Wednesday, June 1, 2011

If It's 3AM I Must Be wide-Awake and Listening to Lady Gaga

I get HBO On-Demand so can watch Lady Gaga's Madison Square Garden concert whenever I need background music to work by.
I'm trying to face the reality of the staggering debt that I'm in. Like so many I thought since I had "good" health insurance I really had nothing to fear. I always paid my little $20 co-pays and thought I was good to go. But the co-pays resulting from 3 long term hospitalizations in 18 months coupled with the individual doctor bills I already had have added up to thousands of dollars. Throw in my husband's unpaid student loan, maxed out credit cards a $30,000 Small Business Administration start-up loan (don't even think about defaulting on these people) not to mention the 2 dear friends that invested serious cash in my business and I've got almost $75,000. There's an organization that may be able to help us but first I have to pull it ALL together. Looking at your financial picture, no matter how much or little you owe is a very scary thing. Between the money I invested to start up my small business (and was subsequently forced to close due to my stroke) and my medical bills I've never been so deeply in debt. Since I'm now on what is jokingly referred to as a "fixed-income" from disability and my pension) there'll be no more raises in my life time that I can count on to help me dig out of this hole.

My telephone is now being held hostage by collection agencies. They make robo- calls to me all day demanding payments. I've tried to make arrangements with them but paying $25 a month really doesn't' cut it when owe someone $2,500. So now I turn the ringer off and look at the ID listed to see if its someone I know or if the call is in my area code and from a doctor.  When I worked and had a large salary I thought of people like me as "dead beats" that didn't honor their responsibilities. If you don't think the universe has a hell of a sense of humor talk to me about it sometime.  To go from a six-figure salary to contemplating bankruptcy 4 years later is not nearly as funny as the movies would have you believe. I follow the recommendations you always read that say pay your mortgage and utilities, food, gas, etc. If there's anything left I try to send small payments to creditors.

Still, there is something about putting it all down on paper and facing it that's given me much more of a sense of relief than I expected. It's a relief to actually see the numbers rather than have them constantly rolling and rattling around inside my head. I've also decided this is a major step towards owning my own current situation, bad health, deep debt and all. I took myself from being a teenage welfare mother to being Assistant Commissioner of Welfare for my entire State. I can do this. Well I can do it at 4:30AM in the morning. The vampire in me fades a great deal in the daylight.