My Journey out of Debt

Featured customers currently enrolled in a CareOne Debt Relief Plan, share journey to become debt-free; hear how they juggle family, finances, and more.

Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore......

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Can't Fight This Feeling Anymore......"This is too much,"

"I can't take it anymore,"

"I'm done - I'm just... done"

These are the thoughts that have dominated the past couple of months.

There have been stretches of days when I've gone off the grid, cocooning myself from the world, because I felt like I had nothing positive or productive or hopeful or useful to say. It's not so much a pity party (though I've certainly allowed for some of those) so much as just TURNING OFF.

Is there anyone out there who is - let's just say it - sick to death of all of this pressure?

I devote so much time each day to thinking about money.

Moment to moment, transaction to transaction, thinking and thinking and thinking about money:

  • When I'm getting it
  • Where I'm spending it
  • How much I have on hand
  • How much - if any! - is sitting in the bank
  • Which bills need to be paid first and
  • Whether or not I have enough left to grab a pizza for dinner on the way home (and do I have a coupon?)

It is like this every single day and even though I wish it were different, it has become the new normal. It's just background noise now.

But some circumstances this summer have really tested my limits.

Highlights include:

  • A month long battle with a severe reaction to poison ivy
  • Car repairs that exceeded our "emergency reserve" about ten times over
  • A temporary water shut off ("Yes, your payment was received, but it has not posted to your account")
  • A bat that flew into my bedroom through an open window in the wee hours of the morning (a bat! I live in the city!)
  • And last but not least, rumors floating around my partner's workplace that his job is next in line for the chopping block.

I know crazy stuff happens to everybody. And you're right, things could be much, much worse. And agreed: expect the unexpected.

But for some reason, these things, this summer, at this time in my life with the resources I have on hand - I'm starting to crack.

What we are all doing here is HARD. It is not pleasant. It is not fun. It can really wear you down.

I think it's important to not be a victim and to have ownership of your situation and to overcome these monumental financial challenges with positivity, creativity and as much mirth as possible. BUT... there are those times when you feel like you're putting up streamers in a prison cell.

What happens when you outgrow your own coping mechanisms?

What do you do next when you've done everything you know how to do and it's still not good enough?

Well, I don't have the answer.

And I guess my answer is to let it be ok that there's not an answer.

Sometimes venting doesn't help. Sometimes a bath or a workout or a cupcake or a funny movie isn't enough to steer you back on course.

I think sometimes you have to allow yourself to feel whatever it is you're feeling, even if it's cloudy and pessimistic and self-indulgent and frustrated; it's that idea of "being where you are."

I've been spending my energy in the wrong place, trying to sidestep these feelings and push them down and beat them over the head with happier thoughts.

I'm learning that feelings - good, bad or otherwise - will nag you until you permit them to be felt.

Letting them in is the only way to letting them back out.

So for now, I'm going to let my guard down and be fatigued, cranky, impatient and sad.

I know it won't be this way forever, but in the meantime I have to acknowledge and honor where I am now, even if it's not the place I'd like it to be.

Related links:

The Stress of Debt

Stressed About Debt; Write it Down

Count Your Blessings

Stacey PavlickStacey Pavlick

Stacey is a participant in the CareOne Debt Management Plan (DMP); soon to complete her second year on the plan. She is a contributing writer for the My Journey out of Debt blog. Stacey works as an operations manager for a title insurance company and moonlights as a music reviewer for www.spectrumculture.com. She combines her passion for writing with her passion for getting out of debt! Read along as Stacey shares her struggles and success along the way. Compensated Blogger for CareOne Debt Relief Services. Read some of Stacey's previous posts in the blog Single and Settling In.

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  • I don't blame you.  Thinking about money is a total drag.

  • Stacey, thank you for sharing how it is you are really feeling right now.  I think you're spot on when you say that sometimes you have to let feelings be felt.  Let it out.....then move on.  Keep fighting Stacey, I just know you've got it in you!

  • Stacey - this may sound cliche' but you have no idea how much in line you and I are right now.  My husband and I often look at each other and wonder how the heck we are going to get through all this.  We too have a lot of other things coming down the pike - even so minor as both of us need new tennis shoes and we didn't budget for them. What the heck? I lost 2 crowns and can't afford to replace them so I walk around with a black tooth showing which really helps the morale. Our kids struggle and we can't help them (although I know that is not all bad becuz they need to grow up and take care of themselves - they are 21 and 23). My job is wearing me out but I can't quit because we can't afford for me to make less than I am right now. We have owned homes since we got married 17 yrs ago, we now rent. Many changes.  Some days I just don't want to play anymore. I have withdrawn where I have always been the supporter, I have stopped talking where I always chatted. I too need to do what you say - I need to be okay with feeling the way I am feeling. I KNOW it is going to be great when we get to the end of this long road and we will be able to live on what we make because we will have been doing it for 5 years. Advise I would give to anyone thinking about making a change in your life, moving away from everything you have known for a long long time, make sure your finances are in order. Don't take the debt with you because you don't know if you will be able to pay it when you get to where you are headed. Think it through and then think it through another 10 times.   I am relieved and excited each time I get a notice from Persels that another creditor has settled and we are making payments to fulfill at least part of our obligation to them. It makes me feel like at least I have done something to settle what I owed.   It is just hard because it takes time.  Thanks Stacey, perfect timing for me to log on and read your post.    Hang in there and I shall do the same!

  • My life is falling apart....has been on this down ward spiral for several years..now..Retirement was in 'our' future...plans had been made...disaster took over...divorce...ugly, hurtful, divorce.....After not working for over 12 years, I had to get back into the job market.  I did it all...I consulted with the local job corp...talked to the local college - took tests, evaluations, made applications, made a Plan, got a part time job though a senior employment agency,.....moved.....had to do many of these same things all over again in an earnest effort to regain a life.....two dependents counting on me to make the 'right' decisions.....advise from my Bishop....suggestions from my three dear friends...

    Begin a part time job @min wage....start college....juggling act...between work, school, kids and trying to find better full time employment that would let me attend my classes.    STRESS.....unfinished divorce 'stuff' that a Good attorney should have resolved at the time of the divorce.....

    I got behind.....life had it's needs.....car insurance and car tags.....repairs.....

    expenses with kids.

    Now, job has ended...seeking new employment....taking this quarter off school to try and pull my life back together....

    house payments behind..forclosure...sold...I have short time to reclaim ownership.....

    I do not qualify for a regular mortage.

    I need about 63,000 to reclaim my ownership....I have hired an accountant to help me get my life together financially.

    I need to keep this house..... I need a resource for getting financing for this house....

    .......I feel lost.

    Bad Divorce.....and he puts the screws to me again.....

    My 5 yr plan........can't work without a place to live...so, .....

    I wish you well.....

    Don't believe what anyone tells you unless you get it in writing.

    ALWAYS get it in writing.

    Don't end up like me, at retirement age.....with everything blowing up in your face.

  • I'm fed up because they said they were going to call me they did but before i got there.  They never called me back.  I want to start this already to get out of debt.  You know you trie to do something good and it seems like you get the run around.  I wish I never had a credit card.  I was never in debt till I got them. What kills me is the one card i've had for a long time and they wouldn't even help me.  It's crazy. I have always been good with my money.

  • Hi Stacey, you are absolutely correct.  You have to be able to feel the feelings to get through them or you find yourself stuck.  I have also had a few things come up that may end up where I will need to change my budget.  I am a bit frustrated as I planned on being debt free with my July 2012 payment.  That may not happen now.  I am just blessed in the fact that I have been able to pay off a few creditors and have been able to apply quite a bit extra on my debt. I am lucky enough that I have the room financially to be able to continue to live within my means, it just means backing down on my debt.  I don't know where I would be if I didn't have that breathing room.  I truly hope things start getting easier for you.  This journey out of debt is truly difficult.  I believe in my heart that you will make it!  Good luck to you!!

  • Hi folks - As much as I hate to hear that anyone's feeling the way I've been feeling... it always does help to see that you're not alone. It's funny, I look at other people who blog and post and comment and I think, "Oh, they'll totally be fine!" -- but I have a hard time sometimes thinking that way about myself. All I can say is to just keep your head down and eyes forward. It's OK to feel terrible, just don't lose yourself in all of this -- because really, as bad as it gets, don't let it beat you. WE WILL ALL GET THROUGH THIS!!!

  • All of those people judging me have pretty subjective definitions of what being "in debt" is, and so assume that their situations are not the same as mine.

  • Thanks for sharing your feelings. I'm in the same boat and there are times where all my husband and I can do is sit and cry because it's just so overwhelming to be stuggling so much to get buy. You work so hard just to see the money go straight out again in bills. You see people all around you buying things for themselves and you want to be one of those people that can just spend money without worrying about it too. You can't afford a holiday to get away from all the stress so it's there every moment of every day and it's so hard. You keep telling yourself that things are going to get better but when? All I have is hope and the love and strength of my husband to keep me going.

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