Re-starting again

I began learning about real-estate investing in 2007. Did my first short-sale in 2008 and netted $21,000 in 22 days. Bought two rentals in another state in 2009 on a credit card that I eventually defaulted on, because of divorce in middle of 2009. I’ve been clearing out all the post-divorce crud over the past few years.
The ex-wife and I short-saled the 2nd marital home with a $60,000 deficiency still lingering around. We foreclosed on an investment SFM. I got the 1st martial home in the divorce and rent out two of the rooms while I live in the other room. I still have the 2 out of state rentals that are holding their own at break even.
I lost my job in March of this year 2013, and here I am today.
I probably can hold out till the middle of summer without having to get another job. I’ve heard about, I’ve studied about, I’ve learned about real-estate investing all of these years, with an interest in short-sales and self-storage. If I live real lean, I can get by on $1000 a month. To live comfortably, I would prefer $2000 / month.
At this point in time, I can obviously do this as a full-time job. How possible and/or likely is it to get things going in a few months to cover my living expenses? Or, do I need to get another job and look into real-estate investing as side work until it can replace my job?

Living off rental income and flipping real estate on the side is a viable job. But, from what you wrote about your financial troubles over the past few years, I believe it will be very difficult for you to qualify for any bank financing at this point. It takes money to make money. If you can swing reasonable bank financing, then now is the time to invest in hold properties. If not, stay away from the “creative” financing until your credit is back on track and then go for it.