Mental health, money & me

We’ve just come back from Christmas shopping & it was the hardest thing. Generally, 50% of people are traumatised by festive shoppers but this is different.

Because of my mood highs & lows, I tend to spend lots of money. I tend to spend more money than I can afford on things that I don’t really need but that make me feel better at that time. In short, I have no concept of money & will happily spend hundreds of pounds of money on clothes, presents, books. You name it, I’ll have a reason in my mind to buy it.

In the past I’ve racked up so much debt that it’s made my anxiety go through the roof but at the time of spending, I wouldn’t even think about it. A sense of how much or what on wouldn’t phase me.

I’d pay some of the bill off each month but always spent more than I paid back. One vicious cycle. One hideous problem.

This was me today…

Hiding how twitchy & upset behind the shades. They’re my saving grace on many levels. I’m not great with bright lights anyway but today was a case of doing some hiding.

Only when I met Karl did I actually tell him. I hadn’t told anyone before. I was ashamed of the habit I’d gotten myself into at University. It was the making of me & the breaking of my bank account.

And speaking of banks, all they did was extend my overdraft & credit card limits, despite me ringing at all times of the day to ask what I could do about it. I was like a drug addict going cold turkey.

My partner just so happens to be a whizz with numbers so he was straight into helping me, creating a budget, a list each month of what I wanted to buy that month etc. I handed over my cards to him & decided having a limited amount of cash so when i was spent up, I was spent up. Generally, it works well.

I’m:

  • Better with the concept of money
  • I only spend what I have on me
  • I value my money more
  • I’m more organised with what I want to buy
  • I pay my bills on time

However, mentally:

  • It’s like withdrawal
  • All I can think about is spending
  • I sulk
  • I try to rationalise it in my head but it’s like a Wimbledon tennis match

I’m trying. My partner jokingly always says ‘Why yes you are’. He also tells me I am doing well but I don’t feel it.

I have, however, shared my story with the mental health charity, Hafal. They’ve launched a money advice service with Lloyd’s Bank to help people like me. It’s UK wide & could really help if you’re like me & want help.

The website is called the Mental Health & Money Advice Service.Take look. It might not help you but it might help someone you know.