What I’m Talking About When I Talk About My Credit Card Debt

• Year I opened first credit card: 2005

• Amount of time it took me to get up to $7,000 on said credit card: <1 year

• Number of times I’ve paid the balances down to zero: 2

• Number of times I’ve done that through hard work and not spending: 0

• Number of times I’ve done that by refinancing my car: 1

• Number of times I’ve done that by taking a loan from my parents: 1

• Number of times I’ve paid that loan back: 0

• Number of times I’ve vowed to never use cards again: Some huge, unquantifiable number

• Number of essays I’ve written to “come out” about my debt in the past year: 2, at least

• Number of those essays that ended with revelation and promise to stop: 2, at least

• Number of revelations that stuck: None

• Date of first gchat conversation in which I admit to having a spending problem: Nov 2006

• Date of last gchat conversation in which I admit to having a spending problem: May 2012

• Number of open cards: 6

• Balance owed: $19,948.90

• Balance I would have guessed I owed, if pressed: $12,000

• Total amount of minimum payments each month: $480

• Number of cards still in my possession: 0

• Number of cards in Mike Dang’s possession: 6

• Number of cards I considered not handing over, for emergencies: 1

• Magnitude of worry in Mike Dang’s eyes when told him that:  Huge

• Number of days since I last used a card: 7

• The language of addiction and the language of overspending seem similar: Yes, they do

• Is that apt: Yes, it’s apt

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