The one thing I try to do as a blogger is stay as much of an open book as I feel comfortable. I also understand that no one likes to read a bunch of negativity so I try not to come to this place and lay it all out there each day. I come here today to explain my situation and how finally getting the courage to face my problems has changed my life.
First, I need to explain the situation. After my husband and I split up, we went from a two income household to one. The house we lived in was mine and I had purchased that house three years prior to me getting married. At that time I didn't have Jack nor did I have a pile of medical bills from the problematic birth of Jack and the surgeries I had to endure due to the botched c-section. Basically, the mortage wasn't an issue for me to pay up until my husband moved out. I tried for two months to keep up with the mounting bills, but with no financial help, I finally had to move out and move in with my parents. For a few months I paid the mortgage and just didn't have to pay any utilities. Then I began getting my wages garnished for medical bills and student loans. Those two garnishments are $800 a month. I also pay $425 a month for Jack and I's health insurance. Daycare costs $400 a month and my car payment is $328. Each month, after bills and garnishments, I would only have around $300 to pay for gas, diapers, food, and other misc items. Each month I was having to borrow a little money from my parents just to make it.
When you are 33 with a toddler, living back with your parents, and broke it can be difficult to find the positive side of things. Not to mention I was going through a divorce. Life pretty much sucked. My phone rang all the time. It wasn't friends calling to see how I was doing, but random numbers that I knew belonged to companies wanting their money. I didn't blame them but I also couldn't face them. I ignored those calls and would let my voicemail fill up. I hated myself for it and I felt a lot of shame. I'm the kind of person who hates owing people money so this was extra hard on me. I didn't know how to get out of this situation because the bills weren't going away and no more money was coming in. During the school year I would make myself feel better by saying "this summer I am going to take care of everything". It made me feel good in the moment but I knew when summer came I still wouldn't know how to face it.
I hit rock bottom. Depression was taking over. It was the middle of my summer break and all I could think about was my situation and how dire it all felt. I cried too much. Honestly, I had no idea how to fix it all. I didn't even know what all needed fixing.
One night after everyone had went to bed I gave myself a pep talk, picked up pen and paper and decided I would just start writing down every single thing that came to my mind that was causing me pain. I wouldn't allow myself to be vague and write debt, I made myself write down every company that I could think of that I owed money. I wrote down ways that I could possibly get financial assistance. My divorce was/is still at a standstill due to us not being able to reach a custody agreement so I added ways to reach an agreement. I wrote and wrote and wrote. It hurt. Seeing all of my pain right there in front of me was hard to face. It also felt good to have finally done something, even if it was just writing stuff done.
Since I was feeling like I was kind of on a roll I went ahead and opened my computer and started writing down phone numbers of companies I needed to contact to see how much I owed. I also began researching the possability of getting food stamps or daycare vouchers. I even filled out an online application for food stamps and printed an application for daycare vouchers. Before I went to bed that night I made myself a promise that I would answer all the companies that were calling me. I had to face them.
A week has passed since that night and I feel much more in control of my life. It is a pleasing feeling. I've figured out a way to get $700 of my monthly check back by November. I worked out an arrangement to stop the garnishment of my student loan no later than November and my car will be paid off by November. Now once the student loan garnishment is stopped I already have another medical bill waiting to garnish my check but I've spoken with them and I hope I'm able to work out an arrangement with them before that happens. I haven't gotten food stamps or daycare vouchers yet but I'm still in the process. I've also spoken with my ex and as of now we have reached an agreement and are now waiting for a final hearing date.
I'm nowhere near the light at the end of the tunnel BUT I can actually see the light. If you are reading this post and you are running away from problems I'm not going to tell you to buck up and just face them because it will make things easier, that is not my message. My message is that you have to face your problems when you are ready. When you do get ready, ride the thrill of accomplishment as long as you can to motivate yourself to get even more done. When you hit a bump, and you will, then stop for a few days and pick it back up with a small step until you gain momentum.
Facing your problems takes a lot of courage so don't forget to give yourself grace.