In January, 2018 the bankruptcy ended.
After completing the bankruptcy, I decided it was time to check my credit score. Well, I don’t have one. Literally, there is no credit score for me. You know what, I do not care. I am glad that I do not have a score and that I can pay my bills and live happily with the money that I have in the bank.
Five years ago, my credit score mattered. Hell, it mattered 2 years ago. However, as I “pulled my shit together” and focused on what really matters, I do not care if my credit score is, well, zero. Anything that I need to buy, I can do so with cash and if I cannot, saving for the purchase does not bother me at all. Who knows, maybe while I am saving, I will decide I like having money in the bank than having the item.
I no longer care about getting any type of credit card. I am not interested in giving a company my money so that I can spend that money and pay it back to them to build my credit. My credit will be exactly as it should with me doing the things I do everyday.
I will not spend one single second thinking about credit or a credit score.
As my relationship with credit has been redefined so has the physical and emotional clutter in my life. No more do I feel the need to buy or spend. My refrigerator and pantry used to be full of more food than I could eat in 5 years. Today, I am almost out of milk. As a matter of fact, last week I went days without milk because I could not be bothered to go to the store. The cereal box is almost empty. Guess what, I will find something else to eat. No need to race to the store to get it. I want to focus my energy on things that matter. With a store on every corner, running out of milk or cereal should not be my priority.
Wait, buying/spending was never a priority, it was an addiction!
The rules of bankruptcy, based on my salary, required that I make payments for five years. There was no way to put it on hold or postpone payments unless I paid more money. I paid $5,000 to my attorney plus another $600 later and I did not want to pay one additional dime nor did I want to forfeit the $5600 and walk away. So, I stayed the course and in due time, I obtained the clarity that such an event should bring. It took three years for me to move out of the fog that was denial, a year for me to gain some perspective on my issues (true clarity came while writing this post), and more than a year for me to execute the plan to the point where it is a lifestyle and not a program (I am still at it).
What I thought was going to defeat me, in the end helped to better define me. Today, I have an understanding of who I am and how I deal with life, an education, that I never imagined I needed.
Thanks to everyone who took the time to read this post. I know it was long (3500+ words) but it has been rolling around in my head for a long time. Until I wrote this post, I never considered myself an addict and some may think that I am not. The reality is this, spending and buying controlled me in a way that I could not stop. Spending and buying made me feel in control. Even when I did not have the means to keep spending/buying, I continued to do it because I had to feel in control. I had to feel like I was not conquered. All of those are signs of an addict.
I will spend a lot of time thinking about my addiction revelation and about how many people I have judged for addictions during my lifetime. I was very wrong for the judgment.
Admitting my addiction here is as scary as it is freeing. It is scary to realize how many years I have been in denial. It is freeing because I have been able to give my relationship with money a name. Naming it means that I can truly address it.
When I started this blog, I vowed to be honest and tell my story so that I can help others feel comfortable telling their stories. With the stigma attached to bankruptcy, this was a very hard post for me to write but in the end, honesty is more important to me than fear. If I do not tell the truth, it eats me alive.
Thanks for allowing me to share my truth.