“I fear the postman. The mail tips in through the letterbox but I cannot face opening it. It’s piling up and fills me with dread. I am seriously not coping.”
Thank you for taking the time to contact Ask Penny. It sounds like you could really do with some support. I am concerned that you say you are not coping and no one should have to feel that way.
You don’t say why you are fearful of the postman but I have heard this story a lot from people who have slipped into debt. As you’ve reached out to me, I guess your real fear is over your finances. I’m guessing your postie is not the menace here.
My first advice would be to talk to your GP as soon as possible about these feelings, if you have not done so already. If the root cause is money worries you might not need drugs but if your health is suffering, it’s best to get yourself under the care of your doctor.
Now take a deep breath and think about what you’re going to do because this cannot go on. Assuming you’re avoiding demands for payment, remember most of the letters are repeated and you can throw all but the most recent away. Debt charities and Citizens Advice are only too familiar with stories like this and will happily go through the unopened envelopes with you if you don’t have a friend or family member who can help. You’ll feel a weight lifted.
Quids in! offers some tips on managing our mental health here, including who we can speak to. Don’t forget the Samaritans provide emotional support 24 hours a day samaritans.org or Tel 08457 909090. If you prefer to speak to someone locally you can look these up at hubofhope.co.uk by typing in your postcode.
You, or someone acting on your behalf, can ask that creditors you owe money to give you ‘breathing space’ (use that phrase) until you seek advice. You can contact StepChange Debt Charity, National Debtline, Citizens Advice or a local independent free advice agency near you. There’s some advice on how people can act on your behalf here and how breathing space works here.
Please access the help you need as soon as you can. You’re not alone and there are people you can turn to.