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Stop Surviving and LIVE!

How I Changed My Poverty Mindset to Control My Future





Miko Marsh





Copyright © 2017 Miko Marsh.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or in any means – by electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without prior written permission.



Table of Contents

Enough is Enough!

Realization #1: Merely “Surviving” Is Not Living

Realization #2: Action vs. Reaction – State of Living

Realization #3: Scaling Down to Live Upscale Is a Step Forward

Realization #4: Being “Okay” Is Not Okay for the Long Term

Realization #5: Accepting Help Is Not a Sign of Weakness

Realization #6: It’s Time to Stop “Just Getting By”

Realization #7: I Love Myself…And Every Pound That’s Me!

Realization #8: Now Is the Time to Enjoy Life!

Realization #9: Tomorrow Is Coming – Build Your Legacy

About the Author

Other books by this author



Enough is Enough!

I’m not sure what was my breaking point, my “moment of enlightenment,” my “aha” moment, or whatever phrase is most appropriate. All I know is that it was the pivot point for me. I knew it was time to change what I was doing, or I would be buried under my struggles. I had been living on autopilot for almost 10 years. If I’m really honest, I had been living in a fog for longer than that with moments of clarity. That may seem weird, but I think many women will completely understand.

Once upon a time, I had no responsibilities except to take care of myself. Then, I got married, had children (step and biological), and began to be identified by who they were and how they were doing. Add to that my husband’s career, a mother-in-law who lived in darkness, and people who would willingly destroy a family for their own short-term gain, and you have a dangerous combination. I won’t shock you with details. Just imagine what it’s like living out mystery dinner theater. People aren’t being murdered, but they’re still disappearing or having things happen that aren’t explained, and one person is responsible for the majority of the chaos.

But I digress.

I became consumed to the degree that everything I did was for everyone but myself. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved being there for my family, but it was rare that I remembered to do things I liked. It seemed that every time I got ready to do something for “me,” a major event would hit. The last being a divorce that wiped me out financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. Spiritually, I became a warrior. That’s what kept me through the turmoil of dealing with slander, libel, theft, infidelity, and more. Truthfully, it also kept me from acting on impulse and potentially landing myself in jail. To throw another weight on top of my already mounting situation, I had been abandoned to care for three children – one who would begin treatment under five medical specialists within a couple of years. This undiagnosed medical issue would flare up and sap my strength; things were less than ideal but tolerable.

This very short snippet of the soap opera that was my life is not to get sympathy. It’s here to give you an idea of where I was mentally and to let you know that you aren’t alone in your challenges.

As stated earlier, I’m not sure how it started. I do know that one particular week, I asked myself, “Why am I okay to just ‘survive’?” Literally, I had gotten to the point where I made plans around having just enough to pay rent, cover the minimum debt payments I had incurred while being dragged through court, and to get food. I had nothing extra – ever. My children had heard, “I can’t afford it” so many times that it had become part of our regular conversations. Thankfully, my children aren’t “spoiled” and don’t throw temper tantrums. They tend to be appreciative of everything. However, I couldn’t be sure if this was more because I had taught them to be thankful or because they had gone so long without options and chances to have more. They didn’t know that we lived in poverty because they hadn’t seen me (or couldn’t remember) “not” in poverty. Mommy could never afford extras.

That had to change. But how?

This works differently for everyone. My situation made it next to impossible to get a late job because I couldn’t leave my children alone for long periods of time or late nights because it raised their anxiety.

I needed a major thought overhaul. This wasn’t going to be an overnight journey. I had spent years basically trying not to die. Most people look at it as just trying to stay alive. That sounds more positive, right? Here’s what I thought, “If I’m just trying to stay alive, I really am just trying not to die.” I had an outlook on life that basically said, “We’re just going to hang on until the Lord comes for us. We’ll keep strong spiritually but won’t expect anything else.”

The irony is that I considered people like this depressing! Somehow, I figured that the fact that I could find the bright side of things in virtually any situation and the fact that I could be genuinely happy for other people’s successes meant that I was doing okay. I was okay. “Okay.” But I wasn’t okay. I was depressed. I had been depressed so long living as merely a survivor, I didn’t even know I was depressed. I had classic symptoms – crying to the point I had no more tears, denial, sleep with no rest, didn’t want to do anything, extreme weight changes (±30 pounds of normal weight), etc. To give you a visual, I lived like the father on “Croods.” While I didn’t act like everything would kill us (well, maybe a little), I did act like money would always be the reason we couldn’t do anything.


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