Reply To: Financial mess and shame

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Hi ADDExhausted,

I can relate, and I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this.
Last year, I took on a new business endeavor that ended up becoming a MultiLevel Marketing scheme. It had a lot of potential at the beginning, but the company grew so quickly that my odds of making the money that was promised were slim to none. I had gotten excited about the possibilities and knew that I needed to find a new source of income because the work I had been doing for 8 years was so physically demanding, that I could no longer work as many hours as I once had. I thought this new business was the answer. Boy was I wrong. It was one of the dumbest decisions I ever made.
Additionally, I invested about $6,000 in the initial stages, split between 3 credit cards. Almost a month in, I felt like I was drowning, but I keep believing the hype that the company was putting out – that the harder you worked the first few months, and the more inventory you have, the more you will sell and meet your goals.
I started to get behind on our mortgage. And since my husband has worse ADD symptoms than me, I’m the one that has always organized the finances and made sure the bills were paid on time. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him. I also thought that any day now, something magical was going to happen and that I’d be able to catch up. I had indicated that we were “a bit behind”, but I felt like a failure for always having to ask him for money to pay the bills, when I used to be able to contribute much more income. I didn’t want him to wonder “where is all this money going?!” So I kept juggling the phone calls and bills, paying just enough, just in time to not get any of our utilities turned off.
My husband did not find out the extent of the financial issue until he came home to a foreclosure notice on the door. He called me panicking. I felt more horrible than you can imagine…well, I think you can imagine it, after the worries you’ve expressed. Like a said, I can relate.
We had a “come to Jesus” talk. And while it was tense, and there was a lot of crying, and heavy emotions, we slowly started to work out way through figuring things out, and how we got to where we were. It wasn’t fully my fault or his fault, but we knew that there was A LOT of miscommunication.

It did feel better for me to get this off my chest.
And it helped clear my head a little bit about how to get moving in SOME sort of direction, instead of staying stagnant in my fear and anxiety. I tried to think about baby steps that I could take toward sorting things out. I made the call to our mortgage holder, got the paperwork to request financial hardship consideration. We FINALLY opened a joint bank account in addition to our separate ones (I had been asking him to do this for years), so that I couldn’t hide anything anymore about our bills and financial situation. He began to deposit his checks from his 2nd job into that account, that would go toward catching up on the mortgage.
We were approved for hardship consideration. We went to court, I brought ALL of our documents, and we told them our situation and that we were trying to be proactive. We made our first reduced payment a couple of weeks ago, and go back for our continuance hearing tomorrow. So things are looking up. Baby steps.

Sometimes you just have to clear your head a bit and take one step forward.
So now, I’m in the process of working out terms on my $18,000 student loan that has just gone into default. I was able to make a payment toward that, but evidently, it was too late and that process had already begun. So, I’ll sort my way through it. I absolutely hate making phone calls, but I’ll call and sort through a solution to resolve the loan.
The world of debt and loans in s**tty, but most people that you get on the phone are human and will try to help you as much as possible if you explain your situation and are willing to work with them toward a solution.
I had worked for YEARS on my credit score to buy this house, it had gotten it up to around a 770, and now it’s back down to a 561. But you know what, it’ll take more hard work, but I’ll get back there. I try not to beat myself up about it. Compared to other things in my life a freakin’ credit score pales in comparison. I know that it’s important in our world, but there a number of things I can think of that matter much more.

Anyway, my point in saying all of this is not to detract from your issues.
I’m just saying it to express to you that I know how debilitating that fear of judgment from your spouse, and the rest of the world can be.

I know how it feels to KNOW that you need to take a step towards resolving a debt, of finding a job or just reaching out to another human.

But as others have pointed out, your diagnosis is relatively new. You have to realize that you have operated in one system of thinking, and now you are relearning how to relate to life as an adult with ADD. It takes practice.

Most people that I know, who were diagnosed as adults, have lived most of their lives feeling like they can never live up to many peoples’ (as well as societies) standards. And often times we were told how much our behavior was disappointing and unacceptable, but our intentions were never out of ill will. We simply didn’t know how else to operate. And a good number of us have coped with depression and anxiety just as long as we have with ADD because we lived with this idea that we weren’t “good enough.”

EVERYONE makes mistakes, but I think that those of us who were diagnosed with ADD later in life, automatically revert to feeling like we did as children in trouble. We start hearing that adult voice in our head saying “how could you?”, “Why didn’t you”, “what were you thinking?” far before we ever share our mistakes with others.

**PLEASE be kind with yourself. You sound like the sweetest man in the world (as sweet as my dear husband.) And it’s no secret how much he loves me. It’s clear to me that you adore your wife, and have the utmost love and respect for her.
You didn’t do this intentionally, or to hurt her.
You got lost in the way of thinking that you didn’t know how to pull yourself out of. That takes practice too!
For example, people who have anxiety attacks and go to see a professional counselor, are often given tactics to “Self-talk” themselves through an anxiety attack. They learn how to recognize their patterns, and bring themselves back into a “reality” that isn’t this vicious cycle of a panic attack.
But that takes practice. And people often report that they get better and better at it until they can start to see the beginning signs of that cycle, and (most of the time) engage in self-talk that helps them avoid sinking into that cycle again.

So I BEG you to be gentle with yourself. – The things that you are saying to yourself right now, those criticisms; would you ever say those out-loud to another person? If not, then you don’t deserve to hear them either.
You made some mistakes. You know that. It’s time to take steps forward.

I really, really hope that you will find a licensed professional to talk to, that can help you see more clearly through the fog in your brain (I know that fog well also.) It is VERY difficult to objectively see solutions sometimes. We need the help of other people in our world. After all, you reached out here, because you knew that some of us would understand. 🙂

*Please find someone to talk to.
Let your wife know that this is your first step to resolving all of this – is to understand yourself, and how you can make improvements, that will help YOU and your marriage prosper.
If that’s not a commitment to the relationship, I don’t know what is.

And if your wife is willing, have her come with you when you and your healthcare provider thinks it is appropriate.
There are a lot of people who mean well, but still don’t fully understand how ADD and ADHD affect the executive function and decision making centers in the brain. If she can understand why you are the way you are, you can come up with strategies together, to make sure that you all avoid this huge bump in the road again.

So again, I’m going to say that you seem like the sweetest man, with the biggest heart.

As someone who has also considered suicide, let me say that::
We NEED people like you here on this Earth.
You deserve to be here.
You’re not a faulty model of a human.
You are valuable.
You have worth.
And you deserve to be happy and have a joyful life. And you will have that again.

No matter how bad it hurts right now, it will get better. Please stay with us.
Don’t let us loose you because of money. Money is abstract. It only has as much value and worth as we give it.

You deserve to be here. You matter. Please take care of yourself. And please keep us updated. We want you to succeed. Sending you love and light.