When I first came to DCIL in 2007, I wanted nothing to do with helping to plan my budget or pay my bills. I made sure my bills were sent directly to them and then I stayed out of it. At that particular point in my life my Bipolar Disorder was ruling my life. As long as they paid the bills and we received our spending money and grocery money that was all I cared about.
Slowly as I was getting better I began to want to know more about what was going on with my money and have a little more input about it. But how do you start to do that when you have gone years not having any control at all? I started asking how much I had in my accounts. I would ask for a little extra money for things that I wanted. Yes, sometimes I felt like a child asking a parent for money, but it did get easier. I realized this was in place to help and protect me. It was still my money. I would get statements at the end of the month so I knew where my accounts stood. I started helping figure out my budget and then came the time when I felt ready to try and have more responsibility. So we decided together to start taking out my spending money all in one shot and I was responsible for that. What an exciting move that was for me! I made out envelopes for every week and I divide up my money. I was so proud of myself because I have been successful in that. We kept doing that for quite a few months and I kept getting better. In time, I felt ready to try more. The next step we took was to try getting all my monthly grocery money. Every little step to me is exciting because I never thought I would ever get to this point. It has been going so well.
Next, I asked if I could write the checks out. DCIL still had to sign them but at least I could physically write them. I had not done that in years. They said I could and I was so happy!! I know who would be happy about paying bills right? I am. Once I started writing my own checks I started feeling more like a regular person. They allowed me to make more decisions when it came to my money. I felt normal. This has all led up to me being able to open my own checking account and pay the bills myself; something I have not done in so many years, yet I know they are still here if I fall. They have given me the tools and the confidence to know I can do this and succeed at it. I have fought hard to get where I am and it feels so good to finally be here. Managing my own money has been one of the best experiences I have gained from DCIL and I am so glad they have been here to help me.