Warning: This blog post is very personal. More personal than usual. I have been hesitant about writing about my current state, but street cred be damned and so here we are. Maybe someone else went through the same thing. Maybe someone else is going through the same thing. Maybe someone could help.
The past month has been the darkest, most painful, and depressing I have ever been in my life. I thought I have had pretty depressing phases in the past couple of years, but I was wrong. Holy crap…was I wrong.
I am the eldest of three. My dad left when I was 11, and from then on, I felt the responsibility of being head of the family looming overhead. My mom is now a senior citizen, and has been out of work for years now. I had no problems supporting the family, with the help of my siblings, yet I carry the bulk of household bills and whatever else expense must be taken care of. Up until recently, when more important matters in the household needed to be taken care of.
As a result, I had to take out loans from lending apps (yes, those online loan sharks we should all avoid by all means). I had no problems at first paying off my dues, where due dates went for a quick 7 days, an okay 14 days, to a longer payment period of a month. And then I had to take out a couple more loans to be able to cover the previous ones. BAD IDEA, I know. But when you’re in a dilemma where no family nor friend could help you out of the situation, you had to take drastic actions to get you out of that slump. Besides, it was quick money, especially when the electric bill is due for disconnection the following day and your next pay check is a week from then.
And so the due dates kept coming, and I was stuck in that situation with interest-heavy loans to pay off. Collection agents started harassing me on the 5th day I couldn’t pay, so imagine how it was by the 14th day. And by harassment, I meant the insult-my-whole-person-insult-my-appearance-make-fun-of-my-financial-crisis kind of harassment. They called every day of the week, including weekends and holidays. They called as early as 7 am, and as late as 11 pm (due to automated message-sending systems). I’ve been shouted at, threatened to be taken out of my job for non-payment, and what’s worse was that they have resorted to calling my phone contacts list just to get me to pay, due to humiliation. As if that would help my situation! If I had money, I wouldn’t have missed my due date. But then again, I had no right to complain until I have settled what I needed to settle. It was my mistake and no one was to blame but me.
Before anyone judges me for committing this financial mistake, I have not gone shopping for years. Trust me. I’ve had the same clothes for the last 2 years. Same shoes. Haven’t had any vacation time in a long time. Haven’t been to the movies in months. Every pay check went straight to household bills and paying off debts. I’m selling some of my stuff soon, and will be selling baked goodies to people at work. I do know my priorities. And I also know that what I’m going through at the moment is a result of stupid decisions made out of desperation. But it’s here and it’s killing me, and there’s nothing else to do but own up to it and find a way to get out of this blackhole.
No one knows how many times I wanted to hang myself. I had to laugh when people told me to “hang in there” because, in all honesty, I’ve been wanting to do it literally. Would it give me peace from collections harassment? Maybe. Would it solve my money woes? Not really. Would it help my family? Absolutely not. But the temptation is real, especially when I am struggling just to get through the day. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought would be, “another day alive, another day of harassment”. Frankly, the thought of finally letting go was at its strongest this morning.
Help me. Someone help me.
Despite all that, I have been slowly paying off my debts with my salary and with the help of online friends. Yes, online friends. Paypal has been my real pal in the last month, and I am overwhelmed and genuinely surprised that online friends were more helpful than the people around me. It was sad, thinking about how these people I haven’t met outside the internet, have been helping me. Whether it was monetary or emotional support, I am extremely grateful. Still haven’t gotten over the fact that there still are many kind and generous souls willing to help out there.
My anxiety has been at its extreme high at this time. Tomorrow, I go back to work. And tomorrow, the 27th, is my birthday. It would be the saddest, most painful one in my lifetime. I feel like I have no right to celebrate, because I have 3 loans overdue, 1 due today, another 1 due tomorrow. And there’s the disconnection notice for my unpaid electric bill, 3 people at work I have to pay, and some more groceries I wasn’t able to get over the weekend. How. How in the world am I going to get through tomorrow? I weep as I type this blog entry, and I am extremely overwhelmed by the thought of “celebrating” my birthday getting harassed by collection agents. Lord, help me. I am drowning.
If you’re still reading this, thank you. I hope you learned something about financial mistakes. And ignoring all dignity and pride, if anyone’s willing to help, please let me know. I am that desperate, I’m sure you could tell that by now, but I truly am. I am determined to be debt-free before this year ends. It’s just the now I’m still trying to figure out.