A Financial SHIPWRECK
One of the major challenges I've had and continue to have in recovery....besides getting and staying sober, getting and staying healthy and rebuilding destroyed or strained relationships was how to deal with the major financial disaster I had created. I had made a total mess out of my finances and had developed a terribly destructive pattern of spending money I didn't have and really could not repay.
I lived in a fantasy land and in the last desperate months of my active addiction I literally dug myself in a financial hole that even 7 years later, after a bankruptcy, getting a decent, steady income, drastically modifying my living/spending habits and I still haven't even begun to see the light of day financially. It is discouraging to say the least....
Even after I sobered up I made some horrible, financial decisions out of guilt to try and rectify my poor behavior of the last few years of my active addiction and I've never financially recovered from it. I tried to use large gifts of money in hopes that someone close to me would forgive me for the trouble I caused...the problem was I really didn't have the luxury of giving it away. The saddest part of that is that in one particular case not only didn't it improve my relationship with someone I cared about, they essentially took advantage of it and we have a worse relationship now then ever before. I was a fool...and I feel stupid and humiliated for even going there.
It is humiliating going from the lifestyle I use to have where I could at least go away for a weekend or out to eat. Now...I can't even drive my car into town most of the time because the funds for gas aren't there. Now in all fairness, with Kim now in the picture, there are 2 of us re-building our financial lives and we have absolutely NOTHING left over after bills and her child support and arrears. No $$ for food or clothes or fun or anything...it's hard...but those are the consequences I earned by my behavior...now I have to pay up.
We aren't complaining...we know this is part of the deal and an important part of changing our old ways and beginning a new way of life . But 've been reluctant to write about it because it is #1... EMBARRASSING. #2...I didn't want to come across as being a person who seems like they are entitled to stuff...that couldn't be farther from the truth.
The TRUTH is this is an important and common aspect of recovery and the story needs to be told even if it embarrasses the heck out of me. The truth is that even over 6 years after getting sober, I am still trying to dig my way out financially and I also continue to make mistakes and poor decisions that continue the vicious circle. But we are trying and this hard line of no spending on anything but bills and absolute necessities is starting to show progress.
It has been a HARD, HARD lesson TO LEARN I'll attest to that!