I Need Help….a VERY personal essay

Much like Christians testify and AA folks make amends, as part of my personal process of growth, I need to do this publicly, please bear with me and feel free to completely ignore!

I need help.

Ten years ago I could not have said those words if Dick Cheney himself was electrifying my …er, genitals.

Which I am sure he would enjoy after what I have written about him, lol.

But now I have to say it, not just to get the help I need but as part of my long, hard, but VERY rewarding journey along the path of my Dharma…or whatever you want to call our journey through this sometimes horrifying and sometimes glorious life.

The Sad Story of buhdydharma:

One of the reasons it has been so hard, nay near impossible for me to ask for help in this lifetime has been the circumstances in which I grew up. almost as much out of choice as necessity, I left home when I was 14 or 15 and lived on the streets. I worked from that age on at restaurants and went from washing dishes to becoming a darn good cook. Then I had the opportunity to get into construction, and rose over the years from laborer to carpenter, foreman, and eventually supervised multi-million dollar residential projects. Or as I put it at the time, I serviced the rich.

After decades of emotional and financial instability, I finally really got my shit together and was what I would call comfortable. But my Path does not seem to be towards comfort, lol, at least not yet! Two things happened, then. Ahunuld Scwarzengruber let the Insurance industry re write the Workmen’s Compensation laws in califoooorneea, and I injured my back. Moving a piece, as the always ironic arc of my life would dictate, of safety equipment designed to keep people from injuring their backs. I got in touch with an injury attorney after making searches for Arkansas personal injury attorneys, and injury attorneys in many locations, to choose the best one for the job. I needed to know where I stood…excuse the pun.

To make a long story, I was permanently disabled and I got screwed by Workers Comp. I read through a lot of cases that injury lawyers handle to decide on what I should do next. Thus began my foray into blogging, as I needed something to do as I lay in bed, lol. Little did I know where that would lead, which is, hahaha, here.

For a while I lived off of the little bit of Insurance money I did get, then another serendipitous opportunity came along as a nice gift from the universe, then I and others started Docudharma. Since that time I have been living a VERY modest lifestyle of off the generous, though meager donations that have come through the blog. Though every Dharmathon asking for donations has always been a struggle to publish and has painfully destroyed a chunk of my precious pride, you guys have supported me, albeit at a subsistence level, for years now. Thank you.

I ended up, again VERY serendipitously, in a nice little converted garage apartment that suits me well with free rent out of the goodness of a good mans heart, and after years of prideful, egotistic….and painful and sometimes frightening bare survival,bit the bullet, broke down and applied for Social Security and Food Stamps etc.

I cannot express to you the psychological blow it was for me, after decades of taking perhaps excessive pride in having worked my way up from nothing to a position of relative success, to be suddenly crippled and unable to support myself. It has been a very emotional struggle, and finally nearly five years after my injury I am just coming to grips with it now. If it had not been for my spiritual training and having the good luck to have found amazing teachers in my life I would not have made it through, Instead, I have been able to recognize all of these obstacles as gifts that have lead to a simply immense amount of personal, spiritual and emotional growth. And I am just on the cusp of even more, if my feelings are correct.

What to some might seem a curse, I consider a blessing. I am just mobile enough to care for myself, have a comfortable little cozy place to live next to a man I have admired and loved all my life…..and you guys. I am blessed.

I am NOT looking for sympathy, lol. I…the I that is is just fine. Perhaps if not certainly, the best I have ever been in my life. Except for that little about to run out of food thing, lol.

But one of the things I am blessed with, lol, is obstacles. Obstacles are what make us grow, they are our teachers (as is all of life, though it DOES end up killing all of its students!) and each and every obstacle we encounter in life is there to teach us its specific lesson, and to help with us along our path. Without the obstacles we face, that life plops down in our path, we would never learn the lessons that our particular lifetimes have to teach us. Be grateful for your obstacles, they are our greatest teachers.

And now I am writing this, after all of the years and all of these hard lessons, as a way to overcome one of my obstacles, the inability to ask for help.

Please help me.

I am tangled in the web of the system at the moment, in the process of overcoming the obstacles of getting food stamps and SSI, and I am flat stony broke. Painfully so. But that pain is what has allowed me to overcome this obstacle and break down and expose my self and strip away the last (Ha!) bit of false pride and ask the people I care about and who care about me for help, and to do it in a way that is as honest and as forthright as I am capable of. I thank you both for any help you can give…..and for the opportunity to perform this act of ego destruction and overcome this obstacle.

I am sure, if the lessons of my life have not all been delusions, that now that I have committed this act, that everything will turn out fine, as it always has….IF I do the internal and external work to help the universe help me.

So I thank you, friends, from the bottom of my ego lol, for your help. Both whatever you can spare financially in these very tough times (Fuck You George!) and for being here on my journey so that I can have someone to witness and observe this part of my personal journey, without someone to observe this phenomenon hahaha, how would I be sure that it really happened???

I offer back to you what I can, in this case my blessings on YOUR journey through life, and in the future perhaps…….well shit, it is the future, who the fuck knows!

Thank you, for your help along my journey.

(MAN that hurt! And, I give thanks for the hurt as well!)


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  1. Photobucket

    Ok, I am lying big time, lol….let’s go with….

    Less ashamed!

    • Edger on December 6, 2009 at 21:19

    in the same position Buhdy, but I think I can squeeze enough out of the bank to split the macaroni and cheese with you for a few days. The no name brands are fairly reasonably priced, still, and they’ve grown on me. 😉

    Done and on the way…

    • Xanthe on December 6, 2009 at 21:24

    Now that I am in my 70s, I need occasional help, mostly keeping up the house – but I’ve always been the one helping others.  A hard pill to swallow but I am just now beginning to understand that this position I’m in is somehow something everyone has to accept (if they’re fortunate to get to a certain age).  Accepting help is harder than giving aid (no doubt about it).  

    I’m glad to find this blog – I remember you fondly on DK – where I don’t post anymore.  

    How do I help, Mr. Dharma – paypal? check?


    • Joy B. on December 6, 2009 at 21:38

    electronic sleight-of-hand to get something where it can wing its way to you. Since I don’t have the passwords (and the elves are all out doing elvish things), it’ll take a day or two. Not much, since I’m out of work here too, but some shekels in your cup. Hang in there Buhdy. And since you’ve gone ahead and applied (even if as yet still in limbo), you may find that you’ve a chit at the food bank too. Those are fun, have people who would love nothing better than to try and match up a list from you to whatever they’ve got on hand (somewhat ample this time of year). Even be happy to deliver. Please look into it!

    • RiaD on December 6, 2009 at 21:39

  2. I too split from home when I was 15 or 16 and hitch-hiked all over the country for a few years. I found my way back home and luckily my Dad, who was a carpenter/contractor taught me the trade. I’ve been self employed in the business for about 25 years, but have been out of work for about the last 2 months. No unemployment benefits for the self employed, thank goodness my wife is still working. I don’t have much right now Buhdy, but give me a couple of days to transfer funds and I’ll send what I can via paypal…hang in there, pard.

    • Heather on December 6, 2009 at 22:01

    I’ll scratch yours. From a fellow 14 yr old on the streets! And cook. And house painter. Then fuck it. I went indoors to teach.

    Hold out your hands!

    • Edger on December 6, 2009 at 22:02

    in my humble opinion…

  3. gotten any kind of “Holiday Bonus” on any job I ever had. I worked mostly in non-profits, so it comes with the turf. I remember how I used to feel somewhat befuddled when friends of mine would complain that theirs was too chincey or something. So, I just consider this your holiday anti-consumerism bonus hit up. lol.

    Ill see what creative financing wizardry I can manage.

    Let us know with those delays, it might be a while before that ssi actually come through, eh?  We really oughtta be able to cough up for DD on a monthly basis. (Says she who has no cash! lol)

  4. It’s a pittance that reflects more poorly on TPTB than on you or me, but it’s a well-intended pittance between friends in times of hardship, i.e., it’s enough to get drunk on.  What are you waiting for?

    • RiaD on December 6, 2009 at 23:29

    • dkmich on December 6, 2009 at 23:31

    you didn’t even have to ask.  It wasn’t much, but I did want to say thanks.  Despite my occupation, I am so dismayed at how many smart people out here are out of work and in trouble.  I will try to donate again; but in the meantime, don’t let those SSI people wear you down.  It is a fight to the death, so don’t let it be yours.  

    • Edger on December 6, 2009 at 23:41

  5. Gotta work on getting some creative finance going (maybe that means chasing people who owe me?) so I can get you some this week. I know right where you’re at.  Hang on, buhd.

    • robodd on December 6, 2009 at 23:49

    how do I electronically get that to you?

    • Inky99 on December 7, 2009 at 00:01

    and maybe some day down the road I can.

    But right now I’m in the same position as you, asking friends and family for help.

    What a shitty year this has been.

  6. it comes to up him.  

    • Diane G on December 7, 2009 at 00:22

    Christmas bonus comes in next Friday, I will certainly eke a bit out for you. Darling, I slipped a disc at 23ish and spent a few months paralyzed. I’m mobile now, but never not in pain.

    We have been living at the brink so long now, I totally get where you’re coming from, but heck, I can spare a little Christmas gift for my “Second Home.”

    Can you post this at WWL? Or if you;re too proud for that, may I write up a fund-drive for DD for you?

    I see us as sibling-blogs to each other. I want to help beyond my help.

    It would be an honor, for everything DD did for me when I was losing my home.

  7. you have my email Buhdy .. in these tough times we need to take care of one another.

  8. I’m havin’ some trouble gettin’ the words out . . . I’m ashamed and it’s hard for me to admit . . . oh, well . . . I guess I’ll just blurt it out there . . .

    I donated some money to you.

    Oh, I feel so dirty!

    I would also suggest that you read from The Good Book to help lift your spirits.  Or you could read from the Bible too.

  9. Your diaries have often been an inspiration to me, just when I needed a boost.  So, thank you.

  10. though I haven’t had a forty hr. week in a long time.

    Small pittance on its way.

    Thanks for all you do.

    • Diane G on December 7, 2009 at 01:22

    after all You did it for Me, once. WWL fund drive, my Xmas present.

    Love to you budhy, and mi casa, su casa.


  11. I’m watching pennies for next months’ rent, but today I got hired for my second part time job, so after the first of the year I can send a little.

  12. I know this is a hard place to be for you, despite what you’ve learned in the face of it all —  and for so many.  Boy, do I know!  

    Can’t do like I did in the past — limited resources now, but will do a bit!  

    It’s a blessing you’re in a warm climate!

  13. Being considered disabled myself, and still unemployed (after making $150k/yr), I fully understand the mental anguish.

    • sharon on December 7, 2009 at 01:48

    and then got distracted by others more local also in need.  give me a few minutes and i will rectify that.

    i’ve been going through one of those esp periods and this explains why you’ve been on my mind the past few days.  i hope this doesn’t creep you out, but here goes….. very late last night while i was waiting for the bath to fill i took a minute and was browsing online and made a point of looking at the photos of you.  should have been enough of a message for me to remember my promise, but i guess the esp needs honing.  

    i am glad that you have the spirit to survive, bd.  and wrt to food stamps, there was an article in the times just last week about how common it has become to see people using their cards all over the city.  my neighbor who also has health issues and received eviction papers went to social services this week and had a card that day (although it didn’t for another two).  it looks like he might get the medical care he needs too, although i’m not sure with the battery of tests they are putting him through (includes psych evaluation and citizenship review) if they are trying to figure out how to help him, lock him up, or deport him.  i’m going to hope for the best because while he is a little odd, i don’t think he is crazy and he has been a legal resident for many years.

    good luck to you, my friend.  i am happy to share what i have with the universe.  i am just finishing up a freelance project and when i get paid for it, i will do more.

  14. and it appears I won’t for a long long time to come as well, well unless I have a hit record (LOL) but you and all the other people here in tough circumstances are in my thoughts daily.

    You know, at first when all these stories (and there are so many) started coming, I admit to a bit of relief in not being stuck all alone in financial misery, loving company and all that, but now I’m just so sick and tired of hearing about all these circumstances that should clearly not be happening in a first world society with so much wealth.  

    I mean disability, jeezus h cristy.  

    Medical bankruptcy.

    People daring to try and buy a godamn house.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the Swedes invaded, and brought their system along ?  

  15. Maybe you and I could just, like, live together, hang out, and smoke a lot of pot. 🙂

    Oh, wait – pot’s expensive. Drink alcohol?

    I’m really sorry I can’t financially help, buhdy. But you KNOWZ I loves you and will always be here for you, at least emotionally.

    Drop me a line if you want my e-mail and I’ll happily provide it. Much love and well wishes to you! Goddamn, the system just SUCKS right now.

    • Joy B. on December 7, 2009 at 02:27

    to transfer from bank to my account, they say it takes 3-5 days. But I’ve gotta tell you all that the posts here from so many who are having a hard time, yet are as willing to do what they can, is really inspiring.

    We don’t do much Christmas for ourselves (still haven’t found any scraggly pine saplings to duct tape together into some semblance of a tree yet) because we are literally busting our butts doing Christmas for everybody else. Make excellent money this time of year with it too, or we sure as hell wouldn’t be spending weekends solid from mid-November through Christmas at the damned mall. THAT will sour you on Christmas faster than anything in this world! The extra bucks help get us through the winter, which is very slow for clowns, and we work very hard. I’ve made four pairs of elf shoes, two white shirts with ruffly front and a new pair of green velvet knickers in the past two weeks, with hands that just can’t do the kind of constant stitchery they used to do. Luckily some of the old costuming is still good or it wouldn’t have gotten done. Then we’d be worse off than before.

    Reading this essay and the comments reminds me sharply that there’s a reason the world feels extra-weighty this year. Even as our gub’ment is printing money and passing it out to themselves and their banker buddies, 30,000 more families are getting word of new deployments in the forever-wars. Other families are being torn apart by those same wars, and millions upon millions of regular, normally hard-working, intelligent and talented people are in serious trouble. Homes are lost, it’s cold and snowing out there. Cupboard’s bare, parents are going hungry so their children can eat. Factory went under, half the town is out of work with no prospects on the horizon. The sick and the hurt suffer because they simply can’t go to the doctor and feed the family too, as our Congress debates which expensive insurance companies get the windfall when we’re all forced to purchase worthless policies with money we don’t have. People are dying while the wealthy sip spiced wine and gift each other with diamonds and remind each other this is still the richest nation on earth. But only for some, fewer and fewer every day.

    So thank you, Buhdy. Not only will I send you what I can, you’ve helped to shake me of a little dark cynicism and reconnect me with the personal face of what’s happening, remind me that there’s quite a bit I can do right here. For quite a few people, where the doing produces real results that can be seen and felt. This year’s Great Festival of Light – under whatever cultural or faith-based title – NEEDS to be one where We The People turn our backs on Wall Street crooks and DC thieves busy plotting our ultimate demise, and turn toward our friends and neighbors to share whatever we can with each other. “They” are trying to kill us. We are the only ones who can do something about it! Even when we don’t have much, together we’ve got a lot.

    Thanks for the Inspiration. I needed that.

    • Diane G on December 7, 2009 at 02:56

    I said something the other day, I liked.

    “We don’t get to pick our times, we choose to survive them.”

    No matter what, budhy, you are a survivor, and CHOOSE to live it well, as I try to.

    Pain is only normalcy unless one focuses on it; then it becomes the universe. Me? Rather enjoy the beauty..rather give what I can.

    But sometimes, only an icepack under my C/4 aqnd tylenol will do, eh? LOL.

    I feel you are on the same path, a few steps ahead of me.


    • jamess on December 7, 2009 at 04:42

    life is a very tough road most days.

    you certainly have weathered your journey well.

    me, it’s the callouses, that keep me sane. (lol)

    I’ll send what I can.

    best of luck to you, BD.

    May karma, and the fates,

    send you what you need.

    peace dude!

  16. You have a great attitude and spirit dude.  Lately, I’ve been focusing on getting up in the morning and telling myself to enjoy my existence.  When we get older we know our days become numbered, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we appreciate them more unless we focus on it.  

  17. Really, you are.

    I just saw this…..my computer got trashed so I’m catching up on things now. And I am SOOOO glad to help, and just made a donation.

    Blessings to you, dear Buhdy.

  18. On smashing the barrier.

    Ripples from that should be interesting, and I predict, positive.

    • TomP on December 7, 2009 at 16:34

    Hope it helps.

    These hard times will soon pass for you.  

    Take care, buhdy.  You’re a good person.  

  19. “Prayer carries us half way to God, fasting brings us to the door of His palace, and alms-giving procures us admission.” quran quotes (c. 651 AD)

    A pretty quote I thought.

    Dropped some coins in the alms bowl,  hope it helps. ANd that its accessable quickly.

  20. to help in my small way. Just send me an email with an address where I know you will receive it. See my profile.

    Best of Luck


  21. response Buhdy.  I too have delayed making a donation for too long, really like coming to this site every few days to find folks who think like I do.

    I don’t usually do Paypal but will try.  Will even share my e-mail address Buhdy – I did SS disability cases for years – and could try to give you some tips.

    Thanks for all you do to keep so many people going

  22. I find myself to be one of the fortunate in life, for what ever reason. I got my first ssi disability check only 2 months after the docs carved out my left lung, almost a record I am told by those who know. And with a small union retirement check (accent on small lol) coming in monthly, it leaves me with the ability to help out.

    An interesting coincidence (is there relly such a thing?), I had the I Ching out earlier, and the book, after being used was set aside, and as I was typing this I glanced over and saw that the pages had rolled over to this hexagram “on their own”. It brought a smile to my face, I hope it does likewise to yours.

    41. Sun / Decrease


    below  TUI  THE JOYOUS, LAKE

    This hexagram represents a decrease of the lower trigram in favor of the

    upper, because the third line, originally strong, has moved up to the top, and

    the top line, originally weak, has replaced it. What is below is decreased to

    the benefit of what is above. This is out-and-out decrease. If the foundations

    of a building are decreased in strength and the upper walls are strengthened,

    the whole structure loves its stability. Likewise, a decrease in the prosperity of

    the people in favor of the government is out-and-out decrease. And the

    entire theme of the hexagram is directed to showing how this shift of wealth

    can take place without causing the sources of wealth can take place without

    causing the sources of wealth in the nation and its lower classes to fail.


    DECREASE combined with sincerity

    Brings about supreme good fortune

    Without blame.

    One may be persevering in this.

    It furthers one to undertake something.

    How is this to be carried out?

    One may use two small bowls for the sacrifice.

    Decrease does not under all circumstances mean something bad. Increase

    and decrease come in their own time. What matters here is to understand

    the time and not to try to cover up poverty with empty pretense. If a time of

    scanty resources brings out an inner truth, one must not feel ashamed of

    simplicity. For simplicity is then the very thing needed to provide inner

    strength for further undertakings. Indeed, there need by no concern if the

    outward beauty of the civilization, even the elaboration of religious forms,

    should have to suffer because of simplicity. One must draw on the strength

    of the inner attitude to compensate for what is lacking in externals; then the

    power of the content makes up for the simplicity of form.  There is no need

    of presenting false appearances to God. Even with slender means, the

    sentiment of the heart can be expressed.

    Be well my friend

  23. love to u and this righteous community

    from my lady and myself

    u folks saved us and we will reciprocate


    • Panda on December 8, 2009 at 20:31

    Best vibes. 🙂

    I think you’re very brave.

    It’s easy to give help when we can.

    It’s not easy to ask.  

    • ANKOSS on December 9, 2009 at 03:41

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