Friday, March 28, 2008

How to climb up from the bottom or 6 months in review

6 months ago, I was at absolute rock bottom. I had no place to call my own, and the only roof over my head was at the mercy of a friend. I was pregnant, but I had to keep it hidden, and had no plans for what to do with my due date only four months away. I had no job, and consequently, not a single dime. I was in massive amounts of debt, but too scared to even take a look at my situation to figure out just how bad it was. I felt like I didn't even officially exist - no copy of my social security card or birth certificate, no photo ID or bank account.

I was seriously contemplating suicide; I had a plan and had even bought everything I would need to carry it out.

Now? I know that if I had to pick up and start all over, I'm in a position where I could do so. I can and will survive. I started by rectifying the paperwork problem. I went down and got my social security card. I had to have an attorney request my birth certificate, but I eventually got that. With that, I was able to take out a bank account. From there, I went and applied for jobs. I started with mostly administrative type positions - all those really require is a basic knowledge of computers. I was lucky with the job I found, but really, the primary consideration was getting some income. I house-sat for a month to save up a bit of money before moving into a basement apartment. This situation was ultimately untenable, but it was certainly better than nothing to start off.

That gave me the basics - food and shelter. Then I began evaluating the longer-term considerations. I made an adoption plan. Even though it ultimately turned out in ways I couldn't predict, I felt comforted knowing that there was a plan in place and that my child would have the best outcome I could give her. I pulled my credit reports to figure out how much I was in debt and started researching my options there. Ultimately, I hired a law firm to offer me some assistance. I started saving - having money stored away in an emergency fund made a lot of difference in my stress level.

Now I know that I'll never have to end up here. I'm making enough money to rent a place of my own, a place with a reputable management company and in a good neighborhood. I'm saving up enough money so that if I lost my job, I would have 2-3 months of living expenses put away, enough time to find a new job or obtain disability payments. I'm eliminating my old debt and not taking on any new debt for a while, and no unsecured debt at all.

I dug myself into a pretty deep hole. I was able to climb out of it, and now I'm working on filling it in so that I never end up there again.


  1. dzWell Done! The inner strength you have is amazing! Hope your next 6 months are smoother and happier!

  2. Hi there. I totally feel you. Check my story at my blog,

  3. You are an incredibly strong person!