As we began turning our Titantic of debt around, there were still moments (and still are) that paralyzed me. We’d have $24.00 in the bank account before Dennis’ payday and that felt like a big win to me. Then, I’d get a notice from the bank that a check to one of my vendors had been returned for $150.00 and I’d go into a tailspin.
I made everything, every step about me.
There were times when debt had become “our story,” “our legacy.” There wasn’t a conversation with my friends when debt wasn’t discussed in some way, shape or form. I hated being defined by my failure, especially when we were trying so hard to make good on all our debts.
We hadn’t walked away in bankruptcy.
We weren’t one of those who denied what had happened.
We didn’t blame it on the market, or on anybody else.
We took responsibility for our actions.
It still hurt. It was still stifling. It made me question everything about myself and the woman I was. How could I have made these stupid decisions? How could I have lost so much?
When would life ever get good again? Would we ever feel carefree? Would the debt ever really equal zero?
The answer to “will life ever get good again” is that life is good again. It never stopped being good. We have 3 incredible children. We have dear friends. Dennis’ parents are young at heart. We live in a beautiful apartment and drive fairly nice (but not new, 175,000 miles+) cars. Both our daughter’s are married to men they love.
We have a 2-year old grandson who lights up every room he steps into. I’ve created more of my writing and art in the past 5 years than I did in the past 45 put together. I’m using this blog to help people get out of their own debt.
We serve a great and living God. We eat well and sleep well. We just celebrated 30 years of marriage, and we’re still deeply in love.
Life never stopped being good. Our perception of life was what had changed. Lately, however, I’ve been noticing small things. Things that tell me life is just going to keep getting better and better. The sun looks brighter. The wind feels crisper. The vegetable soup that I cooked yesterday tasted amazing. Fewer and fewer bills are showing up in the mailbox. I’m organized like I’ve never been in 50 years.
As the debt goes down, my spirits go up. I know I shouldn’t have tied my normally good attitude and my self-worth to the debt, but I did. There were times when the debt felt like it was strangling the life out of both of us.
I contemplated buying a pack of gum yesterday. It had 60 pieces and cost $2.88. Should I? (Why is this big…because before debt I would’ve bought it without thinking. Now, I don’t buy anything without thinking.)
If you’re fighting your own debt monster, know that it will get good again. I promise. Stay in the fight…look for the good…I’ll stay with you.