My Appendage


How being broke isn’t funny anymore.

I Laughed it Away, Just Like Everything Else.

As I sat there watching Hell’s Kitchen, I saw a man fight back tears because he was in debt 250 thousand dollars. Gordan asked what he was going to do and he said fight for my dreams or something to that effect.

The statement hit me. It hit me hard. Myself, I have over 100 grand of debt. In the grand scheme, it isn’t far away from 250. At the rate I’m going, I might get there soon. And when I look at the number, it might as well be a million dollars.

The number defeats me.

I think my debt is laughing at me.

I’m helpless. I think of my debt every day, all day long. I think of it while I pull out another credit card to pay for something I probably don’t need.

I stare at my credit score every time I open my credit app. The numbers blare at me, laughing, mocking my existence. They offer ways to help my credit — another credit card. When I feel impulsive, I comply.

I open Pintrest and find ways to manage my debt. I save the images in neat little boards so I can look at them later. I tell myself I am going to change, start saving, start living a better me, a better life, and I swear it to myself. Weeks later, I have nothing, and yet I still pin away. It’s like some sick joke that never gets to the punch line. Or maybe I am the punch line?

When can I get myself to stop?

Let me justify myself.

I’m in a state of misery. So I try to make plans, set goals, and give myself time to gather extra money.

I also try to soothe my emotions by telling myself to buy another book, or by saying it’s okay to get something for yourself, you deserve it. I am my own best person when it comes to justification. I’ll justify all day long.

Then it hits me. This feeling of guilt. I can’t take it back though, that would be ridiculous and shameful. I have too much pride for something as petty as $20.

As you can see, my justification knows no bounds.

I’m a hustler, baby.

I write to make a few dollars, I hustle. I sell clothes. I freelance for pennies. I run an online business. I am constantly thinking of ways to make more money. This brain doesn’t stop. I hustle in my sleep. I try to be as thrifty as I can. I download apps to make money while I shop. I’m a full-time money maker, except I don’t have any money.

I stop driving as much. I don’t eat as much. I try to save. 
 I get nowhere.

I’m digging myself out of a sandpit filling with water.

Maybe I can manifest some money.

Sometimes, I stare at my credit cards and cry, but months later there’s a new one crammed up front, protruding from my wallet, and somehow I think, why did I do this? But it tells me softly, “Remember, you asked me to be here. I’m here to help”.

The letters, the calls, the emails…
 I often scream for silence, but my debt is much louder.

I try to scream at the universe and tell it my struggles in hopes I’ll just stumble on a pile of money somehow. I don’t think it is listening.

This is straining.

I feel done.

The man in the show was motivated. He knew he was about to lose everything, so he fought. He had some help, which Gordan reminded him it was okay to ask.

I only ask credit cards to pay some bill’s my normal paycheck can’t.

I sometimes ask my mom to pay for my vehicle payment. I am always very reluctant to do so. The thought sets me back mentally. It’s just another shovel of sand while the water pours in.

And I do nothing.

I tell myself I do things. Sure, I hustle, but not enough. I could fight harder, but I don’t. I’m defeated. I have the will, but the energy is sucked from my very breath.

I feel lost, angry, sad, hopeless, filled with anxiety, and defeated. What upsets me the most is how I can’t seem to stop and how my rock bottom might be thousands of feet away — maybe 250 thousand.

Just one more and then I swear I’ll stop.

My debt is like a drug, starving me of life, but I can’t stop accumulating it.

Just let me have one more credit card. I swear I’ll only use it for gas — nothing else. It won’t affect my other bills. I swear. I’ll make it work this time. But here I am shaking while I press apply. When it comes, I’m better. When it’s maxed out, I’m shaking again.

I’m at a standstill. I don’t know what to do. I’m on the edge and the bottom looks pretty tempting, especially if there’s money down there or another credit card.

Hello, my name is Cindi, and I have a problem.

This is my story. I hope you follow along as I try to free myself from debt one dollar at a time.

This was recently published on Medium. https://medium.com/@lilianvale/my-appendage-c1118b1ea29

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