My Appendage – Part 4

If you have been following along, You know I previously wrote about my ever increasing debt and what it is doing to me. I continue on this journey, writing about my personal life to help myself and perhaps help others so they don’t feel trapped and all alone. Sometimes, when the stress is mounting, your island grows smaller and smaller and smaller…

To read the other parts first, click the following links. My Appendage and My Appendage Part 2 and My Appendage Part 3

Cartoon image of girl standing with an open wallet without money.
How can you pay the bills when the money is gone?

You may be wondering why I keep calling it “my appendage”? I call it this to let you know its a terrible growth and it never leaves, but maybe one day, I can get it cut off. Maybe.

The letters come in – letters from collection agencies demanding payment. Paying them back isn’t a priority. My only real priority is keeping my nose at the brim of this churning ocean so I can breath. But I am drowning and each gulp of water is slow, painful, and full of fear.

There are so many things I need to do, but my debt cripples my mental health. I cry, I stress eat, and my depression grows. It lurks with a seething smile waiting for me to end it so it can recharge – another log on the fire.

This is where my debt has me. I get paid scraps, at the moment, and I’m not sure I’ll survive.

Sounds pretty dramatic, doesn’t it. It probably does if you’re the optimistic type. If you thrive on what might be – the beauty of it all. I used to be that way. I worked a job filled with psych patients, drug addicts, and homeless people, and after each group session, I would make some antidote about how it would all be better. It had to get better. A lie I would tell myself so I didn’t end up in their seat listening to some yahoo talk about how everything would get better.

Sad – almost. Ironic – really. I preached, but I never learned. I certainly look like I have it all together. I don’t. I am falling apart and this appendage grows everyday.

But here comes my optimistic side, peeping its head out of its coffin. “You know”, it says cheerfully. “You paid off one bill already. You can just choose another, out of your growing pile, and pay that one too”. It looks at me with eager eyes, hopeful, full of joy, waiting for an equally positive response.

I throw a book at the lid and it slams shut. “Get back in there!” I scream – crying with anger because it’s true and instead of fighting, it is easier to give up.

It is true. I did finally get caught up on one of my many credit cards. Every week, for months, I gave them a set amount. Now, the card, (my favorite), sits at a nice balance, and instead of weekly payments, I can pay monthly. You might be questioning why I do not continue my weekly payments, and just pay off the entire balance? Well, I have a hundred (not an exaggeration, really) of other mounting bills I can pay weekly on, and when I only have a set amount of money coming in, I really must be picky.

Today, the 2nd of July, I chose another bill, one I could mange, of the same price each month, and in a few months time, it will be paid. I will continue until it is done. Optimism is smiling in its coffin right now. I put her there in hopes of burying her cheerful ass, but I’m holding off for now.

You know those stupid Pinterest goals about saving money? I loath them and admire them all at once, which is weird. I love to think about how I can save a certain amount of money out of each check. Then, I become depressed at the idea. This last check was shit. I couldn’t pay my Jeep payment in full, and I had to split my phone payment up once again just so I could have gas money. But it’s okay, put in 100$ for a rainy day. I’m sorry, but this cloud never goes away, and the flood waters will never recede.

But I do need to get organized about who I owe and how much. I do need to set aside at least 20$ a check to some account I can’t touch. Because you really never know when a real disaster may strike. And while this debt is my own disaster, a real emergency isn’t just something I hear about from other people on the news.

A plan is in order. One that must never break, but perhaps a little flexible, just in case.

I write this to give perspective on what debt can do to a person. If you have money, you won’t understand. Especially if you’ve always had money. If you’re in debt, barely scraping by, and eat noodles for weeks on end – you get it. This is for you. I lay open my wounds so you can feel how real they are and know that maybe you can break free of the constant struggle.

I really don’t know if I can. I just know that I have to try. So as I look through the pile of bills labeled “Gone to Collections”, I choose what I can pay or perhaps I’ll just burn it and help my depression breath life into this fire – but that would be too easy, wouldn’t it?

I hope you keep following along. Thank you for reading.

Let it out... we are all listening.

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