Recently a friend of mine reached out to me regarding the possibility that they may file for bankruptcy. When I started this blog, I definitely wanted to be used as resource for anyone who needed financial guidance and/or just to talk out their finances. So, when this friend reached out, it made me feel like this blog is accomplishing the effect I wanted it to have… this idea that we can just openly talk about our financial worries and any money matters with each other without feeling like we can’t or shouldn’t.
I listened to my friend talk about their reasoning for possibly considering filing for bankruptcy, and it made me reflect on my own bankruptcy adventure.
It took me months of weighing the pros and cons of bankruptcy before finally deciding that it was the right move for me. It wasn’t an easy decision, but ultimately the amount of debt I had from terribly managed spending habits was collapsing onto my very being. I felt suffocated and unable to find my grounding. The thing about bankruptcy, is that it’s not just something you decide on a whim. It’s a carefully thought out decision, and I think there’s still this incorrect idea in our society that people who file for bankruptcy are 1) failures and 2) looking for an easy way out.
I certainly felt that this is what others might think about me once they found out that I was going to file for bankruptcy, and look at me now! I have an entire website where the premise is my bankruptcy, and I shout it out at audiences when I do stand up! My bankruptcy is not a secret because I want to normalize it. Filing for bankruptcy is a normal thing, and we shouldn’t look down on people who decide to do so. Because guess what, folks!
It’s not an easy way out. It comes with after effects, or what you’d call consequences. When I finally decided to file for bankruptcy, it was me becoming fully cognizant of my situation and also of the work I had to put in after my discharge.
For me, my decision was worth it even if every now and then I am faced with hurdles because my bankruptcy is on my credit report and will be on there for nine more years!
I remember the first few times that I saw my therapist after my bankruptcy was discharged, and how she even noticed the difference in my attitude and mood. I felt relief. A huge source of anxiety and stress had been lifted from my shoulders because I recognized what was best for me and my life.
So to my friend, and to whoever else is or has contemplated filing for bankruptcy:
- Do your research. Reach out to people who you know might have done this before. (HIIIIIIIII, I’M AVAILABLE TO TALK WITH YA’LL!!!!!!!!)
- Research lawyers who are reputable.
- Weigh the pros & cons (which I’ll make a post about in the future)
- Think about what you will have to do/how your life will be post-bankruptcy. You have to have a plan in place so that you can learn better financial habits.
- But most of all, TRUST YOURSELF.
- AND DISMISS THE BAD ENERGY FROM PEOPLE WHO MAY LOOK DOWN ON YOU FOR DOING SO.
Filing for bankruptcy is a normal thing to do. I could get into my rant about capitalism, but I won’t. Just know that you are not alone in facing this possibility, and that it’s OK.