Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Every day millions of Americans get up and go to work. They plan their vacations around their jobs. They plan their families lives around when they can get time away from work. This past year over three million people in the United States lost their jobs and cannot find work. In addition to the financial hardship that a lost job creates, there is extreme stress due to the inability of a wage earner to provide for their family. This coupled with the loss of health care coverage creates a home environment ripe for conflict. For a man, self esteem is often tied to a job or job title. For many women this is also the case, but women may have another outlet for esteem building... the family. In either case, the loss of income and health care coverage can be catastrophic.

During times of extreme hardship and stress, support meetings can be a true lifeline. Local YMCA's, churches, synagogues and mosques offer free weekly support meetings. These are places where anonymity is valued and privacy is required. Folks meet to share their stories, hardships, loss and recoveries. All this can give a stressed person hope, showing light at the end of the tunnel. Not only is the support of the group of tantamount importance, but the friendships that grow through attending meetings can become the strongest links in the chain toward recovery, both financial and emotional. The only requirement for getting help is the willingness to ask, and to let another lend a hand up.

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