Many people have more compassion for other people than they do for themselves. When a friend or loved one tells you that they are going through personal bankruptcy to get out of debt, you may agree that it was a wise decision. But if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, bankruptcy can feel like you have failed somehow.

The truth is, anybody can find themselves in debt. No matter how carefully you have saved and planned for the future, an unexpected catastrophe can turn your plans upside-down. A sudden job loss or serious illness can lead to overwhelming bills just when your household loses much or all of its income. When that happens, Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy are possible solutions to help you move on with your life.

One bankruptcy user’s story

In Business Insider, a woman recently shared her story about going through bankruptcy. She says she was always a “saver” and a “planner,” just as her father had raised her to be. She carried no credit card debt and by 26, owned her own home and had started saving for retirement.

Then she was diagnosed with a painful, chronic medical condition that would likely make it impossible for her to have a child. Her treatment included three surgeries, weekly physical therapy, expensive medication and fertility treatments.

Later, the woman adopted her daughter, which added to her financial problems. “But there is no doubt in my mind it was the decision I was supposed to make,” she wrote.

Find out more about how bankruptcy works

Even for someone in this situation who has overwhelming medical debt, bankruptcy can feel embarrassing at first. But when you think of it as a tool available to anyone with more debt than they can afford, that millions of people use every year, that feeling should hopefully fade. Your bankruptcy attorney can explain the process in greater detail and answer all your questions.