No. of Recommendations: 5
First, a hug -


I've been in this story - depression and unemployment feed into each other, and soon it's all you can do to take your next breath, let alone open bad news mail. You've just been protecting yourself the best way you know how.

Your first priority is your mental health. You need to find at least one solid, understanding shoulder somewhere. You will sometimes have trouble telling the difference between a rational thought and a crazy one, and second opinions are crucial. If you're religious, look there first. Many religious groups have case workers who are qualified to help you. Professional help is good if you have access to it. Computer boards can be a *big help* in this regard, if there's no one in your immediate circle who can do this for you.

Second, get a job - any job. You need the structure, you need the income, you need to feel that you're contributing something to the world. If you are only up to handling a part-time, mindless job, that's just fine. Find a place to live that you can afford on your income. You won't be stuck there forever.

Third, follow the advice about the cc's/loans that you get here, but don't obsess over your bills, and *do not* allow bill collectors or creditors to browbeat you. It doesn't sound as if you have home equity that needs to be protected. If that's the case, don't commit BK. Collections and chargeoffs will fall off your credit report before a BK does.

Many people have been, and are now in this boat with you. There's not a thing wrong that time won't fix. Take a deep breath, and just put one foot in the front of the other. You will get there. Stay in touch.

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