Dude, study up. I went the same path 15 years ago, right when the Dot Com crash happened. I studied my ass off, got a job doing the monkey thing, found cram schools to teach at, and as soon as I finished off my CCNP I've been employed ever since. I've got MCSEs in NT4, 2000, 2003, and Exchange, CCNA, CCNP R/S, CCNA security, working on CCIE written now (not a cheap test to study for, I'd have gotten it already, but spent years trying not to pay for study materials- the one month I've spent since ponying up has seen me get further than the past 5 years combined), and a few other certs.
The trick is to NOT brain dump. Use the exams as a self test. Especially the Cisco stuff. The CCNA test bank is like 1000 questions. CCNP isn't much fewer. It's far easier (IMO) to know the stuff than to cram the questions (although I've met plenty of offshore people who have crammed it all in, and are now 100% useless)
Your other option is to go down the Project Management side of things. I know a guy who did the monkey thing for 15 years, was facing layoffs and got his PMP. He is now the star Project Manager in the company who gets all the failing projects because he is the one guy who can turn them around. He does say he faces a ceiling not having a 4 year degree. But he is also facing ageism for being 55+ (He has had a very interesting and colorful life)
In other words, get off your butt, and show some motivation. If not, you'll end up like other people I've known that got laid off and could never find another job to save their lives. If you do, you'll NOT be lowly paid.