Our journey out of debt has been at least 5 years long and I no longer can’t get out of bed. Hurrah. I can answer my phone again. Small victory. I know that debt isn’t going to encompass our entire existence for the rest of our lives. Hallelujah.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t days when it’s still debilitating. There are. Only now I’ve learned some coping tools with how to handle things. My friends know. I can call and rant if I have to (which I seldom do because just knowing I can lessens the need to). Dennis and I feel a bit more lighthearted again.
In the darkest days, I wasn’t coping. I was merely surviving. I was struggling to simply get through every day. I watched the 800 collection calls arrive by the dozens. I was served with multiple lawsuits (one from my very own Mother). I was a virtual mess…spiritually, emotionally and physically.
I feel qualified to counsel you (although I’m not a licensed counselor and don’t profess to be) because I’ve walked in your shoes. I listen to Dave Ramsey talk about finances and I admire his intensity, his passion and his will to succeed. I admire the millions he’s helped with his Debt Snowball. But I seldom hear him speak of the gut-wrenching pain that failing brings.
I’m not going to tell you to take a walk or take a pill. Pills won’t help. They only mask your pain. Pain is normal. It’s an emotion we’re supposed to feel when things are upside down. Taking a walk will help a bit better, at least it clears your head and your mind and when you’re struggling with debt, you’re living mostly in the monster of your own mind.
When you feel like crumpling, there are several things you can do:
#1: Talk to a friend.
#2: Take a nap, even if it’s for 20 minutss.
#3: Sell something. Even a little bit of cash can help.
#4: Face your fear and take one of the collection calls. Tell them the truth.
#5: Know what you owe (see my post dated 10/17/2011). Open every piece of mail and put the amounts on paper. This is your first step to turning things aroud.
#6: Organize something. A kitchen drawer. Your purse. Part of getting a handle on your debt is getting rid of the chaos and that includes every area of your life.
#7: Read “Make Miracles in Forty Days” by Melody Beattie.
#8: Go help someone. There are lots of people worse off than you. Over 70% of the entire world population lives on less than $2.00 per day.
#9: Take one tiny baby step. Whatever that one tiny baby step is for you. It’s all you need for today.
When you feel like crumpling, come here. I know your pain and I know you’re going to make it out. We’ll do it together – okay?