As I sit here, frustrated from enforced bed-rest (I’m not seriously ill but bad enough to do some lasting damage if I don’t heed Doctor’s orders), it’s giving me plenty of time to ponder on how life has changed in the past few years. In fact, to be honest, it’s changed quite dramatically in just a few short months.
Two years ago I was declared bankrupt. The only thing that stopped me throwing myself off the cliff I now live on top of was my then 4-year old son. All that kept me moving forward was the thought “What will my son think of me for leaving him? How will it affect him in the future?”
I have no idea from where I summoned the strength to carry on, and even today, when I have a down day as we all do occasionally, I wonder if I can still carry on. Thankfully those days are becoming less and less and the past two years have taught me how to cope. I’ve developed a super-structure of family and friends that supports me and most importantly doesn’t judge me. And they have no idea how much they bolster me when the vultures (and there are still plenty of them out there, I’m sure you’ve got some of your own, who want to see you fail and are happy to humiliate you no matter what the cost) seem determined to undermine me or try to topple me over the edge of the cliff. There was a time when the vultures almost won but thanks to my super-structure I’m still here.
I’ve wandered down routes that at times have been dead-ends, others have just been ridiculously stupid and some, well, I should have known better but at the time of deciding which route to go down I took that decision based with all the knowledge and experience I had available to me at that point. Maybe one day I’ll write a book because sometimes I really can’t quite believe how I got from there to here. Maybe I’ll explore that through this blog, or if you join me on one of my e-courses, we’ll explore it further then.
When I was in the depths of despair of bankruptcy the one thing that I kept saying was “No-one should ever have to go through this alone and they won’t – if it’s the last thing I do”. That seemed like a grand statement at the time, just one of those grandiose things you say to make everyone around you think that you’re coping. Yeah, right! Like I was really pulling the wool over their eyes with my bluff and bluster!
But, with some encouragement and cajoling I’m almost ready to launch my e-courses to help those affected by bankruptcy, bad debt or in dire financial straits. I’m not going to tell anyone how to budget better or rebuild their credit history, Lord knows I’m still working through that myself, but what I’m aiming to do is offer the emotional support that was missing when I needed it. Look up “surviving bankruptcy” or any similar search string on google and you’ll find page upon page of hints and tips to save money, do more with less, etc, etc, but you’ll find next to nothing on what it’s like to go through bankruptcy and come out the other end.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m no guru or expert but as no-one else seems prepared to talk about it, I felt I should. Quite why I don’t know, but discussing quite how low, dirty and unworthy bankruptcy makes you feel with someone who hasn’t been through it doesn’t really help. It makes you feel as if the other person, whilst empathetic, is judging you. I now know they’re not but try telling that to someone who is drinking water, not because they’re on a health kick but because they can’t afford a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. Or to the person who has suddenly fallen in love with ‘Vintage clothing’ (read charity shop bargains or freecycle freebies) after years of buying top quality, top priced clothing because it’s sustainable and good for the environment!
So, where am I now, 2 years down the line? Well, my address history is improving; instead of 9 changes of address in 2 years I now have just 2 different addresses for the past 2 years (every little helps). I am self-employed and happy, I have learned to accept myself and have rebuilt my confidence and self-esteem, I see my son every weekend and I’m in a loving relationship with a wonderful man.
Everything started to fall into place as I made some changes to my life and my mindset and things are now coming together nicely. There’s still a way to go, I’ve got another 4 years of being a “discharged bankrupt” to get through yet, but I have to be honest and say if they carry on like this, it’s not going to have been such a bad thing to happen after all. If only I’d realised it at the time.
My e-courses will be launching soon and I hope you’ll join me on “The Bankrupt’s Route to Recovery“.