After surviving and recovering from 5 heart attacks and open heart surgery, comes rebuilding your life. In the midst of rebuilding I had the fifth heart attack. It was stress induced during a traumatic experience, but I was already stressed out due to the debt created by being ill for so long.
Rebuilding your life takes time and monthly bills don’t stop. I understand the concept of barely keeping your head above water. I have been blessed through these three years to have a lot of help from friends so I didn’t fall completely behind. But I am still behind.
I am an artist and an author and also an entrepreneur and have put a number of avenues in place that can provide me with income but they don’t attract customers over night. There is foundational work that has to be done as well as finding the best outlets for marketing so you can attract buyers to your products. So at this point a little money trickles in and it is unpredictable. It is frustratingly slow.
Every month I reach the middle of the month and begin to worry about how to pay the upcoming bills. This is stress that someone who has survived a life threatening illness shouldn’t have to face, but it happens to millions of people. The struggle is real and embarrassing!
I had to live on credit cards while I was sick to pay for alternative healing modalities, Naturopathic care and basic living. I maxed out five credit cards. Before I got sick I had 0 credit card debt and lived on cash for 8 years so this was something I didn’t want to do. It was my only option.
Paying credit card bills was the first thing to go. I didn’t have money for basic needs so I couldn’t pay the credit cards. It wasn’t my intention not to pay them. I get numerous robo calls a day from these creditors. This compounds the stress.
I write this because this is the reality for most people who have faced serious illnesses. It’s a real struggle and it takes a long time for it to shift. I have a lot of compassion for those who are in this situation and I know how they are feeling. It is scary, embarrassing, frustrating and anxiety producing to not be able to pay your bills.
Today I had the Sheriff at my door and I was served with papers. American Express is suing me for $4469.35. I have 20 days to respond. Of course I don’t have that kind of money laying around.
Tomorrow I call an attorney…and hope for the best outcome.
It is easy to jump into the future and think about worse case scenarios, which is what I did at first. That isn’t going to help my situation. I am just focusing on the minutes in front of me.