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Mental Health and Bankruptcy

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  • Mental Health and Bankruptcy

    Lately it seems like I am losing my financial mind. While filing the Chapter 13 has calmed many of the panic attacks, I still panic at out of area code calls on the phone(none have been collectors since filing). I still cringe when I get the mail, even though I do not get cc bills, medical bills, etc. anymore. Those have stopped coming too. Now it is just the utilities and court documents that appear. I have not become obsessed yet with the NDC website, but ponder why things get changed/posted on Fridays...when debtors have no access to their attorney and we're left to 'fret' the entire weekend?

    I have made two months worth of payments so far, been through the 341 Hearing, and have responded to a concern from the Trustee. My attorney says there will be no more concerns from the Trustee and we just now wait for the confirmation hearing. He says it is all moving 'very well.' This morning when checking the NDC site, the bank has claimed mortgage arrears. There were not any arrears and the mortgage is paid outside the plan!!!! I emailed the attorney with the last 3 months worth of payments and billings from the bank. Nothing is behind on the mortgage. NOTHING. And it never was behind....I filed before it got to missing mortgage payments. I find myself being exhausted by this constant nagging from the bank. I find myself angry, panicked, and terrified still.

    I do feel very much like a victim of the bank. Now, I know i signed on the dotted lines and am ultimately responsible for the mess that has been created. But in many ways as I contemplate my past mistakes...I can't help but place some blame on them too. The banker that said I'd be grateful for the second mortgage on my fully paid off home, I should have listened to my stomach that morning as it nervously flipped as I signed the paperwork, along with the personal LOC on the checking account, and the new cc. The credit card company constantly increasing my credit card lines. By the time they were done increasing those credit card lines, one was over $23,000! Funny, when I saw that increase was the day I shredded that card. I never exceeded any of the limits and that particular card's line was decreased right after the new year. I didn't have the card and didn't care they decreased the limit. A $23,000 credit line to a below median wage earner...funny how that sounds eh?

    This I know so far about myself, maybe I am a victim of a bad bank? BUT, it doesn't change that I decided to use that credit when I got sick, when the home needed major repairs, when the old car broke down and needed a new one. I know this, when this 3 year stint of financial purgatory is done...credit cards won't be in my vocabulary. I find it hard now with the debit card on the checking account and have moved to a cash only basis for a weekly allowance. It seems to be what works for me.

    And yet, I still feel out of control and many days unable to think clearly. Panicking this week at half a tank of gas...

    Back in 1996 when I got divorced I dug myself out of a mountain of debt at the time. I lived debt free for many, many years well over a decade of living well within my means. Maybe that's why I filed so quickly when I realized the second medical hit in two years was a crusher? Blessings and curses all of it really. Being a victim isn't who I have been my entire life, surrendering to that mentality isn't going to endure. Although today, it is just a mental marker of a past mistake...that won't happen again anytime soon.

  • #2
    I'm sorry, Attie. I don't have much to offer other than my own personal experience with anxiety. Do what you can to take care of yourself. It may sound obvious but I promise you it isn't. It takes a really conscious effort to pinpoint when you are feeling that way, and shift over to, "what can I do about it?"

    Going for a walk always helps. Always. It gets all of those feel-good neurotransmitters going.

    Avoiding too much caffeine helps. I don't know if you're living on coffee and/or soda, but if it's a regular part of your entire day -- be aware of how you feel before drinking it vs. after. Often I do fine with it and it is helpful to me -- but it depends on what else I have going on. If I am already mentally worked up about something, adding the caffeine doesn't help. It's a stimulant. Rather than helping me focus, it makes me not be able to focus. I'm all worked up, yet getting nothing productive accomplished. Just worrying.

    Sunshine. Oh, the benefits of sunshine!

    I'll stop there, but just know I am always here & jam-packed with tips and advice if needed. We cannot control SO MUCH of this process ~ but we really can control a lot of how our bodies and minds react to it. I find that to be very empowering. I felt like a victim for a long time before I got all of the pieces of the puzzle together and now have a much better understanding of how my body works and what my triggers are.

    I wish you all the best & hope someday soon you'll be able to look back on this time and see that you are in a completely different, better place -- mentally, physically, AND financially.

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