My debt problems

Hi,

I’m new to the group. I’m single, 28, and live in Texas. My debt problems began about 6 years ago. I lost my fiance and father within a year of each other. I dropped out of college, left my job, and moved back to my hometown to be with my mother and sister. I spent several years working a low paying job, while dealing with depression and family issues.

During this time I also had some major medical problems. I had to be off work for multiple hospital stays, two surgeries, and recovery time. Over about two years I was out of work for about 5 months total. During that time I used my credit cards to try and make ends meet. I also racked up about $10,000 in medical bills.

Things are finally a little better (family and health wise). However, although I have a decent job now, and try to watch my spending, my credit is bad, and I can’t seem to get anywhere. I have about $1,800 left in credit card debt, and about $8,000 in medical bills. Unfortunately during the time I was having problems and trying to just survive everything that was going on, I got in trouble with the medical bills. I couldn’t afford living expenses, the credit card bills, and the medical bills. I ended up just ignoring the medical bills.

Yes, I know it was a stupid decision, but that’s what happened. So, on my credit report now, I’ve got several of them that are in collections, and a couple that were written off, and still others that are still sending me collection notices and bills. I have no savings, and am living paycheck to paycheck. Anytime an expense comes up that I’m not expecting, I’m panicking trying to figure out what can wait and what I can do.

Although I know compared to many others, my debt amount isn’t huge…it is huge to me. I feel like I’m drowning, and don’t know what to do. Any advice or suggestions on where to start would be greatly appreciated.