As a therapist, I am fully aware that getting private therapy like the services I offer is not cheap and often something people only do as a last or only resort. But sadly it is money that makes the world go around and I have my own bills to pay, my own office rent to pay as well as the mortgage on my own home so I can’t offer them for free. Just like all of my clients, my life seems to revolve around making money, but there was a time when I didn’t have money. In fact, I was poor…very poor. Today I would like to talk to you about how I turned that bad situation on its head and why it is more relatable to self-help therapy than you might first think…
Something many people with BPD struggle with is money management. They tend to overspend and overindulge, but not as a form of entertainment or enjoyment that many others will see it as, but as an act of self-harm and self-destruction. There are times in a BPD sufferers life when the “manic” side of themselves takes over and they can be left feeling much worse than before. Sure, mood stabilizers will counteract this, but in some countries like mine (USA) that only results in more money being spent!
I personally don’t have BPD, but once upon a time, I was extremely poor, but only because of my own bad money management skills (at the time I blamed everything except myself). When I tell you I was poor, I am talking heat or eat levels of poor. There were times I would go to work without food and pretend to carry on working while others around me ate or times when I would walk 10 blocks to work then 10 blocks back home again because I couldn’t afford the bus. It felt like I was working all week for nothing. I was working to survive rather than working to live. The reason I am telling you this is because the only time things changed for me was when I reached out for help and implemented the advice I was given.
These days I even have a small car and even go on holidays now and again! Just a few years ago that would have been a dream. I got to this point because I couldn’t go on as I was. I felt inside as if it was all slowly killing me, I would have daily panic attacks, depression and even high amounts of anxiety. So in the end I reached out to credit firms, I reached out to debt agencies and I even reached out to family and friends to try and get my life back on track. Even the banks and credit firms I was with at the time were surprisingly nice, even if they only offered me advice it was good advice! Now I am a fully trained therapist I get that this story very much relates to all talk-based therapy as a whole, but oddly I only got into learning therapy as a result of my low points in life so I guess I have them to be thankful for? Maybe not.
It doesn’t matter what I say on these pages nor what a face-to-face therapist session will tell you, nor what a debt management firm will tell you! If you are not willing to put what is being suggested into practice you will always be in the same situation. The truth is the banks and credit companies I was with had given me the advice and tools I needed to get out of spiralling debt months before I even reached out to them in desperation. My point is that inside of each of us is the ability to change our own habits, to shape the world in which we live, but we often choose not to use them.
Sadly money really does make the world go around, but your own world doesn’t have to revolve around it. If you choose to listen to advice and change your habits you can deal with anything, even debt that seems like a black hole. But if you are not willing to reach out, get help and implement the advice given to you. sadly you might never start feeling better.
This Week’s Homework: This week I would like you to consider donating some time to a charity or organisation. Maybe do some volunteering, maybe help someone out or just simply be there for someone else. Why? Because the most valuable thing you will always have is time. You can give a lot of it without cost and there will be times when giving someone just a little bit of your time will change their world for the better. You have time to change, time to pay off those debts. But if you don’t use your time wisely it will be gone before you know it. Do let me know in the comments below if you managed to perform this task, even if it is just giving time to a friend and family member.