Hey AMB123, sorry I know you posted a while ago but I’ve only just seen it. I thought I would update you a little on how I’m feeling now, maybe it’ll help maybe it won’t but I’ve been helped by reading other peoples stories on here so I might as well share mine.
What you’re describing to me sounds like anxiety and understandably so. I have suffered from depression and anxiety myself since I was a kid but always been able to manage it, being in this IVA seems like it made my anxiety 10x worse to the point where I am now in therapy. Like you it consumed my mind all day every day, woke me up in the middle of the night and at times I even struggled to look people in the eye because of the amount of shame and dred I felt. The only people that knew my situation were my family, to my friends and everyone else I was doing just fine but seeing my friends buying houses, getting engaged and doing all the normal life stuff was a constant reminder of how much of a shit situation I was in. One drunken night I finally admitted to one of my best friends the situation I was in, we actually live together and ironically she works in wealth management. My pride wouldn’t let me speak to her sooner and this whole IVA could have probably been avoided if I did but the instant relief I felt just sharing it with one other person was priceless. No judgement, no looking down on me infact it was the opposite - a lot of understanding and she opened up about her own financial problems which made me feel good because sometimes it feels like I’m the only person in the world with this big, dirty debt stamp on my life. I say this to say don’t bottle this in and internalise all this blame on yourself, debt is a very normal thing and you’d be surprised at how many people are suffering in silence.
After that I was made redundant from my job of 2 years so no pay out. There I was; 31 years old with no savings, no job, an IVA and having to sign on to universal credit for the first time in my life (anxiety x 1000000000). After a month I managed to find a pretty good job at a prestigious university in a management role which was a step up for me. 3 weeks in I hated it, anxiety through the roof, crying most nights and feeling despair everyday and then something just clicked. I hated my job and that was partly because I understood my value, my career aspirations and what I wanted from life and this job wasn’t it. It was almost like a ‘girl you better recognise who you are’ moment and the next day I quit and it was really that abrupt. Yes I was still in a shit position but it made me realise that this IVA is not the be all and end all in my life and does not define me, same way that job was not the be all and end all and definitely didn’t define me. I haven’t got my happy ending just yet and the mental health effects of this for me have been VERY real but you know what, it’s a process I have to go through so why torture myself.
I’m rambling now so I’ll try to wrap up but the main things I wanted to get across are
1. You are not alone and I can almost guarantee you that there are people in way worse positions than you.
2. Being in an IVA is shit and inconvenient and embarrassing but thank god you had the balls to do something about your situation instead of just being passive about it and watching it get worse. Applaud yourself for that because that’s not a step everyone has the guts to take.
3. Like everything in life, the IVA will come to an end eventually and life will definitely go on. Think of where you were 5 years ago and how quickly that time has gone. Use this time now to save as much as you can and develop good money habits, you’re future self will thank you for it