Break Up With Debt
The following post first appeared on Dear Debt. The blogger behind Dear Debt, Melanie, started the site as a way to chronicle her journey of paying off $81,000 of student loans. She has met her goal and began the Dear Debt Letter Project, where she encourages others to write “break-up” letters to their debt.
Dear Debt, I Just Don’t Get You Anymore
It’s been almost five years since we broke up, and I must say I do think of you from time-to-time.
Now, don’t get excited — it’s not in the way you think. I’m not pining after you or considering going back to you. What I think about is all the things you used to say to me and the promises you made. What I think about is how I just don’t understand you (or them) anymore.
In the fifteen years we were together, you convinced me that life was not possible without you — that if I wanted to do anything at all, it had to be done with you by my side. Somehow, I believed you. I gave you so many precious years of my life without ever challenging whether or not you were good for me. I bought into your lie that I couldn’t survive without you.
Looking back, I can see how you were able to deceive me so easily. I was naive. It never occurred to me that life without you was feasible. I didn’t realize that I could challenge that myth, nor did I have the patience or discipline at the time to do so. Even my parents, who introduced me to you before I was even old enough to have a relationship with you, believed your lies. I cannot blame them or be too upset with them — they thought you could offer me a better life than they could.
Now that I’m on the other side of our relationship, I cannot comprehend your promises. My older and wiser self knows what you offer is attainable without you. It may not come instantly or as quickly as it does with you, but that’s okay. My brain no longer can compute the benefits of cozying up with you.
You reached out to me a couple of years ago, and somehow, you managed to get under my husband’s skin. He suggested I think about contacting you “just this once.” Traitor! I couldn’t believe that after everything we did to rid our lives of you, he would suggest seeing you again. He tried to explain the benefits of reaching out to you, but I just couldn’t process what he was saying. He was speaking gibberish, and I didn’t understand it. I just don’t understand you anymore.
You are cunning, debt. You convince people that you are as essential as oxygen. You consistently reach out to my friends and family, and despite my warnings, some of them have started relationships with you. They are where I once was — captivated by your promises and unaware that they don’t need you. My hope for them is that they too will soon reach a point of not understanding you.
So, goodbye again debt. I would say I have missed you, but I haven’t. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get you anymore.
Take Care of Yourself,