If you’ve read my previous posts, you’ll know that my bankruptcy wasn’t caused by my own financial mismanagement. I had an issue at work in which my employer thought (and was proved incorrectly) that I had broken some rules and they reported me to the Police and also my licensing authority. I’m a professional who requires a professional licence to operate. 9 months of not being able to work followed by a further 3 months of being ignored by my licensing authority has put me in a situation where I had no choice but to apply to become insolvent …
I’m hoping to be able to re-apply for work shortly ….. still waiting…..but being forced to take a total year off work has introduced me to other things. If you take away all the stress and anguish of the last 12 months, it turns out that I have now forgotten about other stresses and strains that I had then, but that I do not have anymore in this particular situation I now find myself in.
Strangely, friends who know me say almost daily, that I look better than I have for years, that I have lost weight and that I look more healthy. Only a few nights ago, a female friend said that I am looking the best she has ever seen me, and she has known me for 9 years. There are a number of reasons for this. One of them is a conscious effort not to slip deeper into depression by grabbing it by the proverbial balls, squeezing hard and saying “Not today Bonzo!”. To do this I made a conscious effort to run. I made a conscious effort to dress well every day. I made a conscious effort to shave every day. I made a conscious effort to look smart and presentable whenever possible. I changed my hair style and every time the sun is out – now that I’m unemployed, I sit in it relax and try to keep some colour in my pale English skin. I refused to take the Doctors first port of call which was straight to Anti Depressants (rather than counselling) and I made my own way on research into herbal remedies and found my own councillor to talk to. I now religiously use herbal remedies for depression and stress to help me along. The bankruptcy has hurt my heart and soul as a professional and determined man, but already within two months of signing the dotted line, I have a fully working bank account, a pre-paid MasterCard, (Thanks Pablo) a few hundred ‘Quid’ in the bank and an idea brewing to start afresh proper.
I haven’t worried about a daily, 0430, 12 hour shift reminding alarm clock for 12 months now. I haven’t worked a night shift and felt the terrible upheaval of my circadian rhythm for days afterward. I haven’t paid a gas bill or electricity bill nor have I paid council tax or water rates since November 2016. Yes indeed, I have had to live with a good friend in a cramped back bedroom. Yes, I have sold just about everything that I own to stay afloat. Yes, I only have a few possessions left stored in my Brothers garage, and annoyingly I could not vote this year nor can I claim any housing benefit from the 30 years of National Insurance that I paid into, as I am technically of No Fixed Abode; but as it stands right here right now, (A great 1990’s song by Jesus Jones) I am almost ready to start again. I say “almost” because I still don’t have the means to push on with my dream that I have worked so hard for over the last 5 years. I still have not been issued my licence to work. It is killing me slowly day by day waiting for bureaucratic wheels to turn, while sat in their swivel chairs drinking tea from the Government subsidised canteen on the top floor.
To avoid another full mental breakdown, which I had in Mid December 2016, I asked family in the USA for help with some accommodation over the Christmas and New Year period of 2016/7 to recuperate, relax and take me away from all my personal, work and love issues back here in the UK. It saved my life. Of that there is absolutely no doubt. It was probably the best thing I have ever done purely for my self, my wellbeing and certainly for my mental health. I came back a different person, with a goal, an aim and clarity on how I was going to set about achieving it. Besides from my licensing authority sitting on their rotund, civil service pensioned arses for three months and playing God with my future, I’m just about there, ready to look for work again. Well I was……. until I realised that I’m not sure that I am ready to actually go back to work just yet…. I’m bankrupt, which means I have no debts anymore. So, ok, I cannot get credit or buy a house or a car (unless I win big on the lottery this weekend), but it also means that I have no outgoings, Nil, Nada, 0.
Once my professional licence is issued, and with no outgoings to be concerned about and majorly due to some cash in hand work that my fantastic friends have given me to keep the proverbial wolf from the bank account, (Thank you AGAIN Pablo) I am severely thinking of taking another cheap flight to the USA and doing something I have wanted to do for years, rather than go immediately back to the alarm clock.
Many years ago, I walked, ran, climbed and crawled around every single peak in the Welsh mountains. I carried more weight on my back than the base of my spine or ankles should have ever carried, but I got there – albeit now my L2 Vertebrae and both my ankles remind me of this fact every single day. I have lived in holes in the ground enough in my former life to enable me to be able to do it once again. I have 12 months of bankruptcy to contend with (10 months as I write), I have no children and ‘she’ walked out when the going got a little rough. I don’t own a home and my car belongs to the finance company. (they still haven’t collected it yet !) With minimal expenditure and a bit of planning and help from my family in the USA, I have a plan to go and do something to try to clear out once and for all, my spinning head and my broken heart, before I enter back into a routine of alarm clocks, deadlines, commercial pressure, late nights, long weekends, early starts and consummate professionalism – ohh and dating again.
I’m going to look into walking across the USA, and just see where it leads me. There is the train of thought that is “If you’re going to do something, don’t tell people, just do it“. But I’m not sure what the point of a blog is if I don’t put my thoughts on electronic paper.
I already have a start and a finish point in mind. One place I hold dear from many years ago and one belonging to one of my favourite artists songs. It is not strictly “across” the USA, it’s more “up” the USA, starting in Seal Beach, California and ending in Twin Rocks, Oregon. The reason for the seemingly random location in Oregon, are the words to this song from one of my favourite and most admired artists. I have always wanted to go there and do exactly what the young ‘old’ man in the song did, but on my many trips to the USA, I never managed it. The route I’m looking at is approximately 1500 miles and with a 6 month tourist visa, I would have plenty of time to take the route via friends and family locations. The £73 per week of government assistance I receive is as useful as a fart in a space suit, so losing that for 6 months I can handle.
Strangely I have just realised that I named this blog “The Ramblings of a Bankrupt” when I wrote my first entry in June of this year. How apt that title may yet become.
Ramblingadjective : (of writing or speech) lengthy and confused or inconsequential.noun : the activity of walking in the countryside for pleasure.