a lawyer as a shield, so you aren’t the bad guy, and you won’t get bullied into doing something that will bite you in the butt down the road. I wish you the best.

  • Aubrey says:

    I think you and I need to set a date and we need to have a Thrift Store Shopping Spree! I can find some amazing things at those places and I have never been to one up there in Chicago. It would be an amazing day! Call me and we can set everything up!

  • Lynda M O
    Twitter: Lynda M Otvos
    says:

    Freecycle may become your best friend…

    Garage sales and an online shower make me want to contribute-can we ship you boxes of stuff we want to donate or is that beyond what you can handle at this time?

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Ship me anything your heart desires! I’m going to be doing an online garage sale (I think) to get rid of some of my shit. My address is:

      Becky Harks
      1437 Adams Avenue
      Saint Charles, IL, 60174

      I’ll be putting together a wishlist, but I feel weird about that (as I do about the “donate” button).

      I love you to pieces.

  • JimRom says:

    I agree with everyone else. Consult a lawyer ASAP. While the decision to leave may be mutual right now, and nobody has hard feelings, that can change with a quickness after the move.

    For the budget, head to Dave Ramsey’s website and download the budget forms. Browse around while you’re there, the man knows what he’s talking about and his ideas work.

    Definitely check out Freecycle for any household needs. Throw up a Wanted post listing what you need.

    For the income part, my best recommendation is Odesk. You aren’t going to get rich from it, but you can pull in a fairly steady income if you devote a bit of time to it. There are other sites like Elance and Ifreelance that offer the same sort of thing, but start with Odesk as it’s a bit more user friendly. And it’s free to join as a contractor.

    No reason to take your purses to an Ebay store when you can sell them on Ebay yourself and make more of a profit.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I think I may sell them on my blog! It seems weird, but you know, stranger shit has happened. LOVE the recommendation for Odesk – will be checking them out.

      Loves you!

  • You can do this! It will be scary but very empowering. Here are my tips:
    1. Work: See if you can become a Virtual Assistant. I recently looked into this, it pays quite qell and you can do it from home. Basically help out companies & entrpeneurs do any jobs they find too time consuming. E.g. research for an artcile on the web, edit and revise, make invoices, etc. etc. ^The advanateg of US VA’s over the wellknown Indian VA’s (from the 4 hour work week fame) is that you will understand what the client wants you to do much faster. There should be communities or companies that keep a database of VA’s.

    2. Budget. A) Please remember this: the first time moving into a new home & being by yourself WILL bring unexpected costs. Just when you thought you didn’t have a cent left, someone will send you a bill you weren’t expecting. I know this sounds scary but it’s so much better to know this in advance & thus save every extra cent you have for those emergencies (try working towards a $100 emergency fund). B) You can look up Dave Ramsey’s site about living debt-free. It’s about how to get rid of your debt, but has budget worksheets and a strategy on what things to work on first. Lots of free info!

    3. Living alone. A) It will be weird at first. And maybe lonely, as well. So, expect that. It’s okay: it’s part of the process. Acknoqledge the feelings, but don’t dwell. It all takes practice. B) Focus on the enjoyable parts: you get to decide on everything! Wheee! C) if you find you have “empty” time, try out some different exercise forms. They’ll help reduce stress & help you feel stronger. Bodyweight training for self-esteem (cardio seems quite pointless, unless you enjoy the stress-relief at the moment) and yoga or pilates. You can always sign up with a library (free books! Free DVD’s, often!) to find some inspiration.

    Hugs!

    • Woozers typos! my apologies! Apparently I have typeritis.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Oh how I adore the library! And good call! Never considered trying like as a “virtual assistant.” Do you do it?

      • No, I looked into it and got overwhelmed by the choice between signing up with an agency (YOU NEED TO BE ABLE TO WORK WHEN YOU SAY YOU WILL) and setting up my own business, which seemed pretty pointless as I don’t want to be a VA, I want to be a freelancer-entrepeneur-consultant-holistic-very well paid-person. Hello almost-30-life-crisis!

        But I did also come across a Dutch website that placed requests from companies/persons for freelance work. It was mostly translating, design & ghost writing/copy writing. Freelancers could put in an offer and the winner would get the job. Maybe there is something similar in the US? It had a stupid name, completely unrelated to keywords like “freelancing” “writing jobs” etc. Literal translation? “Water Mains”. HAHAHA. So bad.

        Yes, check out the library! I always forget about that until i am BROKE and realize the paradise that is free books :)

  • alexis
    Twitter: theangelalexistwitter.com
    says:

    My mom said if you register at Target or JC Penney I can get you something. i used to worl for my school district as a piano accompanist in addition to being my parish organist for four years and my prents made me bank almost everything, so I can spring for a gift.

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    consignment stores. for the purses and stuffs, and for the stuffs you do wind up needing.

    pen and paper, or computer and word processing program, because sometimes just seeing my thoughts in black and white helps me get a new perspective, even if i throw away the paper or delete the document later.

    You’ll figure out which pots and pans you really need and get those, but you should get some nice plates and shit, because uncrustables and cereal feel better when it comes from a nice piece of dinnerware.

    Music. I can totally send you my Enya box set if you like; it was soul soothing music and saved my sanity. You can always send it back to me when you are done with it, or send it to someone else who needs it.

    A teddy bear kept all my secrets and never ever judged me, even when he smelled bad and I put him in the washer.

    hot spiced chai tea (or other comfort drink. in your case, vodka maybe?)

    sunlight. also, at night, ambient light from outside. I can’t say enough about the benefits of light. It helped chase the shadows from the darkest corners of my soul.

    I love you hard, AB.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’d love some Enya! And I’ll be moving to a place on the river – tons of walks for me. It’s all going to be great – I’m just scared shitless.

  • Jocelyn says:

    Hi! I just sent you an email-please read it. I have stuff I can give you.

  • I only have a few things to add (but you may already know about them).

    For cheap stuff: Did you know you can set an RSS feed to search Craigslist? That way you can get notified ASAP about stuff you want/need. That may help as cheap stuff gets snapped up rather quickly.

    For budgeting: I second Dave Ramsey’s website. His site is rather Christian-oriented, but he has good advice. The biggest thing that helped us budget was to track every thing we spent. Literally. Down to the penny. That way there was no surprises at the end of the month. You can use Excel to do this (a lot of banks will allow you to download your bank statements in Excel format).

    For money/jobs: I really don’t have any contacts with writing/editing services. But one suggestion is to advertise science editing services at a college in your area (I’m certain there’s a couple in the Chicago area, right?). Professors are notoriously bad with grammar, etc. and many will use editor services. With your science background, you could also edit for content. Another idea is to do online surveys. I’ve done a bunch to supplement my paltry postdoc salary. Two good sites are mysurvey (dot) com and opinionoutpost (dot) com. They’re both legit and you can earn points towards amazon giftcards (which we use to buy household items) and visa giftcards. It’s an easy way to earn some $$ while watching TV in the evenings.

    Just some thoughts– they may not be too useful, but I figured I’d throw them out there. And, as always, you are in my thoughts and prayers (as long as prayers are ok with you).

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I love you, girl. This is great. I will be tracking down to the cent and living VERY leanly – it’s important for me to KNOW I can be a big girl alone.

  • killjoie says:

    I’ll also toss in for Mint.com for budgeting, or the old-fashioned “envelope” method for groceries/toiletries and “entertainment.” Pay the bills by check or online, pull out of the bank whatever cash you’ve allotted for those two items, slap ‘em in 2 envelopes, and that’s it for the upcoming week/2weeks/month.

    Yard sales- seriously. hit them up in the “good” neighborhoods, and be amazed. Church rummage sales kick ASS. If you can go an hour or two before they’re done for the day, you can hit the “fill a bag for a dollar.” (or whatever) deal. Craigslist is great for larger items of furniture.

    Food: If you have room in your budget, get a crock pot and a rice cooker- (rice cooker is about 20 bucks at target, good crock pot is about 40-50). Rice cooker can do rice, couscous, quinoa, and if it has a steamer basket on top- throw frozen or fresh veggies on top- whip some sauce or cheese on, and you’ve got actual food, with minimal effort. Crock pot is amazeballs for being able to throw things into in the morning, and have food in several hours, with no effort. It’s even edible! There are a crapload of recipes for the crock pot online.

    Good luck, AB. We’re all pulling for you.

  • Marta
    Twitter: marta28
    says:

    I’m so sorry because really it does suck. A lot. A ton. SO MUCH. I have also never lived alone. I went from my parents to college to my house with my husband. No break in between.

    Yes you need pots and pans. Go to IKEA. Its all super cheap though it is all the way in schaumburg which is in fact the end of the world.

    And yes you could sell your purses on Ebay. A friend of mine did that and got a fair amount of money.

    I wish I had more help. I really do. Just now that we’re all thinking about you and we all know you can do it!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’m thinking I’ll sell my purses here. Do an internet garage sale. Does that seem creepier than anything else I’ve done? (do I want to know the answer?)

  • Kaliste says:

    I agree with all the above people- talk to a lawyer first. I have never been in your situation, but I did watch my sister go thru a VERY NASTY divorce. Her ex kidnapped their son and refused to let us see him for 3 years.

    1) not sure of the situation, but why are YOU moving? Why can’t Dave? Not sure what state you live in, but if the house is under his name only, unless you signed a document stating you would never seek possession of the house, that house is yours too.

    2) thrift stores, goodwill, yard sales, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army. Hit all those up. Craigslist, freecycle, are great online sources. TJMaxx, Marshall’s, Big Lots can get you cheap furniture.

    3) i agree with the person who said don’t get an apartment that cost over a 1/4 of your monthly income. Get a bank account in your name only that you can pay all your bills from. I bank with INGdirect and it’s totally free. You can set up as many accounts as you want and have money automatically withdraw into a savings account.

    4) I’m sorry I can’t help you in the job search for a writing gig, but waiting tables at night, you can score MEGA $$$ in the right restaurant. In college I could easily make enough to pay all my bills in 2 nights. And the rest was play $.

    5) register at target, wal-mart, JCP, bed bath &beyond then post the links here. Anyone who wants to get you stuff, but doesn’t have items to spare can buy from your registry and have it shipped directly to you.

    6) again, I don’t know the laws in your state, but I wouldn’t leave the kids. Unless you got a signed, notarized document about visitation. DO NOT take his word FOR ANYTHING! I’ve seen very loving and reasonable men turn into asswipes during divorces b/c friends and family egged them on.

    7) instead of getting your own place, can you sleep on someone’s couch for a few months? Until your better able to be on your own? Or even move in with someone as a roommate? Or find a roommate?

    8) COUPONS! even if you don’t get a newspaper, there are sites where you can print coupons off. Check your stores policy. Target will accept 1 coupon from a manufacture and 1 from them on the same item. It’s a great discount. email me and I can give you great websites. eeyorek10@hotmail.com

    9) get a cheap crockpot, the basic one for $15 and use it. crockingirls.com has any recipe you can think of. Also get a microwave rice/ pasta cooker. then you can eliminate the need for a stock pot. You really only need a frying pan, larger size, 1 2qt saucepan with a lid, maybe a pyrex dish 11×7 or 13×9. and 1 sheet pan or cookie sheet, whichever you prefer. You may not have eaten in 3 weeks, but you will get hungry eventually. Trust me. There are also these amazing bags you put in the crock pot so when you’re done eating, you throw the bag away and the crockpot is still clean. Ziploc also makes steamer bags. You put your meat or veggies (frozen or thawed) in the bag with seasoning and throw it in the microwave for a short time. Everything comes out amazing.

    I wish you the best! Divorces are never easy for anyone involved. You WILL be ok, you WILL be stronger for it, you WILL survive. One of my favorite sayings: Everything is going to be alright, maybe not today, but eventually.

    I hope you are feeling a little bit better with all the love you’re getting today. Please let us know if we can do anything else for you.

  • KB says:

    Not to be busting your balls or anything, but you’re still a nurse, aren’t you? Can’t you utilize that instead of starting fresh in a “social media/blog/writing” world that is already exploding with people that are trying to make it?

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’m going to see what kind of nursing is out there for someone like me, who hates traditional nursing. Trust me – there will be no idea left unturned.

  • Babs says:

    If you can only afford one piece of furniture, get a futon. It’s a couch! It’s a bed!

    Add one card table and a folding chair and you’ve got an office, dining room, and a spot for your plants.

    Hang in there. Be kind to yourself. Try to eat something a couple of times a day.

  • Barbara says:

    If you’re looking for budgeting help, you might want to check out mint.com. It’s a great site.

    Check out yard sales and consignment shops for things like pots and pans and furniture. You can save a lot of money and sometimes the stuff people sell hasn’t even been used. You can check Craigslist Friday night or Saturday morning and find a bunch of yard sales in your area.

    You can do it!

  • I’m sorry this is late – you’ve already received so many awesome ideas. I moved about every 5 minutes in college, 2 apartments and 2 houses with the Evil Twin. The one item I looked over every time was’: things for the bathroom, Basically, all that’s involved is a shower curtain and liner (if the tub doesn’t have glass doors) and a bath mat. Don’t forget the fluffy NEW towels,,,some of my favorites are ones I purchased at the tacky beach gift shops.

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  • Caroline says:

    I got separated in December 2011 from my common law partner and had to move out of our appartment (that I loved) in March. Now my circumstences are a bit different (no kids and a decent job) so I bought myself a condo BUT I had to learn how to live on a budget and get some stuff I did not have (cheaply). So I went on Kijiji (same as graigslist or ebay, on a local scale…..I don’t know if it’s just Canadian) and got some necesities like a dining table and shit like that. I don’t know the names of the stores in the states but places like good will and such are great places for used stuff at cheap ass prices. And it is not wrong for anybody to go to those places because guess what? not everybody makes 100k salary in this world and cheap stuff is awesome.

    As for a budget, I had no idea how to deal with this shit so I thought to myself…there must be an app for that……turns out there is. Go to the app store and get the “homebudget” app (there’s a free version). You put in all the info and just keep it up and as soon as you get used to it, you’ll be a budget master.
    To cut down on some expenses you can do like me. I have a kick ass internet plan but I’ve given up cable and a land line. I only have my cell phone as my main phone and that’s just right. I can watch any show I want online so I don’t really miss cable.

    For a job, well I’d like to point out that you have a nursing degree…….this is an option for the time being. Also you have a shit load of experience as a waitress…..that is also an option. Go online and find a good resume template and update your resume. Apply everywhere you can for now and start somewhere. You need a source of income now so don’t be too picky. You can develop your path of life once you’ve settled down and started taking back control over your life.

    FYI, I sleep in the middle of the bed with a whole bunch of blankets, I don’t clean every week and nobody yells at me because there’s clutter all over, I eat whatever I feel like, I decorated my place to MY taste and I love looking at what I’ve got and tell myself “this is all mine”. Living alone is awesome and every accomplishment feels amazing no matter how small it is (for me it’s when I decide to do a cleaning rempage…….I feel like a hero when it’s finally clean).

    So make a list, set aside some time every day to cross something off your list or add something and get your life back together. You’re full of the awesome so I know you’ll do great!

  • Alyssa says:

    I honestly don’t have any more advice to give because everyone really covered it. The only thing I can suggest is 1 thing. I’m sure you’ve lived in apartment too, but I’ve sometimes forgotten this.. usually the landlord wants not only a security deposit, but usually 1st months rent as well. Plus there is many times an application fee they “need” to prossess the paperwork. I say this not to worry you more with money issues, when I am sure you are stressed enough, but to make sure you have everything together should having to leave the house is the LAST option. I saw that you had replied that you found a lawyer, which is good. I’ve had quite a few friends go through very nasty divorces and having a really great lawyer makes all the difference in the world. While I don’t know the details of the divorce or how it got here, if for any reason he starts being unreasonable or trying to force you to move or what have you, WRITE IT DOWN. Use dates, times and all the details you can. This is one thing most of my friends did before and during the divorce. It is a good possibility that it could come in handy later down the road. Oh and also make copies of all the important docs and store copies away from the house. My one very good friend had to do this for multiple pieces of paper work but especially for a document regarding child visitation rights that he signed (while they were in mediation, before the divorce) because her ex was trying to get the doc and destroy it because he “changed his mind”. I know these all seem a little extream right now and even though I don’t know you, I’ve been reading this blog for so long now that it feels like you are a good friend and I just want my good friend to feel not only happy again, but to be protected along with her kiddos too.

  • j says:

    The very best way to keep an apartment clean is to not have very much stuff.
    The more stuff you have, the more likely you are to find stuff misplaced and not know where it belongs.

    For the stuff you do have, the everything-is-a-dollar-or-two kind of stores have storage boxes and storage baskets. The last thing you want when you’re stressed out and depressed is stuff making your home uncomfortably cluttered.

    You will need one normal-sized pot (2L capacity or so). If you do not cook normally, then you probably don’t need much more. If you make ramen a lot, you might want to try to find a tiny pot at a thrift store (the church-run ones are the best-priced, and the one near me has a half off Everything sale once a month), about the size across of your hand. Or, well, a package of ramen.
    You will need one average sized frying pan. Not so big as to make your grilled cheese sandwich look completely useless, but not so small that you can’t make a couple servings of fried rice at once.

    You should get (or bring, you probably have two sets at home because these things collect) a set of measuring cups and measuring spoons, and a glass 1-cup or 2-cup measuring cup that goes in the microwave. For boiling water for tea, takes about 66 seconds for a cup or so. Costs less than a kettle.

    You need probably a couple things that go into the oven. A cookie sheet, for anything you buy that doesn’t spread out and needs an oven to warm up (incl. frozen pizza if it fits. Flip the pan upside down so there are no edges). A square pan, preferably glass or ceramic, with some edges. For baking pasta to make it more fancy and less boring, and all sorts of other things. If you don’t use the oven much, those two are probably enough. 8×8 or 9×9 are the sizes you’re looking for in the squares.
    Oh, and your oven might be apartment-sized, in which case you need the smaller-than-average cookie sheets. It takes less time to warm the oven if it is smaller though.

    To budget, you need to know what you have as income probably. Or, you can reverse budget and decide what the minimum you need is. The Kids These Days are living without a home phone line. We use a cell phone instead. Decide if that’s for you, but if you can’t make your Needs budget with your income, you’ll have to drop one of them. We also don’t have cable, because we pirate all our TV (and movies). Again, decide if that’s for you but TV stations also have the last 3 or 4 eps of most shows available online for free, so it isn’t strictly necessary to pirate them. Find the best price on internet you can, make sure to check smaller independent companies because they need less of a profit margin to survive so they often charge a bit less. If you have no phone line and you’re getting DSL, you need Dry Loop which is a fee that is less than a phone line costs but still necessary for the internet to work.

    I have a $300 food budget for two people in Canada, where there is no such thing as coupons, and everything costs more here than the US. That gives us $10 per day to eat. You go to starbucks, you’re living off $5 for the rest of the day, not good. We have a big bag of bulk rice (8kg or so) that is mostly full. We avoid eating it when we can, but it is there for in case something happens and we cannot buy groceries for two weeks. Buy it right away. Buy or bring those little clips from Ikea, one package’s worth will disappear on you eventually but should be enough for right away. Giant rice bags don’t come with resealable zippers, so you’ll need one for it.
    I got a rice cooker for $20 when we moved here. You measure rice and water, and you push a button. Cooked rice comes out. It does not make mistakes like forgetting the rice and then the rice burns and leaves you hungry. Even if you count it as part of the food budget, 8g of rice is $10 and makes dozens upon dozens of servings. Possibly a hundred, I don’t know yet. My last bag lasted me almost a year, but I ate it maybe once a week. 52 meals x 2 people so yes, a hundred-ish.

    Rice shouldn’t be much more than $1 per kg. If it is, you’re in the wrong store.
    Pasta, I won’t buy at much more than $1/kg either. You live somewhere with consistently cheaper food, so you might find even better deals than me.
    Have someone teach you about coupons, maybe. Someone from your area is ideal, because different places have different coupons and policies. It’s great for essentially eliminating your Toiletries spending (or so I have heard).

    And I agree with the at least a few people here who have said, take some things from your house. Tell him you don’t want the stress of an empty fridge when you’re trying to move. Bring cans of soup, bring essentials there are multiples of, bring the things that you know you are the only one who eats. Check your drawers, you might have doubles of things. If there are two, you can probably take one and it will never inconvenience anyone. If you know your house right now has a lot of excess dishes or silverware that never end up running out, ask to bring some with you. You’d be surprised how comforting familiar silverware can be. Take 2 towels and a couple face cloths, I’m sure you have more towels than people there, everyone does. You also probably have more sheet sets than you need, but if you’re getting a new bed, it might be a different size.

    Yes, to getting (or bringing) a pet. A low maintenance one that won’t mind if you ignore it for a day because you feel crappy. If you can’t take one from the house, or if there isn’t a suitable low-maintenance one, the shelters are constantly filled with adult cats who need a home. Some will let you go into the cat room and take them out one by one. Choose the one that instantly loves you. There will always be one. Of course, that’s assuming you can find a per-friendly apartment, which most are not. It’s something to consider while you are looking, though.

    I’ve been living well below the poverty level for years, and managed to save money despite that, so if you have any questions about living with almost no money, email me.
    I also know about baking and thrift stores and flyers.

    Oh, that reminds me somehow. You probably need a dish rack, unless you find a place with a dishwasher. Don’t forget the dish rack!
    And you can clean with white vinegar. So buy a bottle.

  • Jess says:

    Sorry there are 40 gajillion comments on here and I’m trying to squeeze this out before I leave work, so if someone already said this, um sorry.

    Why don’t you put a page together and post pics of your purses or other fancy goodies you wanna sell? Shoes, stuff like that. Set a price and the first person to comment underneath gets the item. People do that shit on Facebook all the time.

  • Katrina says:

    Becky, in terms of the job stuff, have you thought about tutoring? There is a tutoring industry in Chicago because of all of the good schools and colleges there. They always need more math and science tutors, and I hear you kick ass at those things! There is one company, The Academic Approach, that was founded in Chicago. But there are probably many more. Search the internets! Good luck!

  • Caro says:

    I’ve had to start over twice. Get yourself some body pillows too curl up with in your new bed and get some tissues. Give yourself 10 minutes to cry everyday. That way it won’t get built up and you will be able to set a wallow limit. Feel free to start at 45 mins of wallow time like I did when I first started.

  • natalie lartigue says:

    Double check your insurance policy, any policy. II had forgotten that I had some fraud/don’t steal my identity insurance that was offered at work for a nominal fee. I know, sucks to be me so who would steal it right? Anyhoo, the insurance came with a free lawyer for things like divorce as well as the identity thing. Of course I didn’t realize this till AFTER I had sold all valuables and got my own lawyer, but who knows, you might have an escape clause as well. I have tons of duplicates of kitchen things and would be happy to send them to my crazy Aunt Becky. Just send me a viable address and don’t be offended if there is some dog hair in there right :)

  • TC says:

    I agree with everyone who said you need to get your stuff out of the house. There should be no need for you to buy basic things like a few chairs, an extra bed if you have one, etc. You are a grown ass woman who has put in time raising a family (yes that counts as being on your own sister!) and you deserve to not leave empty handed. Same goes for basic things like cleaning supplies. Also, you have a right to money in your bank accounts. Personally, I would transfer out of savings whatever you can into your own account—make it at a different bank. Or have your lawyer put in a court order for support immediately. Know this: Money has a way of disappearing as soon as a divorce is under way. The most common tactic that any legal team will take is to deny the dependent spouse access to money (or tell their client just not to pay support) until they are so broke that they can’t afford to fight back. Most people THINK it’s gonna be amicable until the real money talk goes down.

    Other budgeting ideas: Cut dryer sheets in thirds, use 1/3 the detergent you normally would, your clothes will be just as clean! Get some powdered whey protein at GNC. A big jar has a bunch of servings and when you don’t feel like eating (or you’re just a lazy ass cook like me) you’ll get the nutrition you need. Peanut butter & bread are life savers. Pure Protein bars at Target are a complete meal for me. Frozen veges. If you eat meat, tuna is the way to go. Straight bleach cleans toilets. Vodka (if it’s not a temptation to drink) cleans surfaces hard surfaces & disinfects. Public library for internet access. Coffee shops with free wifi for uploading your writing. Go to web sites of products you buy a lot—they often have coupons. Egg white makes a great, inexpensive face/pore tightening mask. Plan your errands so you are making fewer trips to save on gas/bus fair. Make chili with Morning Star soy meat & freeze it. If you can get your hands on a crockpot, you can make one batch of soup to last a week.

    Most importantly, get outside & into nature. I cannot stress the healing capacity of a walk & birds singing. You will be in my thoughts!

  • CycleNinja says:

    Let me test my spare coffee maker. If I can get it working, it’s yours.

  • Anna says:

    The budget part is hard, I still can’t get it right. And when things bring in the house, like the roof, I may lose my mind. But in the end, it is so much better than the ugliness that was in the house when I was married. I won’t lie, it isn’t always easy, but somehow we get by!
    I am rooting for you!

  • Jester Queen
    Twitter: jesterqueen
    says:

    I don’t see e-lance on there. It’s a good freelance site. Reputable. Yes, they take a cut, but it’s a good way to build a reputation. Do NOT accept jobs from the penny a word assholes, as it’s a waste of your time, but there are legit businesses on there, too.

    Go to a conference. Dave can fucking pay for it. Also, Dave can fucking move out, but that’s another story. Anyway, go to a blogging/writing conference and talk to advertisers and publisher’s reps. (Surely Stoli would LOVE to get into the Mommy group?) Go to the SITS girls Bloggy Boot Camps which are as much about making your website profitable as anything. If I would follow word one of their advice, I’d be in a much better place. Pitch the Mommy Wants Vodka book – maybe ask Snarky in the Suburbs who her publisher is? You have a following who would buy it, and you have a story to tell and demonstrated writing skills.

    I feel like you CAN make a living writing. (And so can I, please so can I, though I’m not having to move out to do it thank God.) You just need to assume success going in and ask not “will someone publish me” but “who is ready to make a profit from an awesome story”.

  • Io says:

    I am pretty sure everybody already gave the best assvice out, but you are always welcome to come stay in my guest room if you need a break. Never mind that I live in Indiana. I will send you home with pots and pans and chairs and other random things. Xo

  • nicole says:

    I haven’t been back in a while. Sending the love to you girl. Wow.

    I just checked out your linkedIn profile. Looks good. One suggestion, make sure to follow the companies, startups that you find interesting. They will post jobs.

    And may I ask if you have considered working at Non-profits? You have done so much work with band back together that I think there will be opportunities for you to help create a community for established non-profits for women and children. Yes, you can make a very good living doing it. You get paid.

    Look, stuff and no stuff, you’re going to be ok. You will get on your feet and do things your way, because there is no other way. if you eat on paper plates, so fucking what. I was homeless once. And when I finally got an unfurnished room of my own in a “group home” I slept on the floor for months. I loved it. I ended up getting a bed because people were upset that I didn’t have one.

    I’m sad for you that you seem to be separating from your kids. That must be heart-breaking,

    Thinking of you.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Absofucking-lutely. We’re splitting custody 50/50 -they’ll stay in the home, while I have an apartment and I’ll be here (at my house) every damn day to see them.

      I’ll go ahead and check out LinkedIn more – I also need some help with my press packet. Urghs.

  • Vesta says:

    Oh Becky, my heart goes out to you. Living alone is a tough transition when you’ve never done it before. I know how it feels- it can be lonely and frustrating and consuming in a way to fill the silence and the time and all that. But, seriously, from what I’ve read, I know you will be able to do it.

    Sell what you can to get extra cash. Speaking as a recent graduate, I’ve parted with a lot of things in the past few months that, while it sucked, I knew I wouldn’t need or have need for. Books went as did clothes. Try Plato’s Closet (do you have those in Illinois?) and maybe old CDs. There are so many ways to get a few extra bucks, which can make all the difference sometimes.

    Budgeting has never been my strong point but making sure that you can live within your means is a good start. Always assume you have less money in your account than you have- I’ve done that a lot in order to stay out of the red. Save money. I cannot stress enough that saving will do a world of good down the road, but I think you know this.

    One of the big things, though, is to make sure you don’t hole away. It’s easy to do when you don’t have anyone around to keep you accountable (not sure if that’s the word I want to use, but it’s gonna have to do) for getting out into the world. Take time for yourself, obviously, because you know what you need best, but making sure getting out and seeing people is so important not to forget.

    Just remember that this is only a moment in life. A chapter ended but you have a new one beginning. The plot twists and turns and sometimes we don’t expect what comes, but things will work out one way or another. You have so many people thinking of you and sending so much positive karma and energy your way. I’m happy to include myself as one of them. Keep on swimming, dearest Aunt Becky. Cliche as it may be, the night is always darkest before the dawn.

    <3

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      At the moment? The biggest goal in my mind is to get more monies together so I have something to fall back on – and that’s a good thing for me.

      I’m taking it all moment by moment, breath by breath and refusing to give into the darkness.

      I will continue reaching out and calling for help when I need it – I’ve tried to go it alone far too often for my liking and it’s obvs not helping me.

  • Wow! I didn’t read all the responses because there is a literal shitton of awesome support but I would like to suggest Frecycle.org. You put in your area and what you are looking for and people that have that stuff sitting unused in garages and such will respond and it is all 100% free!

  • AB-

    I may be able to help you some. I am needing help in setting up an online store & I’m not nearly smart enough or creative enough to write decently and I have tons of stuff. If you feel comfortable, email me at angrybabykitty@Gmail.com and I can elaborate.

    ABK aka Mary

  • jwg says:

    I know it sounds silly, but think salad bar. Heads of lettuce etc. tend to go bad before one person can finish them but you can get a nice variety for little money at the salad bar. Also, check and see if there are Displaced Homemaker programs in your area. Don’t you just hate that name? But these programs are designed to help people in your position get back on their feet. Progam offerings and eligibility requirements vary but it’s worth checking into.

  • elle michelle says:

    In terms of writing jobs, I’d stay away from those god-awful bidding sites like elance. It’s full of folks under-valuing their work and undercutting other bids just to get a gig. No me gusta.

    Instead, talk with creative staffing agencies. There are a ton here in Chicago — Aquent, Smart Dept., Paladin, Artisan, Digital People, etc. Just go to their sites, fill out the applications and they’ll call you in to talk about what kind of (writing-related) work you’re looking for. It will likely be temp work, but can often turn into full time. Pay depends on experience, but I’ve seen anything from $15 to $50/hour. Also keep an eye on JournalismJobs.com and sign up for Media Bistro’s job alerts. Another idea: Set up an alert on Indeed.com for certain keywords, depending on what kind of job you’re looking for… different ones like “social media,” “blog” “community” and “editorial” might be good. Even “pr,” if you’d consider that. LinkedIn is a good place to scope out openings as well. If you don’t already have a profile on there, create one.

    That’s all I’ve got on the job front. Luck and love!

    ~Lisa

  • Ally says:

    I forgot to say in my E-mail but

    Coupons dot com . ( I can almost garentee that before to long this will be joinning your best friendship with google)

    and look to see if there are any food banks in Chicago. You can get some awesome stuff there sometimes. ( Starbucks pastries at one in my hometown! ) lol just wtach out for the “Fresh” produce ;)

  • Sending love your way!

  • Sending love your way!

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  • Mary says:

    Life can really suck sometimes but you have such a great attitude! Keep hanging in there girlfriend. Living on your own is a little bit scary, but I know you’ll put the brightest spin on it and make it a wonderful new experience. Love, prayers, and hugs are being sent your way from Green Bay, WI.

  • Emily says:

    All the hugs, and all the love. I’m a poor college student and don’t have anything to donate right now, but you and band back together have gotten me through a lot, and I’m sad to hear that times are tough. Sending good wishes and support, even if I can’t send cash or relevant life experiences

  • Square Peg says:

    Sending you love and strength so that you may rise like the phoenix. Day by day, inch by inch… you will make it.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I have good days and bad days and in between days. Often they’re good hours or bad hours, rather than a whole day. But I know I’m moving on and that feels amazing.

  • Valerie says:

    So very sorry you’re having to go through this and navigate some uncharted waters. Nobody ever expects this to happen. Wishing you strength, peace, and some good luck!

  • Caroline says:

    As someone who’s used to living alone and moving a lot, trust me when I say you can get by with a pretty bare minimum at least in the beginning. Check thrift stores for good deals, and focus on things that make you feel happy and comfortable first. No one is going to judge you for having this but not that – it’s YOUR place and therefore your happy haven. Good luck getting off to a new, better start.

  • Stacy says:

    Divorce is sucky, especially if kids are involved. But it’s necessary. I started over in my life also, at 32 (crazy, huh?), but without kids. I knew when I got married that it wasn’t going to work (so why did I do it then? I’m still working on the answer to that question…). It was scary, it was hard, but it was OK. It sounds like you’ve got a great support system, and you’ve got the right attitude. The rest of it will come along. And crying is OK too. I cried myself to sleep MANY nights (I kicked him out) in a pile of blankets at the foot of my bed because I just couldn’t sleep in “our” bed, and I felt so alone, even though he was a royal ass for 5 years and I deserved better. It will get better, that I know for sure. That was almost 5 years ago, and I’ve since remarried (I was ready) and have a beautiful almost one year old daughter that is my heart and soul. Divorce isn’t the end (like I thought it was) but it’s scary. *hugs*. You got this!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      It’s funny how we start to think WE are the ones who are the assholes after we’ve been treated badly – happened to me too many times to count.

  • Crystal B says:

    As scary as it may seem you need to be healthy. If moving out and regrouping is what it takes then do it. Get the bare minium to cook small meals. Also if you make a big pot of soup freeze it in small bags for later. I prepare meals in muffin tins, freeze and then pop out and put in bags in the freezer. It makes cooking for me and my little girls so much easier and we waste a lot less food. Good luck!

  • Janae says:

    Hi Becky, I’m here from Lovebomb and I want to let you know that you will be in my thoughts, and sending love your way!
    Sometimes in life, you think your life is going one way, and you are fully commited to propeling yourself in that direction, and then one thing after another happens and all these doors start closing. So you say “Fine, I give up” with a sneering little shrug. Then another door creaks open, and because you have no other choice, you walk through, and realize that’s the direction you were supposed to be going all along. This has happened to me a couple times in life. I wish you the best of luck!!
    You must be a truly amazing person to have such an incredible support system here.

    “Rock bottom become a solid foundation on which I built my life.” -J.K. Rowling

    Lots of love,
    ?Janae?

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I think you’re 100% right – I must remind myself that THIS is my path and I have to walk it. But I do NOT have to walk it alone. Thank you for the love. I hope you come back someday when I’m funny again :)

  • Megan says:

    I wish I had some great advice for you, unfortunately I don’t. My husband and I have been going through a rocky time in the past year as well. We tried separating for a while but it didn’t really work for either of it, so we’re trying to work through it. But I know, I KNOW how painful it is to have to think about picking up and moving on and how scary it all is. I will be thinking of you and hoping for the easiest, best transition possible. *HUGS*

  • Thinking of you, and hoping you will lean on all the support you’ve got as hard as you need to. This is what community is for! Wishing you peace and comfort in this sucky time.

  • Janae says:

    p.s. Music helps everything!!! I find blasting music staves off quiet and loneliness :)

  • Cibele says:

    Two years ago I took the same journey. It was scary and I had no idea if I was able to run a household alone. I survived and so will you. I can tell that it will take time, many tears but you will find out that you are capable of much more than you think. I met my ex husband at the age of 17. I was with him all my life. At the age of 32 when i got divorced I had never lived alone before. I moved with my 18 month old to a tiny little place as scared as scared can be. 2 years later we are moving again, to a new place, a bigger one , a way happier move than last time . I actually wrote a blog post about it today. Have faith in yourself, you can do this!!!!!!!!!!
    feel free to contact me via e-mail! or at my blog
    Hugs

  • Lauren says:

    Divorce is never an easy thing and it is one heck of a storm to go through. Everything happens for a reason though, and it all makes you exactly the person you are suposed to be. ()Not trying to be a religion freak or anything but, I will keep you in my prayers.) All you can do it take it day by day. I can’t say I feel your pain or anything because I honestly don’t know what it feels like, but all I can is send some nice words your way and hope it makes a difference. don’t give up keep fighting. (lots of love and hugs your way.) You can get though this girl.

  • Deb Jolliff says:

    I admire your strength and courage and I will be praying for you. I would love to donate but no Paypal…

  • HopeF says:

    Sending love!

  • Stephanie says:

    Living alone is AWESOME!

    It may seem scary at first, but especially coming from a conflictual relationship, I promise that you will finally feel like you can breathe again.

    You will feel empowered. You’re going to be more than okay.

  • Jace says:

    Hello Aunt Becky,

    I am sory to hear you are having a rought time. I know that you will get through it, and that we are all here to support you. You asked about budgets so I am including a link to one of my favorite bloggers. Squawkfox. She has an intire series on creating a budget, as well as how to do everything in a frugal manner. Check her out. I am sure you will find at least one thinh that is truly useful. http://www.squawkfox.com/2010/03/03/how-to-make-a-budget/ PS she also has a serier on getting thejob you want, and how to write an awesome resume.

    All my Love Jace

  • Marcela says:

    Hey Becky! I can guarantee one thing: once you get used to living alone, you’ll never want to move back in with anyone! Try to recover things you used to enjoy, whenever you’re sad or lonely just heat up some tea and cuddle in your couch, read a book, a magazine and time will go by without noticing. Make efforts to regain old friends, it doesn’t matter if you feel ridiculous. Try new things, enroll in a course, start exercising (iPhone apps are great and cost 0.99), buy a pet (not an expensive one, like a dog or a cat, but something you can talk to without feeling crazy). Make yourself feel at home with some music (no words, preferably). Ask for help, always, anytime.
    Hang in there, in the end, the idea is to make yourself proud after all this is over. Never forget that.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      This sounds awesome! I may take a course or do SOMETHING I’ve never done before. Every day. Because my new life means that I gotta be brave. And so I shall be. Thank you again. Loves you!

  • Tia says:

    We know how much you hate the fact that your photo-blogging skills are something you would love to improve upon :) What about putting all your wares on here in one good post to see if any of your fellow lovelies would like to purchase your bags and stuff? Just a thought! Lots of good positive vibrations sent your way! I also thought the whole school nurse thing would be right up your alley. Every body already mentioned all the places I would refer you to for used goods! Best of luck on your new beginnings.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I think I’m going to sell my stuff here – it’s going to a good home, which gives me a happy, and really, I’d much rather have my stuff go to my family – you guys.

  • Miranda says:

    Dude you will be fine. Trust me. Get one good pot and one good pan to start at Ross for now. Sell your stuff on eBay. You will be surprised how much money that makes. And worry about the rest later. 99 cent store has sine plates and cups… the most important thing is getting settled. Slowly you will build everything else. Congratulations in being able to discover yourself again make sure you have fun doing it!

  • Erika Icon says:

    Aunt Becky, keep the faith–it will get better. You’re an amazing woman and you have done amazing things for others. Keep up the good work and keep smiling. It’s a new beginning and the start of something amazing for you. Keep your chin up, Lovely Lady!

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  • Nancy says:

    Sending you all kind of good energy, kindness and happiness. You are beautiful and surrounded by love.

  • Sandra says:

    Hi Becky,

    I too married young, and then got divorced. It was the best thing to ever happen to me. I have since learned who I am, and who is an appropriate match for me. Not to mention, I don’t need a man to make my life complete, but choose to have a partner and best friend for the journey. This means that I am self-sufficient – while being interdependent.

    Q: Do you know of any opportunities for someone like me – who writes and has become a social media slore – to find some work? Every dollar will count – I can tell you that; so no opportunity will be left un-stalked.
    A: There are many entrepreneurs who have put up a (free) Facebook business page, and starting selling their services as a social media advisor for $5-$50 and hour. Here are two examples: https://www.facebook.com/NixonVS and https://www.facebook.com/VaForLife

    Q: Do you know of any PR companies that can help with someone who owns a lot of purses and yet, no coffee maker, kitchen-ware, and other necessary items?
    A: You may want to check out Eli Davidson, who created a million dollar industry by solving her challenge with having “big hair” https://www.facebook.com/elidavidsonfanpage

    Q: Is it worth it to take some of my purses to one of those eBay places to sell? I mean I have a shitton of great stuff that’s not going to be necessary any more and I’d like to sell it off where I can.
    A: That is an option. Although, you will not get what they are worth. Consignment stores are another option. You may also want to consider creating a clothing swap, where friends bring some of their high end items, which they no longer wear, and trade.

    Q: Do you have any assvice for living on a budget – and how to create one?
    A: Here is a link on how to create your first budget http://youthservicesslc.wordpress.com/2011/01/24/how-to-make-your-first-budget/
    Basically, it is about living simply, cooking at home, avoiding temptation by avoiding the mall, and easing into a program of saving and smart spending.

    Q: How to live alone when you haven’t, well, ever?
    A: Think of it as an adventure. Pretend you are a visitor in a foreign country, and explore your neighborhood with fresh eyes. Hold potluck dinners on the weekend, and gather your favorite people together. Check out some books from the library and learn how others have handled their new life. (I recommend “A Woman of Independent Means” http://www.amazon.com/Woman-Independent-Elizabeth-Forsythe-Hailey/dp/0140274367)

    Q: Any other assvice for someone who is starting over?
    A: Forgive yourself, and your ex, for not being able to make this marriage work. Assume that you both did your best, and then let it go. It does you no good to keeping re-hashing the past. Learn from you mistakes, and don’t worry about his. That is for him to work out. Now, create a vision board of the life you would like to create for yourself. Get a large piece of cardboard, and glue images and words that represent your “ideal” scenario. Remember, every step you take is either taking you closer or further from this vision. So choose wisely.

    Q: Does a person ACTUALLY need pots and pans to survive if she hasn’t properly eaten in 3 weeks?
    A: Fresh vegetables, salads, fresh juice, lean protein, nuts and whole grains make for a sound body. An inexpensive rice cooker can steam veggies and cook your brown rice in 20 minutes. A small toaster oven can bake your meat in 10 minutes. No pots necessary. Be sure to cook enough for the entire day. Eat small portions every 2 hours to keep your energy up. Be sure to rest and avoid caffeine or activities that over-stimulate your senses (like the evening news) prior to bedtime.

    You are going to be fine Becky. Let the wisdom that you have used to support others guide you. Find a female mentor to help you in this time of transition.

    Blessings on your journey – Sandra

  • connie says:

    Becky, you’re a hilarious and wonderful person and I’m so sorry you’re facing this specific kind of hardship right now. In the meantime, I know you’ll be able to power through (I can see the strength and spunk in your words). I can’ offer you any advice that comes from personal experience (since I’m still in high school) but I can offer you stuff that I think makes sense??
    - Buy stuff from Walmart, it really is cheaply priced.
    - Cooking is more economical in the long run since eating out gets expensive and unhealthy after a while, but I’m sure you know that. Make simple stuff that doesn’t require much (I’d say a pot at the very least?), like soup. I dunno much about cooking western food since I’ve always eaten Chinese food my entire life but look into some stir-fry recipes, they’re really easy, tasty, and healthy.
    - Keep your head up!

    You got this.

  • Maria says:

    http://www.gofundme.com/

    Sign up. This is how you can let us help you. Let us pranksters help you with lawyer costs. We’re many, and 20 bucks from a hundred people is (pulls out fingers, toes and tape measure ) well, it’s a bit of money.

    Don’t sell your self short, don’t panic and run out, but cover your pretty ass with a good legal … eh, thing.

    Let’s show our support in action.

  • cheri says:

    “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” ~Psalm 43:5

    During this time, when hope may seem distant, may the God of all hope fill you with LIFE!

    Pray for what you need…see how God provides! :)

    -luvbomber

  • Angela says:

    Hey Becky

    Sorry to hear you’re going through such a rough patch. It sounds like you’re doing your best to make the best of what you have and plan for a better future and I applaud you. It’s never easy starting over, but think of all the amazing things you’re going to learn! I bet you’re going to enjoy life as you finally choose to live it for yourself. Good luck with everything and if I hear of any work I’ll pass the info along. Don’t give up!

    Love
    ange

  • Lori Luza says:

    Becky,

    I offer you my spirit so that it may strengthen yours. I share with you my heart while yours is on the mend.

    with strong (((hugs))) and some chocolate ice cream,
    Lori

  • blu_canary says:

    I didn’t read all the comments because DAMN there are a lot of people who love you! So the few I read covered all the advice I could think of.

    I would love to donate lots of money to help you! Unfortunately I don’t have lots of money and the recent storms ripping through decided to take a good portion of our roof. From the estimates? These ugly roof things? Are expensive. *sigh* So, I’m going to make you something pretty. You’ve gotten lots of advice on essentials, but I want you to have something pretty, made especially for you. (Feel free to throw it away when it outlives its usefulness…the thought will linger.)

    When I get it done I will email for an address I can send it to. I promise I’m not a scary stalker type…just someone who has been too damn close to where you are now. Even being that close hurt worse than anything I’ve ever experienced, I can’t imagine if it had gone farther. Hugs to you, woman. (And love that tat!)

    steph

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I trust you, love. And shit, I’m damn sorry about your roof. We recently had ours replaced too. Ugh!

      My address is:

      Becky Harks
      1437 Adams Avenue
      Saint Charles, IL 60174

  • iona says:

    Sending you huge amounts of love and light from London.
    ‘All will be well in the end.
    If all is not well, it is not the end’
    XX

  • rlh says:

    I went through a divorce about a year ago. Emotionally it was the hardest time in my life but it turned out to be a catalyst for growth and discovering new talents I didn’t know I had. The strongest steel goes through the hottest fire.

    Best Wishes on your future path.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I’m starting to see what you mean by that. I’m terrified – don’t get me wrong – but I don’t feel as though my world is ending. Most of the time, anyway. Much love to you.

  • Rachel says:

    Sending love and prayers your way! I’m praying that you will find peace in your new circumstances and the new “you.” I know you’re strong and that you’ll get through this, so hang in there! Lots of love!

  • Maggie says:

    Hey AB! you are amazing! I have a whole set of pans i can ship to you – on me – and if you don’t need them anymore but knows someone whoe does [thru BBT or elsewhere] I am making the same offer. but to ship the pans to them obvs. Your commenters are awesome, funny and wise. you are so lucky! You can do this! hell! YOU can do ANYTHING

  • Granted, my name is advice within itself, but vodka alone probably won’t get you through this (though, it’ll help, so maybe you can add it to the Amazon wish list….if they even ship vodka….you might have to settle for those “liquor”-filled Christmas chocolates….this got off tangent). For writing jobs, check out flexjobs.com (part-time, freelance, contract, work-from-home type stuff). If you’re not on this already, join Clever Girls Network to get opportunities for paid blog posts. And as someone who has lived on their own for many a year, I can tell you that you’ll love it. Sometimes it’s a little lonely, but mostly it rocks because it’s your own space and you can put up inspirational cat art if you so choose. Just learn to find humor in shit that goes wrong and be grateful for what you have, because there will be shit you don’t have and it will seem like the end of the world, but it’s not. You’ll have to give up things (like cable or expensive moisturizer) in order to pay all the bills, but you’ll learn to adjust. Revel in your independence and get pumped for the next chapter of your life. :)

  • Cheryl says:

    You are stronger than you know. Take it one step at a time and you will get there. :-)

    Sending you positive thoughts.

  • Anna says:

    Hugs as you face these new circumstances and I am thinking about you. I’ve never lived alone either (and am scared of the idea – but also might love it). Rock the thrift stores or IKEA if you need cheap dishes (I got a set of 4 plates, desert plates, and bowls for $10 and silverware for less than that). And ask friends for good recipes that are cheap and work for one person! Or check cookbooks out of the library – that’s what I’ve done (some will tell you price per serving, etc). And look for alternative sources of protein. Meat is expensive, beans, lentils, etc, are cheap (and I’m vegetarian, so I’m biased).

    I hope that it goes far better than you anticipate. Oh, and I saw someone else mention their cat. You should take your cat too.

  • Allie says:

    You are a strong and capable woman. You know this, I know this just from reading this short little blog post. That said, it’s okay to feel otherwise. It’s just a feeling, and you will be swiftly carried through to the other side on the wings of grace and love and light being sent to you from all corners of the world. You will make it through this. You’re doing it already. Come on Momma… You got this.

  • Manapan says:

    I haven’t read all the comments yet, but I wanted to chime in before I forgot what I wanted to say. Mommy brain. It’s real.

    First, hugs. You are smart and brave and you’re going to make it.

    Yard sales and thrift stores are great for finding pots and pans and other little necessities. But I steer away from electronic gadgets at them unless they’ve been tested and found to work. Walmart has reliable cheap electronic stuff. The dollar store can also be nice for picking up stuff like soap dispensers and shower curtains.

    As for work, I always suggest that people try my job. I work the overnight shift at a hotel. I do about an hour’s worth of financial paperwork (that is dumbed down so the average high school graduate can do it independently within a week of training), an hour’s worth of setting up the breakfast bar, and I check people in and out as necessary (though I rarely see a soul). The rest of the time I sit on my laptop and leech their WiFi. I’m doing it right now, on an evening shift I picked up for extra cash. The money isn’t great, but it’s live-able on the cheap. You’d be able to get in your writing and social media in the shift down time. One of the best parts is that the average hotel employee only lasts 4 months, so there’s opportunity to get the shift you prefer quickly. And if you hate your coworkers, they’re gone soon.

  • heidi says:

    Honestly, I reckon you need so much less stuff than you think. One pot, one pan – you’ll be fine! For sure, sell some stuff, it might feel good to clean everything and ‘travel light’ for this journey. To be honest, I found living on a budget strangely freeing – you know you can’t afford anything so you don’t even shop. You start to identify with material things less and less.

    AB, wishing you all the very best for this journey. Stay positive! Nobody plans to get divorced. You can definitely do this! Best of luck with everything x x

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I think that losing my “stuff” will be good for me – a friend is throwing me an internet garage sale – and knowing it’s going to someone I love (I heart Pranksters), well, that’s going to make me feel good.

  • Ashley says:

    Hang in there! You will get through it, I promise. Both of my best friends went through painful divorces last year (one had never lived alone either) but both are now living their dreams, loving themselves and are thankful for the experience and the changes that resulted. Know that your worth is not tied to what happens to you or what you do…you are perfect and whole on your own. Know that you are loved and that the whole Universe wants you to be happy and successful. It’s hard to see how things are coming together until you are through them. Big tips are: 1) Don’t stay in your apartment all the time and isolate yourself 2) but enjoy spending time on your own and really love yourself every day 3) Don’t be afraid, it gets better 4) and don’t ask the “why’s”. Just move on. It’s all about you now and that’s a good thing. Know that you are loved!

  • Marie says:

    How do you live alone you ask… you just do it! I haven’t read all your comments and I am probably repeating someone (’cause it is good advice) find your local thrift stores. People donate the best stuff and usually the money you spend goes for a good cause so you are gaining good Karma points! Check out garage sales in your area.. good way to meet the neighbors too. Most of all a shift in how you view what is going on in your life has to happen. Keep looking for those positives as things could be so much worse. This situation is only as bad or good as YOU decide it is. Hugssssssss to ya! I have every confidence that soon you will be writing a message to all of us saying how much easier this all was than you thought and all the wonderful new opportunities that are opening up for you.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I love this – it’s so true. I really hope that the universe decides that I’m awesome and allows me to see the path forward. If I can do that, I can do anything. Except work for NASA….probably.

  • Mayor Gia says:

    Bahhh. I’m sorry you’re going through this, lady. :(

  • Erin says:

    Hello, Aunt Becky!

    First off, let me just say that the fact that you had a child so young and have managed to build a career and a life for you and the baby – you’re a rockstar. Seriously.

    Second, man… this really, really sucks. I don’t think that i have any profound advice to add to the couple hundred comments above mine. So instead, let me just say, I’m thinking of you, and sending you warm wishes and encouragement and prayers and positive thoughts – for moments of brightness and encouragement in the midst of the struggle. For strength to fight on another day. That the darkness doesn’t last too long, and that soon you’ll be on the other side, so grateful to find daily joy.

    Love and hugs from a lovebombing stranger in Wyoming!

    xoxoxoxo

    Erin

  • alyssa says:

    If I can manage to be a (somewhat) functional, (somewhat) independent (semi) adult, then I know you, of all people, can manage to do it, too. With everything life has thrown at you, and the way you’ve gotten through it all, this (not the divorce, but the learning to be on your own) should be a piece of cake. As to the pots and pans – one of each type of cooking item should work. I’d probably be much better off if I only had one pot and one frying pan, as opposed to more than one, because then the dishes just pile up, because who likes doing dishes? My other advice for living alone (especially if it’s just temporarily, until you can go back to your kids) is to not focus on the being alone and lonely part, but to focus on the being alone and GETTING TO DO WHATEVER YOU WANT, WHENEVER YOU WANT! part. Walk around in your underwear? Who cares! Don’t feel like cleaning up the living room for a day or two? No one’s going to complain! You can watch whatever you want, have some quiet time to read whenever you want, decide to take a walk whenever you want, without having to worry about anyone else’s schedule. Think of it as a slightly extended solo vacation (staycation?) – take the time to relax, get well, and do things for yourself, without having to be responsible for anything or anyone else. As someone who also has mental health issues, I know how important it is to just have time to relax and process and breathe when you’re trying to get back to a place where you’re fully functional again. Hopefully all of that was at least a little bit helpful, and again – I know you can do it!

  • Anna says:

    I am so sorry that you are going through this right now. It looks like you have lots of practical suggestions about where to get stuff and what to get, etc. I didn’t read through every single comment, so maybe someone has already suggested this, but I just wanted to add that you might want to find a single mothers group. Lots of other women who know what you are going through and can help you out (in person!) will be there :)
    There is one at my church called “Sisters Helping Each Other” (http://www.elmhurstcrc.org/ministries/adult_ministries/sisters_helping_each_other/) and it is run by one of the nicest and most genuine women I know. The group is only a few years old but it has doubled in size almost every year and I think it has like 60 moms now. I know that church might not be your thing, and obviously that is okay, maybe you could just search around and see if there is one near you that might fit your needs. Sometimes it’s just nice to be with another group of people who are in the same place that you are and can pull you through it. (At least it’s been really helpful to me in the past.) I wish you the very best and I know you can get through this. I have been reading long enough to know you are a survivor! (Sorry I am not much of a commenter, but I’m a faithful reader!)

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      That sounds wonderful – I need to get out there and meet new people. I know divorce will be the great divide. And I went to school in Elmhurst!

      • Anna says:

        I know, I live right by the college :) When I learned that you went there, I was like, Wow! AB went to college right by my house!!! and my husband was like who?? lol.
        Anyway, keep an eye on that page. I think that the monthly meetings start up again in September so the website will probably be updated soon with info about the first meeting. (You can also like them on FB if that is easier.) I hope you can find a group of supportive friends :)

  • Rissa says:

    Dear Becky,

    As my neighbor is fond of saying, “Oh shyt, Son!!” Yeah, probably any advice I have for you has already been covered, but just in case it hasn’t…

    6) Living alone is actually quite liberating. I lived at home until I was 24, then moved to Morocco (Peace Corps, what what), where I got my first apartment. 1st off, let me say…the cost of living while living abroad can be super cheap. I was getting paid about $250 US a month and lived quite comfortably. But if you want to stay in America, there’s running water and electricity (just to be clear, we had that in most cities in Morocco too), stores that stay open 24 hours a day (that, we didn’t have), basically anything you could possibly want (as long as you pay for it), reliable transportation (in some places)…it’s a pretty sweet place to be. There’s a saying in Morocco, that everything gets done “shwiya b shwiya,” (little by little)…and that’s basically how you’re going to have to roll. It may take a while before you have all the little accessories you need at your place, but over time it will feel a little more like home. Fill it with things that make you happy. If you like bright colors, do it up. If you’d rather be on chill mode, keep it toned down. Bring in games, books, purses (since that’s your thing), pictures, paintings, pottery..whatever makes you happy. It’s your safe space…it’s the one place in the world where you should always good.

    7)I’m sorry you’re going through the divorce thing. That sucks booty. But as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, you’ll be ok. Especially with your funny disposition; I’m sure that you’ll have no trouble bouncing back. It’s ok to be upset. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to be frustrated. Just don’t stay in those places too long if you can help it. Your thoughts shape your reality (something I’ve had to remind myself of recently, as my July can eat a hot bag of dick as well..), so it’s important to recognize when you have that negative-thought-tape-player-loop thing going on in your head so you can stop it. Don’t dismiss it completely…just recognize that it’s there, accept the feeling for the moment, then try to let it go. Oh shyt…I’m sure you’ve discovered I’m kind of a hippie by now, huh? Anyway, don’t beat yourself up too much. Shyt happens. We’re human and react. Life goes on.

    8) Yeah, you should probably keep the pots and pans. At least one pot and one pan. Cooking for yourself is cheaper AND healthier, in general. And you’re probably going to want to take good care of your body if you’re worried about living on a budget. Doctors are expensive. Better to do preventative maintenance;-)

    Happiness is a conscious choice. Any day that you wake up is a gift and has the potential for some sort of adventure…you just have to be open to it. And even things that seem like a setback, can sometimes be an even bigger gift..even if you don’t see the reasoning at the moment. I don’t know how…things just always work themselves out. You have to put SOME effort into it, It doesn’t just magically happen…but when you LOOK for the silver lining and keep a positive outlook, you’re open and ready when opportunities present themselves. Just start acting as though things are working in your favor and pretty soon you’ll see that they actually do;-) That’s basically all I’ve got for you. Hope it’s somewhat helpful. If not, at least your eyes got a good workout..lol. tHllay f rask (take care of your head)!

    Peace and love,
    Rissa

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I have saved ALL of this advice here. I grew up with hippie parents, so this stuff sounds way normal. It’s a matter of finding my peace – and living in the moment.

  • Gloria says:

    You’re going through a really rough patch but I admire your optimism and firm belief that it gets better.

    Living alone is daunting at first (I’ve been there myself) but gradually, you grow to enjoy the liberty of living alone, and the space that it offers you.

    Slowly but surely there will be beauty from the ashes of what life is now. And I look forward to the day where you regale us with stories of how you overcame this rough period of your life.

    You are a warrior! Sending love and hugs your way.

    xx

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I love this! I think that in time, I’ll get used to – and love – living on my own. Right now, it’s all a question mark of uncertainty, but I know that will have some room for growth, too.

  • Christina says:

    I’ve been there before. When you’re in a good place, you’ll look back and wonder how you ever were so strong. But it will be a wonderful feeling, one of accomplishment, and will make your new life that much richer. Hugs to you.

  • Sara says:

    Sending lots of love your way! <3

  • Mariel Garcia says:

    Speaking from experience change can be very difficult but also a chance to grow and explore your potential. I don’t know you personally but from the way you express yourself, you seem like a very strong woman. It sucks major right now but before you know it you will see this change as a blessing. As far as selling things to make extra cash, it’s good to make garage sales and then whatever else is left over, donate it. When you give, you also make more room to receive. It’s best to only carry what you need and cherish to start fresh. It’s also good to network through facebook and share your goals so that everyone can help….Remember you are planting seeds of what you want in your life by doing that. I came across this quote recently and thought I might share: “In life you will realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most important are the ones who bring out the best in you, respect you, accept you for who you are. Those are the ones worth keeping around…” You will find someone and you will love again….and maybe you will spend this time recharging so that you can be ready for the best to come. Hang in there! Much love.

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Thanks, my love. I am strong – I’m always weathering the storms, and they’ve each made me better, stronger, and more sure of myself. I’m hoping that this will be the same thing for me. Change is gonna do me good.

  • Angie R
    Twitter: TheBeerLady
    says:

    AB, there’s an absolute metric shit-ton of incredible advice here, so hopefully I won’t repeat it. I’m definitely not going to get into the practical stuff, because that has *definitely* been covered – your Pranksters are some smart-ass people.

    Umm, that didn’t come out quite right. Then again, both meanings of the term probably apply.

    But since I’ve never been able to resist the urge to give advice, I want to throw my two cents worth in along with my hugs & moral support (I’d also add vodka, but I drank that last night). My advice? The practical stuff is easy, it’s the emotional part that’s hard. After all, once you have a frying pan, there’s no longer any need to deal with that issue.

    But the anger, loss, and grief are not so easily banished. You will probably get a million suggestions on how to deal with them. The biggest problem with those suggestions is that about half of them will be a direct opposite of the other half. So at this point, if you look at a suggestion on your spreadsheet and react by thinking “I’d rather have a root canal without novacain,” I hereby give you permission to ignore that suggestion completely. And to do so without guilt, worry, or feeling like you need to apologize for not doing it (that part will take practice). Treat it like that ugly ugly sweater that Grandma made you for Christmas – thank her profusely, hug her, be immensely happy by the love that went into it, and then put it into a closet and hope she never wants to see you wearing it.

    Now, things that have worked for me, which you are free to try at your own risk.

    Even though it would make things easier financially, if at all possible, do not get a roommate. You need to work on yourself, and that can be terribly difficult to do with someone else around, especially a relative stranger. I always found that I couldn’t let down my guard enough to sort through what needed to be sorted with someone else there, because I didn’t want them to see that I had issues. Then I tried to fix their issues instead. Or I wanted to stab them in the eyes with a spork because they were annoying as hell.

    One of the most popular suggestions will undoubtably be “Get out of the house and socialize,” but this is one of those ‘do what feels right’ areas. As an introvert, I often find public socializing to be torture, not a distraction. You may feel the same way. Public socializing can also be expensive, since it often seems to revolve around food and drink. Feel free to build your home nest and invite people to visit you, as many or as few as you like, and you may absolutely tell them that your therapist says it would be better for you than going out.

    But while you’re building your little nest, do not allow life to become an all-you-can-whine pity party for yourself. I have found it helpful to actually schedule pity party time, and during that scheduled time, I give myself permission to do whatever it takes. Cry, curl up in a corner, crawl in bed with the cover over my head, eat a pint of ice cream, ‘drunk dial’ (or email) a sympathetic friend and pour my heart out, whatever. (Incidentally, the ‘drunk email’ is excellent, even if you’re just pretending to be drunk. You don’t even have to send it, but it’s terribly cathartic just writing it all down. Kind of like popping a big ugly zit on your chin.) The trick is to set a time limit, and when time is up, the pity party gets put away. I actually set a timer. Oh, and the other trick: if you don’t feel like a pity party during your scheduled time, you can skip it, but you can’t reschedule it. What happened for me is as time wore on, I felt stronger, and skipped more and more of them. And as I skipped more and more of them, well, it made me feel stronger. A nice happy circle. :)

    My lord, this is practically a blog post itself! Hopefully it goes without saying that you can feel free to email me any time for any reason. I got your back, girlfriend. And if you ever roadtrip down to KC, I’ve got a reasonably clean floor with an air mattress that only leaks a little that you are more than welcome to camp out on.

  • Katie says:

    Becky,

    This is one of the best things that could have happened to you. This is a gift. I know it may be hard in your mind right now to view it as one, but trust me, this is going to be fun = ]. The best part is, this gift is just for you. When you are constantly living with others, you constantly have to share and compromise. While these are admirable qualities and make living with others a happy experience, sometimes you forget about the biggest detail, YOU! This is your opportunity, to live life exactly how you want to. Be good to yourself and embrace this you time. It means that all these years of not touching the thermostat, you get to to have the temperature be exactly how you want, with no one to tell you otherwise. That beautiful lasagna you just made? Hell eat it all! In your PJ’s! In Bed! Read all day if you want to. Go run a maraton. You have the very unique opportunity of turning your clock back to your 20′s. Do you have dreams? Things that you have been dying to do your whole life, but you just couldn’t? Do them now! You have been detached from responsibilities and you have only yourself holding you back. Go backpack through South America, Chop off your hair and dye it blue, Get a Tattoo, Go Sky Diving, Take a Pasta Making Class, Go Write a Book, Swim with Dolphins. Go experience life! You are never going to be alone because you will always have you = ]. Go find what makes your heart sing. I don’t care if that means you walk around the house naked all day. Take this time to rediscover you, and cherish it. Because you, my dear, are cherishable and worthy of this grand adventure! You have just been released. Take all your worries and burdens off your shoulders. There is something amazing waiting just outside your door, you!

    Enjoy your new 20′s!

    Katie

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      Can I hire you to be my BFF and coach? PLEASE?

      • Jackie says:

        I will completely agree with Katie. I am actually going through a similar thing right now, Becky. I moved out into my own apartment at the beginning of July (married for 4 years, together 8, have two kids). While it was hard at first (shit started hitting the fan end of March), things get easier with time. While life still sucks for me at the moment (emotions-wise), things are getting better everyday and I love having my own space. If you’re a reader, a great book that I read recently is “Getting Past Your Breakup” by Susan J. Elliott. It’s got great advice on how to move on and focus on yourself. Stay strong, your emotions will take you on a rollercoaster for a long time…mine still are. But as I’ve heard from others, one day, the pain and hurt will subside and life will be easier.

  • Michele says:

    My heart goes out to you in this tough time. I can only imagine how hard such a big life change must be. In more tangible news: you mentioned you haven’t eaten real food lately, so here are a few really easy dinner ideas.
    Omelettes
    Tacos
    Macaroni cassarole
    Homemade hamburgers
    Quesadillas
    English muffin pizzas

    Best of luck!

  • Christian JP says:

    You will be okay – peps are always okay. Join couchsurfing, postcrossing or another community. That should allow you to let some time pass and you feelings to gain their foothold again ;)

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  • Deb says:

    This sounds random, but get a bean bag chair! It is sort of all purpose furniture – recliner, chair, nap spot, semi desk. It is mobile. It is comfy. Your kids can play on it. Your cat could enjoy it. Doubles as a punching item. Holds clothes reasonably well. Can be a body pillow (though awkward) if necessary.

    That is all.

    Debbie

  • Rida Soleil says:

    Hey Becky,

    I know its tough.. But hopefully You remember that good things fall apart so that better things can fall in together. Hang in there & You’ll find your rainbow!!1

    Sending Love & Light
    Rida

  • Angela says:

    My heart goes to you as someone, who has been there. Been on my parents couch with an 11 year old who basically blamed me for leaving his dear old deadbeat dad. Fast forward 4 years and a lot of therapy later I must say that I am grateful for those that were there with even just a smile. I hope you can do the same soon enough, and know that you have a friend in NY if you ever need. Sorry I can’t contribute more than words, cause 15 year old will eat anything not nailed down and food aint cheap! But as a single mom I can say as dark as it is right now, stuff will get better.
    Angela

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  • Laura says:

    You can do it!! One step at a time, take a deep breathe every now & then or often, smile, keep your chin up and it will all fall into place. Good luck in your new exciting chapter of You!

    • Your Aunt Becky
      Twitter: mommywantsvodka
      says:

      I take it one minute – even one second – at a time when I have to. I’m just swimming on through this. I have good days and bad, good minutes and bad, good hours and bad. But in the end, I hope the good days outnumber the bad.

      Thanks, love.

  • Tallymomma says:

    I know I am a bit late in advice but I had 2 quick things to add. Craigslist is great but don’t forget there “free” section too. I can always find things people are just ready to get rid of on there especially round this time when all the college students are ready to leave/graduate. When you hit yardsale if you are just looking for truly cheap stuff then hit them towards the end when they just want it off their lawn and not have to take it back in. Often they will just give it away. As for food, I don’t know about your area but here there are several food banks available so maybe a quick Google search might turn up something. Hopefully some of this can help in your new life!

  • C says:

    Good luck!

  • Lola says:

    Hang on, it’s going to get better!

  • First I love you always know that. I have been laid up since the 17th had surgery and shit and I still feel like ass. But I am going to start going through my house and looking for things for you. If you need anything in particular let me know. I will if I can remember be emailing you soon. It’s been so long since we’ve talked and I could use a friend too. I haven’t read all the comments cause I can’t concentrate that well, but I am sure everyone has offered tons of awesome advice. But I will help you in ANY way I can when I can.

  • Samantha says:

    Ahhh, the divorce diet, I know it well. When I was going though it, I was also so poor, I had to window shop at the dollar store.
    I have not read all the comments, so I may be repeating what others have posted, but you can deal.
    1. I agree with the thrift store ideas. There is so much that you can find for so little. Yeah, you have to really look, but it is so worth it, and it made me feel good and kept my mind off of what had happened. Just shop around b/c some have become so pricy. Also, look into local thrift stores, in my area, I have noticed that they have started popping up everywhere, they are cheaper and tend to have better stuff then the national ones like DAV and CHKD.
    2. I cannot believe that I am going to say this, but Rachel Ray gave me some amazing ideas to spruce up second hand furniture. I got a cheap table, grabbed a bunch of paint example things from Home Depot, glued them to the table and then spread a thin layer on veneer over the top and BAM, weird crazy colorful table. Not for everyone,. I know, but still. I love my table.
    3. Do not feel that you have to have everything that you had when you were married. The person that said you needed like 2 pans and a pot was right. Just get the basics. Keep it simple. I bought my plates and cups from the dollar store.
    4. Get social when you feel like getting social and do NOT let anyone tell, “it is too soon”. I started dating a couple of months after we split, and got some looks and comments, but you know what, I had a blast, I was not looking for anything, just having fun.
    AND I met my husband 4 months later. Quick, I know, but that was just me. Just do what feels right for you and do not let anyone try and judge. If you need to do you for a while, do you, everyone is different, just follow what you feel.
    5. If you cannot eat, you cannot eat. I may catch an asston of shit for this, but I understand. I went for 21/2 weeks not eating a thing, I just couldn’t. But, make sure that you drink fluids (water) and take a Multi- Vitamin. I KNOW not eating is not healthy, but if you cannot eat, you can’t. I just told people that puking after forcing myself to eat is not healthy either and made me feel even worse. And then I kicked them in the nuts if they gave me anymore grief.
    6. Reach out to friends and family. Lean on them, even if you can see that if you say “And what I dont get is…” they roll their eyes. Screw them. AND people who have offered to lend an ear on this blog. I know that sounds so nuts, but I found people who I did not know, and they helped me so much, they had no preconceived notions, no bias towards me or the ex, and they told it to me straight… or just let me babble. And both helped tremendously.

    Much love to you.
    You have my email.
    I still have saved the aluminum tabby things I was supposed to send to you.. and have not yet.
    Samantha

  • Megan says:

    Aunt Becky!

    What a strong lady you are. The way you write made me smile. Its not to hear things without any bs or company line.

    Living alone… Try to get out of your house/apt etc. at least twice a day. It definitely breaks up the day, even if its just for a few minutes. It always helps me get out of my head.

    Continue also to reach out to your support group and find other people like you going through your situation. The WORSE thing you can do is isolate yourself (trust me I know from experience).

    Basically, know that you are not alone in your situation and other people are going through the same thing. This really helps me out.

    Stay strong!

    Lots of hugs,

    Megan

  • Jessica Jo says:

    So much has already been said and shared here – you can feel the love just scrolling through the comments! And the fact that you have gone through and personally answered almost all of them? So clearly shows why so many people love you. To add my hugs, thoughts, and love into the pot here we go…..

    1) Rice Cooker: I SUCK at teh cooking and burned two pots when I tried to “grow up” and cook more than instant rice. Then I found the $17 Sylvania (?) brand rice cooker at Walgreens and I’ve not looked back. The things rocks, is easy, and now I can “contribute” to dinner time. So far I’ve only made white and brown rice in it, but apparently you can make other things like beans in it. So freaking easy.

    2) Garage Sales: Sounds like there are a ton of folks out there (myself included) that are wanting to send you things to help get you started on this new path. So, there is a chance, probably strong, that you are going to end up with 32 pots for boiling water. Which is awesome that you have friends like that. And might be overwhelming when you try to come up with what exactly to do with the 31 extra pots. I suggest garage sale those suckers. Every single person here that sends you something is doing it because it is what they have that they can share to help. They don’t want you to have 32 pots, they want you to have the tools you need to start over. SO that means if you sell what they send to move forward, Awesome.

    3: Internet Garage Sale: LOVE but be aware that they may take a lot of work with the shipping and the tracking, put together a team of folks (sounds like there is a ready and able crew within these readers) to help so it doesn’t become a stress. Also, I’d totally buy some shiz from you.

    4: Local Love: I fall into the camp of live in Chicago and would love to help in person with what ever you need. I’m really good at hanging out on lawns and making change/refilling drinks during garage sales. Find the folks near you that you know, or want to know, that can spend face time with you. We are all here to be your internet shoulder, but sometimes you need something a bit more corporeal.

    Oh! One more random item.

    5: Unfuck Your Habitat: Hopeful (better be!) the new place you move into will be clean already. My place? totally a fucked habitat. I’ve just started following this Tumblr, but it looks like it’s got some great cleaning hints/tips/ideas in it. Something to add to the ever growing spreadsheet (this part might need its own tab) tricks and tools for cleaning.
    http://unfuckyourhabitat.tumblr.com/

    Love and hugs!
    Jessica Jo

  • @wewon31 says:

    Well they are cliches for a reason…’it will get easier’, ‘it will make you stronger’ ‘one day at a time’. You know the rest, you’ve heard all the lines. Hang in there and stay positive. Take it from someone like me, I feel like all I do is start over, when its all said and done, it will make sense, I”m hopeful for that. Gotta get up everyday and face it head on, you never know where the next miracle will come from. you already have the right attitude and outlook and you certainly have the resources to lean on, use them! Be strong and take care.

  • Paige says:

    Hey, Aunt Becky – since you’re having a tough time…
    This little Prankster will weave you a rhyme.
    It may be silly and a little bit lame
    But I hope it will cushion the fact that things will never be the same.
    I know that it hurts and you’re feeling real low
    But, just remember, through all of this – you’ll grow.
    You’ll sigh and you’ll cry
    But all of us will try
    To help the pain subside.
    And I know it’s not a lot
    But it’s all that I’ve got
    I know that you’ll appreciate it all the same.
    So never forget how much we care
    Because, Aunt Becky, no matter what – whenever you need us…….we’ll be there.

    We love you, AB. <3

  • soxydeb says:

    With 442 comments already here….i cannot possibly read them all. But I work through elance.com. It is a freelance website where you can write, transcribe (which is what I do), be a virtual assistant and the like. I love it because it allows me to be a stay at home mom and still make money. Although we both know my kids are 27 and 25, I’m still staying at home and dammit I’m still a mother! (hope that at least made you smile)

    That being put out there, you were my very first blogger I immediately got a girl crush on. I know you can pull it all together, because you’re Becky. And Becky doesn’t let anything or anyone hold her back.

    I would give you the shirt off my back if you were closer, but all I have is {{{hugs}}}. Love you Aunt Becky…

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  • Sara says:

    Contact every publication/ website/ content source you can think of, both online and print, and ask if they need any stringers (freelance writers). Offer your writing samples, and offer to do an article on spec (for free) if need be. You should be able to at least get your foot in the door at various local publications.

  • Michelle says:

    Aunt Becky: having been through “the big d” myself, I can tell you that it gets easier/better every single day. With a little help from your friends, your strong resolve and witty sense of humor, I know you’ll overcome these challenges and end up in a really, really good place.

  • Joanna says:

    For anyone looking to send gifts to Becky, I made up a collection on Etsy! All inspirational, or house worthy, or pampering fabulocities at a range of prices and lots of purple: http://www.etsy.com/treasury/ODg5Nzh8MjcyMzE2NDcwNA/dear-aunt-becky

    You should add this link with your Amazon wishlist at the top, Becky!

  • OMG, I don’t even know what to say except that I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through. A divorce and moving out on your own for the first time are some major life changes that can be overwhelming to try and get a handle on in a short period of time. Give yourself a pat on the back (or shoulder, or head or whatever bodypart you like to pat) for having confidence in your ability to save yourself and also for taking the steps to do that.

    Do you need pots and pans if you haven’t eaten a balanced meal in three weeks? The answer, in my opinion, is no. The money that would be spent on those pots and pans could be used to go grocery shopping for non-perishable items that you can then eat over time with the use of some very creative recipes.

    At minimum, you can always buy cheap groceries and then use a friend’s or neighbor’s kitchen to prepare several large meals that will hold you over for 1-2 weeks at a time. Think cooking on borrowed time/kitchens can’t be done? Well…consider taking a note from the movies. In the comedy-drama “Pieces of April,” a young girl made an entire Thanksgiving dinner, using the kitchens of her neighbors…and these were people whom she didn’t even know. That may be an idea to consider.

    When all else fails, stay strong and carry on.

  • PK says:

    I am late to the post but wanted to provide some encouragement. I would imagine things look rather bleak right now and you have no idea how you will go in. I’ve been through two separations from hubby and they were miserable (but necessary). Simply existing, eating, showering, and going to work takes all of your energy. That is okay. Be gentle with yourself, take good care of yourself, and take time to do things you enjoy (even if you only do it for 5 minutes). Fine some good real-life friends if you don’t already have them (internet friends are great but you also need someone with a shoulder to cry on, who can hug, and who can be there with you).

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  • Al_Pal says:

    Big HUGS!!!
    I see you’ve received tons of excellent advice already.
    I enjoyed talking with you and the dude 2+ years ago in NYC…I know that people’s paths can diverge to the point of being unable to walk together, though.
    Best Wishes, strength & love.

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