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My life is a complete trainwreck how do I go about getting it straight?


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My whole life is a complete trainwreck. I hate my job, can not get a different one becuse of the financial prison that I have put myself in. My relationships, with friends, family, and SO's have ended due to my job where I work overnights. I am 31 years old, live with a roomate, with no hope of being able to get my own place because of financial reasons. My health, physically and mentally, have been deteriorating over the past few months. I am always angry and in a bad mood because everything I try to do to change my situation fails miserably. I am at a point in my life where I would really like to find someone special and settle down and start a family but I know because of where I am at in life with my situation I am not to attractive to people that are looking for a long term relationship.


I want to get my life straight but it seems, no matter what I try to do it just does not work out. How do I get my life back on track. How do I save myself from hitting rock bottom forever. Do I make a list of things to do? I really do not know what steps to take to put my life back together.....


Any advice would greatly be appreciated. I dont think my mind can take even thinking about what to do next as I feel I have exhausted all options....

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When times are tough, and you see yourself stuck in that townward toil, try to think positively, even though it may not be the easiest thing to do. Ever notice when you're negative, you attract even more negativity. If you can, go back to school and find a job that you love + and can support you fincinally. There are many people here you can find support. Seek us out, we're here to help.


As for your health, make sure you eat right. Go to a nutritionist if you can afford. I bought a booik eat, drink , and be healthy by a hardvard MD. I think it's pretty legit. You don't have to buy the book, just go on the hardvard website or there's also mypyramid.gov. You can eat healthy for as little as $3-5 a day. A 2000kcal diet


Make sure to surround yourself with positive people. People who will help you and lift you up. Yeah, it's extremely hard when you hit rock bottom. My cousin failed pharmacy school at age 24 and now he's in 80k debt with no job and no career. Understand that it's also human nature that people will gravitate to you when you're successful and try to avoid you when you're not as successful. Your true freinds will stick by you. Also understand that when you're negative it also repels people.


I found that when I'm lost, reading the bible helps. You'd be suprized how much you can learn.


There are plenty of people here if you ever need support. Just don't give up. A social support group is very important.


If you feel you need professional help. See a psychologist.


My other friend is a vietnamese immigrant. He just filed for bankrupty. My other friend, due to the economy, lost his asian food market (had to file for bankrupty). People in my neighborhood are losin their home (foreclosed). The main thing is, keep strong when times are tough. If you can afford it and you truly think you need it, see a psychologist. Don't have insurance? Try to see if you're edgible for insurance from the state for low income people. Ask around/make phone calls. But remember to stay positive, as hard as that may be.


Also about finding that "someone". Don't worry about it. Get your ficinal situation together first. Take care of your health (mental and physical), wealth (inner and outer), and relationship (family and friends): three keys to happiness. Girls will be much more attracted to you once you have it handled. Otherwise having a girlfriend would only be extra baggage imo.


Donald trump lost everything, went in debt and recovered a stronger man. He walked outside one day and saw a homeless man. And said to his daughter, he's richer than me, and he doesn't even have a job.

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great reply! sometimes its so easy to think negative. you gotta keep going and eventually things will turn around if you believe and don't give up.


I have tried thinking positive, for years, hasnt worked. You know what that is what everyone always tells me BUT it hasnt turned around and it WONT unless I make a RADICAL change of some type.

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Twice in your post you mentioned finances keeping you stuck. Can you elaborate on that?


It takes a plan to get out of debt. Do you have a realistic, workable one? If not, that'd be the place to start.


I know it takes a plan....but I do have YEARS to get out of it. I honestly feel like I will be dead by the time I am 40 if I am still in this trainwreck.

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Alright, so you know it takes a plan. But the question was "Do you have one that is realistic and workable?"


I have been reading several books by Mary Hunt lately. One you may want to look at is called Debt Free Living. The library here had several copies, so your local library is likely to have it, too.


At one point, she was $100,000 in credit card debt. But by being frugal and sticking to a plan, she paid the entire thing off. Yes, it took several years, and it was rough going along the way -- but she did it, and learned a bunch of stuff about managing her money better. She outlines how you can start getting out of debt right now without necessarily increasing your income.


Yes, it takes time, and it is slow going at first. But unless you racked up your debt with a catastrophic medical incident, you probably didn't get into the financial hole overnight, either.


The hard, cold fact is you will need to start taking some steps to get out of the mess you are in, and the way you describe your situation, getting the finances under control and on the right track will give you more options to deal with some of the other issues. While you probably should also be looking for another job as well, the outcome of that isn't entirely in your hands....getting your finances in order is.


I did have some catastrophic medical incidents several years back...and less than a year after those, I got downsized and have not worked full time for the last 2 years. My income has fluctuated from 50% to 75% of what I used to earn when I worked full time, but I am still managing to crawl out of the hole created by the medical bills and learning how to manage what I do have better. When the day comes that I am making what I used to earn...and more...I firmly believe I will do much better managing it because of the things I am learning now.


So, I'd suggest a trip (or several) to the local library is in order....or you may be able to browse their card catalog online and reserve books to pick up. There are all manner of books on money management and getting out of debt...have you looked at any and starting figuring out what approach you'd like to take to start working on getting your finances under control?


I suspect the more you deal with it head-on and actively seek out a solution, the better you will start feeling.

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I agree and will check out that book. I am also considering the Dave Ramsey method. I just feel like I do not have 10 years to clear up my situation. I feel like life is already passing me by. I am somewhat of a free spirit and I feel like Iam in prison every day without hope of ever leaving. I am sick of life passing me by. I am tired of being angry and a bad person to the people that are closest to me because I am embarrassed and ashamed of my whole life situation.


I am actually skipping seeing Easter with my family and made up some lame excuse because I am ashamed at myself and my life. I do not want to answer

questions such as "So how is the job going" , "Are you dating anyone?", " How is everything" because I could honestly just break down or become angry and it just makes me want to crawl in a hole. I am 31 and hate what I have become. I hate that I do not smile anymore. I hate that I cry every day. I hate that I push friends and family away from me. I hate the person that I have become.

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What's better? Putting in several years of hard work now to get out of your current situation and learning how to stay out of it OR keep doing what you've been doing, wishing things will somehow change and have things continue to deteriorate? If you keep doing what you've been doing, you're not going to be any better off in another year or 2 or 5 or 10.


If credit card or consumer debt is your problem, and you want things to be different, you are going to have to change the way you think about and manage your money. There is no way around that. The way you have been doing things does not work, the proof of that is all around you...and there's no shame in that. It happens to a lot of people. Most of us are not taught how to manage our finances, really. We're just turned loose in the world as young adults and expected to figure it out. Until the recent changes in the credit card industry, those companies took full advantage of the millions of people who didn't understand what kind of hole they were digging for themselves with the way they used consumer credit.


Have you even told any of your family/friends what a mess you're in? People cannot help you if they don't know you need help. Dunno what your relationships with your family/friends are like...I mean, if you've got a track record of asking for their help all the time and still making the same mistakes, they might be reluctant to assist you again. On the other hand, if you haven't asked them for help and have been keeping this to yourself, they may be eager to help you....if they only knew you needed help. Not necessarily talking a financial handout, here....the help could simply be making themselves available to listen to you.


It's a lot easier to be a "free spirit" when you're not weighed down with financial problems. The way to do that is to learn how to better manage your finances and put what you learn into practice. Cause really, you're not exactly "free" now are you? You are going to have to fight for and earn your freedom.


I was the credit card companies' ideal customer a few years ago. I paid on time, but didn't pay off my card in full every month and I'd regularly use my credit card. Then I got downsized. Lemme tell you, I have had a very hard and eye-opening series of lessons about the credit card industry in the last 18 months. Between my own personal financial upheaval and the changes in the credit card industry, I have seen the dark underbelly of that industry. Oh, it had always been there -- but I was one of the "good customers" and never saw it...until things changed. I used a low-interest promotional offer to pay off my medical bills.....and then I watched that "friendly" card company more than double my monthly payment in the days before the credit card reforms took place. It wasn't because I was paying late or anything -- it was because the account wasn't making money. They extended that low-interest promotional offer for the life of the loan and I was following their rules for keeping the low rate, but taking too long to pay them back. (The offer was for "the life of the loan"). Well, I wasn't paying them back at a faster rate because I was only making a bit more than half of what I used to make before I got downsized...so I paid what I had to, on time, to keep the low rate....and overnight, about 12 months ago, they more than doubled my monthly minimum. And they were well within their right to do so according to all the tiny-print rules of my account.


I still have the low promotional rate, but I am busting my ass to get that paid off...even making markedly less than I used to. It is tough some month to even make the minimum, but by God, I am determined to make this go the hell away.


I am not telling you this to garner sympathy. I also don't care if people read this and want to think I was stupid or irresponsible. I did the best I could do with the knowledge I had at the time. They are entitled to their opinions, and I'm equally entitled to ignore them. I'm telling you this because you really need to understand that you're not the first person to mess up financially. There are millions of people who've either made bad decisions or had bad luck or a combination of both. Those who get out of the hole and go on to a more secure/solvent future did this:


1. Took responsibility for their own part in creating the mess

2. Decided to get out of the mess, and fully committed to that goal - no matter what it took

3. Learned legal/legitimate ways to get out of the mess

4. Learned how to better manage the money they did have

5. (probably the most important) Changed the way they do things so they wouldn't create the same situation again in the future.


It's not going to be easy. But is living in your current situation easy? Didn't think so. Better you should start walking out, one baby step at a time, than keep doing the same things that got you in the situation in the first place.

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I read one of your previous posts about being in debt. How much debt are you in and can you realisticaly pay it off?? Declaring bankrupcy's never ideal (and I'm not suggesting it as an easy option) but it might be one way for you to get your life back on track. Kinda like starting from scratch. I know there's a stigma attached to that and it might cause some embarrasment but you'd get over it. You'd be free from your financial prison, you'd be able to sleep at night (or in your case day), you'd be able to get a more suitable job, your relationship with others would ease up etc etc.


Can you (seriously) pay off the debt?


While I agree there are certain circumstances that make bankruptcy necessary (first that leaps to mind is impossibly high medical bills), it's not really starting over with a clean slate. It's not just a stigma and embarassment...life post BK is as difficult as being in debt, especially if a person hasn't addressed any money management issues that got them into debt in the first place. Given the difficulties that come along with post-bankruptcy filing, I don't know that it's all that much of an escape...particularly in the first few years afterwards.


I work part time in the office of a car dealership and with economic climate the way it's been the last 18 or so months, it's become pretty much impossible to get people financed if they have a BK in the past 2-3 years. I imagine getting other forms of credit is also difficult with that BK on one's record as well. Last I knew it stays on your credit history as a big ol' red flag for 7-10 years.


A couple years ago, they also made it much more difficult to file for bankruptcy, so that only those who really had no other options could do it. I read an article a few days ago saying the average cost of filing BK is about $2000....so some people who are already broke can't afford to officially go broke.


Some types of debts cannot be discharged through a BK, such as taxes and student loans. So, depending on what, exactly, it is, he may not be able to take that option....or he may not have enough in dischargables to qualify for a BK.


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That being said, I know 2 people who filed bankruptcy. One 20+ years ago and one about 10 years ago. They have both gone on and been fine. In the long run, it ended up being a good move for them...but the first few years after filing were still very difficult, albeit in different ways than spending a few years paying off the debt and learning money management.

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No you're right I didn't mean to say he'd be wiping the slate clean. Bankrupcy's not an escape in any way. He'd be substituting one set of problems for a set of new ones. But the important question is whether he can manage to pay off the debt or not because if he can't and he continues on the path he's going, he might find himself in exactly the same place (or more likely a worse place) in 2 years, 3 years...10 years. Who knows.




Half of the 80k that I am in debt is from student loans...I can not get rid of them with bankruptcy.


Tonight.... right now... is the absolute low point of my life. I all aspects, not just financially. I literally can not stop crying. It has made me throw up for two days straight. I do not know what to do. My grandma who I have not seen in ages called me and left a message saying that she missed me today at Easter. I made an excuse earlier in the week as to why I could not go home because I am ashamed of my life. I am ashamed at the person I have become.

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I don't know how debt management works in the US as opposed to the UK but are you making student loan payments at the moment and if you are, is it possible to defer them?


Also, did you write a post about a year ago saying you were in £70k debt?


Don't be ashamed of yourself. These things happen to all sorts of people, especially in this economic climate. I know you think it's hopeless right now but it isn't. It's just a question of figuring out a way round things. Not an easy task but there will be a solution. Your situation is not hopeless.


For your other debts, do you have any sort of debt replayment plan laid out?


I dunno if this'll be helpful at all but check out this site and watch the video: link removed

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My grandma who I have not seen in ages called me and left a message saying that she missed me today at Easter. I made an excuse earlier in the week as to why I could not go home because I am ashamed of my life. I am ashamed at the person I have become.


So you made a few mistakes....a lot of people do.


You are compounding your financial mistakes by doing stuff like ^^ that, and cutting yourself off from the very emotional and mental support that could help you get through this.


I don't think anyone takes out a student loan thinking that it's going to be a big mess later. They fully believe they are taking a step toward making a better life for themselves by getting more education and believing that will lead to better/higher paying job opportunities. A gal I used to know some, oh, 20 years ago at this point took out something close to $100k in student loans to go to college and law school. When she graduated, she failed the bar exam the first time she took it. Passed on the second try, but couldn't find a law firm that'd hire her, so she had to open her own practice (more debt).


Point being - you're not the only one in this situation. It's happened to many, many other people, so you needn't feel like you've made some horribly unique blunder.


One thing that happened in the past 24 months that was totally out of your control was the US (and really, the world) economy going totally sideways. If things were different, you may have been able to get a better-paying job by now. If things were different, I might still have my full time job and a raise or two, to boot.


But things aren't different....and this is what we have to deal with. It is not of our making, and because of that, I cannot berate myself for having the drastic income cut and being on the very frugal budget I've had to live on for the last 2 years. I am doing the best I can. As long as you can say that, you have every right to hold your head high.


Do you have health insurance through your job? If so, you may want to give some serious consideration to seeing a counselor. If your employer has an EAP (employee assistance program), you may be able to get a limited number of counseling sessions at low or no cost to you. You are very obviously dealing with depression, but I'd also hazard a very non-professional guess that you are also going through a grieving process -- realizing that whatever life you thought you'd have at this point isn't going to happen right now.


Have you talked to your student loan lender to see if you have some options? I'm not familiar with the ins & outs of student loans these days (it's been a good 20 years since I had one), so I don't know if you can re-finance for a lower payment or if there's a special situation deferral option or some other programs that may help you.


I also think it would do you a world of good to come clean with the people who you are closest to and who care about you. Possibly your family, possibly your friends...you'd know who they are. They're the people who care about YOU....not what you own or what you owe...but YOU, the person.


You haven't mentioned what the other portion of your debt is, so this is just a wild stab in the dark, but if a portion of your debt was acquired through gambling or compulsive spending, I'd highly recommend looking for a Gamblers Anonymous or Debtors Anonymous support group you could go to. You wouldn't need to feel ashamed, because the folks at these 12-step-based meetings are going through or have gone through the same thing you are. It won't cost anything but your time to check out a group...oh, they may pass the hat for a $1-2 donation to help cover refreshment and space rental costs, but it's voluntary. (And, yes, you can find a 12 step group for just about any compulsive behavior humans find to engage in....) I used to go to one for compulsive eating, and it was a great source of support for me in the early days of my recovery from eating disorders.


But I digress.


I'd recommend some sort of financial counseling, however, there are so many scam artists out there...and given your current state of mind, I don't know that you are in a good place to critically evaluate those kind of folks. You'd probably be better off sticking to free books from the library and focusing on getting your mental & emotional well-being managed before hiring a financial professional.

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Although I'm not a professional, I would advice not isolating yourself. Even though you may not want to see anyone because you feel you don't have it all together, you do need support and cutting out all contacts will only lead you deeper into a depression.


What I would do, is figure out what's bothering you first and taking care of it. You said you were in debt, make a plan to get out of it. Stop focusing on all the negative things you cannot control. It's wasted effort and wasted time, and you're also hurting yourself by dwelling on your past. No's gonna look down on you if you make the effort to get out of whatever situation you're in. As long as you're making that effort. Ask your freinds for help, call up your family. If these are the people whose opinion you respect, then listen to them. Hopefully, they're also good with their finances otherwise, it's just the blind leading the blind.


For me, if I had the resource, I would always consult a professional. Because they've spent years dealing with the kinds of things that you've gone through and have a broader ranger of knowledge/perspective. Just accept that difficulties are a part of life. Everyone has their own baggage. And this is yours. And now you're taking care of it. And you're seeking help and putting the effort and time it takes to get out of it. And you're not wasting time dwelling on things that you cannot control, moving on with your life with empowering beliefs that you can do this! You can get out of debt.


You said you were throwing up for two days straight and you cannot stop crying. Realize that this problem will not go away if you keep dwelling on it. And you shouldn't be ashamed of yourself. You don't have to be a billionare to be proud of yourself. In fact, some of the richest people I know are miserable. Admit the fact that you need to get it solved, devise a plan and solve it. How is that not something to be proud of? You've hit your absolute low, you were strong enough and humble enough to admit that you need help, and strong enough to pull yourself out of depression by taking action and not dwelling on your past. That's actually very admirable. Some people may look at your problems and think it's nothing. Just like if you saw a celebrity getting depressed because they have a small pimple and that their world is going to end, people in third world countries don't even have food and know nothing about nutrition and have no access to computers, entertainment, or anything. What about people born with down syndrome or had a heriditary disease that made them incapable of taking care of themselves. wherever we are, we accept what we have. Life takes perspective. Seek professional help if you need it, but remember to never let things get out of control. At the very first sign, attack it right away before it gets too large. It's never too late. To change yourself, so long as you believe it's never too late.

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It is too late......I want to live life....I am running out of time to do that. Whats the point of being stuck in a prison for the next 20 years? That is what I were I would be IF I had a plan. I feel like I WANT to get fired from this job that has destroyed my life. I really think it would put a smile on my face for the first time in 7 years. Iknow I need the money but there comes a point where you hate something so much that you really start to not care anymore about anything.

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It is too late......I want to live life....I am running out of time to do that. Whats the point of being stuck in a prison for the next 20 years? That is what I were I would be IF I had a plan. I feel like I WANT to get fired from this job that has destroyed my life. I really think it would put a smile on my face for the first time in 7 years. Iknow I need the money but there comes a point where you hate something so much that you really start to not care anymore about anything.


It's too late? The only time it's too late is when you're dead! Burrying your head in the sand's not gonna do you any good. Neither is feeling sorry for yourself. The sooner you figure out a workable solution to the problem, the sooner you can get started on fixing it. Why would you be stuck in a prison for 20 years IF you had a plan? How can you say that when you don't even have one? I'm not entirely convinced you wanna fix things. There are no end of people out there who are willing to help you but they can't do it for you!


You asked a question in your thread heading. You said your life was a 'trainwreck', how do you go about getting it straight. You wanna get it straight or not?

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You need to decide to fight. C'mon, FIGHT!!


You are a young man. It doesn't matter if you have to clean the slate now: you could have 40+ years of good life ahead. It doesn't matter if mistakes were made; anyone who has lived to 30 has made some big mistakes in one form or another. Seriously. You aren't strange, or different, or worth any less than anybody else.


But you gotta decide you are worth fighting for, AlwayzRight.


What is it that you are afraid you would miss out on if, say, you didn't get a chance to see the rest of this year? Get what I'm saying? What do you really care about in your heart of hearts that could get you so upset that you aren't enjoying it now....that is where you can start finding your reasons to fight.

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Just fired from my job. I am at rock bottom.


While I am truly sorry to hear this, having gone through something similar 2 years ago, I can tell you this is not all bad.


You didn't like the job anyway. Granted, it may have been easier to leave of your own choosing than being asked to leave...but the fact remains that you really weren't happy working there/working the schedule you were on.


I worked overnights for a couple years when I went to college. It's freakin' hard....and it takes a toll on you - mentally, phsyically and emotionally. I suspect that once you get back into a schedule of sleep-at-night-be-awake-during-the-day like the majority of the world, you will start to feel a bit better. I know getting off the overnight schedule really helped with my depression/anxiety. Oh, yeah, life was still challenging - I was making less than $20k a year and had student loan payments, a crappy car that was constantly going to the shop, and credit card debt - but when I stopped working overnights, my ability to deal with these things got better. It truly is amazing what chronic sleep deprivation can do to your outlook.


Do you qualify for unemployment? If you haven't already, I'd suggest you find out and file if there's any chance you'd qualify.


Like I said before, I don't know the ins & outs of student loans, but with this new development, I would definitely contact your lender and see if you qualify for deferral or some other assistance.


Other than that, I'd really urge you to take a week or so to rest and get back on a non-overnight-worker schedule and select at least one family member or friend to talk to - in brutal honesty - about your situation.

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(1) Tell your family and ask for help.


(2) Go to link removed if you're in the States and ask them to help you with counseling for mental and financial issues and for help improving your resume and searching for a new job. That's what United Way is for - to help people who get in binds.


(3) Cut up any credit cards you have.


(4) Go to link removed and sign up and start reading. Follow his plan. It WILL help you.


(5) Sit down and write a list of things that have to happen in your life. For each one, break it down into small steps to take. Arrange all the steps, for all the things you need to get down, in order of what you can start TODAY. For instance, you need a new job; what do you have to do to get one? First, you have to update your resume; then you have to pick online sites to search for jobs on, or find headhunters in your area (your college may still be able to help you); then you have to start creating your accounts on those websites; then you have to start running searches; then you have to start choosing jobs and writing cover letters for jobs and adapting your resume for each job for which you apply (a must! your resume for each job should have the keywords used in the job ad); then you should apply; then you should keep a list of where you apply; then you should follow up with letters a week later for each one. See how it works? But today, what's step #1? Fix your resume.


So, TODAY, take care of Item #1 on that list. TOMORROW, take care of Item #2. And so on.


You'll get through it. But obviously you grandmother cares and I'm sure your parents do too - let them help you. They won't judge you, I promise.

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