Update: Everything Really Is Gonna Be Okay

In June 2022, I spent a night in the psych ward. I was sick and tired.


I'd been crashing with my friend in Burlington for the better part of six months and time was running out to find another place to stay. I didn't know where to go. I was broke, unemployed and struggling with my mental health.



I really wanted to return to Toronto. It's been my home for 15 years. I just couldn't begin to imagine being able to afford rent there anytime soon.


I was bracing myself to stay in Burlington instead. Rent probably wouldn't be much cheaper, but I did have some good mental health resources and support available to me after I was released from the psych ward. I also had several people helping me navigate the shelter system in Halton Region. (Yes, I was worried it would come to that.)


Things were looking bleak. My mental health was bad. I was struggling with suicidal thoughts and self-harm urges.


I doubted I'd ever be able to afford rent again. I wasn't sure I could afford to exist.


I had to push through the self-doubt and fear. I needed money, so I needed to get a job. But I was getting nowhere with the job search, partly because I needed to figure out which city I'd be living in first: Toronto or Burlington.


No, I needed to find a job first so I could figure out where I could afford to live. No, I needed to find shelter first!


This chicken-and-egg deadlock went on for weeks. It was like a question that had no answer: I needed one to have the other. I needed both a job and a place to stay immediately. Unfortunately, I wasn't making much progress finding either.


I doubted I'd ever be able to afford rent again. I wasn't sure I could afford to exist.

I felt trapped and destined for homelessness. It sounds dramatic, but death was starting to feel like the only way out.


Then Comes Two Jobs, Three Apartments, and a Futon


A few friends came through for me in Toronto and I was able to line up back-to-back places to stay. Two writer friends gave me their respective apartments while they were away, one of which came with a nice cat to keep me company. Another friend offered me her condo in North York for a few weeks. And yet another friend and her boyfriend gave me a futon to crash on for two nights.


I'd managed to do it: buy myself about a month and a half in Toronto without having to pay rent.


Amazingly, I was also able to land a couple of jobs: blogging for a mental health website a few times a month and selling art supplies at the same store I'd worked at as a student. I wasn't going to make a lot of money, but I was going to be making some money, and at jobs that suited my personality, strengths and interests, so that was definitely progress in the right direction.


The money I'll be making is a far cry from what I'd need to pay rent in Toronto. And after my last apartment-sitting gig is over at the end of August, I may be facing homelessness again. But I'm not worried.


I have faith that the Universe is on my side as I do what I can to get back on track with the life I'm meant to be living.

I went from no jobs to two, and no places to stay to four. I have faith that the future will take care of me while I'm working hard to take care of myself. I have faith that the Universe is on my side as I do what I can to get back on track with the life I'm meant to be living.


As I write these words, I'm employed and I know where I'll be living next week and the week after. Life is good.


Everything really is gonna be okay.


- M.B.