I understand. Been that way for quite some time.I'm doing fine now. The national guard was huge assistance in regaining my footing and helped put me in a position to be where I am today.
I just can't help but think back to the litany of metrics I've seen regarding worker productivity v. wages over the last 40 or so years. I'm really skeptical of anything that says THE ECONOMY IS GREAT because the lived experience by the numbers seems to indicate that half or more of this country is experiencing a multi-decade boa constrictor effect on their livelihood.
I went through a somewhat similar situation as you 16 years ago. I ended up going to school as well, which improved my situation beyond my expectations at the time. It took a long time for me but it was worth it. Hang in there.