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    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 30th Jul 15, 1:30 PM
    • 585Posts
    • 2,223Thanks
    Battling Debt and Mental Illness — and (hopefully) Winning!
    • #1
    • 30th Jul 15, 1:30 PM
    Battling Debt and Mental Illness — and (hopefully) Winning! 30th Jul 15 at 1:30 PM
    Hi everyone

    I've been lurking on the Debt-Free Wannabe forums for ages and thought it was high time I joined in. I'm also hoping that having my own diary will motivate me to keep going — I've been reading some of the other diaries on here and feel inspired.

    About me: I'm 31, single, unemployed and living with my parents. Ain't life great? After many years of mental illness, I can finally see a chink of light at the end of the tunnel. I have depression and borderline personality disorder as well, but my anxiety is my biggest obstacle at the moment.

    I got into debt partly to fulfil a lifelong dream and get a BA and an MA. I lived at home while I was studying, but travel expenses and book buying take their toll. As did my chocolate bar habit and learning to drive... I was also prone to compulsive spending (still am, but less so since I have more of a handle on my mental health issues) and made many ridiculous decisions.

    The upshot is that I ended up owing several thousand pounds to my parents, over £6,000 on my credit card and a £2000 overdraft. I gradually reduced my debt a little, then was helped by a £2000 inheritance when my grandmother died. However, I was also struggling to keep a car on the road and my beloved dog died a couple of weeks before my grandmother, which was a horrible shock and led to me buying a new dog to give me a reason to live. I know that sounds melodramatic, but it's true. My old dog kept me hanging on during the dark times and I couldn't face life not only without her, but without any pet of my own.

    Anyhoo, I was struggling to pay £60 a month interest on my credit card and make overpayments every month. I slipped into putting more unnecessary purchases on the credit card because I thought "what difference will it make?" I had a LBM at the end of June 2015 and realised I needed to do something drastic.

    Since I couldn't get a loan to pay off my credit card, let alone what I owed my parents, I hatched a plan for my parents to take out an unsecured loan for £13,000, covering the £7000 I owed them and my credit card balance. I did the maths and realised it would take me 5 years just to pay off my credit card, without paying a penny back to my parents, if I continued as I was. If my parents took out a loan on my behalf, I could clear the whole debt in 6 years. My parents agreed that taking out a loan was the sensible option — especially as it would relieve them of being £7000 out of pocket. My credit card balance is Nil and, strangely, I'm not even tempted to spend on it.
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    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 30th Sep 16, 11:47 AM
    • 585 Posts
    • 2,223 Thanks
    Agh. Discovered that I can't withdraw money from my EF without closing my account. I'm now leaning towards keeping it in there, as it does provide me with a sense of security. It will also force me to find creative ways to pay down the CC... Having said that, the interest on the CC isn't enormous (£4 last month) and I can meet/exceed minimum payments pretty easily, so I think maybe it's best to sit back for a few months as I focus in my wellbeing (and novel rewriting), then reassess.

    Went to jive last night — with bff! She also says she can come to a jive freestyle a week tomorrow, so that should be fun. And we're going to see a folk/rock duo perform in December (tickets are £15, so doable — esp as it will mean missing jive) with other bff, so that's something a little different for me — never been to a concert before, though thankfully this one is small and not very intimidating.

    Got kettlercise tonight and writing group tomorrow, so will probably feel exhausted by tomorrow night. Also want to try running on the treadmill at the weekend, since my PF doesn't seem to get worse with exercise (or better without it). I miss running — I did it regularly for a year before I had to quit 2 years ago and it helped my mood and gave me a great sense of accomplishment. I would like to get back to it, especially if it helps with losing the weight. Lost another pound as of today, which means I have lost a stone and a half getting there, slowly but surely....
    Rainy day fund — 3.16/500 Emergency fund target — 500/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 2881/15,487 = 18.6% Fun fund: £0.05 Credit card balance — £830
    • misstara
    • By misstara 30th Sep 16, 4:46 PM
    • 1,835 Posts
    • 11,998 Thanks
    A stone and a half weight loss is amazing, well done
    Debt at LBM Jan 2014 £10458.09 Now £637.64 (93.9% paid)
    New flat debt Sept 2016 £520.39 Now £475.65 (8.6% paid)
    Mini Targets
    Gym target - 3/12. Groceries target £118.02/£150. NSD target 11/15.
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 3rd Oct 16, 4:54 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 2,223 Thanks
    Thanks, Tara just want more to come off and quicker!

    Ordered £30 Paypal from GTM on Friday, so that will help pay for my new social life

    Ran on treadmill for 11 minutes straight yesterday, so am trying a proper session tomorrow — probably 3/4 7 minute runs with 2 minutes walking inbetween. Foot doesn't feel any worse for it; it seems to hurt the same whether I exercise or not, though thankfully nowhere near as much as it used to. Losing weight and getting stronger should help the injury improve, too.

    Walked 2.5 miles today and yesterday. Did no exercise whatsoever on Saturday — as predicted, writing group left me exhausted. The driving involved doesn't help, but being around people for 3 hours tires me out — that's anxiety for you! I should feel more at ease when I have been to several meetings, so maybe by February.

    Been inspired to set the goal of hitting 200lb by the end of this year, which means stepping up my exercise (hence the running) and paying far more attention to my diet. Think it would be a great way to kickstart 2017, especially as I need to drop as much weight as I can before my Machu Picchu trek. It will also give me more motivation to keep going as winter sets in...
    Rainy day fund — 3.16/500 Emergency fund target — 500/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 2881/15,487 = 18.6% Fun fund: £0.05 Credit card balance — £830
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 7th Oct 16, 2:17 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 2,223 Thanks
    Lost 3lb, so now 239.5lb Been walking a lot this week and going to gym classes, but my feet hurt a bit more so I haven't been back on the treadmill — will probably go on it on Sunday. Did a yoga dvd yesterday, for the first time in ages. Would like to do yoga dvds regularly, as it's easier to note my progress than just doing yoga haphazardly on my own.

    Feeling very let down and abandoned atm. Bff and I are supposed to meet for jive at 7:45pm; last night, she texted me at 7:40pm to say she was running late and would see me in there. I kept an eye out during the lesson, but she didn't turn up. In te break, I found a text she sent at 8:10pm (after the lesson started) saying she couldn't be bothered to come. I probably would have gone alone if I knew in advance, but having no forewarning exacerbates my anxiety and makes it more difficult to deal with — especially since this is a tricky time for me, coming off antidepressants and trying to gauge whether my reactions are "normal" or symptoms of mental illness (and whether these symptoms are getting worse or not).

    It feels like I'm putting in a lot of effort and bff can't be bothered. It makes me feel worthless. I have stuck to our commitment, even when I felt under the weather or my anxiety was worse, whereas she seems to be looking for excuses not to go. It feels like she doesn't enjoy spending time with me anymore — especially as the other day, she said the best thing about jive was getting to see me more often. I have been trying to cut her some slack, because I know there have been times in the past where I have let down my friends — but I was coping with severe mental illness. I think what hurts the most is that she knows how shaky I have been feeling lately, yet she keeps reneging on her promises. It's inconsiderate and disrespectful.

    So I'm not feeling great. Bff said she is going to a jive freestyle with me tomorrow night, but I'm not letting myself get excited because there is a high chance she will cancel and I will be disappointed. That sucks, too — not feeling able to look forward ro something because I am expecting to be let down. I'm trying to focus on exercise and my novel editing course, but it's difficult when my mood and confidence have taken a hit.
    Rainy day fund — 3.16/500 Emergency fund target — 500/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 2881/15,487 = 18.6% Fun fund: £0.05 Credit card balance — £830
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 7th Oct 16, 9:15 PM
    • 842 Posts
    • 3,447 Thanks
    Sorry you are dealing with this but you have a very even, mature approach. Well done for continuing the exercise in difficult circumstances. You are reaping the rewards so keep going.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=23,322/SEPTEMBER 2016=16,304 or 31% PAID
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 12th Oct 16, 12:26 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 2,223 Thanks
    Thanks, doingit

    Soooo... I texted my friend on Friday night, to check she was still up for the freestyle, and she said she was. I let myself feel a little excited on Saturday afternoon, then got ready and was really looking forward to it. Only less than an hour before, my friend texts to say she's ill and can't make it. I went into meltdown and still haven't recovered — I tried explaining why it hurts me so much more to cancel at short notice than to let me know as soon as she feels ill, even if she might feel better later, but I don't think she gets it.

    To make it worse, I had been invited to a family event which my parents had left home for 90 minutes before. If I had known earlier, I could have changed my plans and wouldn't have felt quite so disappointed. Thankfully, my dad made an hour round trip to pick me up so I could go to the remainder of the family event. Otherwise I would have stayed at home crying and drinking, probably self-harming and — I know this sounds melodramatic, but it's true — was liable to try to kill myself again. As it was, I held myself together all evening and then burst into tears on the way home and spent most of Sunday crying and hating my life.

    Because being let down by my friend is not the only problem: it reminded me of everything else which I wish was different in my life. That's how it works with BPD. I beat myself up for not being confident enough to go to the freestyle on my own, for not having more friends so there might have been someone else who could step in, for letting myself be hopeful when I know it only leads to more disappointment. It reminds me of how lonely I am and how I can't expect anyone to be interested in me when even my best friend can't be bothered to spend time with me. It reminds me of how anxiety and depression get in my way and stop me leading a better life.

    Anyhoo, I'm currently fragile but functioning. Sticking to my exercise — I made it on the treadmill again yesterday! — but eating too much and too unhealthily. Haven't done any writing either, despite being in the second week of my novel editing course. Finding it really hard to get motivated.

    Money news:
    • Got £30 from GTM on Friday (which was supposed to pay for Saturday night...)
    • Paid £100 to my mum today

    One of the paradoxes of my mental health improving is that the setbacks hurt more. I suppose it must be because I don't expect them so much, since I am more accustomed to good things happening. Although I feel awful right now, I am still doing things which I couldn't do at the beginning of this year, like taking the dog out on my own and going to gym classes. I could just really use a boost or two to help me continue managing my mental health better.
    Rainy day fund — 3.16/500 Emergency fund target — 500/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 2881/15,487 = 18.6% Fun fund: £0.05 Credit card balance — £830
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 12th Oct 16, 7:26 PM
    • 842 Posts
    • 3,447 Thanks
    I just wanted to send you a hug and let you know i think you are terrific x
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=23,322/SEPTEMBER 2016=16,304 or 31% PAID
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 12th Oct 16, 7:32 PM
    • 2,894 Posts
    • 19,539 Thanks
    I agree with dia - you are fantastic. And as most fantastic people do, you're not giving yourself enough credit for the bazillions of good things that you're doing and how much progress you've made. You accept that the way you're feeling is part of your disorder, and you know that you'll get through it. You made it to the family event, and are still exercising as well.
    Be kind to yourself - you're doing brilliantly.
    NST Oct #1 NSD 9/14 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447 Wombling '16 #28 (£634.37) 3-6 month EF #10£1 a day for Christmas 2016 #32
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 12th Oct 16, 7:34 PM
    • 842 Posts
    • 3,447 Thanks
    Crazy cat lady I second your sentiments. You expressed that much better than me
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=23,322/SEPTEMBER 2016=16,304 or 31% PAID
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Oct 16, 8:53 PM
    • 746 Posts
    • 3,624 Thanks
    Florence J
    I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, and I don't know the full extent of why your friend has behaved the way they have, but what I can say is I used to be friends with a girl as a teenager who would repeatedly let me down. It all started that she would cancel our plans the day before. Then she would cancel on the day but at least a good few hours before. Finally it was only after I would text her asking where she was as we had made plans for an hour ago that I would get a poor excuse as to why she couldn't come out. In addition to this she would also tell the most outlandish lies, and I believed her. She used to say truly over the top things, and call me naive but i believed her because I couldn't fathom that my best friend would deliberately lie to me. She didn't just do this to me she did it to all our friends, until eventually I was the only friend she had left. She so badly treated one of our friends that he wouldn't even be in the same room as her at a party. He once slept in the garden to not be near her!

    She was an attention seeker. She pathologically lied, which I would show sympathy for as that is a serious mental health condition, but to be honest she had so badly treated me that I will now have absolutely nothing to do with her. After about 6 years of not talking (and she also deleted me on facebook) she suddenly invited me to her wedding, and I said no. I don't wish her any harm, and I hope she does find happiness or a way to be happy, but I will never be friends with her again.

    I don't know why your friend is doing the things she does. All I can tell you is how much it hurts when you have a friend not showing you the proper respect. I missed so much because she let me down.

    It is not a reflection on you the way you are being treated, this is what I eventually learnt.

    I know it is not easy to make friends, or to build up trust. I find making friends and trusting people very difficult because of my anxiety. I would say, if you can (and it is not as easy as i may be making it seem) try to find another friend to go to the sessions with, or build up a good relationship with some of the regulars (again, I know first hand it is not that easy!) If you can do that, then that way it will always be an added bonus if your friend turns up, rather than being the only way you can go.

    I know it's not as simple as that. It's all I can think to suggest.

    I'm sending a hug your way. x
    Sealed Pot Challenge #553
    2016: Sell £1000 #51 (£340.03/£1000)
    Completely Crazy Clothes Challenge 2016 = £262.95/£310
    Wombling free 2016 = £425.15
    • Orange Ena
    • By Orange Ena 16th Oct 16, 12:00 AM
    • 1,006 Posts
    • 2,495 Thanks
    Orange Ena
    Ah big hugs to you ABA. Sorry to read that you're feeling let down by your friend, it's a horrible thing but I love the last couple of sentences of your post. You are doing things you couldn't do a few months ago and that is marvellous

    I've felt let down by some friends previously, I don't think it was personal, just a bit of flakiness. But over the years, when I've been let down, I've tried not to rely on others to make me happy. It's hard really and I'm not quite sure what I'm trying to say but maybe if you can just find a way to go on your own, it'll be a bit of a confidence boost and a bit of 2 fingers up at your friend, not in a nasty way, but more of a "I'm fine, i can go on my own, come if you want, or don't, whatever!"

    I hadn't been on holiday for about 6 years and I really wanted to go but none of my friends were single at the time so I thought I'd go on my own, on a cruise. I was terrified at first, but I had an amazing time. I've been on 6 cruises since then and apart from one with family, and one with a friend I've been on my own and I have a much better time on my own My friend "muscled" in on my holiday and I didn't have a great time having to make plans to meet for breakfast or whatever. When I go on my own, I can choose what time to have breakfast, where I want to sit, and I can just flit about being quite selfish!

    It's a bonus if I see friends and have a nice time, but otherwise I'm quite happy pottering about at home, with my cats. I've been on nights out with friends but as I'm quiet, I've felt ignored cause I'm not loud enough to get a word in. All those people and I felt lonely.

    I found a quote on pinterest a while ago;

    People think being alone makes you lonely, but I don't think that's true. Being surrounded by the wrong people is the loneliest thing in the world.

    Sorry I've rambled on.

    Sending you another hug x
    Ll0yds CC £3180.05 £2779 / H@lifax CC - £1490 £0
    Nati0nwide CC - £558 £0 / Barcl@ycard CC - £890.80 £0
    Debt Apr 15 £6895.44 / Jul 15 £6330.30 / 5th Jan 16 £5217.26 / 4th Feb £4340 / 5th Apr £3505
    Every penny is a prisoner
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 19th Oct 16, 11:41 AM
    • 585 Posts
    • 2,223 Thanks
    Thabks guys I don't think my friend is lying about being ill (she's waiting for blood test results, but the doctor thinks it might be lifestyle related), but I'm not sure she is making as much effort as she could. It's not even the cancelling/flakiness which bothers me the most — it's not having enough time to prepare for a change in plans. I have tried to spell it out to her, in terms of my anxiety, but she just keeps saying that she was hoping to feel better. In which case, she could have let me know she didn't feel great early on and then I would have had time to prepare for either eventuality... She did make it to jive class last week though

    More than anything though, being let down highlights how much I let myself down by not being more confident. It reminds me that despite the changes I have made this year, I'm still far from "normal" and that's frustrating. It's as if now I can glimpse how life could be for me, i.e. happy, I can't wait to get there and I feel worse about the !!!!py parts of my life.

    Anyhoo, money updates:
    • I bought fitness related stuff over the weekend (book on vegan nutrition for bodybuilding, protein powder for when I'm too lazy to plan protein-rich meals and a foam roller for my aching body), so my cc balance is now £840...
    • I have been thinking about closing my EF and paying off £500 of the cc, but then I realised that I'm only paying £6 a month interest and it would take me years to replenish the EF at that rate, so I'm going to keep my safety net in place.
    • I have paid my £200 off the loan this month, which means I have paid off 18.6% — I will hit 20% by the end of the year, which seems a lot. Especially compared to when I had £7000 on the cc and was struggling to meet interest/minimum payments.

    I am still focusing on fiction, partly to wait for my health to level off and partly because I'm doing an online novel editing course. It's getting into the meaty bit now, so I'm realising how much work I need to do on the blasted thing...

    However, I went to collect a certificate for an IT course on Friday (it took 2 and a half years to be sent!) and chatted to one of the staff, who suggested I talk to the careers advisor who works there. I agreed, so I have an appointment tomorrow. It should be helpful to discuss what to do — my motivation and energy are quite low, so I'm not sure whether I should wait it out until I can do more to get freelance work or whether I should try to get a "normal" job, which might have a negative impact on my mental health.

    I know that having more money wouldn't solve all my problems (hence I don't want to jeopardise my mental health just to have any job I can get), but it would ease the pressure. I have been comfort eating more last week, which doesn't help my weight loss — which is still going disappointingly slowly., even taking into account the bag of kettle chips I ate last Wednesday. However, I haven't had any fizzy drinks since last Monday, which is better for my health and purse.

    I guess I feel a bit stuck at the moment and as much as I'm trying to reach my goals, I feel like my wheels are spinning in the mud.
    Rainy day fund — 3.16/500 Emergency fund target — 500/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 2881/15,487 = 18.6% Fun fund: £0.05 Credit card balance — £830
    • AspiringButAnxious
    • By AspiringButAnxious 21st Oct 16, 9:22 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 2,223 Thanks
    Ugh. Really awful last night — don't want to talk about it, but it involved me self-harming and feeling suicidal for the first time in ages. A huge disappointment. Not helped by my mum blaming me being off medication, not the actual trigger...

    On the bright(ish) side I finally got paid the remainder that the CV company owed me, £108, which has made budgeting a bit easier. I used it to pay for a trip to Bath with my friends in January and put some on my cc, bringing it down to £830 from £857.

    The trip to the careers advisor was good, but made me feel so useless. However, as a result I a, meeting someone from a local mental health charity for young people on Monday, to discuss my volunteering for them.

    Jive was good, though I was alone because me friend got injured going down a slide at the weekend... I guessed she wouldn't be going when I saw her on Tuesday and she found sitting uncomfortable, but she gave me a good amount of notice so that's an improvement. Missed kettlebells today because I still feel terrible after The Incident last night.

    I have realised that I feel really lonely atm and can't confide in my friends because they are preoccupied with their own problems and assume I feel okay because I have come off medication. In reality, this is a very difficult time and I feel I have lost my support system. I'm worried about my mental health and how I'm managing my symptoms. I'm stressed about finding work and paying my debt. I'm frustrated that my life hasn't changed as much as I'd hoped.

    I lost another pound, so I'm 238.5lb and have lost 25lb since summer. It's okay, but I should be losing more and faster at my current weight. I need to stop emotional eating and cut down my portion sizes.
    Rainy day fund — 3.16/500 Emergency fund target — 500/1000 Nest egg — circa £40
    Loan — 2881/15,487 = 18.6% Fun fund: £0.05 Credit card balance — £830
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