Like any recovering addict, for the past few days I have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms.  Believe or not, I have gone cold turkey when it comes shopping – until a few weeks ago I used to spend my weekends wandering the malls and if I saw something I liked, I’d buy it.

Don’t get me wrong, my cupboards aren’t overflowing with designer clothes, handbags or shoes. Instead my bookshelves are groaning under the weight of dozens of books – most of them unread; my kitchen is packed to overflowing with stuff – I know the assistants in Crate and Barrel on a first name basis;  my craftroom is full to the brim all sorts of things that I haven’t touched in months and I have a very impressive collection of magazines – enough to probably fill a large recycle bin! 

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve stayed away from the malls and have tried to avoid temptation – this is partly because I have had very little money but, also, because I wanted to try and prove to myself that there is life after shopping. For the first few weekends I impressed myself with my restraint – a trip to Ikea resulted in me buying exactly what I had gone for and nothing else and my weekly grocery shop was strictly controlled – for the first time in a long time I shopped with a list!

This weekend however was a different – I spent the whole of Saturday fighting the overwhelming urge to splurge.  I resisted and stayed home but instead of feeling like I’ve taken another step towards recovery, I feel defeated, miserable and resentful. In an attempt to try and get myself out of my funk I picked up one of my many books and after reading the first few chapters realised that maybe I am attracting these feeling because instead of focussing on the positives I am always looking at the negatives – how little money I have, how much money I how etc.

I’ve decided that this week, I am going to try and start losing my limiting beliefs and change my thoughts and see where that leads.


Reaching for a better thought


Since my earlier post, my day has got better and feel like I have had several breakthroughs – first, one of my dear friends and colleagues very kindly loaned me the money to make part of the payment that was outstanding  – the bank have now agreed to allow me more time to raise the balance. Secondly, I approached my children’s school and have been given an extension – I now only need to pay their school fees on the 2nd of May.

I have also found out that my primary bank has a debt support unit – its not advertised – and I am seeing them on Sunday. Finally, after speaking to the collections department of  Bank X, I took a risk and asked whether I could consolidate my credit card debt with them bank – their representative very patiently took the time to explain what I could and couldn’t do and told me where I needed to go.

Believe me, these are baby steps but each of these will go a little way towards helping me in my fight.  For example, if I manage to consolidate credit card debt with Bank X – which is currently AED 79,000 spread across two cards – I will go from paying 3.99% per month interest on each card to paying 1.1% interest per month (on a decreasing balance) over 48 months.

Every little bit helps and, all of  a sudden, that light at the end of the tunnel doesn’t seem quite so far away.


Desperate …

Desperate – that’s how I feel today.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse I got an email from my children’s school today to say that if their second semester fees aren’t paid by the end of this week, they will not be allowed to return to school next week.

My response to that email – I will try and do whatever I can to raise the money by the end of the week. Who am I trying to kid!!

At the moment, it feels like the harder I try to sort things out, the worse things get. The light at the end of the tunnel seems to be getting further and further away.

For comfort I turned to My Law of Attraction cards – what fell out of the pack – “I can reach for a better thought”.

“By reaching for the best-feeling thought you can find, you will shiver with exhilaration as you reconnect with your purpose, with your zest for life – and with you.”

My “best-feeling” thought for today: I am free from the burden of debt and living a better life.

Not a good day

Today I am struggling to stay positive and my belief that I can conquer my debt mountain is being severley tested.

For over a year, I’ve buried my head in the sand and have kidded myself that my problems will miraculously solve themselves.  Now that I have realised that that is so not going to happen and I am trying to sort things out and resolve issues I am getting nowhere fast.

About six weeks ago, I approached a debt management company who assured me that they would be able to assist me in facilitating the rescheduling and consolidation of some of my debt.  Six weeks later, they are not answering emails, responding to text messages or picking up the phone.  I cannot understand what would possess somebody to advertise their services and offer their assurances that they can assist and are then unable to deliver.  Do they not realise that, by the time most people get to the point where they are going to approach a debt management company they are already pretty desperate??

After a very frustrating morning trying to contact my “debt counsellor” I then received one of THOSE phone calls and spent the next twenty minutes being harangued, harrassed and threatened by debt collector who, at the same time as he was talking to me, was haranguing somebody else on the other line.  At least I know I am not alone.  Currently, I am a month in arrears and my next payment was due on the 2nd of April – I asked him to give me until the end of the week to arrange the payment.  Not a chance … it had to be paid by 4.oopm this afternoon or else my security cheque will be deposited and we all know what happens after that!

Unfortunately, I simply didn’t have the money to make the payment by 4.00pm and am fully expecting my security cheque to be deposited tomorrow.

When I realised the true extent of my debt, I seriously contemplated leaving my car at the airport and going home – but I didn’t.  I have stayed and I’m trying to sort out this mess I have created.  I don’t expect a pat on the back or a  medal – after all, I dug this hole for myself – what would make a refreshing change though is if I could just speak to somebody with a little empathy!

Help me to help myself – otherwise I may just be leaving on a jet plane soon!!

Today’s positive thought …

I trust the process of life.

There is a rhythm and flow to life and I am part of it. Life supports me and brings to me only good and positive experiences. I trust the process of lift to bring me my highest good.

A positive thought for the day …

An old Chinese proverb:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the second best time is today.”

In other words, its never too late to fix things – try not to dwell on the past and what has already happened. Start making plans to move forward and carry them through.

How did I get into this mess?

I wonder how many people …

…  are currently asking themselves the same question?

… are drowning in debt and living in constant fear that they will end up in jail?

… are thinking that absconding or, even worse, suicide, is the only way out?

… are terrified that they will lose their families if they disclose the full extent of their debt?

I am one of those people – this is my life – I am sure that I am not alone!

I owe a total of 8 banks in the UAE a staggering amount.  At the moment, my monthly repayments surpass my salary.  The true extent of my debt is my dirty little (or very large) secret.  None of my family (not even my husband) are aware of my situation.

I live in constant fear and I don’t know where to turn.  I am continually bomarbaded with phone calls, threatened with police cases, travel bans and jail and, worst of all, I receive regular verbal abuse from the debt collectors.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for sympathy or a free ride.  If I’d wanted that, I would have left my car at the airport too.  I’ve dug myself a very deep hole and am solely accountable for my actions … now I just need to find the strength to find my way out.

Hopefully, before too long, the light at the end of the tunnel will not see quite so far away!