Being Poor is like Heroin

Being poor is addicting and making bad financial decisions is passed from one generation to the next.

Image courtesy of Flickr and Christopher Cotrell

Image courtesy of Flickr and Christopher Cotrell

Just as with heroin and other addictions, changing financial habits requires a total makeover of ones self and personal relationships.

Does this seem like a bold comparison?  What do I know about being addicted to drugs?

I come from a world where drugs such as Heroin are tearing apart families everyday.  In fact… in the last two years, I have had 3 cousins overdose.  One of the three survived.

Of all of the people that I have witnessed go down this path, I am also proud to say that I have another cousin who decided to overcome and beat the addiction.

Watching the transformation first hand, I came to the realization that it’s not just an addiction that one has to beat.  The hardest part of all is that to have the highest chance of success, one has to give up the lifestyle that they know, along with relationships with people that they love.

The same goes for anyone who wants to change directions in life.  When unsatisfied with the cards that are dealt, you may have to go find a new deck.

I am in no way saying that only poor people get addicted to drugs.  I am just forever changed by everything that has happened in the last 2 years and I am now seeing how connected things are to one another.

Our environment helps shape us.  Sometimes even, like it or not, our environment is what keeps us repeating a cycle of bad decisions and unhappy days.

How do we get out of the poor cycle?  I mean for God’s sake, are we meant to work our dicks off at a job that we hate while looking forward to one or two days off that we spend too poor to enjoy?

What is poor anyways?  Does it have to do with how much money that you make?

I don’t think so.  What I call poor is being up to your teeth in debt with credit filled with purchases of things that are only failed attempts at filling that void that we are feeling deep down inside.

Stop comparing yourself to those around you.  Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses.

That newness (the high) will wear off of that stereo or whatever shit you just bought, leaving you in search of another fix.

There is a new way to live.  It’s called “within your means”.

I believe some guy named Dave Ramsey came up with it.

Seriously though, take the time to reflect your attention inward to analyze what is the source of feeling so unfulfilled.  So unfulfilled that you keep repeating the same poor cycle of going to work at a job that you hate just to buy things that you don’t need, and to create payments that you have to make, which end up making it so you can never afford to risk a career change,

…. and back to working the job you hate.

The bright side to this cycle is that one day you will die, so don’t feel that you have to do this forever.

If you look into the mirror and don’t like the world that you see around you then just change it.  It is that simple.  I didn’t say easy to do, but it is simple.

You are where you are at because you allow yourself to be.  You make this decision by letting yourself stay in an environment that doesn’t give you everything that you desire.

You are going through the motions just as everyone else is around you, so it can be hard to recognize at times.

The sad, unwanted, yet undeniable truth is that you may have to leave a few things behind.  This isn’t going to be easy.

Whatever you are struggling with changing in your life, just remember that it is your life to live.  You do not owe anyone anything.

If you feel someone is holding you back then say goodbye.

Whether it’s drugs you are leaving behind, or an unhappy life then either way it is critical that you surround yourself with supportive people who only want the best for you.

They might not be able to relate to what you are going through, but you do need support.

A year from now, you will be a year older so the time to start living the life that you want is today.

The rest of your life starts now.  Imagine being on your death bed and telling your story to someone.

Is it a sad story?  Just remember, you are writing the story as you go… so don’t make it a shitty one! You only get one chance to write it.